My last letter to the Advertiser on June 16 was copied onto four local social media sites.

I was amazed that the majority of replies did not know what the BID was or even what it stood for!

More importantly, they were not aware that some of the businesses in the town were each paying a levy to the BID, even during lockdown!

People did not know that the levy is paid to Test Valley Borough Council who should a business fall short of payment, will take them to court.

People were not aware that five years ago when the BID was first voted on, the No-Bid were two votes ahead when TVBC added 7 car parks to the fold, as they were the owners of these car parks? Hence the Andover Town Centre Business Improvement  District Ltd was formed. 

Coupled with the sites, I was stopped by many of the public in the town and asked so many questions.

“Who runs the BID?” Steve Godwin.

“Does he get paid? Yes. 

“Is he local?” No. 

“Does he have a business in the town?” No. 

“What does he do?” He employees the Rangers.

“What do they do?” Patrol the town supporting businesses, like reprimanding shoplifters, and helping injured people and conversing with the public.

“Shouldn’t the police and ambulance deal with this, and shouldn’t TVBC be paying the Rangers' wages with the monies from the business rates?”

“Does BID have a committee?” Yes.

“What do they do?” Organise people to organise events in the town and bring in footfall. 

“We used to have plenty of events in the town before the pandemic, so why do we have to have others doing it now?” I don’t know, perhaps someone else will answer that?

“Are the smaller shopkeepers happy with the BID?" I’m not sure, be best if you asked them, I do know they are locked in for five years.

You might have noticed earlier in this letter I said SOME businesses were paying, that’s because at the start of BID, and I was there, a map was drawn up and some roads and businesses were left out.

This includes ASDA whicj probably takes more Andover money than any other business in the town. This was because ASDA will not support BID in any town!

Ron Wood

Ashfield Rd


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