Businesses Express Outrage over Dublin Town’s Creative Quarter Festival

Traders not consulted over festival plans which will close streets and block loading bays

A proposed festival in Dublin City Centre has ignited controversy today after a multitude of varying-sized businesses have expressed concerns and anger over a lack of consultation and disruption to business. The ‘Creative Quarter’ festival, due to take place on the 26thand 27th August, will see busy streets closed off to traffic and a number of loading bays blocked.

Many businesses in the area have expressed concern over many aspects of the festival, including the lack of consultation offered from the organisers Dublin Town and the promotion of several businesses in the area over others. Joe Macken, founder and owner of the successful JoBurger restaurants, including one on Castle Market, has expressed his concerns; ‘The businesses in this area haven’t been properly informed of the details. We’re less than two weeks out from the event but we don’t yet have any specific details about what is going on. Dublin Town want to close off several streets and block off a number of loading bays at quite short notice. I myself am not opposed to a festival – actually I’d really love it.   But takes more than two lads with clip boards going around asking business what’s their party piece and any chance of a discount on the day for punters. We need to attract new business and reopen people eyes as to the fun that can be had in and around South William Street to not disturb the current flow of custom.  Well planned events – take time, have themes and are highly collaborative, why can’t we do it?”

Another business owner in the area, Mary Costelloe, of Costelloe & Costelloe, also voiced concerns over the festival; ‘’this event is about Dublin Town trying to justify their half-baked idea of a ‘creative quarter’ and it’s not about doing anything positive for business in the area. It doesn’t make sense to host this event at a very busy time of year. It is a badly thought-out, calamitous idea and all of the businesses I’ve spoken to are utterly outraged.’’

The Creative Quarter Festival will see intense disruption to Fade Street, South William Street, Castle Market, Clarendon Street, Exchequer Street and Drury Street. The event is organised by Dublin Town, who recently survived a very narrow vote on their 5 year renewal on 17thJuly.

ENDS

Please Note:

Joe Macken is available for interview.

For further information please contact:

Paul Allen                                                                 Rory Sweeney

Paul Allen & Associates                                          Paul Allen & Associates

18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                            18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2

01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700                                       01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

 

 

Paul
Paul Allen & Associates,
Public Relations,

18 Fitzwilliam Square South,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 00-353-1-6769575
Fax: 00-353-1-6769518

Cllr’s on board of BID support private quango

street cleaningCllr Lacey (Labour) and Cllr Nial Ring (Independent) have come out in support of the privitisation of street cleaning services in defiance of SIPTU, Trade Union, Shop stewards and DCC waste management workers. Both Cllrs are on the Board of the ‘BID/We are Dublin Town’ a private Company and a Quango which has basically been engaged in misinformation and scaremongering in the face of many businesses who wish to end their involvement with this quango.

(See statement here:

http://www.wearedublintown.ie/2017/07/cllrs-reaffirm-council-no-budget-dublintown-cleaning-service/

 

This is the letter, below, that SIPTU issued to Owen Keegan (CEO Dublin City Council) and also to all street cleaning workers on July 10th.

I find it difficult to understand how Cllr Lacey and Cllr Nial Ring who profess to be ardent trade unionists, indeed Cllr Lacey is a member of the ‘Labour party’, can come out against the Dublin City Council workers and Trade union members who have great concerns about losing their jobs to private companies like ‘BID/Dublintown”.

These double standards need to be exposed irrespective of the outcome of Monday’s vote on the BID/Dublintown.

It really is unprecedented that Cllr Lacey and Cllr Ring would issue such a contemptuous disregarding press statement in support of a private company.  A true slap in the face to the DCC workers they are elected to protect!

We all know what happened and what is still happening as a result of privatizing, general waste and the bins.

Let’s keep it Council.

page 1 SIPTU

Letter sent by SIPTU officials to City Manager, Owen Keegan with the concerns their workers have in relation to BID

 

page 2 SIPTU

Letter sent by SIPTU officials to City Manager, Owen Keegan with the concerns their workers have in relation to BID

 

More Dublin Businesses Vote NO to BID

More and more businesses are speaking out about the waste of their money spent by the Dublin BID company (Dublintown) and are voting NO to the continuation of this BID scheme.

 

Joe Macken (Jo Burger, Crackbird, Bear and more), Kim Condon (Magill’s Delicatessen) Margaret Brannigan (Gollum’s Jewellery) are just a few of the hundreds of businesses who are saying NO, Voting NO – Join them. Why pay Double Rates?

