Lights, now BID

If I had a business in Exmouth, I would have been very angry and insulted by the suggestion that Exmouth might not have so many Christmas lights etc this year because local business have not given enough money to the Exmouth Town Council ‘ coffers’.

Some people might say the real reason that not more money is forthcoming is disillusionment by local traders in the people who make decisions about how the town is being run and where the money that is available is going.

After millions being spent on The Strand concrete adolescent skate park and The Strand pavilion building fiasco, which now has to go back to planning, whatever next? Oh yes, the BID Scheme.

In an economy overview and scrutiny committee meeting last October, it states: “Based on the experience and knowledge of similar BIDS across the South West, it could be assumed that, in order to implement a BID for Exmouth, the costs would be �45,000 for a project manager for 15-18 months and �30,000 for marketing and promotion, a total of �75,000 over 18 months.” How much are Christmas lights?

The Business Improvement District Scheme is an area where businesses have to invest some of their takings to fund anything from litter bins, cleaners, police, Community Support Officers and, of course, festive lighting. You know, the sort of things you would expect to see anyway!

I am sure all the traders who might have to vote for this will jump at the chance to get on this scheme. Some people will say, of course, it is just another business tax.

Richard Benford

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