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Section 33 — Additional contributions and action
Planning etc (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3
Scott Barrie (Labour)
I will speak against the amendments in the name of David McLetchie. Similar amendments were lodged and rejected by the committee at stage 2. David McLetchie was right to say that a BID levy would be implemented, but he failed to acknowledge that a levy could be implemented only if local businesses voted for it. I see nothing wrong with local businesses working in partnership with local authorities to improve the districts in which they trade. If businesses did that and wanted to reinvest in their areas, it would be completely wrong if some businesses in those areas enjoyed all the advantages of that but paid nothing for it.
David McLetchie wants us to accept the strange concept that someone can opt out of the result of
Nobody will vote for a business improvement district unless they believe that they will get something out of it. It is ludicrous to suggest that people would blithely say that they would pay another 1 per cent of rateable value without taking great interest in what they got for that. If BIDs are to succeed, it will be important that all businesses are signed up to them. The way to achieve that is to have a ballot and take it from there.
BIDs offer a tremendous opportunity.