Yorkshire Coast BID - "As Bridlington businesses we need to ensure that the process was fair to us"

Tim Norman
Tim Norman

A Bridlington hotel owner has welcomed the news that proposals to create a Business Improvement District on the Yorkshire coast will be scrutinised further.

Tim Norman, who owns the Royal Hotel in Shaftesbury Road, said the idea of setting up a BID is ‘to be applauded’, but he has doubts about the way the vote in November was conducted.

He said: “The process which has been followed in order to gain approval from businesses who will ultimately be paying for the process is extremely flawed.”

A group has been formed in Whitby, which has written to James Brokenshire MP, the secretary of state for local government, asking him to set aside the result of the public vote.

Forming the BID was approved by 217 votes to 175 with a turnout of just 29%.

Mr Norman, who stood as a candidate for the Yorkshire Party at the 2017 General Election, said: “The grounds for that is that at least 70 businesses in the Whitby area have not been balloted. This could seriously have swung the result.

“I am aware also of many businesses in Bridlington who have said publicly that they did not receive ballot papers.”

The Whitby group has received the list of the addresses which were balloted, under the Freedom of Information Act. Mr Norman said the list includes M&S in Bridlington, which was closed at the time of the ballot, and a number of council buildings.

“As Bridlington businesses we need to ensure that the process was fair to us,” said Mr Norman.

“Was everyone on the register to receive a ballot paper in November last year? I have a list of the properties so please, if your business rates are over £12,000 and you did not receive a ballot paper please get in touch with me and I can see whether you were or were not on the list.”

Businesses opposed to a controversial levy across the region are celebrating news that the process has been paused.

Scarborough Borough Council announced last Tuesday, that it had written to the Yorkshire Coast Destination Business Improvement District informing it of its decision.

Cllr Helen Mallory told a cabinet meeting the council had informed the DBID team it would be “pausing” its participation in the scheme until James Brokenshire had responded to the businesses’ concerns. The council’s role in the process is to collect the levy from businesses. It would also be required to take action to recover money from businesses that refused to pay.