The Gazette understands that a plot to boycott certain Lanark shops and businesses has caused a rift between traders opposing being forced to pay into a new high street recovery fund.
Some members and at least one major office-bearer of the Independent Business Group Lanark Traders have quit the organisation, disagreeing with a strategy of damaging other businesses in the town which have supported Lanark becoming a Business Improvement District (BID).
The BID scheme will involve all businesses with even the very smallest in the town centre paying into a central ’pot’ for general improvements to the Royal Burgh’s vital shopping streets.
Although a vote among traders backed Lanark becoming a BID, the independent group of dissenters claimed the process has been improper and claimed the BID levy was just another tax on their already beleagured businesses.
However, the Gazette understands that the group has now become seriously split over a boycott tactic, aimed a deliberately damaging other, pro-BID Lanark shops by calling for a boycott of them.
One prominent member of the independent group, veteran businessman Wilson Rea, has made public his disagreement with the boycott plot,
He said: “I feel that our wee group is now split down the middle and our main focus was to have the BID overturned or rejected but this focus has been overlooked as more personal attacks were made towards individuals.
“I have no personal issues with anyone in the BID group or our group.”
He then intimated his formal resignation from the Independent Group, from which a comment was requested.