Not for the first time, we wonder whether Boston’s costly and useless Business “Improvement” District will ever get around to delivering some of the jobs that it has been tasked with.
A couple of weeks ago, we heard that the way the BID conducts its business with its members was set to change “dramatically.”
This ought not to be too difficult, as the BID has a lamentable relationship with its members – despite a recommendation from a Boston Borough Council task and finish group which specifically examined the BID and all its shortcomings, and reported 18 months ago.
The new cunning plan is to hold bi-monthly drop in sessions at larger stores in the town – in the pathetic belief that this will give more of the people currently forced to pay a compulsory BID levy or be dragged through the courts and criminalised – the chance to meet directors.
All they have to do is leave work during business hours – which in some cases may involve shutting up shop – to attend the proposed session.
The change follows disappointing turnouts at many meetings – but these often include poor attendance by the directors themselves … and meetings have not been quorate on several occasions.
BID chairman Alan Ellis claims that when the new scheme begins, there will be somebody available for members to speak to throughout the day, to offer more flexibility.
Sadly – but typically for the BID – when he announced the plan two weeks ago, he did not know when the first event would be.
Having failed one task and finish group so spectacularly, the BID is now acting on the orders of another – to promote the West Street area as a friendly shopping destination by forming a traders’ association to tell shoppers what the street has to offer.
The recent Boston Borough Council group report on the social impact of population change, suggested forming a body to improve the area – which some people consider to be unwelcoming.
Mr Ellis has told local newspapers that he is currently working on developing the traders’ association.
Despite persistent complaints over time from a number of groups regarding anti-social behaviour, bad driving and parking, drunkenness and the like, Mr Ellis says that he thinks the fears that West Street is not as welcoming as it could be are unfounded.
Boston’s politically correct police have also maintained their wise monkey stance by claiming that there is no particular problem with the road and its surrounding area.
Inspector Dave Rimmer is quoted as saying: “We do not have more reports of problems in West Street than any other part of the town, and I believe this is a perception issue.
However, the Task and Finish group behind the population report recommended that the new traders’ association should address safety issues and litter problems, as well as working with BID, CCTV operators and police to try to alter the public perception of West Street.
Interestingly, we recall a West Street Traders Association dating back many years, and according to the South Lincolnshire Community and Voluntary Service register of local trading schemes – see our picture at the top of the page – a West End Traders’ organisation is still on the go.
And the man at the helm?
None other than Mr Alan Ellis – chairman of Boston BID, and a man whom we believe has fallen victim to a spoof page on Facebook!
Frankly, we don’t expect much by way of results to come from of all this.
The task and finish group looking into the pathetic communication record of the BID in February last year, gave it 12 months to improve.
The BID reported back to the borough council in April this year with a sheaf of so-called “improvements” which included the establishment of a quarterly newsletter, and promised that extracts of the board meetings minutes would be published on its website.
Councillors accepted the BID’s promise at face value, and then promptly lost interest.
But if you visit the BID website, you will find that the last newsletter was published in March – and the last board meeting summary was for January this year.
What a shame our councillors failed to check the progress and act accordingly.
Which is why we say …
Don’t expect much to change in West Street, then.
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