Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Councillor calls for "transparency" at Gloucester BID after new manager appointed

Former interim Marketing Gloucester chairman Councillor Jennie Watkins hopes the appointment of a new manager will signal much-needed change at the city's Business Improvement District.

But she said concerns remain about the transparency of decisions made by the BID's board and new manager Emily Gibbon's links with the collapsed Marketing Gloucester and UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre (UK:DRIC).

Councillor Watkins said: "I personally congratulate Emily on her appointment as the new BID manager and appreciate her role is vital to help repair relationships across the city and deliver on their manifesto.

"But I remain very concerned and astonished at the lack of transparency by the board in many of their recent decisions.

"Emily was a senior member of staff at Marketing Gloucester and director of the UK:DRIC who established and oversaw the project until the company went into liquidation."

Read more: New manager appointed by Gloucester BID 

She continued: "Levy payers, including the city council, have paid more than £1million into the company since Emily and the former Marketing Gloucester chief executive set it up three years ago.

"Important lessons should be learned from the Marketing Gloucester fiasco in that private companies handling public money need to be open and accountable. I do not believe this is happening.

"Gloucester City Council is probably the only council in the country who are being denied representation at the BID board which would alleviate the concerns and restore collaboration with one of the key city stakeholders.

"I hope that this new appointment signals the change we are hoping for."

Councillor Watkins took over as interim chairman of Marketing Gloucester from former council leader Paul James in May 2019, months before chief executive Jason Smith and Richard Brooks - who kept the books - were sacked.

Marketing Gloucester, which was owned by the council and organised events such as the Tall Ships Festival, was declared insolvent in February owing almost £1million.

Related Articles

Punchline Talks! Cry for help from the wedding and events industry Image

Punchline Talks! Cry for help from the wedding and events industry

Making people redundant has replaced supplying staff for major events as the main job for the boss of an agency as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc with the industry.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, November 27 Image

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, November 27

The latest important news and updates from across Gloucestershire as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Sentencing to be doubled for assaults on emergency workers  Image

Sentencing to be doubled for assaults on emergency workers

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) and partners have welcomed plans to increase the maximum penalty for assaulting an emergency worker from 12 months to two years.

Arcadia latest retailer on edge of administration Image

Arcadia latest retailer on edge of administration

The Arcadia retail group - which includes well-known high street names such as TopShop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins - could be heading into administration within days.

Copyright 2020 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.