DBID decision to not suspend business levy is 'outrageous' says MP Robert Goodwill - and Government may step in

The Government could be set to step in to stop businesses from having to pay the Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID) levy.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 4:02 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 4:04 pm

Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that an amendment is being put forward on the Coronavirus Bill to suspend bid levies during the crisis.

Mr Goodwill said the decision of the Yorkshire Coast BID company not to suspend the payments for more than 1,300 businesses from Staithes to Spurn Point on the Yorkshire coast was “outrageous” and MPs were now moving to address the issue.

The amendment is now being drafted with Simon Clarke Minister of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government leading the process before today’s second reading of the bill.

Robert Goodwill in Scarborough

Mr Goodwill said: “I believe the BID company should immediately stop taking payments, return as much money as they can, or ask the council to do so on their behalf, and all the high-paid staff can go on furlough and claim the money the Government has offered up.

“They need to support our hard-pressed businesses by not taking money off them when they can least afford it.

“I cannot see how something set up to promote the area can function when that is the exact opposite of the message we are trying to get out there right now?

“In 12 months’ time when all of this is over then yes, it can be argued that there may be a case for the BID to promote the area once more. But not now.

“It is outrageous if I’m being honest that they still intend to take money.”

The BID company said in response to a plea to Scarborough Council that it could not suspend payments due to its “stature” and would instead lobby the Government to offer levy relief to businesses.