Town businessman barred from BID meeting

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

The annual general meeting of Boston Business Improvement District (BID) got off to an interesting start last night, as one businessman was kept away from the event.

Two town rangers blocked the way for accountant and former board member Darron Abbott when he tried to enter the Blenkin Memorial Hall for the meeting last night (Tuesday), and town police inspector Dave Rimmer also refused to allow him entry.

BID chairman Alan Ellis said Mr Abbott did not have a business property in the town, and therefore was not eligible to take part in the meeting, unless he had submitted a proxy form to act on behalf of a BID member.

He also said that the former director, who resigned from the board following a number of meetings last year, could not be trusted to offer a constructive input to the meeting.

He told the members gathered: “Mr Abbott attacks everything we go on. He will not work with us.

“He does not have a property in the BID area. If you are a BID member you have to have a business in the town.”

Niall Armstrong, manager of the BID, said it would have been wrong to admit him to a members-only meeting, as he had not completed the form saying he could attend.

But members at the meeting argued that he should have been admitted, and then if an issue arose it could have been dealt with at the time.

One said: “He was at the meeting last year and he has been on the committee. Not to allow him in is out of order.”

Mr Abbott, whose company is based in London Road, told rangers he was a director of a company, and should be allowed in.

He told The Standard this morning: “I had in my possession paperwork that proved my eligibility to attend the meeting, but unfortunately no-one was interested in viewing this documentation.

“The reason it appears for my exclusion was I had not completed the relevant proxy form, it now appears that even though I represented a business from the BID area on the board last year this is now not good enough. My understanding is that others were allowed into the meeting without the proxy forms.”

Mr Abbott has submitted a formal complaint to Lincolnshire Police about Inspector Rimmer’s behaviour, which he claimed was unlawful.

A police spokesman said: “There were legitimate reasons for excluding Mr Abbott from the meeting. If he wishes to query these, he should contact Lincolnshire Police.”

○ Following the meeting on Tuesday, board member Carol Taylor, who represented Boston Stump, has resigned from the committee. In a letter to chairman Alan Ellis she said she found the way Mr Abbott had been treated ‘at best abhorrent’, and that the church did not feel they have a place on the BID board anymore.