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Calls To Terminate Yorkshire Coast D-BID Scheme

Calls To Terminate Yorkshire Coast D-BID Scheme

Published by Karen Liu at 7:02am 19th June 2020.

The owner of a hotel in Scarborough has written to the council asking it to terminate the Yorkshire Coast D-BID scheme.

Harry Scott, who has the Delmont Hotel on the North Bay, says many businesses have had to close down because of coronavirus.

And he claims there is a legal clause the council can use to stop the levy, if the BID company has not got the money to carry out its intended work.

Harry said:

"If you take into account that three hotels in this area alone, large hotels, have ceased trading.

That money which was deemed to be going to the BID company is now not going to be in their funds.

And I would suggest that there's going to be over the next few months far more than that cease trading, because of the financial difficulties we all find ourselves in.

The small businesses, family-run most of them, they have to pay the D-BID levy or pay for their child's school uniform.

On the other end of the scale, the larger businesses, they could have the problem of pay the levy and reduce staffing.

Everything has to be affordable and some people will not be able to pay the levy."

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

Here is Harry's letter to Scarborough Borough Council:

"Dear Sir/Madam,

I believe it very prudent to write to you regarding the above subject as my business is one of many throughout this area and indeed the country, who have suffered greatly and will probably continue to do so for a long period of time, due to the current challenging times.

I know from the business people I have spoken with, that the DBID would have failed had the ballot been done correctly, even with the inclusion of the Council votes which as you know is the only reason it succeeded. If a few people stated they did not receive ballot papers then it could be considered they had been lost or thrown away, but there are hundreds saying the same thing, they did not receive a ballot paper. They also state that if they had, they would have voted against the DBID. Is this democracy? I think we both know the answer to that question.

I would now like you to consider this basic fact, together with the other many faults which have been found with the DBID process, including the allegations made by the NYLPA solicitor. The fact that businesses are all struggling to survive in the current crisis and that three large hotels in this area alone have recently ceased trading, meaning revenue from these businesses to the DBID company has been lost and should any further businesses in these times suffer the same fate, which I consider very likely, more financial losses would be incurred by the DBID company.

Have the DBID company thought about this? or are they just continuing to railroad the process through? Do the DBID company have any strategy to assist businesses in this crisis? There appears to be a huge reality gap in the understanding of the facts. Throughout the varied tourist businesses in the DBID area, including  large companies, who as stated, some have already succumbed to the crisis, there are family run businesses with no access to government grants and could, and I believe unfortunately some will, find themselves in the same predicament. 

I would suggest the DBID company has failed to recognise these facts or offer assistance to any businesses, which will result in an unknown deficit to the DBID companies financial situation.

In view of all these facts and the uncertain times ahead facing us all, I would urge the council to terminate the DBID forthwith, which can be done legally using section 18 of the bid regulations in order to relieve the pressures on both businesses and indeed the council.

Yours Sincerely

Harry Scott

Delmont Hotel"

In response, a spokesperson for Yorkshire Coast BID, commented:

"Whereas the board of Yorkshire Coast BID Ltd acknowledge that our local authorities have a legal obligation to adhere to the current regulation, issue annual bills and collect the BID levy, it recognises that many businesses will be experiencing severe difficulties at this time owing to the impact of COVID-19.   
 
The board of directors have called on the government, together with local MPs and others to assist in finding a legal way to be able to apply relief to the levy for the financial year beginning August 2020.  We will continue to keep our levy paying businesses updated with progress on this matter.
 
The BID has conducted significant careful planning and has a fully workable costed plan and will continue to work in partnership with its businesses, to promote and protect the Yorkshire Coast and surrounding villages for the benefit of all business members, residents and visitors.
 
Now, more than ever, the BID's role is vital to ensure this work continues with the continued planning of standout initiatives for 2021 that will support the economic recovery for our amazing coastal community and its hardworking businesses."

We have also asked Scarborough Borough Council for a statement and we have not yet received one.

Next week, a council scrutiny committee will look at an independent report into the authority's role as administrators of the ballot which resulted in the scheme going ahead.

Comments

There are 5 comments on this page.

yorkshireboy, on 19th June 2020 8:10am
So the board of directors have spoken.. Just how much are they getting paid.

This Bid project was not wanted from day one and now business owners some of which have had no income for months are still expected to pay.

And for what.

Welcome to Yorkshire have announced what they are planning and SBC have found thousands to give to them.

Scrap the BID idea now before we see more businesses go to the wall.
zara, on 19th June 2020 8:34am
so i get the impression that they are wanting the government to help them financially, otherwise i am sure that they could find some legal way themselves not to apply the levy. Most contracts have get out clauses in them but then who would pay all the DBID expenses, so they will not do that. Another completely useless organisation that is only there for the benefit of the people running it.
RustyShears, on 19th June 2020 12:12pm
Perhaps the businesses that they are working with could speak up so we know who they are?
MW20, on 19th June 2020 12:43pm
When the BID was set up, in my understanding, it was done so illegally by SBC. Presume not deliberately, but through not following the process correctly and relying on 3rd parties who will benefit financially through the existence of the BID. It has been proved and advised through the Levy Payer’s Solicitor letter to the Council for next week's meeting.

To write the wrong, the only thing that the Council can do is sort out a refund to all Levy Payers who have paid and then re-ballot everyone with or without their own votes (This would give them the high moral ground to the Council and prove they support businesses) and see where it goes. If not, they are going to waste £thousands on staff time every month trying to get it back on the rails and re-prove they do not support local businesses.

Unfortunately, it will be ALL SBC rate payer who will have to pick up the potential £230000 shortfall (It may be more) in the repayments as money spent on salaries, wasted by the BID on their own legal fees or for various hairbrained schemes such as the winter parade in Whitby that alienated the retailers, the bus to Brid, Discount scheme that people can obtain themselves and the online shop app that cannot be found on Google and the £30000 SBC have charged to post out the forms. (That total is 27% of the funds collected that have been wasted and not benefited the majority. This %age could be more). As Zara says above this has been set up for the benefit of those involved and advisors.

At least the rest of the 84% the BID states they have collected will be intact and 84% of the £1m budget they say they have is £840000 less the £230000 above. Hopefully, SBC hasn’t been stupid enough to pay it all over?
PhillH, on 19th June 2020 5:39pm
I am a dbid levy pay and other than the bill have never had anything from them, mno ballot, no plans, no letters telling me what is happening nothing, just court summons.

the sole objective of this scheme is to line the pockets of the people running this.

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