The Alpamare waterpark opened in July 2016. After only two and a half years of trading the attraction had run into serious financial difficulties. The Enquirer broke the story after British Gas issued a winding up petition.
With debts totalling nearly £3.4million, including £107,000 owed to Scarborough Borough Council in unpaid rates, a CVA was agreed which, according to the 2003 Licensing Act, rescinded Alpamare’s alcohol license.
Having wrote off £107,000 in business rates, the St Nicholas Street based Bad Investment Factory run by serial bad investor Tory Cllr Derek Bastiman, faced the prospect of being unable to secure repayment of the £9million unsecured loan the local Tories had gifted to Benchmark if the contagion spread.
So what would be worth commenting about on the application? Despite what appears to be a lot of money spent on the build, and judging by the row of portaloos outside the rear of the facility, the water park looks to be a very poor build and basic amenities appear to be an afterthought. Must be nice for the neighbours…
From the date of the CVA, the 21st January and for the next month, the Alpamare waterpark was selling alcohol illegally. The penalty for selling alcohol illegally is a fine of £20,000, six months in prison or both.
The Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) before the CVA was Mr Johannes Kirchner-Waines in the name of Alpamare UK Ltd. The DPS on the new license application is again Mr Johannes Kirchner-Waines, but this time in the name of Benchmark Leisure Ltd. How can Mr Johannes Kirchner-Waines be a fit and proper person to hold the license given he appears to have transgressed the 2003 Licensing Act?
If the offence has been committed by any other licensee in the Borough, the licensee would be answerable in court so fast that their feet wouldn’t touch the floor. But not in the case of Alpamare or Benchmark it appears.
With any council that takes its statutory duties seriously, any transgression of the the 2003 Licensing Act would normally be met with legal action. But in the case of Scarborough Borough Council, Alpamare UK Ltd and Benchmark Leisure Ltd it appears the council is blatantly ignoring its statutory duty.
Has there been political interference to ensure there is no prosecution or further bad publicity for the debt striken waterpark? Would the Chief Executive Officer, Jim Dillon, care to comment why there is no prosecution? Would the Leader of the Council Cllr Derek Bastiman, care to comment why there is no prosecution?
If there has been political interference, couldn’t those that interfered be prosecuted for Perverting the Course of Justice and shouldn’t North Yorkshire Police be investigating?