Lincoln BIG today urged its levy payers to return their voting forms – as its five-year reballot draws to its close in nearly a fortnight’s time.
More than 800 businesses and organisations are eligible to cast their vote but, with the ballot closing on November 6 at 5pm, ballot forms need to be sent back to the City of Lincoln Council as soon as possible, in the supplied pre-paid envelopes.
Lincoln BIG Chief Executive Sarah Loftus said: “We are hoping for a resounding “YES” vote so that we can continue taking a creative approach to making a real difference to businesses over the next five years.”
Ballot papers are sent to addresses normally used for levy payers’ business rates invoices. This means it is important for them to contact Electoral Services at the City of Lincoln Council, if they need to request a replacement for a lost ballot form.
Levy payers whose business rates invoices are normally sent to their company’s head office, need to contact that head office. They need to ask if they have returned their voting form or if the company needs to nominate them as a proxy voter.
If they do, their head office needs to contact Electoral Services to ensure they are nominated (as a proxy) by 5pm on Monday, October 28. If the head office needs a replacement for a lost ballot form, they need to request this no later than Thursday, October 31.
Lincoln BIG staff are currently visiting levy payers to check they have received copies of its Business Plan 2020-2025, which highlights its priorities for the next five years.
“We have also been talking to business owners and managers and explaining the reballot process. To succeed, it requires a majority “YES” vote – but that vote must also represent all the different rateable values of levy payers’ properties,” said Sarah.
“We have explained how important it is for them to vote “YES” – not just for our organisation – but because if the vote is lost, businesses and organisations will lose out on about 40 different levels of support.
“These include our vibrant events, such as Fashion Week and 1940s Weekend, our colourful street festivals and many other events; our popular security group services, economy management programmes, our administration of trade group meetings, Lincoln in Bloom scheme and Radio Link Scheme.
"If we fail to get the required “YES” vote, we will be closing the Lincoln BIG office, our city wardens scheme will go and our levy payers will no longer enjoy the benefits of the LoyalFreeApp – which are already resulting in repeat footfall for businesses,” said Sarah.
“But we are hoping for strong support in the reballot so that we can continue to provide existing and new services, fly the flag for the High Street and encourage a rise in both shopper and visitor numbers.”
The Lincoln BIG team is eager to start delivering its robust business plan pledges and key priorities designed to boost business for all levy payers. These priorities will be delivered at a cost of just over £1 million a year (funded by levy payer monies and other income generated).
Lincoln BIG’s priorities for 2020-25 focus on WELCOME; EXPERIENCE AND VALUE
In line with these, our wardens are always out and about, smartening–up street furniture, getting rid of discarded chewing gum and brightening the street scene with the use of our Chewy Chew Gumbuster and street vacuum.
“We are well-known for our crowd-pulling events, but we intend to put the polish on these and help to support those led by others. Value-wise, we believe we have a great Park and Ride offer for workers and visitors, as well as super travel deals for levy payers’ employees. Our LoyalFreeApp is also proving popular with shoppers and visitors,” said Sarah.
“We value our levy payers and we are dedicated to helping them to succeed and grow.”