Posts Tagged ‘BID’

Terminating a BID mid-term

August 25, 2022

Excellent guidance to winding up a BID mid-term.

If a BID Ballot coming up, that is best chance to terminate a BID, put as much effort in as possible to secure a No Vote.

Towns that have managed to kick out their BIDs early include Dartmouth, Hexham, Abingdon and Colwyn.

Yorkshire Coast BID may be on its way out, following a Vote of Confidence by Scarborough Borough Council, and calls for the directors to resign and the BID to be wound up.

Failing that, try to get the BID wound up mid-term.

I would disagree BID boards act in the interest of the locality or local businesses. From what I have seen they squander the money collected to justify their existence, act to feather their own nest, all hidden behind a veil of secrecy and lack of accountability.

The best option, do not let a BID be formed, do not fall for the bullshit, look at the experience of local businesses elsewhere that are being killed by the BID Levy. Once a BID is formed, it is an uphill struggle, though not impossible, to get rid of the BID.

Friday, we see the price cap for domestic fuel users rise to unaffordable levels. For local businesses there is no price cap. Unless action is taken, we are going to see small businesses wiped out of town centres. Already many are failing, unable to afford fuel bills.

The very least that can be done is to wind up BIDs, kill the BID Levy.

Big Business ‘bribed’ to secure a BID Yes Vote

August 23, 2022

This is corruption writ large.

Large corporate chains, to secure a YES Vote, get a substantial discount on the BID Levy they pay.

The same chains who quite likely are giving donations to the Tory Party.

Struggling local businesses are hit with a double whammy. Not only are they hit with a BID Levy, which they cannot afford, they are subsidising corporate chains, thus paying a higher levy than need be. But it’s even worse, had they not been offered a discount for a YES Vote, there would be No BID, no BID Levy.

It is not only chains, shopping centres too pay a reduced BID Levy.

Let’s take a look at Guildford.

The head of the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre sits on the board of Experience Guildford. Not only sits on the board, is the chair. What can be the contribution of a failing shopping centre? But then could ask the same of the chair of Bury St Edmunds BID, what has to offer with at least two failed businesses?

The rigged Experince Guildford Consumer Service Awards, at least two of the tenants of Tunsgate Quarter shortlisted.

White Lion Walk and The Friary Guildford, two more shopping centres, shortlisted for an award.

Guildford Institute, that happens to be a board member, shortlisted for an award.

The award ceremony to be held at Ivonne Arnaud Theatre. You’ve guessed it, another board member. And for good measure, also shortlisted for an award.

Last year the AGM held at Harbour Hotel. Surprise surprise, another board member.

This though is not the only way BID Ballots are rigged

Casting of multiple votes: Car parks, public toilets given a vote.

Gerrymandering: BID area redrawn to exclude those who may vote No.

Counting of Votes: Businesses not aware of a ballot, not receiving ballot papers, count held in secrecy behind closed doors.

Misuse of BID Levy: BID Levy used to secure a Yes Vote.

Local businesses suffering

August 19, 2022

With no sense of irony, CEO of Bury Beyond Parody tweets local businesses are being squeezed.

No mention of BID Levy killing local businesses.


Bury Beyond Parody Food and Drinks Festival promotion

August 15, 2022

Post a  picture of a dish at your favourite restaurant, win a £50 gift voucher that few businesses accept.

Only it is rigged. If Bury St Edmunds BID do not like you, they block from posting a picture. Not that would win if were able to post a picture.

If find somewhere where you can spend a pound, does one get forty-nine pounds in real money in change from use of the voucher?

Bury St Edmunds is the foodie capital of er, Bury St Edmunds. We know it must be true as Bury Beyond Parody tells us it is so.

To prove the point, a trip around the world, places to eat in Bury St Edmunds (well actually two countries in Europe).

🇫🇷 French

  • Côte Brasserie
  • Maison Bleue – Bury St Edmunds

🇮🇹 Italian

  • Rustico Bury St Edmunds
  • Carluccio’s
  • DOUGH&co Woodfired Pizza
  • PizzaExpress

One comment on the facebook post raises missed out Prezzo. Maybe they were taking the piss.

