§ Lord Fearn
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What legislation exists, if any, to stop hotels and boarding houses from displaying out-of-date star or crown registration signs. [HL820]
§ Lord McIntosh of Haringey
The display of out-of- date grading signs by hotels, or other establishments, is both confusing for consumers and an abuse of the voluntary accommodation grading schemes. However, where the sign is owned by the business itself, the matter is one of trading standards, and addressing it is the responsibility of the appropriate local authority.
The Government and the grading organisations are working to minimise consumer confusion caused by out-of-date signage. It is VisitBritain's policy to report abuses to local trading standards offices and, for some time, VisitBritain has retained ownership of grading signs so they may be reclaimed where businesses leave its grading scheme or have their gradings changed. VisitBritain and the other four grading organisations—VisitScotland, the Welsh Tourist Board, the Automobile Association and the Royal Automobile Club—also agreed to the adoption of common grading standards in May 2004. When fully implemented, this should further improve consumer confidence in the schemes.