Southport Anti-Bid Campaign 2014 (Video)

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Southport Anti-Bid Campaign 2014

A meeting was held tonight (Monday 17th February 2014) at a Nevil Street restaurant in Southport.

Representatives of local businesses attended a fact relating session “Smoke & Mirrors” presented by council.

It appears from news coverage that all are in favour of a bid – however many people are unaware of the full facts.

This is not a democratic process as people are unaware of the full facts. What alternatives are available? Everyone wants the best for the town-but local businesses need to be involved in a discussion regarding alternatives.

The money received by the council to promote the bid campaign (£50,000) from central government, could have been put to better use.

Two jobs being created at a cost of £96,000

Hugh Evans (North West Chamber of Commerce) paid £30,000 fee. He also did the Preston bid (Private consulting work).

YES Campaign claim that they will fill the 21 empty shops on Lord Street.

Bid Campaign is hoping to collect £460,000 pa from increased business rates.

Radio subscription £7,000 (kickbacks???)

Voluntary contribution from the council £10,000 pa

Sponsorship £10,000 but they haven’t got one yet!

Levy collection costs £15,000 (24% of rate payer’s contribution)

£480,000 over 5 years in wages for 2 workers.

Southport Innovation Fund given to support the Bid Campaign.

If you don’t vote or vote NO and the Bid is successful, you still have to pay the extra 1.5% on your business rates.

5 year project. If it fails within the first year businesses are still committed.

800 business are involved who all need to be made aware that abstention is a YES vote!

Mike Carrolan (Chairman of Hoteliers Association) appeared at tonight’s meeting as a business owner (not representing the above) said the Bid Manifesto for Southport is almost identical to those in Preston and Blackpool.

Preston Ambassadors only called upon 250 times a year at a cost of £16,000 each!

Phil Whittaker who attended the meeting who has a business in Preston has first hand experience of the Preston Bid said the Bid has been in place for 3 years, and now extended for 5 years.

He can see no tangible benefits for the £600 per year he pays. The bid only got in for a second term because people apathetic and didn’t vote. The only winners seem to be the pubs and clubs with the purple safety award. Ambassadors have no authority whatsoever, they can ask the council for cleaners but there is no guarantee the council will send them.  Blackpool Ambassadors are paid £20,000 each pa.

Blackpool Bid wage bill is now £281,000 pa – 39% return 2 to 1 in favour, 61% didn’t vote, so only a quarter were actually in favour.

A question was asked to a Southport Councillor last week “How is footfall to be counted?” his reply was by “looking at the CCTV camera facing Nevil Street”

OTS would personally like to say the council are a total JOKE!

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