I don’t think this bunch have heard anything yet, compared to the screeching and flapping that’s no doubt to come:
Southend Council may soon ask traders to pay extra for better street cleaning or lighting, and to support events such as the airshow.Yes, extra. On top of their normal business rates….
Businesses in a chosen area would be asked more in business rates to fund a five-year programme, aimed at boosting trade.Well, if it’s to boost trade, how could they refuse?
Do they have any plans to boost trade?
Roger Fisher, a member of the Southend Seafront Illuminations and Business Association, is backing the move.Hmmm, a board, eh? I can’t say that fills me with much confidence. But maybe they have some good ideas about…
He said: “Generally, it would be a good thing. It would give businesses a bit more freedom and make it easier to obtain things.
“The district would be run by a board with a certain amount of independence over spending and a degree of autonomy. The council would collect the levy alongside non-domestic rates.
“It might pay for improved cleaning, additional security or even to hire street advisors to help shoppers and visitors.‘Improved cleaning’? ‘Street advisers’? Good grief!
And what about those businesses who don’t want to take this up? Will they be forced to pay too? Or will the ‘street advisors’ simply not direct the public to their doors?
The project will be discussed at the council’s cabinet meeting on November 2.I bet you’ll get some. I do hope you’ll publish it….
Ian Robertson, councillor responsible for enterprise (Ed: he used to be responsible for ‘public protection’…), said: “It is in the very early stages, but it is very exciting for the town. We need feedback from businesses before we can say much about it.”