West country restaurateur banned over lack of accounting records

A restaurateur from Weston-Super-Mare has been given a six-year disqualification after failing to maintain the company’s books and records

Alan Vinnicombe was a director of Pop up Kitchen Ltd. Set up in 2015, the company traded as a consultancy for the catering industry before taking over the licence and management of the kitchen at the Blue Ball Inn in Exeter.

In October 2018, Pop Up Kitchen entered into insolvency proceedings, which brought the company and Vinnicombe’s conduct to the attention of the Insolvency Service.

According to Vinnicombe, he suspended his directorship of Pop up Kitchen in March 2016 due to personal reasons and a third party took over the management of the company.

However, this was not recorded at Companies House and investigators were unable to verify his account of what happened as the company records were not properly preserved.

The lack of company records also meant investigators were unable to clarify the company’s trading activities, what was the cause of the company’s insolvency, Pop up Kitchen’s income and expenditure, and what tax the company paid.

Rob Clarke, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Preserving and maintaining company records is a basic requirement for all directors.

‘The total lack of records in this case has made it impossible for us to determine whether there was other, more serious, misconduct at the company and that is reflected in Alan Vinnicombe’s lengthy period of disqualification.’

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