It is embarrassing. Is this the best Bury Beyond Parody can do with the money they extort from local businesses? Why would anyone wish to visit Bury St Edmunds for the same corporate chain eateries found anywhere and everywhere?

The only surprise, the restaurant belonging to the chair of Bury BID not given a plug.

If this is meant to attract visitors to Bury St Edmunds for a Food and Drinks Festival, it has failed miserably.

If I wanted Pizza

  • Home Slice — Covent Garden
  • Slow Rise — Lincoln
  • Dough LoCo — Lincoln

If I wanted tapas

  • Ole Ole — Lincoln

A recent Which survey ranked York as the best town to visit for a short break. Why?

Cobbled alleys, medieval stained glass windows and a mixture of independent shops and restaurants are just some of the reasons why York has been ranked as the best city for a short break. Not to dine out in the same chain eateries to be found anywhere and everywhere.

Experience Guildford rigged Consumer Service Awards

August 10, 2022

A nice little shindig, pat each other on the back, hand out worthless Consumer Service Awards, all paid for by struggling local businesses through the BID Levy.

Rigged Customer Service Awards.

Stitch up.

No corporate chain should be shortlisted.

Waitrose and M&S obscene use of over-packaging and plastic packaging. The service in M&S Food Hall is appalling.

Pho, fake Vietnamese street food, service terrible, food terrible, short listed.

Pho is located opposite Ben’s Records, part of the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre. Zero footfall. Only time see anyone when used as a shortcut during inclement weather. Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre sits on the board.

Ben’s Records promotes the Consumer Service Awards on behalf of Experience Guildford, shortlisted.

Ben’s Records does provide excellent service, but by promoting this award is pissing off other businesses who see Experience Guildford as a waste of money and wish to see wound up.

Bear Garden sits on the board, shortlisted.

I rarely see this shop in Jeffries Passage open I thought they had closed. They win the award every year bar one

In Jeffries Passage, excellent skateboard shop, excellent Korean Restaurant. A couple of streets down, another excellent Korean restaurant, with excellent service.

Loaf, not as the name would suggest a bakery, shortlisted. Loaf located in the Tunsgate Quarter zombie shopping centre. Tunsgate Quarter sit on the board.

Award shindig to be hosted by Yvonne Arnaud, sit on the board.

It is the norm, a body granting the award, agency promoting the award, not eligible for the award.

There are many excellent local businesses in Guildford, all are struggling to pay the BID Levy. Thank them, give them a 5-star review on Google maps.

A worthless Consumer Service Award, is no guarantee of good service, especially when the award is rigged.

Let us look a little closer at a few of the other shortlisted entries.

Coffee shops: Fresco Deli Kafessen, Caffe Nero.

Fresco Deli Kafessen, not a coffee shop, serves disgusting catering supply coffee, outside sit Greek students smoking, an embarrassment for Greek food.

Caffe Nero, corporate chain serving disgusting undrinkable coffee.

Krema, excellent coffee and cakes, staff passionate about coffee, always friendly and helpful. Not shortlisted.

Takeaways: Meat the Greek, Taco Bell.

Meat the Greek, takeaway an embarrassment for Greek Food.

Taco Bell, a rubbish chain.

Two excellent Korean restaurants in Guildford also takeaway, Hanki and Atto, excellent food, excellent service, staff go out of their way to be helpful. Not shortlisted.

There is a pattern here. Experience Guildford Customer Service Awards doing a great disservice to the many excellent local businesses in Guildford. Maybe I will produce an Alternative Customer Service Awards. Nominations welcome in the comments.

We are in the midst of a Cost of Living Crisis, and it will get worse. People are cutting their spending to bare essentials. The BID Levy must end. There is a vote in October to determine if Experience Guildford may continue. Local businesses should follow the example of other BIDs, Vote No for Experience Guildford to continue extorting money from struggling local businesses.


Bury Beyond Parody slow news day

August 4, 2022

Local rag tweets a filler article at least three and a half years old.

The article features chair of the local BID.

The local rag sits on the board of the local BID.

For good measure, CEO of the local BID retweets the tweet.

And does the three and  half year old filler article contain tips to save the planet. Er, no. It does though tell us to buy a knife sharpener from Wilko’s.

