Car Parks & Toilets are given the Vote for BID
You heard it right – Car Parks & Toilets given Votes for BID. I requested the West Suffolk Council abstain from using hereditment votes for Car Parks & Toilets to pad out their votes for the Our Bury St Edmunds BID
Councillor Susan Glossop was unable to answer at the time, but an email from one of her minions has just been sent.
Thank you for your following question which was raised as an amended question afternoon of 22nd February 2022, please see our response.
““My question …
My question this evening refers to the current ballot for the Haverhill BID
As the Council is legislated as a BID partner and has a vested interest in BID businesses the council also has a moral responsibility to allow a fair ballot to take place.
For this to be achieved with transparency for the businesses, isn’t it the moral responsibility of the council to be seen to do the right thing and abstain from voting for its properties of car parks and toilets, to allow the businesses, decide for themselves, one way or the other?
As the West Suffolk Council is a different type of voter, and given it’s block voting influence towards a YES or NO, they have the responsibility to the actual businesses who have had to struggle through lockdown, to make the decision about their future without relying on Council votes to win the ballot.
With greatly increased business costs of electricity and gas on the horizon, surely it would serve the West Suffolk Council well to take the moral high ground and abstain from using those hereditaments.
The Council would be seen as embracing democracy and the true spirit of the BID system by allowing those hard-working businesses to decide for themselves how their town should be promoted, without the need to have a decision made by local government intervention.”
As you are aware, the Council has a right to vote because we pay business rates in Haverhill for facilities such as retail and commercial premises as well car parks. These are taxpayer supported businesses, which could be affected by the decision of the ballot or improvements brought by a BID.
There is no minimum turnout threshold for ballots, however it must be won on two counts: straight majority and majority of rateable value. The Council has 10 hereditaments, which represents just 5% of all votes and 3.7% of the rateable value. We would therefore encourage all businesses that are eligible to vote to exercise their democratic right – this applies to every hereditament within the proposed BID area with a rateable value (RV) over £2,500 meaning a total of 200 hereditaments will be eligible to vote.
We consider that the Council, by exercising its right to vote is embracing democracy by supporting our taxpaying businesses affected by the outcome.
Well let’s face it, that is no surprise at all. It is very odd that Andy Drummond was able to reply. Being elected councillors, surely they have a duty to do this.