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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Carlisle firms reject Business Improvement District proposal

Firms in Carlisle city centre have not backed a proposal to set up a Business Improvement District.

Have your say

I'm surprised by two things. The first is that the turn out was so low. I would have thought that any local business worth its salt would jump at a opportunity to influence development for the better (or worse?).
Secondly I would have thought that some local businesses would have been trying to do this a long time ago.
Bob

Posted by Bob Builder on 29 September 2012 at 12:22

Maybe this shows that the small business owners did their homework and looked at how small businesses similar to theirs faired when being part of a Business Improvement District in other parts of the country, such as the New West End BID.

There have been glossy documents published to point out the advantages of a Business Improvement District, but I have yet to see any documents or anything in the press highlighting the concerns voiced about how the big chain stores head office influence local decision making and the blurring of public-private accountability, legitimacy and control.

There has also been no coverage of what is basically the privatisation of public space and what this might mean in the future. Other city centre BIDs already use private security companies which have been given powers to move people on and to stop legitimate protest within BID areas.

Local government representatives are accountable to the people, BIDs gives political empowerment to the private sector with little said about the influence and the vested interests of those involved.

Posted by J on 29 September 2012 at 12:01

I voted yes in the original ballot, this ballot was not administered properly and they had to do a 2nd vote, this dented my confidence in the whole process, so when pestered(lobbied) twice on the phone by a lady working for the bid proposal I moved to a no vote - did she annoy 2 other business people?

Posted by Small Local Business in Historic Quarter on 29 September 2012 at 09:42

This is very disconcerting. What is the new council playing at?
We were consulted a few months ago, I had spoke to a few of my neighbouring small businesses. They were a bit cautious about the BID. Concerned about the extra rates, but also worried that the Council just wanted to cut the services that they currently offer and they would be just paying twice for what they currently get. Reassurances had been given in the past that this wouldnt be the case.
However, things changed with the new Council. I repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting with the new portfolio holder, to let him know that some of the small businesses were worried, but a bit of TLC and they'll be fine.
No response. I also contacted the economic development staff at the council.

This Council doesnt want to touch the BID scheme because it doesnt want to do anything that might improve the local situation, they want to play the decline game and take the seat at the general election.
Everything is "tories" "tories" "tories". The BID (which was setup by the Labour Government), could have brought some real proper professional direction to the city centre and its businesses. As it did elsewhere.

This was the first real test of the new Council. Which it has failed miserably.

Posted by KP on 28 September 2012 at 22:23

The BID if properly focussed and run with the correct strategy would have made a difference to the town centre.Instead we will have to rely on the council led officers who generally try their best but do not have the commercial nous/ambition to drive matters through.Hopefully the BID process can be revived in due course.

Posted by Cumberland Sausage on 28 September 2012 at 21:22

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