No to BID Campaign Outraged at DublinTown’s Refusal to Appear at Public Debate

PRESS RELEASE WEDNESDAY 12TH JULY

No to BID Campaign Outraged at DublinTown’s Refusal to Appear at Public Debate

 

The No to BID Campaign has today (Wednesday 12th July) expressed its outrage at the refusal of DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) leadership to appear at a public debate ahead of a vote on the renewal of the initiative.

 

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; “we are extremely angry and disappointed that DublinTown have refused to engage in the public debate organised for today. It is yet another example of their lack of transparency and the dictatorial style of leadership they engage in. The No to BID Campaign were very eager for business owners in the City Centre to have a chance to hear the issues properly debated in a public forum. As we have not received any response to our invitations, we are now forced the cancel the venue.” 

 

The public debate on the renewal of DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) was organised for 6pm this evening at the St Stephen’s Green Club with an independent moderator to oversee the event.

 

Dublin BID (operated by DublinTown) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses over a proposed 34% increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.

 

The No to BID Campaign has been gathering momentum this week, with the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Irish Hotels Federation, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association and the Irish Hairdressers Federation all declaring their support for the No side.

 

ENDS.

Mnx-Flyer-DublinTown2017-A5.indd

Emergency Motion Calls on DCC CEO Owen Keegan to Withdraw Council Staff from DublinTown Board

PRESS RELEASE: MONDAY JULY 10TH 2017

 

Emergency Motion Calls on Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan to Withdraw Council Staff from DublinTown Board

An Emergency Motion has been brought before Dublin City Council calling on the CEO Owen Keegan to withdraw DCC staff from the DublinTown Board. This is to allow due process in any investigation the Council may have to carry out as a result of complaints made to the Council by DublinTown CEO Richard Guiney about Dublin City Councillor Mannix Flynn.

An official complaint was made by Mr Guiney to Dublin City Council on Friday regarding Councillor Flynn, who is heavily involved in the No to BID Campaign.

Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘’we were alarmed to hear about the complaint in the first place. Even more alarming was that Councillor Flynn first heard about the complaint when a member of the media contacted him about it on Friday. This would suggest that officials in Dublin City Council or in DublinTown have been selectively leaking information to the media as part of their dirty tricks campaign to discredit our group. We are calling on Owen Keegan to investigate immediately and for DCC staff to withdraw from the board of DublinTown to allow due process in the investigation.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’the No to BID Campaign is having a surge in momentum and we have received a huge increase in support. It is clear to me that DublinTown is in trouble and chose to engage in this stunt as it is in the dying days of its reign.’’

The Emergency Motion, brought to the DCC South East Area Committee, will be heard today (Monday 10th July) and has been tabled by Councillor Flynn.

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses, a proposed increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.
Paul Allen & Associates,
Public Relations,

18 Fitzwilliam Square South,
Dublin 2.
Tel: 00-353-1-6769575

 

No to BID Campaign calls on PAC to Investigate DublinTown

PRESS RELEASE: JULY 7TH

www.notobidcampaign.com

No to BID Campaign calls on PAC to Investigate DublinTown
The No to BID Campaign, the group of Dublin City Centre businesses opposed to the renewal of DublinTown, have written to the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Sean Fleming TD asking him to investigate serious concerns the group has about the corporate governance and the lack of transparency at the company. The primary concerns relate to allegations of financial mismanagement, DublinTown’s support for drug injection centres and the city’s footfall figures.

The call for the PAC to investigate DublinTown comes ahead of a vote among business owners in city centre on the 17th July. Businesses are being asked whether to disband DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) or to extend it for another five years.

The campaign to date has seen many allegations of missing ballot papers, falsified footfall figures, support for drug injection centres and breaches of corporate governance. Commenting on this, No to BID Campaign spokesperson Kim Condon said; ‘’we are calling on the Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Sean Fleming to immediately investigate what has been happening at DublinTown over past 5 years. DublinTown and its management have forced us into this position by their lack of transparency and clarity. The businesses who pay into the DublinTown scheme have been repeatedly stonewalled when asking important questions on the footfall figures, drug injection centres and financial affairs at the company. We have been point-blank refused any real answers.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’nobody wants to take this sort of extraordinary action, but we have been left with no other alternative. As the campaign has gone on, more and more serious concerns and questions about DublinTown have arisen. There would appear to be no level of corporate governance and their lack of engagement with businesses who pay their wages is astounding. Members of the No to BID Campaign have been threatened with legal action by DublinTown, seeking to censor us. That is the sort of organisation we are dealing with and a perfect example of why I’ll be voting No to BID on July 17th and I call on all businesses in the city to do likewise. We have organised a public debate on Wednesday 12th, and Bobby Kerr has agreed to host a radio debate on Newstalk tomorrow Saturday morning at 11.20am. I would encourage business owners to attend and tune in, as it may be our last chance for honest answers ahead of the vote.’’

