‘Southport Anti-Bid Campaign 2014’ Do you know all of the facts before you vote? VOTE NO!

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‘Southport BID’ 2014 Do you know all of the facts before you vote? VOTE NO!

Do you know all of the facts before you vote?

There is shortly to be a ballot of businesses in Southport to form a Business Improvement District (BID) in Southport.

The advocates of the YES vote are keen to sell the benefits of the Southport BID and have been publicised in the local press and via the pro-BID campaign funded and supported by Sefton Council. As local business owners who want to see improvements to Southport Town Centre we feel the BID is flawed and urge you to consider the following reasons for NOT supporting the BID;

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•The BID will raise almost £2.5 million over 5 years

•95% of this funding raised through a levy of 1.5% on your business rates – local businesses are funding this when they are already struggling to make a profit in a declining footfall environment

•The BID will form a private company, employing two managers followed by a further 4 Ambassadors and possibly a part-time cleaner

•The minimum cost of staff wages and collection of the levy will be approximately £830,000 over the next 5 years or 35% of all the money raised through the levy

•Less than £1 million raised across five years will actually get spent on ‘improving our town’

•A paltry £170,000 per year will get spent on ‘promoting our town’

•The BID makes no attempt to seek external private investment – Liverpool One is a great example of a fully regenerated shopping centre fully funded by the private sector!

•The BID model has a track record of failing in other towns – but you’ll find no mention of this in any pro-BID correspondence!

The NO campaign recognise Southport needs vibrant, innovative marketing to promote tourism and shopping in the town and not the “we think this is a good idea“ brigade who wish us to commit to paying for a group of staff who can do very little for the development of Southport.

Employing Managers,  Ambassadors and Wardens does not fill empty shops. Businesses and entrepreneurs do this essential part of commerce. Increasing the business rates with an additional 1.5% levy will not encourage new traders into our town!

We feel the BID is inadequately funded to make a real difference to Southport town centre and the smaller independent businesses will see little or no improvement to their businesses. It is the duty of our local council to play an active role in seeking the right level of external investment to ensure Southport enjoys a brighter future.

We strongly believe you think carefully before committing to a 5 year levy. The formation of the Preston BID in 2009 was carried with just 25% of businesses actually voting. The 75% that did not vote are still forced to contribute via the levy, whether they agree to the BID or not. If you do not vote you cannot complain until another 5 years have elapsed.

Spokesperson for the ‘NO bid’, Bob Mentha said:

In spite of still having received no reply from Sefton Council or Southport MP John Pugh we are distrubuting our facts leaflet throught the ‘BID area’ for local businesses to make their own mind up without pressure from the YES campaign.  

Click link below to view Southport Anti-Bid Campaign  meeting on the 17th February 2014 (Video)

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