“The Good, the BID and the Ugly”
A Letter to the Editor from WILLIAM PARKIN of Hinderwell, who takes issue with the information provided by Yorkshire Coast BID Chairman, Mr Clive Rowe-Evans, on 23rd July 2020, and subsequently reproduced in NIGEL WARD’s article “YCBID: ‘Don’t Pay Levy – Yet!'”, published in the North Yorks Enquirer on Friday 7th August 2020.
I hope you will publish my observations of the recent letter from Mr Clive Rowe-Evans of the Yorkshire Coast BID company. I have taken the liberty of dividing Mr Rowe-Evans’ letter into individual paragraphs, as images, and inserting my own satirical ‘translations’ or ‘interpretations’ between images, in plaintext.
The Yorkshire Coast BID was formed through manipulative means so that I, Mr Clive Rowe-Evans, could top up my pension and my Chief Clerk, Ms Carruthers, could secure an inflated salary. If it was a real business, instead of a plaything, we would have been fired long ago.
“Hang on!”, you may say. “The sums do not add up and someone must be lying”. You may come to this conclusion because there are over 300 businesses that have not paid the levy. At the point when COVID-19 struck, in mid-March, the total collected stood at 82% (see https://www.yorkshirecoastbid.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/YC-BID-Q2-2020-Newsletter.pdf, page 12).
Someone (you may suspect myself and/or Ms Carruthers) has been playing with the numbers to try to make ourselves look good. Also, you may wonder, IF we have spent £1m (or even the £820,000 – or whatever), how have levy payers who have paid been getting value for money? The so-called Directors should also hang their heads in shame as they are not fulfilling their duties to keep we paid pariahs in check. (Remember, being a Director is not just a fancy title. Directors are publicly accountable for the actions of the Chairman and Employed Officers and will be personally liable for oversight negligence, which, you may conjecture, might explain recent resignations).
Isn’t it amazing? People have suffered severe financial hardship, but hey-ho, pull up the ladder – I’m alright, Jack! Full fat cat salaries with no accountability or performance-related pay does not feature in our mission statement. Nevertheless, one very positive thing I can say is I am extremely pleased that critics have confirmed my expertise through the businesses that I have been involved with in the past (admittedly, businesses that have failed), and hopefully this will persuade you that all will be okay in a few months time. Levy payers should be reassured by this. Thank you.
You may be wondering why every tax payer qualifying for business rates relief should be expected to cover my, my Chief Clerk’s and her whipping-person’s salary? It would be more fair, you may suggest, for everyone (apart form the internal pariah’s who have the non-jobs) to just call a meeting of the full membership and poll them for their opinions on the way forward? Forget it.
Actually, Yorkshire Coast BID would be unable to continue to exist if not for the payments of every other real business that has had to step up to their own respective plates, making decisions that may hurt – and just do it.
Real businesses do not hide behind rules. Part of true entrepreneurship is to challenge the norm and just do it. No-one will hold them to account if, in their hearts, they are doing the right thing.
However, levy payers once again may be forgiven for concluding that the BID is there to just line a few pockets, looking after themselves and no-one else. They just do it.
No self-respecting business person would ever hide behind rules. Rules are for the guidance of the wise and to be ignored by the foolish, at their own peril. Successful businesses challenge the norm. We challenge the mores.
Never forget, the BID company has a way out as it has been proven that Scarborough Council has acted to conduct the formation of this Quango-style set-up, screwed it up and now they themselves are hiding behind rules. So, here we are, with YCBID saying it is up to SBC and SBC say it is up to YCBID. Two yellow-bellied organisations hiding behind one another, happily ever after.
It has been my pleasure to set down this pointed parody and I hope your readers will have an opportunity to share my enjoyment.