Butcher sees off Continental competition

A butcher is claiming victory after town bosses agreed to review the staging of a continental market near his premises.

Several businesses in Hull had claimed that foreign markets, invited into the city centre by the town's Business Improvement District (BID), had caused their takings to plummet.

Ted Johnston, who has run Johnston's Butchers and Delicatessen in Carr Lane for 20 years, told local papers: "They said the continental markets would increase footfall, but whether they do or not, they haven't had a very good effect on trade. For some, they have made no difference whatsoever and for others they have decimated takings, some by up to 50%."

Johnston is now also querying the existence of the BID: "The BID concept was met with great enthusiasm by all those who were eager to see an improvement to the city centre. This enthusiasm, however, helped to disguise the plan's fundamental flaws.

"It is getting to the stage where, after six months, the BID has not only failed to make any difference, it is exacerbating the problems it claimed to solve."

Hull became the first city in Yorkshire to form a BID last October when 81% of companies polled elected to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development and marketing of the city centre.

Firms pay an extra 1% of their rateable value to fund the initiative for the five-year span of the scheme.

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