Carluke BID controversy continues

Unhappy shop owners...in Carluke High Street
Unhappy shop owners...in Carluke High Street

A CALL has been made for an official investigation into the legalities of imposing Carluke’s Business Improvement District (BID) levy on charities.

Last week, New Beginnings co-ordinator Mary McLellan branded BID bosses “underhand, heavy-handed and arrogant” for allegedly waiting until just three weeks ago to tell charities they would have to pay a levy, four months AFTER the BID was launched in Carluke.

Carluke man Eric Warren has added further fuel to the fire by writing an impassioned letter to Aileen Campbell and the Gazette, asking for answers.

Eric said: “People only became aware of this (BID levy) when charities received demands for hundreds of pounds, with threats of visits from Sheriff’s Officers if they failed to pay promptly.

“By this time , the deadline for lodging appeals had long gone.

“The organisers had numerous opportunities to disclose their intentions. They failed to do this.

“It is hard to see an explanation why, other than to ensure that the BID proposal would be carried out without objections.”

Meanwhile, BID chairman Martin Hannah said that his group would listen to any town centre business bosses with concerns about paying to be part of the BID scheme.

“We will do whatever we can to help,” Martin said.

For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke Gazette, which is in the shops now.