Rachel Belle (Letters October 5, ‘Back the BID’) fails to recognise that the proposed BID deliberately excludes over half the businesses in the town centre and only plans to deliver projects our councils / Andover Town Centre Partnership are / should be delivering. Expecting 254 businesses to bear the financial burden of improving Andover town centre, whilst our councils, residents and other businesses in / around Andover watch from the side-line is wrong. This may be Rachel’s definition of “pull together and proudly support”, but it’s not mine.

Where is the strategy / action plan for regenerating Andover town centre around which we can all “pull together and proudly support?”

More and more BIDs are failing or being rejected.

Newbury has lost 5.8 per cent footfall this past year, despite having a BID.

The BID steering group’s claim that none of the proposed BID projects can happen without the BID, is a blatant lie. The regeneration of Andover town centre is the responsibility of all of us and collectively we need to explore the many alternatives to Andover BID; here are three.

One. An effective Andover Town Centre Partnership.

Despite doing a good job, it’s currently under resourced, resulting in limited promotion / development of the town centre. With greater councils’ investment / support and delegated responsibility, coupled with better engagement with businesses, community groups and residents, it could deliver all the BID aims and then some.

Two. Empowered community groups/ community interest companies. Volunteers / community groups are already working hard to help improve Andover town centre, delivering events / activities that encourage residents and visitors into the town centre. With greater support / funding from councils and access to grants from other sources, they could do even more.

Three. A multi-Action team. At the moment, our county, borough and town councils are not truly effective at regenerating / promoting / developing Andover town centre; too many conflicts of interest and layers of management! We need a multi-action team (comprising councils, Andover Town Centre Partnership, businesses, community groups and residents) with delegated authority, tasked with producing the Andover town centre regeneration strategy and implementing the action plan.

The proposed BID is a dereliction of both duty and responsibility by our councils and should be stopped.

David Coole, Upper Clatford