Were to tell us to buy local grass-grazed beef, support regenerative agriculture, but it does not. It would also tell to avoid over-processed fake meat, bad for our health, bad for the environment.

This is not a one off example.

#BuryStEdmunds #BID #corruption

Snapshot of a BID

July 30, 2022

Or how a BID really works

CEO of Bury Beyond Parody with a single tweet gives a wonderful illustration of how a BID really works.

He praises the local rag, a freebie destined for the bin, an obscene waste of trees.

Why does he praise the local rag? Helpfully he tells us. Not shy in coming forward is Beyond Parody CEO.

  • our freebie rag praises our CEO

But not only does our freebie rag praise our local BID CEO

  • our freebie rag praises the BID
  • freebie rag praises the chair

And for good measure

  • plugs her business

This is not bad for one tweet.

But let’s dig a little deeper.

  • freebie rag sits on the board

So much for the Fourth Estate, a free press holding the local BID to account.

Now what of the chair of the BID, owner of the business given a plug?

How many failed businesses behind her? Is that a suitable person to head the board, it cannot be for her business acumen.

Her restaurant specialises in small plates and cocktails. Oh how we love restaurants that are stingy on portion size. Everywhere these days does cocktails. It is not because they have any expertise on cocktails they don’t. It is the huge mark ups to be made on cheap ingredients.

Check out her account, and vague hints she is running a personal vendetta. Hint hint, we all know who she is referring to, but she dare not name names as she could be heading for a libel suit.

Or put it another way, paranoid any criticism of the local BID, then play the victim.

Looking through Google reviews of her restaurant. Critics are wrong, one told to go and eat at Wetherspoon, another told if want a takeaway, order months in advance. It is like something out of Fawlty Towers.

If don’t like the criticism, resign. Or better still, wind up the BID.

Maybe though this tweet a one off, not the norm promoting business that sit on the board. How many times a plug for the restaurant owned by the chair?

  • 10
  • 20
  • 30
  • 40

Well let us just say forty times more than most businesses who may if they were lucky have been mentioned once.

The football season is upon us, expect self-styled footie pundit to start tweeting about Spurs. A local football club, er no. Thus of no relevance to Bury St Edmunds. Spurs must be grateful for the free publicity, especially when it is courtesy of Bury St Edmunds long suffering local businesses.

Are local businesses happy that an official BID account is being misused, BID Levy funds misused? In many organisations, this would lead to instant dismissal.

Not to be left out, the local freebie rag (with a seat on the board), promotes the restaurant of the chair of the board. Which of course CEO of Beyond Parody retweets (we would not expect anything less).

Following the recipe (I would rather look to see what expert chefs have to say), has nothing to do with saving the planet. We are told to buy from corporate chains (which extract wealth from the local economy. No reputable chef or butcher would sharpen knives in the way recommended. Use a steel. Ideally use a stone, then a steel to finish off. But yes, knives must be kept sharp. Where are the ingredients sourced from? No mention of regenerative agriculture.

If I wish for pasta, I visit a deli with excellent fresh pasta which they make on site.

He cannot resist can he, here we go again, promoting the restaurant of the chair of the BID.

Note: These tweets are within the space of 24 hours.

It is not though only tweets that are of concern. Promoting board members in a tweet, dissing businesses he does not like in an e-mail to all BID Levy payers. [extract from a recent e-mail sent to BID Levy payers]

  • Cold Call Advertising Opportunities (not supported by the BID)

Recently I have become aware of BID businesses being contacting out of the blue by phone or email offering advertising opportunities with two publications. One being the Bury & Thetford Tourist Guide and the other the Bury St Edmunds & Thetford Map.

It is of course your right to advertise your business with whoever you wish but it is my view opportunities like this need to be carefully considered to ensure that they represent good value for money.

Myself or my colleague Mike are very happy to have a conversation with you, should you so wish, to provide an objective view on adverting opportunities and whether they represent good value to your business. Feel free to get in touch about this should you so wish.

The BID provides over 40,000 copies of free maps throughout the year and Bury St Edmunds & Beyond is currently working with WSC to replace the existing maps around the town, where there is a charge for the maps.

