OBSERVER: To BID or not to BID? That is the question...

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I wonder how many Bostonians actually know what Boston BID (Business Improvement District) does?

The reason I ask is that they are holding an election to see if businesses wish to continue putting money into the scheme – a levy on businesses apparently raises about £800,000 which the BID board, if elected, will spend on ‘improving’ the town from a business point of view.

The scheme only started five years ago but something appears to have gone drastically wrong as reports in the local press over the period have detailed some board meetings having to be called off and not enough people attending to form a quorum.

No doubt the present BID feel they have done a sufficiently successful job to get re-elected; their opposite numbers in Spalding, however, have decided not to go ahead in the first place.

There the council conducted a survey and found businesses didn’t want the council to agree to it.

There was controversy about the Boston scheme from the start: several businesses did not feel they wanted to be in it and were taken to court to get them to pay.

I think you can see their point if they are a small business which has to watch how every penny is spent – certainly if they felt they would not get any benefit.

And one thing I cannot understand is that the money passed on to BID is to pay for things the council don’t feel inclined to spend money on!

Such as the Christmas market and Party in the Park, which in the past was paid for by the borough. So why not still collect the levy and use it for the purpose BID was set up for?

They have officers and staff already in place so none of the levy would go on salaries.

But the council has been advised to use all its 17 votes to agree to BID continuing – so it will be a done job anyway!

Observer