Councillor stands by Bridlington 'rather drive home than stay' comment

Councillor Mally Boatman
Image caption East Riding of Yorkshire councillor for Goole Mally Boatman said there "wasn't a single hotel or B&B" he would want to stay at in Bridlington

A Goole councillor has stood by a claim he would rather drive 45 miles to his home than stay at a hotel in Bridlington.

Hotel owners reacted angrily after Mally Boatman made the comments during a debate at an East Riding Council planning meeting for a new Premier Inn.

He said: "I wasn't happy with what I was seeing, so I said I'd prefer to ... drive home rather than stay."

Mayor of Bridlington Liam Dealtry said he was "attacking them for no reason".

Mr Boatman's remarks came as the authority's planning committee gave the green light on plans for an £8m Premier Inn despite more than 500 objections.

Bob Hillery, a guesthouse owner and president of the Bridlington Tourism Association, said: "I'm disgusted. I really can't believe that any councillor belonging to any authority would make such disparaging remarks that are blatantly untrue."

Image caption Mayor of Bridlington Liam Dealtry demanded Mr Boatman issue a public apology

Speaking on BBC Look North, Mr Dealtry demanded the councillor give "a proper public apology not a back-handed one".

He said to Mr Boatman: "We've got four-star Silver award hotels - the Park View Hotel, we've got The Expanse, The Monarch Hotel, we've got The Royal Hotel - just to name a few. These are really top of the range hotels and you're attacking them for no reason."

"You've only stayed in a couple."

Mr Boatman replied: "Of course, I'm not going to stay in them all... but I think one of them I stayed in was one that you mentioned."

He added: "If I've upset anyone then I apologise for that.

"But I'm not going to retract the comment because it was a personal opinion and it was a justification for the Premier Inn to come to Bridlington, which is going to attract more people to visit the town."

The 82-bed Premier Inn is to be based on the site of the Beaconsfield car park and will be the first to be built in the seaside town since The Expanse opened in North Marine Drive in 1937.

Image caption The new hotel for Bridlington was approved at a council planning meeting last month

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