It seems that time is definitely not of the essence where anything to do with
More than a year since a task and finish group looked at the way that the BID was run and recommended improvements, Boston Borough Council’s cabinet of curiosities last week finally got around to “noting” its report and asking for one small suggestion that has not been adopted to be implemented.
Whether or not it was the intention, the delay of 18 months since the Task and Finish Group was first mooted, has achieved little if anything by way of change – but it has allowed the BID to sail serenely on - taking something like £200,000 from local levy payers in the meantime, and virtually ensuring that it will remain unchallenged until the expiry of its five-year operating period at the end of next year.
Perhaps this is because the borough council more or less sat back and let the BID justify its own existence at the end of the 12 month period which it was given to get its act together.
With monotonous regularity the BID has trotted out the same list of achievements over the past year or so.
The include the ridiculously expensive 3d maps complete with several errors, and the tourist information point boards – removed and refurbished at a “secret location” before being reinstated.
Since then we have heard much about joining the
There is mention of a Family Event to "promote"
There is also the Portas Pilot scheme, for which Boston BID was the lead applicant - although many others were involved. The forms went in a few weeks ago after a series of rewrites to make it look halfway decent, and was accompanied by one of the most bizarre videos we have seen which allegedly aimed to promote
The condition that Boston BID should not undertake work on projects which are the responsibility of other organisations - such as the council or this police - is not being adhered to. The outcome is that businesses which became unwilling BID “members” simply by being in the organisation’s area, are effectively paying twice and are forced to hand over their levy or be hounded through the courts by Boston Borough Council.
BID has also “joined the social networking revolution” and now has a presence on Twitter and Facebook as well as its website – where its “latest news” is now a month old.
Meanwhile, the bulk of the BID’s income goes on the town rangers and the manager’s salary – a total of 59% … with a further 14% on overheads.
At last week’s Cabinet meeting, the BID manager Niall Armstrong at least had the good grace to acknowledge that what improvements have been made need to continue - particularly in relation to communication between the BID and the businesses.
The best the Cabinet could come up with was a call for a "public speaking" session at the start of each BID board meeting - to let members ask questions or raise issues of concern. This was something recommended by the Task and Finish Group which had not been implemented.
So that’s it.
Eighteen months of discussion and debate, in around ten committee meetings has culminated in the borough council doing next to nothing apart from accepting the BID’s version of how good it is.
The official minute says: “The Cabinet expressed general support for Boston BID and recognised the progress it had made since the Task and Finish Group report. The Leader thanked Mr. Armstrong for attending the meeting and for the work carried out by BID in partnership with the council and other organisations.”
Why are we not surprised at the way things have turned out?
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