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district.
The No to BID group comprises of over 800 businesses in Dublin City centre, illustrating a diversity of business interests dedicated to shutting down the DublinTown operation.

ENDS
Please Note:
Kim Condon is available for interview.
For more information please contact:
Paul Allen                                                                 Rory Sweeney
Paul Allen & Associates                                          Paul Allen & Associates
18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2                            18 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2
01 676 9575 / 087 257 5700                                       01 676 9575 / 086 897 6442

 

http://www.notobidcampaign.com/press-release.html

DCC response to missing BID Ballots

If your business has not received a ballot paper for the BID/Dublintown plebiscite please see instructions below from Dublin City Council on how to have your ballot reissued.

www.notobidcampaign.com

Subject: Ballot Question

Dear Cllr Flynn

 

All 3001 Ballots were posted on the 20th of April to the Billing Addresses of the Ratepayers.  A small no of Ballots were returned to us as An Post could not deliver to the address listed with the Rates Office.  The Rates Office hand delivered these returned ballots  when possible to the billing address of the ratepayers concerned.  As you know in many cases the billing address is different than the rateable property.   Other times the Ballots were delivered correctly but went elsewhere within the companies concerned or a change of billing address had not been notified to the Rates Office.

 

Please ask Mr. or _  and any other eligible ratepayer who has an issue with a ballot to contact us directly at bids@dublincity.ie if he has not received his Ballot and we will either confirm the billing address on file so that the Ballot can be retrieved or issue a duplicate ballot.  Mr will confirm that the Ballots were delivered correctly to his billing address.

 

The process for the issuing of a duplicate ballot if the ratepayer can confirm non-delivery is as follows:

 

  • A signed letter from the ratepayer on Business Paper (or other business documentation) stating that ballot papers have not been received for the properties in question and requesting a Duplicate Ballot.
  • On receipt of this letter which can be posted, hand delivered to the Chief Executive’s Department or scanned and emailed to bids@dublincity.ie , a duplicate ballot will be issued.
  • The Duplicate must be collected from the Chief Executive’s Department Block 4, Floor 4 Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8.
  • Once a Duplicate Ballot is issued the original Ballot paper becomes invalid and will not be counted if returned.
  • Please state in the letter who is authorized to collect the Ballot. That individual should have photo ID

 

 

We will only deal with the ratepayer themselves on any inquiry regarding their ballot.

 

Regards

 

Deirdre Ní Raghallaigh

 

Senior Executive Officer / Oifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Sinsearach

  1. 01 222 6738 M: 0868150582  E.Deirdre.niraghallaigh@dublincity.ie

 

Chief Executive’s Office, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, D.8

Oifig an Phríomhfheidhmeannaigh, Oifig na Cathrach, An Ché Adhmaid, BÁC 8

‘No to BID’ campaign invites ‘DublinTown’ to a Public Debate

PRESS RELEASE

Monday July 2nd  2017

Traders demand true facts to emerge on finances and footfall figures
The campaign seeking to disband DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID), the company set up by Dublin city centre businesses, has today (Sunday 2nd July) invited a representative of DublinTown to a public debate at Dublin City Hall ahead of the plebiscite vote to disband DublinTown on Friday, 17th July. The No to BID campaign will extend an invitation to all traders affected by the DublinTown levy to attend the debate event.

Commenting on this, spokesperson for the No to BID campaign, Kim Condon said ’’We propose that the debate be held on Wednesday 12th July at Dublin City Hall. It will be an important opportunity for both sides to engage in proper debate about how effective DublinTown has been and why it should be disbanded. It is also a chance for DublinTown to answer important questions about how they have spent the money they collected from Dublin businesses and serious concerns about the footfall figures.’’

Ms Condon went on to say; ‘’This is a critical time for Dublin city. It is essential that the truth emerges as there are high levels of misinformation and fakery of facts on the campaign. We feel that this is a huge vote for the future of Dublin city and it is imperative that the public get a chance to hear both sides of the campaign. We urge all traders to vote No.’’

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses over a proposed 34% increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.

