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BID Protestors Petition Scarborough Council

BID Protestors Petition Scarborough Council

Published by Jon Burke at 7:01am 22nd August 2019.

Scarborough Borough Council's being asked to hold a re-ballot of the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District.

The request comes from the group against the scheme, which has stared a petition.

It also urges the authority to suspend levy payments.

It has to be paid by businesses with a rateable value over £12,000. with the money going into a pot to be used for tourist improvements for five years.

The scheme has caused controversy among some businesses and has, so far unsuccessfully, been sent to the Secretary of State for re-examination.

Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers' Association member, Hero Sumner, said:

"First of all, the Business Improvement District is not business-led. We maintain that businesses were excluded from gaining information and have been denied the right to voice concerns. We also maintain that the lack of information that was fed out to businesses about it, hampered the appeal to the Secretary of State.

At the first Whitby meeting, two weeks ago, we distributed probably 60 copies of the petition and at the Scarborough meeting, we distributed 70 or 80. We're asking businesses or people to get 20 signatures each and then we present it to Scarborough Council."

Here is what the petition says:

"We, the undersigned, petition Scarborough Council  to suspend demands for levy payment towards the Yorkshire Coast Destination BID and hold a re-ballot on the grounds that:

1)      The ‘Business Improvement District’ is NOT business led.  Excluding council ‘votes’ on properties – of 1354 businesses, only 146 business voted for it.  175 voted against it.

2)      Businesses have been excluded from gaining access to information and have been denied the right to voice concerns e.g  ‘Consultation workshops’ were held on one day only in each town affected – at the very height of the tourist season with NO local press coverage.

3)      Businesses were denied the opportunity to vote on this very important issue.  Ballot papers were distributed in a haphazard manner with many businesses receiving no voting slips. The hereditaments list reflects this with many business names not appearing alongside the addresses.

4)       THIS RESULTED in hampering the appeal to The Secretary of State who maintained the department could not identify the required 5%.  The businesses which the Secretary of State could not identify as ‘elligible’ for the appeal have subsequently been found on the hereditaments list and have received bills.

5)      At no point has there been an open discussion between councils,  businesses or communities regarding the effects on local economies and initiatives that WILL be affected by this scheme."

A spokesperson for Scarborough Borough Council said:

“We would like to emphasise that Cllr Colling made our position clear at last month’s Full Council meeting. It is mandatory, under the 2004 BID regulations, for us to collect the levies on behalf of the Yorkshire Coast BID company. We have nothing further to add.”

Comments

There are 4 comments on this page.

zara, on 22nd August 2019 7:58am
Way to go SBC your usual attitude even under a 'slightly' different council, the only thing that seems to have changed is the leader who is becoming even more distanced than the previous one with his VERY small cabinet. Try to actually see the harm you are doing. I am not a business person so i have no direct involvement with this problem but certainly an indirect one. It is obvious that small businesses will have to pass this cost on to the consumer (me) and may in some instances go out of business. Have you not heard of the straw that broke the camels back? This is a totally unnecessary organisation and the only people it will serve is the few working for it - and their council cronies.
Fileyman, on 22nd August 2019 12:22pm
Totally agree with Zara.

The track record of handling money by SBC is abysmal.

This so called scheme is nothing short of robbing businesses that didn't want it to start with but it was pushed through by SBC underhand voting practices.

It's time to change to put a sign on the front of the council offices saying "Please Use The Back Door"
A local CRAB, on 22nd August 2019 3:43pm
As a local C.R.A.B ( Coastal Ratepayer Against BID) I am appalled at SBC's attitude to their ratepayers. Aren't your wages paid by ratepayers? If the DBID is business led then why was there only 146 businesses who voted for it - And 175 businesses who voted against it ?
I think you need to Wake Up SBC, there's a lot of disharmony out there.
Wasn't it only your votes that got the BID over the line - how is that business led. Isn't that Council led? SBC will benefit big time from this ...it seems as ratepayers we are paying twice.Time to get down off your high horse and talk to the local businesses who have been dismissed so callously by you "their council" .
neil bower, on 23rd August 2019 12:08am
If I have to pay this I will be taking it off my business rates

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