Councillors shrug off critics to back the BID

BID rangers
BID rangers

Councillors voted to use the authority’s votes in favour of five more years of Boston BID – saying it offers a key service and the ‘icing on the cake’.

Members of Boston Borough Council’s cabinet backed the BID for re-election at their meeting on Wednesday.

Businesses can vote on whether they want BID to continue with a postal ballot this month and the council holds 17 votes for its business operations in the town.

BID board member Coun Derek Richmond urged his colleagues to support the BID – especially to keep the Town Rangers.

Coun Mike Brookes said the BID had had ‘teething problems’ but had improved in the last couple of years, while Coun Mike Gilbert said the BID provides an ‘essential service’ as well as the ‘icing on the cake’ with extra benefits.

He felt it had helped Boston weather the recession, saying: “BID has played its part preventing what could have been an even more challenging environment for Boston. They deserve another five years to continue to help the town to progress.”

Coun Carol Taylor disagreed, saying BID had not achieved its aims and that the business plan for the next five years bore no resemblance to a proper business plan.

Labour’s Coun Paul Gleeson also criticised what he feels is a lack of ambition in the BID business plan.

BID fell at least £350,000 short of its aim to make £650,000 in match funding. This time it is only accounting for £25,000 in match funding.

Coun Gleeson said: “All they are doing is saying we will carry on doing what we are doing until now and keep giving us the money.”

The cabinet still chose to vote in favour, with council leader Peter Bedfordsaying it needed to send out a positive message.

Coun Brookes added: “We shouldn’t be sitting on the fence, we should be letting people know what we think.”