The No to BID group comprises of over 800 businesses in Dublin City centre, illustrating a diversity of business interests dedicated to shutting down the DublinTown operation.

Chart traffic dublin png

 

 

No to BID Campaign Welcomes Major New Support from Industry Associations

Press Release

4th July 2017

No to BID Campaign Welcomes Major New Support from Industry Associations

The No to BID Campaign, who are seeking to disband Dublin Town (formerly Dublin BID) at a vote on 14th July, have today welcomed major new support from industry associations including the Irish Hotels Federation, the Restaurants Association of Ireland, the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association and the Hairdressers Association of Ireland. Alongside this, leading members of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and the Licensed Vintners Association have also joined the campaign.

Spokesperson for the No to BID Campaign Kim Condon said; ‘’We are delighted to have the support of these trade associations, and this support highlights the huge amount of support we have been receiving from Dublin City Centre businesses over the last several months. We have been out canvassing support and there is hardly a business we call to that doesn’t support a No vote on July 17th.’’

However, the campaign to date has been rocked by allegations that campaigners on the Yes side are playing ‘dirty tricks’. Commenting on this, Ms Condon said ‘’we have been notified by a sizeable number of businesses that people in support of DublinTown have been asking to collect votes and deliver them to the ballot box on behalf of the business. It is our understanding that this is illegal and we strongly urge all businesses not to hand over their votes. These allegations, if true, are a perfect example of the kind of dirty tricks we have come to expect from the Yes side in this campaign.’’

DublinTown (formerly Dublin BID) is a company which was set up in 2008 following a vote of Dublin city centre businesses. It is charged with improving Dublin City as a commercial district. Businesses in the district pay a compulsory levy of 5% of their commercial rates. DublinTown is renewed every five years by a vote of businesses in the district. The vote this year is overshadowed by a groundswell of anger and mistrust from businesses over a proposed 34% increase to the levy and highly-contested footfall figures.

The No to BID Campaign comprises of over 800 businesses in Dublin City centre, representing a wide range of business interests dedicated to shutting down the DublinTown operation.

ENDS

Submission against the renewal of BID on behalf of BID members (Cllr Flynn)

Mnx-Flyer-DublinTown2017-A5.indd

www.notobidcampaign.com

Here is the lawful accurate honest submission I made to DCC on Friday 7th April.  Today (Tuesday) I received a legal threat from BID/Dublintown.

Submission against the renewal of BID on behalf of BID members

Please find submission in relation to the BID renewal scheme.

1 This scheme is a grossly unfair scheme in that it uses a form of conscription to unjustly apply a double rate on many hard pressed businesses.  Since its inception the BID scheme has steadily lost the confidence of its conscripted members.  It has no impact whatsoever in any positive way on the City, on the cleaning of the city, on the security of the city and indeed on the commerce of the city.  It simply duplicates in an amateurish way what Dublin City Council do very professionally.  Indeed, the only professional thing the BID company does i.e. Dublintown is market and  promote itself very well. It contravenes also, the promotion of Dublin City Council and central Government that Dublin is a growing European capital city.  The current Dublintown branding, is a gimmick and misleading.  They also are inclined to engage themselves in the rebranding of entire neighborhoods and business districts without any consent or indeed engagement with local residents, local business or indeed Dublin City Council itself.  This has annoyed greatly, historians, and many residents and citizens of the city who do not want to see this historic city branded in this cheap and tacky way.  Visitors do not come to Dublin to shop in tacky renamed districts like Dublintown’s South William Street Creative Quarter or the ridiculously named ‘Dame District’ or the bizarre title ‘Dublin 1’.  Equally their purple flag status is more attuned to a British shopping centre district than it is to our historical city. Again, all of this is smoke and mirrors and fakery that are intended by Dublintown/BID to give the company a sense of purpose.

2 The members of BID over the past number of years have contacted me personally inter hundreds complaining about the unfair nature of the BID levy.  Not only was this during the times of deep austerity but this is also in most recent times when the economy of the city is beginning to show signs of rebound and recovery. Many complain that Dublintown/BID and its staff act as if they are an authority and many shop owners and businesses feel actually intimidated by them.  When BID has been asked to account for itself or is in any way challenged by many of its members it simply behaves in a hostile and threatening manner towards them. It is a non-transparent organisation and has refused on many occasions even in its own AGM, to supply vital information to its own members.

The arrogance of BID towards it members and indeed towards many communities in the city is breathtakingly disrespectful.

