BID aims to make Weston the cleanest town in South West
PUBLISHED: 17:30 29 July 2016
Keeping Weston-super-Mare safe and clean will be the focus of Weston’s Business Improvement District team (BID) if it is renewed for 2017, with less money planned for town centre events.
The BID project launched in 2012, after businesses voted in favour of the scheme.
The firms in the BID area pay a levy on their business rates, and the team uses the money for a range of initiatives for the town.
But it will all come to an end in March, unless business owners vote to renew it in November.
Town centre manager Steve Townsend said his conversations with business owners showed they wanted the BID to focus on keeping Weston safe and clean.
Mr Townsend said: “Street wardens are very high on the business plan.
“We will try to do events, but it is very much ‘keep it safe’, ‘keep it clean’.
“We are trying to be the cleanest town in the South West.
“I would love to do more events, but we have to do what the budget says.”
Statistics released by BID at a meeting of Weston Town Council show the number of events in the town have gone up by 100 per cent since its inception.
But the figures also show the street wardens have proved effective in reducing crime and keeping streets clear of rubbish.
BID chairman Paul Batts said: “Businesses really feel that the next three to four years should be an exciting time in Weston.
“Businesses unfortunately don’t feel they are getting the service they would like from the police.
“By having wardens around doing a lot of antisocial behaviour work in the town centre, and the green team cleaning up, it all helps to contribute to what is a very clean and safe town centre.”
If the BID is renewed, it will be extended to include Grove Park, where there have been some problems with antisocial behaviour.
It means the street wardens would be able to visit the park during problem times.
Cllr Mark Canniford, who runs Spar in High Street, was initially opposed to the BID scheme being renewed.
But he told the town council last week that he had changed his mind.
He said: “If you enter the town centre at 5am, you see a very different town to 9am.
“The town is undoubtedly a mess from people chucking bags out at night.
“The businesses are not responsible, and you cannot make them pay for the clean-up of residents.”
But Cllr Canniford said the wardens, paid for by BID, helped to clear the town up by 8-9am.
Mr Townsend said: “If the town is safe and clean, that is a really good foundation.
“We are really good at that, and that’s what we want to keep doing.”
Consultation details can be found at www.westonbid.co.uk
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.