Unsound legislation and unsafe procedures surrounding the manner in which BID plebiscite was conducted

25th July 2017

No to BID Campaign Vows to Continue their Campaign to Stand-Down BID Scheme

Calls on Gardaí to Investigate Vote

The No to BID Campaign group, formed to campaign against the renewal of the Dublin BID scheme, have announced that they will continue their campaign. The announcement comes in the wake of the narrow vote among city centre businesses on the renewal of the Dublin BID scheme for another five years. The No to BID group have renewed their mandate to ramp up their campaign following a huge 50% increase on the No vote from 2012.

A statement from No to BID spokesperson Kim Condon raised some of the concerns that arose during the campaign and during the election count on the 17th July; ‘’We also have extremely grave concerns about the unsound legislation and unsafe procedures surrounding the manner in which the plebiscite was conducted. A senior official in Dublin City Council admitted opening the ballot box and placing a large number of envelopes inside. We have written to An Garda Síochana asking them to investigate this incident. The No to BID Campaign will continue to campaign for transparency, accountability and corporate governance.’’

Ms Condon went on to say that the group will continue its campaign to disband Dublin BID; ‘’Following a meeting yesterday, the No to BID Campaign came to a unanimous decision to continue the campaign to disband the Dublin BID scheme and the private company DublinTown. We would like to thank all of the businesses for their continued support for the campaign to end the BID. We will represent the best interests of the city centre business community going forward.’’

The vote to disband the Dublin BID was held among certain business (double) ratepayers in the city centre. After a divisive campaign, the Yes vote has seen a collapse in its support with 843 business voting yes, compared to almost 1,100 in 2012 or a drop of over 20%. The No vote has seen its share surge from 511 in 2012 to 715 in 2017, an increase of almost 50%

The No to BID Campaign represents over 700 small and medium sized businesses. The No campaign had wide support, including the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Irish Hairdressers Federation and the Irish Newsagents and Convenience Stores Association.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

Attached is Joe McCarthy’s note, an independent observer at the count on July 17th.  His note provides detail on the No to BID Campaign’s concerns over the voting and counting procedures.

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‘No to BID’ campaign invites ‘DublinTown’ to a Public Debate

PRESS RELEASE

Monday July 2nd  2017

Traders demand true facts to emerge on finances and footfall figures
The campaign seeking to disband DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID), the company set up by Dublin city centre businesses, has today (Sunday 2nd July) invited a representative of DublinTown to a public debate at Dublin City Hall ahead of the plebiscite vote to disband DublinTown on Friday, 17th July. The No to BID campaign will extend an invitation to all traders affected by the DublinTown levy to attend the debate event.

Commenting on this, spokesperson for the No to BID campaign, Kim Condon said ’’We propose that the debate be held on Wednesday 12th July at Dublin City Hall. It will be an important opportunity for both sides to engage in proper debate about how effective DublinTown has been and why it should be disbanded. It is also a chance for DublinTown to answer important questions about how they have spent the money they collected from Dublin businesses and serious concerns about the footfall figures.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’This is a critical time for Dublin city. It is essential that the truth emerges as there are high levels of misinformation and fakery of facts on the campaign. We feel that this is a huge vote for the future of Dublin city and it is imperative that the public get a chance to hear both sides of the campaign. We urge all traders to vote No.’’

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses over a proposed 34% increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.

The No to BID group comprises of over 800 businesses in Dublin City centre, illustrating a diversity of business interests dedicated to shutting down the DublinTown operation.

Chart traffic dublin png