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Reaction To Yorkshire Coast BID Report

Reaction To Yorkshire Coast BID Report

Published by Karen Liu with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Carl Gavaghan at 2:09pm 12th March 2020. (Updated at 3:08pm 12th March 2020)

The group which opposes the Yorkshire Coast Destination Business Improvement District is hoping the ballot could still be overturned.

That is despite the results of a report being published, which looked into Scarborough Borough Council's management of the vote.

The investigation was critical of some of the decisions made, and of the communication surrounding the whole process.

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It has been published ahead of Scarborough Borough Council's Audit Committee meeting on 19th March.

The Yorkshire Coast Levy Payers Association (YCLPA) has given their reaction to the report.

Hero Sumner, who is a member, said:

"This is actually the first time that the BID regulations have been looked up this thoroughly.

It's the very first time that anybody has undertaken a thorough investigation of a ballot process of this nature.

So with it being a first time, maybe this could be a first time, maybe things could be overturned."

Hero says the group will be discussing what they will be doing next. 

She added:

"We'll be getting this report thoroughly looked into, doing our own reports, our own investigations.

There's so many hours worth of 'man hours' that have gone into it, I don't think anybody is just going to give up just like that.

So, we will be obviously making representation at the meeting and we do have a solicitor looking at all the options we possibly can."

Hero has been speaking to Yorkshire Coast Radio's Jon Burke:

 

Meanwhile, the BID company has been called on to follow the government’s lead and suspend collecting its levy during the coronavirus outbreak.

Graham Collinson, a member of the YCLPA, said that all payments should be shut to help out those dealing with possible fallout from the pandemic.

The call comes less than 24 hours after Chancellor Rishi Sunak used the budget to announce business rates will be suspended for 12 months for leisure, retail and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

The Yorkshire Coast BID collects a 1.5% levy from more than 1,300 tourism-related businesses from Staithes to Spurn Point with a rateable value of £12,000 and above.

Mr Collinson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the BID should also look to help those businesses most likely to be impacted by the outbreak.

He said: 

"If the BID company wants to support businesses, and we are told that is what it was set up to do, then it should at a minimum suspend the levy."

Mr Collinson, who runs Discovery Accommodation in Whitby said his business was trying to prepare for the summer seasons "if there is one" and that the levy relief would be welcomed.

More than 300 companies across Scarborough Borough have yet to pay the mandatory levy, the council revealed last month.

A spokesman for the Yorkshire Coast BID said:

"Following yesterday’s Budget announcement, Yorkshire Coast BID is pleased to see that the government has introduced measures to assist small businesses across the UK.

While we support this news, we believe that it is now more important than ever for Member businesses within the BID to continue to work together during this period of uncertainty.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and communicate any developments directly with our members.”

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