THE Newtown Business Improvement District (BID) process will continue after members of the Steering Group decided to press on.

Earlier this month, Revive and Thrive, the company that was supposed to deliver the BID process in Newtown decided to terminate its contract with Powys County Council (PCC).

Part of the issue is that the comapny’s owner, Cllr Mark Barnes, (Conservative Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn West) has been embroiled in arguments online with people who are against BIDs.

Cllr Barnes claimed that was bullied online. There were also questions that Cllr Barnes could have multiple conflicts of interest which affected the BID.

Due to Revive and Thrive’s decision, Newtown BID steering group held an emergency meeting on Thursday, December 12, and voted to continue with the process.

Steering group co-chairman, Steven Cox, who is a director of Dyffryn industrial estate based SEIP Services Ltd, said: “We held a meeting and received advice from PCC staff that we needed to either vote to continue with BID or to stop the process.

“The vote was held until midnight using email and we have voted to continue.”

The ballot to decide Newtown BID was scheduled to take place in early 2020.

Mr Cox explained that the ballot would now be delayed until late summer.

This is because the steering group need to tender for new consultants to come in to run the ballot process.

Mr Cox, added: “That will also depend on how much money we have left to deliver the ballot.”

Mr Cox said that there will now be a concerted effort made to try and counter the negativity towards the BID and invited other businesses in the town to engage with the Steering Group.

“We need to set the reboot button and start again and sell the vision to the businesses of having a better town centre,” said Mr Cox.

Revive and Thrive will continue to run the BID process in Brecon.

BID is a defined area within which businesses are required to pay an additional tax known as a ‘levy’ in order to fund projects within the district’s boundaries.