Businesses debate the future of Clarkston BID

Branding attempts by the previous BID committee.
Branding attempts by the previous BID committee.

THE future of the Clarkston Business Improvement District (BID) remains the subject of intense debate following the latest meeting this week.

The former BID 
committee walked out in June amid a fight with East Renfrewshire council over parking reforms.

Some remaining members met this week to discuss the future, and, according to a spokeswoman, 15 out of 18 attending voted in favour of moving forward.

She said: “Businesses were increasingly worried by closures and inactivity, took matters into their own hands and were successful electing a new committee.

“The BID will now focus on engaging with traders to start building positivity, planning for Christmas and to lead on the review of parking.”

However, not all business owners are happy. Jim Watt, who runs Cafe Roma, calls it a “crippling tax”, and recently submitted over 40 signatures asking directors to hold a vote as to whether the BID should continue until 2015.

Jim — who declined to attend the meeting — said: “The directors have ignored the voices of the people involved so that they can keep invoicing us.

“The shops don’t want to be punished for the BID’s failure — it’s undemocratic.

“We receive invoices approaching £1,000 a year for something that doesn’t help business.”

Trader Gordon Paterson, of Living for Style — instrumental in forming the new committee — said: “While I realise that many businesses are against the BID, and some are apathetic, there is also considerable support.

“I feel that, with help, we can avoid Clarkston going into further decline.”