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Firms urged to back Blackburn town centre safety bid
PROPOSALS from traders to raise cash from town centre businesses to pay for extra CCTV and an additional PCSO have been backed by police and council bosses.
A portion of any money raised by a levy on business properties in Blackburn’s main retail area would pay for increased security and safety measures.
The plan was revealed by the campaign to persuade traders to support the proposed Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID). Ballot papers have been sent out to business people with voting due to close on Friday, November 8.
The BID team believes traders pooling their own resources would pay for additional CCTV cameras and the salary of a PCSO in Blackburn town centre, reducing crime and anti-social behaviour. Businesses are being asked to back contributing one per cent of their rateable value annually, raising £1.5m over five years.
In a survey, 77 per cent of town centre traders said safety and security was a key priority to encourage visitors and new businesses to come to the town.
Caroline Hardy, manager of Clarks in The Mall, said: “Recently, more than ever, I have noticed incidents and trouble round the town.
“The BID will help to provide more security outside The Mall and more CCTV cameras so that people are made to feel safe and comfortable when shopping.”
Caroline James, senior partner at Trevor Dawson estate agents in Richmond Terrace, said: “I am voting yes for the Blackburn BID because I think it is an opportunity for local businesses to engage directly in providing additional services.
“I would like to see more street lighting and less anti-social behaviour in the town centre as a whole.”
Inspector Abid Khan said: “Our priority is the safety of people who live and work within, and those who visit Blackburn town centre. We support the BID.”
Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “If the vote for the bid is successful, then we will work closely with the board on a variety of priorities that they have outlined including making the town centre a safe and secure place.”
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