Councillors asked to vote ‘Yes’ to five more years of Boston BID

Boston BID manager Niall Armstrong
Boston BID manager Niall Armstrong

Councillors will be asked tonight (Wednesday) to agree to use all of the authority’s votes to say ‘yes’ to five more years of Boston BID.

The BID is up for re-election, with voting to take place by postal ballot before the end of October 27.

It has spelled out a five-year vision, funded through almost £800,000 collected from a levy on firms in Boston town centre, in a business plan.

Boston Borough Council has 17 votes for its properties – and members of the environment and performance committee will be asked to vote on using those in favour of the re-election at a meeting at 6.30pm at the Municipal Buildings.

A report by senior officer Steve Lumb said: “In terms of ongoing town centre viability and vitality having a BID is a good thing and I consider the town and the borough council would be worse off without one.”

The report admits BID caused ‘controversy’ when it started – with some traders facing court action after initially refusing to pay the levy.

About 500 businesses are within the BID. If elected all businesses must pay a levy of one per cent of their rateable value, unless that is below £3,000.

The BID was set up in 2008 after a vote by businesses, but the turnout was just over the 20 per cent needed for a valid vote and the lowest in the country at the time.

In Spalding, where traders rejected the chance to form a BID, the council asked businesses how they wanted the council to use its votes in a poll. The final ballot saw 75.1 per cent say ‘no’.

The plan for 2013-18 promises to maintain the Town Rangers and includes steps to improve the town’s appearance and events such as the Christmas market.