BID ‘witch hunt’ left uncertainties after stormy meeting

THE future of Boston BID was left hanging in the balance last week, after manager Niall Armstrong tendered his resignation in the middle of a members’ meeting.

The manager, who is the only paid member of staff working for the organisation, walked out of the gathering at the Assembly Rooms after a call was made for a review to his role because of issues with the Boston Beat event.

However, following talks with chairman Alan Ellis later in the week, he agreed to continue in the role with the support of the Chamber of Commerce, which runs BID.

At the meeting on Tuesday night Mr Ellis accused some of those gathered of staging ‘a witch hunt’ against Mr Armstrong, as he was accused of mismanaging plans for the music planned for Saturday, which many members – including the directors – claimed they were completely unaware of.

£10,000 of money collected through the BID levy has gone towards the event, which has been organised by Grantham-based company Infodex. People were concerned that the so-called ‘secret party’, which has not been advertised widely in the town, would be a waste of their money.

It has since been cancelled due to the weather.

Mr Armstrong was accused of not filing the relevant documents to the council in time, and doing nothing to promote the day-long event in advance. Director Darron Abbott also accused him of making ‘unilateral financial decisions’ without the backing of the board, after he approved funding for portaloos for the event.

Mr Abbott called for an investigation into his role and the role of board members, at which point, Mr Armstrong tendered his resignation and walked out.

Chairman Mr Ellis accused the small amount of people at the meeting of making personal attacks, listing the work which Mr Armstrong does for the BID, including giving up his weekends to spruce up areas of the town by painting lamposts and walls.

BID itself was also given a bashing at Tuesday’s meeting, which was the first of regular open meetings for members.

One woman said there was no point in initiatives such as deep cleaning the streets, planting flowers or increasing the work of Town Rangers as it would not help businesses.

Board members argued that these activities were done to improve the town.