The revolt against Andover BID (Business Investment District) continued yesterday in Basingstoke Magistrates Court (19th September 2019).
Kevin Farrer, owner of International Furniture in Black Swan Yard has refused to pay the charge that comes with being a business in a BID area.
A coach was organised by Mr Farrer for any supporters to accompany him to the court hearing, those who came along were mainly from the political party, ‘Andover Alliance’ including Andover Town Mayor, Richard Rowles.
BIDs were introduced as part of the Local Government Act in 2003 and came into force in 2004, they were created to support town centre shops. Andover BID launched in April 2019 after being backed by a poll of business owners, however, controversially, TVBC used 13 votes for its car parks in the town and this tipped the poll by only three votes in favour of the BID.
Mr Farrer told the court: “Andover town centre is on its knees. I can’t afford it.
“Ninety-three per cent of people in Andover say this was unjust and unfair.”
Mr Farrer who was elected a borough councillor at the last election left the court shouting, “I just resigned. I can’t work with hypocrisy. That’s another closed shop.”
A staggering 26 firms in the Andover BID district have not yet paid the charge, yesterday the judge granted liability orders against each of them.