Dartmouth Business Improvement District’s regeneration dream has degenerated in to a legal battle for cash which has left some of the town’s business owners facing a visit from the bailiffs and even jail.
In March magistrates in Plymouth issued liability orders against 25 Dartmouth business owners – including Dartmouth Yacht Club and a firm of solicitors – ordering them to pay a total £7,390 worth of the business improvement district levy between them. Reports the Dartmouth Chronicle.
One trader contacted AgainstBIDs to say: “I currently have a small store in Dartmouth Devon. Dartmouth has just been hit with a BID.
“Within the business plan they produced a map outlining the area of which the Bid will affect and street names.
“I didn’t vote as my builders store was outside of the mapped area. I’m now being told I must pay because the map isn’t legally binding, after being told I wouldn’t from the former Dartmouth BID manager.
“It is not just myself which is affected, there are five other businesses which are also refusing to pay as they fell outside of the mapped area.”
The only advice AgainstBIDs can give people is to check any BID documentation very carefully. The council will produce a list of streets as well as a map for the BID area. There are countless instances of people ignoring ballot papers or not realising their business could be in a planned BID area. Often the BID company are sloppy in the way they consult traders and have been known to give out incorrect information.
Traders need to be very alert if they hear a BID is planned in their town or city. Read the documents you get sent and don’t be afraid to contact your local councillors with your concerns.