The Sleaford Business Improvement District will cease to exist by October and will now start winding up its operations. From then its night-time patrols will cease and CCTV cameras it pays for may no longer operate. The head of the BID, Emma Batty is disappointed traders voted to get rid of it.
North Kesteven District Council worked closely with the Business Improvement District. Alan Grey is Economic Development Officer and says while they will do their best to carry on with the work undertaken by the BID, with council funding as it currently is, they'll be unable to plug the gap.
Hi-Brow Fashions has been on Sleaford's high street for some 42 years. Its owner Audrey Well has seen the number of customers in the town fall. She was one of the 53% of traders who voted against retaining the BID for a further five years and says it was not clear what benefit they were getting.
Only 47% of businesses which voted in a recent ballot on the future of the Sleaford Business Improvement District voted to retain it. One that did was the Y Cafe in the market place. Its proprietor Perry Cobell says the BID concentrated too much on small projects instead of bigger ones.
Sleaford could lose some of its night-time security patrols and CCTV cameras after businesses in the town rejected plans to keep its Business Improvement District for a further five years. 53% of firms voted not to carry on paying a 1% levy to fund the group which works to improve the town centre.
The Business Improvement District was set up five years ago aiming to improve the town's security, ensure it is marketed and promoted well, and to manage parking and traffic flow. Businesses pay 1% of their rateable value to fund the BID's work.
Before the ballot, the BID team warned that a no vote would mean security patrols ceasing from October and CCTV cameras on Woodbridge Road and East Road being switched off as well as the end of schemes which help pubs and shops to work together to keep an eye on troublesome customers.