The fallout from the annual meeting of Boston “Improvement” District – where free speech was stifled by use of the police and BID-owned Town Rangers forcibly to prevent a legitimate representative of a member business from attending to ask questions – continues unabated.
As well as a number of developments behind the scenes, local businessman Darron Abbott – a former BID director who quit in disgust at the way the company was run … and who was manhandled and physically barred when he tried to enter the meeting – is continuing to pile on the pressure.
Among the flimsy excuses offered by BID Chairman Alan “Obersturmbannführer” Ellis, was that Mr Abbott “could not be trusted to offer a constructive input to the meeting,” and that he “will not work with us.”
In other words … do it our way or we kick you out.
However, the annual meeting was a public affair and since it was reported, Mr Abbott has written to Boston Eye with a few interesting questions – the first being about the unusual plan to use condom dispensing machines to sell maps of the town.
He asks: “Am I correct in assuming that these are the maps that cost around £15,000 to produce a couple of years ago? If so I have to ask the following questions:-
1) Other towns have dispensers for their maps. Did BID really spend all that money producing maps before ensuring a machine was out there to dispense them?
2) Apart from the boxes of maps sold to Boston Borough Council how many others have they sold?
3) What will English Heritage think to having condom machines hung around the market place, which I believe is a conservation area?
4) Why has it taken BID so long to decide to do something with these maps?”
He then moves on to the concert planned for Boston’s Central Park, which was cancelled for two years in a row – and because the BID neglected to insure it against this eventuality local business have lost up to £15,000.“The BID Chairman is quoted as saying ‘it would have cost £4,000 to insure the Central Park based event,’
“I would love to see a copy of the quote, if indeed there was ever a quote gained.
“I have contacted a company called Event Insurance Services and they have quoted me £250 for cancellation, Abandonment cover – up to £20,000. I do hope the chairman has the paper work to justify his £4,000 cost and it was not just a figure he came up with off the top of his head to justify the non-insurance of the event. The quote I gained has been supplied with this letter.” (See picture below)
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“The previous scheme was closed down due to dwindling attendances at meetings, this time, though, the BID manger has a cunning plan.
“Perhaps he should use this cunning plan to get the BID Directors to attend their own meetings before he expects anyone else to turn out for the shop watch meetings.
“Probably the most interesting idea was the one where the Town Rangers are to be adopted as Special Constables by giving them more powers.
“BID legislation would prevent this, as it quite clearly states:-
“A BID does not pay for services that are already covered by existing business rates.
“The legislation then goes on to list services that are cover by business rates – and it actually lists police services.
“I will be very surprised if Boston BID Limited deliver any of the above, as they have delivered none of their previous ideas.”
We have not contacted either Boston BID or Lincolnshire Police for a comment, as previous attempts have been ignored, and there is no reason to assume that this one would be treated any differently.
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