BID concerns

regarding the proposed BID (business improvement district) and the worry of additional charges to existing business rates

I see in last week’s paper that the council is exploring the possible extra taxes, for want of a better word, to pay for things like dog bins, lights, etc.

These are things which should be paid for by the rates that all of us pay, not the small businesses in the town.

Most shops close at 5pm when the lights go on, the only people to benefit are the night people who are out drinking and would not notice if they were switched on or off anyway.

If you want these things, then everybody should pay, not just a few, small, independent shops which are slowly becoming unaffordable.

Look at the empty shops in the town. They are not becoming empty because they have made too much money. It is because they are being skinned by government and greedy, demanding councils.

I do not think any of the shops want this additional charge to their rates.

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I would have thought these services would have been priced into our rates, if not, what have we actually been paying for all these years?

It always seems that amounts of money can always be found for large, expensive, unnecessary projects, such as the infamous Strand development, but not for practical services the town of Exmouth actually requires.

Small businesses already pay for private waste collection, water, electricity, so I would ask you to let these plans die the death they deserve.

I urge all people with shops to reject this when it comes to a vote and, to the council, please make sure all shop owners get the chance to vote.

W Leach/M Chapman

Albion Street Traders Association,

Editor’s note: A BID is an area within which businesses pay a percentage of their rateable value to fund things such as street cleaners and Christmas lights. It has been suggested that the most likely rate, taken from existing BIDs, is about 1.5 per cent - approximately a charge to businesses of �225 a year. This would raise �132,000 each year.