The following is an exchange in which the much troubled Weymouth Bid are trying to resolve. Community participation or exclusive club?
This point by current BID chairman offered a conciliatory and democratic approach to the new Bid and its community interaction on social media.
‘I would like you to remain and continue to offer your views… the BID is a business group but as we all know to reignite our high streets and town centres we need the whole community to be engaged and involved.’
‘I agree with your views it is about developing ideas for the town and we should embrace it…’
Richard Lamb (Bid 2 Chairperson)
However, ex Portland mayor Tim Munro has other ideas.
‘Don’t think so, I recall more business voting against BID renewal than for.
I certainly don’t think non levy payers should be contributing to this forum.
I have no interest in how they think my taxes should be spent.’
This was then challenged by local Weymouth writer, historian and BID group member Mark Vine
‘Isn’t that rather like saying that because a teenager or child doesn’t have to pay council tax, they should have no say in what goes on in their town ? As I have said already, I am not here to decide what is done with your money, and nor should I be, although, I reckon a tramp on the esplanade would have made a better job of using it than the old BID did. But I did try to work with them, only to be stabbed in the back and have my efforts hijacked and presented as their own. I have also been working with the new BID and have found them to be far better. So I really don’t see what anyone’s problem is with non-levy payers being here and trying to add to the mix. After all, any effort we put in, is surely there to make you money, not ourselves.’
Mr Munro then upped the stakes:
‘A child doesn’t have a say, they don’t have a vote.
Council tax is payable from 18, at that age they exercise their franchise.
I pay council tax, business rate and a BID levy.
You don’t pay a BID levy, what makes you imagine you have an entitlement to piggy back your views on this site (the clue to the purpose of this site is in the title).
You clearly are bitter in regards to the previous BID team ( some of which are still here) because the nicked your ideas. Perhaps they just implemented your ideas and your ego is burst because they didn’t mention you. Much like the current regime, the current board was presented with a paper from a levy payer, only to be dismissed as the levy payer not understanding how the board operates, then to read further into the minutes that several of his suggested had been discussed and adopted as the boards own. Not much changes.
The chairman has responded very quickly to you, more speed that has been used of late in other correspondence however the brevity is similar.
Good to see you are comforted by the chairman’s endorsement of your views, however as I understand the position he has no executive authority, so you must realize he is not speaking on behalf of the BID.
The majority of businesses voted against a BID renewal. Perhaps that majority will have a view.’
And then checkmate by Mark Vine
‘I would be very careful when using the word ‘bitter’ in any context of the BID as far as you’re concerned Tim Munro. For even a cursory glance at this and several other pages concerned with this town would prove that damn near every post you put up is laced with bitterness and even contempt. In fact, I wonder that you ever get anyone to vote for you at all with your belligerent attitude to life and everyone in it, locally.
As for my ego …. well, you don’t know me at all. But anyone that does would most probably disagree with you on that one. And as for my involvement with the old BID, your pathetic summing up of that particular situation only goes to prove that you know nothing about it at all, so allow me to educate you.
I and another person worked hard for six months to organise a large pirate festival for the town. Not for any monetary gain on our part, in fact it cost us money. But we did it and a couple of weeks before it was due to take place, the old BID came to us and asked if they could be a part of it. We agreed and they said that all they wanted to do was to stage a kiddies pirate hat competition which would last for 15 minutes (out of an entire weekend’s worth of events and features including several music concerts and re-enactments) I even had to supply them with a suitable compere for their minuscule part of the event.
So, it went off and the entire weekend was a big success apparently with a massed battle on the beach, drawing in large crowds in their thousands to the town and putting lots of money into the pockets of BID Levy Payers such as yourself.
Imagine our surprise then, when in the Dorset Echo the following Monday, the then chair of the old BID was in there claiming that the “success of the weekend was entirely and solely due to Weymouth BID and its patrons”
So … I don’t care how many of the old BID are still on this page as they will know the truth of the matter and my gripe is with the cretinous twat who tried to claim it was all his doing. A person who I have never even met and who certainly did not turn up to any of our organisers meetings or put one minute of his time into it. The old BID then said they’d publish a retraction of his statement … but of course, they never did.
So I would be grateful, if I were you, and not quite so critical, that the new BID chairman is a proven businessman who is as good as his word and actually knows what he is doing.
Some of us, Councillor Munro … have the good of the town at heart and look for no financial return for what we do for it. and, as Weymouth has expressed a desire to use its past as a means of forging a new future and a new prosperity for its business community, you might just find that you need “egotists” like me to provide the know-how to enable that plan to come to fruition. Or perhaps, you know more about our history than anyone else ? … as you seem to think you know about all the other things you venomously spew out in every post you make ??’
But even with the game over Mr Munro just could not help himself.
‘This is a levy payers discussion site.
It is very, very unfortunate that two non levy payers choose to personally insult a levy payer who posts legitimate items for discussion by other levy payers.
An apology should be forthcoming from both of you. If not, the BID board/Chairman should take action to remove access to this site from you. If they don’t, I would love to hear their defence as to why they allow personal abuse to a levy payer who is legitimately using this site by a couple of non levy payers.’
Therefore it was left to Mr Vine to politely remind Mr Munro that once you have lost it is preferable to accept it.
‘But you’re not just a Levy Payer are you Tim ….. You’re also known as a miserable, cantankerous man who hasn’t got a good word to say for anyone or anything.
I might also remind you that it was in fact YOU that started with the personal insults, not I. But I can certainly match you.
And I reiterate that if I am removed from this page, it really won’t bother me …. as it is one less page that I will have to endure the mindless, predictable dross that you instinctively spew out post after post after post …. repeat ad nauseum.
Have a lovely day Tim.’
And there we shall leave it and just hope that a transformation occurs and that the BID can become a force for good whilst ridding itself of the past.
A Community Rep