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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 28 February, 2020

Another twist in the Dublin Town row as the 'no' side claims that ballot papers are missing

The city council says it posted them out two months ago ahead of a vote on the scheme’s future.

Image: YouTube

A CAMPAIGN GROUP calling for the abolition of Dublin Town has said that some business owners have not yet received their ballot paper ahead of a vote on the initiative’s future.

Businesses that form the capital’s Business Improvement District (BID) – marketed as Dublin Town – have been invited to vote on whether or not the scheme should continue for the next five years.

More than 3,000 ballots were distributed by Dublin City Council over two months ago. They must be cast by 17 July.

A spokesman for the ‘No to BID campaign’ told Fora that “around 30 or 40″ business owners claimed that they haven’t received a ballot paper yet and will submit a complaint over the issue to Dublin City Council.

In response to a query from Fora, a council spokesman said: ”We have heard from a relatively small number of ratepayers directly who state that they have not received their ballot papers.”

He said there is a process in place to deal with any missing ballots and that business owners should contact the council’s returning officer by email if they haven’t received a ballot paper.

At odds

Dublin Town is a not-for-profit organisation that was set up 10 years ago, originally under the name Dublin BID. Its job is to represent and promote businesses in the city centre.

It provides services like cleaning graffiti off buildings and runs promotional initiatives such as ‘Dine in Dublin’.

62  Dine In Dublin_90503666 'Dine in Dublin' campaign Source: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

All businesses in the BID catchment area are automatic members of the scheme. In addition to the normal commercial rates paid to Dublin City Council, they must pay a levy equal to 5% of their rates bill to support the running of Dublin Town.

‘No to BID’,  fronted by councillor Mannix Flynn, last week set out a nine-point manifesto outlining the reasons why it wants to do away with the initiative.

Dublin Town – which has sent legal letters to both Flynn and the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) chief Adrian Cummins over their public criticism of the scheme – responded with a strongly worded statement rejecting many of the points.

As previously explained by Fora, the for and against sides are at odds over even the basics of the dispute.

The ‘no’ group said today that it has received backing from a number of business lobby groups.

It said the Irish Hotels Federation, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association and the Irish Hairdressers Federation have all thrown their weight behind the campaign.

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Written by Conor McMahon and posted on

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