Posts Tagged ‘BID’

What is the point of a BID?

May 6, 2023

Across the country, Business Improvement Districts. Do they do what it says on the tin?

Businesses within the designated area pay a levy on top of their business rates. Value for money or an extortion racket that is killing struggling local businesses?

Lincoln BIG is typical of unaccountable BIDs across the country.

A sizable chunk of the BID Levy goes on the BID itself, a self-perpetuating entity.

Events, the sole purpose of which is for the BID to give the impression it is doing something.

A Facebook page, every day promotional drivel for a business. Does this generate any income, interest in the business? No.

Tap & Tonic opened its doors at four o’clock on Wednesday. Heavily promoted by Lincoln BIG. Not a soul to be seen. To put in context, when a new venue opens in Lincoln, there will be a queue down the street.

BIDs #BIDLevy #LincolnBIG #Lincoln

Experience Guildford idea of a joke?

February 7, 2023

A primary school child could have produced.

Gibberish, bullshit and outright lies.

This was produced as financial report to support demand for BID Levy.  Bottom right hand corner of second page is not a financial report.

They have made many false claims.

Local farmers market organized by the local Council nothing to do with the BID.

Their summer activities, could count on two hands the numbers.

Providing taxi marshals would be news to taxi drivers.

#Guildford #BIDs #BIDLevy

Empty retail North Street Guildford revisited

December 8, 2022

Empty retail North Street Guildford. A photo survey of North Street last year. A year on it is worse.

Guildford has a BID. For perverse reasons only known to themselves they illegally fly post empty shop windows to highlight they are empty.

For good measure a rare sighting of unlicensed unregulated BID private security.

North Street runs parallel to the High Street. The connecting side streets have many empty retail units

#Guildford #BID #ExperienceGuildford


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?

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