BSE & B is the official Tourism brand for the town and as a BID member you are a member, at no additional cost.

BSE & B has a clear strategy of utilizing digital marketing as this can be regularly updated to ensure accuracy and accessed at any time.

Hard copy advertising, which can be very effective does not have these advantages and ”opportunities” like these two should be, in my view, considered in that context.

I know nothing of these tourist guides and maps, whether provide good value for money or not, that is for local businesses to decide, not Bury Beyond Parody.

The ‘services’ provide by Bury Beyond Parody, I use the term lightly, are not free, they are paid for by a compulsory BID Levy, you have no choice, whereas the tourist guide and map, have a choice.

It is not acceptable for CEO of a local BID whose only rationale for existence is to promote local businesses, to be dissing a business offering to promote local businesses.

It would never do of course, for a service to be provided, that shows the local BID to be redundant, grounds for it to be wound up, and the money saved, used to pay for extra services if thought to provide value for money.

BID Levy brings in £440,000. Salaries of three employees £120,000.

Maybe though they are doing an excellent job for Bury. If their recent posts earlier this month of empty streets is a guide, then maybe not. But comment on these photos, empty streets, comment will be deleted, blocked from making further comments. [see What the hell is the Our Bury St Edmunds BID doing?]

Market traders would also say not, their pitch fees have doubled. And why a one way taped of system to visit market stalls? And why are the market stalls not in one place?

Is this how local businesses in Bury St Edmunds like to see their BID Levy spent, an incestuous tweet from the CEO, an e-mail dissing business he does not like?

Jeffries Passage

July 19, 2022

Experience Guildford invites us to take a stroll down Jeffries Passage, with a cringeworthy video and dreadful music. Another example of how Experience Guildford squanders money extorted from local small businesses to give the impression of doing something.

Jeffries Passage, a narrow alley that connects the top of North Street with the High Street.

A Save the Children charity shop, opens on a whim, rarely found open.

There used to be an excellent Thai restaurant, destroyed by the ignorant rude staff. It is now an overpriced Indian restaurant. Always empty when I pass by.

There used to be an excellent Chinese restaurant. Now sitting empty. Forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic when the greedy landlord doubled the rent.

There used to be a coffee shop. No surprise closed as always empty. Their coffee was terrible, never saw the same staff twice. For a brief period sublet (the lease does not permit subletting).

Hanki, a little Korean restaurant is excellent.

The bear shop I thought had closed, as never found open.

What is noteworthy of this cringeworthy video, it fails to mention a skateboard shop, very popular with skateboarders. Why no mention? Could it be, the owner has been a vocal critic of Experience Guildford, has demanded transparency and accountability, refused to pay the BID Levy?

I am blocked from their Instagram account therefore cannot comment, but several have, highly critical that no mention of the popular skateboard shop.

This is how childish and petty Experience Guildford, yet more reasons why local businesses should vote No in the ballot in October for Experience Guildford to continue their extortion racket for a further five years.

It gets even more interesting when look at the featured bear shop. On the board of Experience Guildford, win year on year one of their worthless consumer awards. Strange for a shop never find open, wins a customer service award, being on the board that hands out the awards a mere coincidence.

Update: Cringeworthy video deleted. Once again Experience Guildford are running scared of criticism. They are paranoid. By deleting the video, following critical comments, they have drawn attention to their guilt. They have been caught.

Update: Did Experience Guildford really think they would get away with it? A cringeworthy video of Jeffries Passage that does not feature the skateboard shop, then when widely criticised, delete the video.

Vote No in October to rid Guildford of this parasitical self-serving entity. 

Skegness may be bracing but it ain’t booming

July 14, 2022

Hot weather, Skegness booming?

Not according to a lunchtime report by BBC Look North.  Not according to local traders. Skegness may be bracing but it ain’t booming.

Traders and B&Bs complaining, there may be visitors, but they are not spending, they are cutting short their stay.

One B&B complained we have to wash more often, when they do not stay longer.  This begs the question, are towels and bed linen only washed when guests depart? One B&B to avoid.  I am used to sheets and towels changed every few days, but then I am not staying in Skegness and not very likely to.

Each time Look North features Skegness, it is the same old story, traders suffering.