3. BID is represented on many of DCC’s forums and many many businesses feel that the BID view on these forums is contrary to their own views particularly in relation to the promotion of injection rooms within the city center and also with regards the transport and traffic rearrangements that are taking place within the city center. Many feel that the BID company Dublintown is entirely out of touch with the cities struggling economy. The potential danger that the new traffic arrangements pose to businesses and customers.  It is quite obvious that the BID company Dublintown do not represent its members nor do they represent the business community there is very very little support, if any, for the renewal of the BID at this stage.

4 As a member of the BID board from 2014-2017 I myself experienced first hand the attitude of the executive of the BID and its Board. I am on record, I have written in the media on the issue and I wish to state here in my submission that it is my firm belief that Dublintown/BID is simply a private enterprise solely engaged with its own self-obsession.  At board meetings, I was treated appallingly from the moment I arrived at the company.  I was hindered in every single way possible in my attempts to get clarity and transparency and good governance into the company.  At AGM’s that were attended by and large, by mainly staff and board members, the members who attended these meetings seeking answers were simply dismissed as cranks. They were not valued as members, they were not valued as individuals and in many incidences I witnessed the BID executive simply laughing and sneering at members while they pressed for answers to questions because the executive knew that an unjust law, the BID levy, was on their side and they could press gang members and use legal instrument to extract an unfair rate and then proceed to squander this money on trivia and amateur public spectacle in the form of ‘Dine in Dublin’, ‘Christmas in Dublin’ and ‘Dublintown Fashion week’ .  This amounted to a visual pollutant on our streets to the great annoyance of many local businesses who saw their money being wasted in this manner on the promotion of Dublintown rather than on the city center and their businesses.

5 The BID was initially set up by people who had great love, great pride and great concern for Dublin city. The BID was designed and initiated to create a greener, cleaner safer environment and to promote the best that this city has to offer.  None of its founding members are in favour of the BID today, as a matter of fact, they are on public record that the whole thing is gaudy and should be stopped. The BID/Dublintown got itself involved with the issues of drug taking on our city center streets.  It failed entirely to impact in any positive way and instead got into bed with what can only be described as the pro-drugs lobby and promoted and supported drug injection centres in our city centre rather than treatment and detox centres.  During my time as a board member of the BID the CEO never made me aware as a board member that he was actually on the Board of the Anna Livia Drug Centre, I only learned this recently. Even when making statements about the issues of drugs on our streets, the CEO failed to mention that he was a member of the Board of the Anna Livia Drugs project. In a nutshell, this organisation BID/Dublintown is more about ego and personality than it is about principles or enhancing the cities economy and the cities offering. Indeed, the CEO himself, has on a number of occasions attacked his own members both verbally and physically and at present An Garda Siochána are investigating a complaint of assault against the CEO. 

6 In conclusion, as the person in charge of the oversight of the BID renewal scheme, I am now calling on you to make public and transparent a full and correct list of the register of those who are eligible to vote in the BID renewal scheme.  This document to supply the business and the individual who the vote is made out to.  That all votes handed out are numbered, stamped and secure.  That no individual or company can sign multi-votes.  That  every single member be made aware that they can attend the count of the vote. The Dublintown be informed that they cannot use any monies belonging to the company in the promotion of a YES vote.  That Dublin City Council as the agent and officers charged with this plebiscite make it known by public announcement press statement that there is a vast group of businesses who have formed themselves into a VOTE NO campaign against the BID renewal and that this campaign be given parity of esteem and the same facilities and platform that Dublin City Council affords the BID company Dublintown and assists it in all of its efforts for due process, balance and equal rights and equality in this election process.

It also should be noted, that I as an Independent Dublin City Councillor and former member of the BID board will be initiating a campaign on behalf of many members of the BID called the RIGHT TO EXIT THE BID COMPANY and I will be seeking permission to erect posters, distribute leaflets, hold public meetings in our effort to have the renewal of BID voted out.

Also, I have the full informed consent of many members to use the logos of their own company and paraphernalia in their campaign for a NO vote and there is no copyright infringements.

Dublin City Council has an obligation in law to inform every single member of the BID that they have the right to VOTE NO and that this is of extreme importance and they must do this by a public campaign.  They have the financial resources to do this from the membership subscription.

Also, the law agent Terence O Keefe of DCC, be informed of all of these matters and also that he make a public statement that clarifies this complete renewal process.

Yours sincerely,  Cllr Mannix Flynn

BID legal

Legal letter received today from BID in relation to my submission.  But how did they get it from DCC.  I only submitted it two days ago and there is such a thing as data protection….or is there?