Toby Perkins to new Chesterfield Hotel boss: ‘Sort out money problems now’

Chesterfield Hotel.
Chesterfield Hotel.

Toby Perkins has urged the new boss of the company behind Chesterfield Hotel to resolve long-running money issues affecting former staff and customers.

The Chesterfield MP held “frank” talks with Spanish businessman Malcolm Aw earlier this week.

Toby Perkins.

Toby Perkins.

Mr Aw, 68, is the new director of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd, which operated the former hotel.

Forty-five members of staff lost their jobs when Chesterfield Hotel shut six months ago and workers are still waiting for unpaid wages and redundancy payouts.

Meanwhile, customers who were left out of pocket when the hotel’s leisure centre closed in April 2014 are also still awaiting refunds.

Mr Perkins said: “I have been in touch with Mr Aw and we had a frank exchange of views.

“Mr Aw has been brought in to resolve the situation but it is still some way from resolution.

“We will be meeting in Parliament in September and I have told him that I will want to see real progress with the return of people’s money and a clearer understanding of what is happening with the building.

“Former employees and people who lost their money at the gym can be assured that I will continue to work on their behalf and bring pressure until this situation is fairly resolved.”

When asked by the Derbyshire Times this week when – or if – people would get their money back, Mr Aw replied he had been making enquiries into what he called the “sordid affair”.

“I’m very sorry to learn of the way people have been left in the lurch,” he added.

He would not comment further.

“I will keep you apprised,” he said.

GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd is still an active company and Mr Aw told the Derbyshire Times he would like to see the Malkin Street premises used by groups which aid vulnerable people.

One of those groups, he said, could be Livibility, which supports hundreds of disabled adults at care homes across the country.

Mr Aw became director of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd after Daniel James O’Doherty resigned from the position on February 1.

Mr O’Doherty, 71, is still the sole shareholder of the firm, according to Companies House.

Both he and Mr Aw are also directors of Botleigh Grange Hotel in Southampton.

Mr Aw is also executive chairman of Waterleau Plc, a London-based company which aims to provide an “inexhaustible supply of fresh and pure drinking water”.

Chesterfield Hotel opened in 1877.

When it shut, a number of town leaders and residents expressed their sadness at the loss of one of Chesterfield’s longest-running businesses which was also a significant social venue and major employer.

The exact reason for Chesterfield Hotel’s closure has never been revealed – but Mr Perkins held urgent talks with representatives from the hotel in January to discuss financial problems.