Whenever Look North BBC features Skegness it looks so tacky, I am not surprised does not attract visitors, those who do visit, do not wish to spend any money. I would not wish to visit, let alone spend any money, let alone stay the night, and certainly not stay a few nights if they do not change bed linen and towels.

Not helped by poor transport links. Two hours by bus, over two hours by train, Lincoln to Skegness. East Midlands Railways plan a direct train, at least for the summer, Derby to Skegness, Nottingham to Skegness. Why no direct train Lincoln to Skegness (in the 1960s there was a direct train)? Why no express bus service, Lincoln to Skegness? [see ‘Intercity-style’ summer trains to Skegness announced by East Midlands Railways – but they will begin in Derby]

Why no mention of the BID Levy, which is killing local businesses? I suggest Look North BBC when next features struggling Skegness businesses, ask questions about the Lincs Coast BID Levy. Then do the same for the Yorkshire Coast with the Yorkshire Coast BID Levy.

In an act of crass stupidity, Skegness Town Council voted in favour of continuation of the local BID, persuaded by a presentation and a glossy booklet. Glossy booklet paid for by the BID Levy. With no sense of irony, one of the arguments in favour, Lincoln has a BID. Lincoln BIG has been a disaster for Lincoln. Maybe they should look at the Yorkshire Coast BID and the calls for it to be wound up. [see It’s a ‘Yes’ from Skegness Town Council for Visit Lincs Coast BID]

Tom Kelly, a publican in Skegness, gives an insight of the dodgy goings in with the establishment and running of Lincs Coast BID [see LCBID: The Lincolnshire Poacher]:

While we are still trying to get sight of the operating agreement in place between ELDC and the BID Company we have managed to establish that the Council has failed to comply with BID Regulations on several counts, both in the establishing of the BID and the charging of the levy. On top of this we’ve realized that it is actually the BID Company, Lincolnshire Coastal BID Ltd., that is issuing the levy demands (their logo, name address and contact details are actually printed on the bills). This makes the bills illegal and unenforceable, as they have not been issued by the billing authority as required under the legislation.

At a guess, this is probably the tip of the iceberg, and what we have seen, repeated across the country.

Where is the reporting by local media of these extortion rackets operating in plain sight?

We are all aware of the massive fraud on an industrial scale during the coronavirus pandemic. The BID extortion racket is of a similar scale, but it goes unreported, underneath the radar.

BID extortion racket

June 20, 2022

This is appalling.

But at least we now know.

We force BIDs onto towns to extort money from local businesses.

It is hard to believe there are still naïve local businesses who think a BID is created to support them or help their local town.

Remember the good old days of the Soviet Union when a leader would be elected with 98% of the vote?

Experience Guildford carried out a survey of local business.

Over 95% find stated that they find our marketing, promotion and events programme (such as Street Festivals, Markets, Seasonal Events and Trails, Healthy Guildford Day) are important to their business.

Really, over 95% happy with the performance of Experience Guildford?

It was not an independent survey, it was carried out by Experience Guildford, thus worthless. The respondents were self-selecting, which again renders the survey worthless.

Actually even worse. Mosaic Partnership who brag they force BIDs onto town centres, the same Mosaic Partnership that Experience Guildford paid to produce a survey result that shows over 95% happy with the performance of Experience Guildford. One could not make up this shit if tried.

We do not know what the questions were. It is all too easy to get the result you wish for with carefully crafted questions. Especially when the results are what Experience Guildford paid for, and the survey carried out by a BID parasite that brags the service it offers is to force BIDs onto local towns to extort money from local businesses.

What then is the truth on the ground? From my own random sample, wandering around talking to a range of different local businesses, 100% opposition to Experience Guildford. Not a single business wishes to see them continue.

Of the businesses I have spoken to, I have yet to find any who support Experience Guildford, and there is now talk of refusal to pay the BID Levy. Businesses object to an enforced levy, little more than an extortion racket, for which they see no benefit.

We have parasitical organisations, in addition to the BID itself, associated bottom feeders Mosaic Partnership, Loyal Free app, Mi Reward app, that suck the life blood out of local businesses.

At least with the Mafia, receive protection.

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