Daventry traders’ vote of no confidence

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TRADERS have no confidence in the organisation in charge of promoting and marketing Daventry, the Gusher heard in a meeting on Wednesday.

Around 25 business people met at the Evergreen Art Cafe in Sheaf Street to discuss the re-election of the Daventry Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), where Ben Lloyd from Global Communications gave a presentation about the next four years of BID.

He said the 2.6 per cent levy on top of the business rates would be fixed for the next five years and would bring a £750,000 investment to Daventry businesses that would not otherwise exist.

Mr Lloyd admitted that over the past four years BID had not performed as well as it could but hopes a new board made up of local business people would help to improve things and get ideas flowing.

Traders said they were not convinced by the plans though as the BID had failed to perform in the past.

Victoria Wormall of Harpers said: “I think in essence BID is a good idea and it is better to have something than nothing but it’s hard to have confidence in it because once bitten twice shy - we have heard these promises before.”

Harpers owner Peter Harper called for a plan B as he doesn’t believe BID’s five-year plan does enough to market the town.

Only 17 per cent of the money paid to BID would be spent on marketing compared with 42 per cent on crime and public safety - something traders say they already pay for.

Owner of the Evergreen Art Cafe Simon Williams said: “BID need to spend a decent amount on marketing and telling people what is going on in Daventry because otherwise they won’t know.”

Former district councillor Collin Poole said: “We have free parking in this town but I have never seen an advertisement shouting about it and yet it would bring people to the town to shop.”

Chairman of the Daventry Business Partnership Euan Temple said: “Communication is a two-way street. Businesses must be responsible for marketing themselves, the BP endeavours to market the town with limited budgets. We encourage local business to step up and be involved.”