The group hosting the public meeting last night [1st March] on the Mull, Iona and Ulva proposal to establish a Business Improvement District [BID’ for the entire island community, have issued the press statement below.
This group, the ‘NO Confidence’ campaign, had intended the meeting to be a shared platform, with the cases for and against the proposal presented at a single and moderated event to the audience of eligible business voters.
The BID team, invited on Monday 25th February, had made no response to the invitation but let the organisers know on the evening before, Thursday 28th February, that they would be unable to take part.
The meeting went ahead last night, to a full house and we understand from some of those present that, in the absence of any contribution from the BID proposal team, they had agreed with a supportive local businessman, Duncan Swinbanks, that he should speak personally to the meeting on his positive view of the proposal.
We are told that Mr Swinbanks spoke with an attractive energy on how he sees the MI BID but was, of course, unable to answer specific questions on the proposal.
The issued account of the meeting is as follows:
‘The meeting in the Aros Hall last night was a resounding success for the BID NO Confidence group from Mull and Iona.
‘The hall was full with over 100 attending not including speakers and recorders.
‘It was also attended by Argyll & Bute councillors Mary-Jean Devon and Alistair MacDougall who will be reporting back to the council on the conclusions and tone of the meeting.
‘There will be a full press release on the meeting in due course, which will include how the NO Confidence group intend to progress this with Argyll and Bute Council.’
The BID team told For Argyll yesterday evening that, although they were unable to make last night’s meeting, they are happy and keen to participate in a joint platform meeting on any date they can make.
With the postal ballot closing in under three weeks time, at 5.00o on 21st March, there is no time to waste to inform the electors in this most rewarding of all type of meeting.
We welcome the positivity of the BID team and look forward to hearing of an early date for such a meeting.
It is the issue here that is important, whether or not the business community on Mull feels that the BID format is a good fit for the dispersed Mull, Iona, and Ulva; or whether it is committed to the revitalising of the island economy but wishes to approach the matter in some other way.