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Hitchin Bid Monthly Update

Hitchin Bid Monthly Update

| by Our Hitchin | Posted in Hitchin News


It’s a ‘YES’ from Hitchin Businesses!

We are delighted to report the BID renewal ballot result was positive with the majority voting for another five years of the Hitchin BID. The full result showed 83.5% voting in favour by number of businesses and 81.9% in favour by rateable value.
This result assures the BID of funding for the next five years - but this money will only mean something if we spend it on projects and initiatives that improve the town centre.
In January 2019 we will be circulating Director nomination forms to give ALL businesses the opportunity to voluntarily govern the company alongside the BID Manager. Business owners and managers can only nominate themselves and if you are interested in receiving some more information (ahead of January) on this opportunity, please get in touch:

Christmas Gifts

Plenty of Hitchin gift ideas for Christmas  - as well as the lovely new range at The Art Nest, there are books, DVDs, cards, artwork, mugs, coasters, tea towels and a good selection of Hitchin Lavender products and Hitchin honey available at Hitchin Information at 1A Churchyard.

The 2019 calendar is on sale featuring new views of favourite vistas and thanks to Andrew Hyde, Hitchin Historical Society and all the sponsors for their support.
‘Discovering More About Hitchin’ is the latest publication in which fourteen authors have explored various aspects of the town – the original landowners, the new residents, what has replaced some old and beautiful buildings, how industries have grown and how history has been captured with the new techniques of photography. This beautifully illustrated tome is available priced £14.95 while stocks last!

Fake £20 notes 

There have been a number of fake £20 notes being used recently in the town. They are of a very high standard so we would advise businesses to purchase a UV light as that is the most efficient way of testing.

About the BID

Hitchin BID funding is generated via a small levy on all eligible businesses in the area and paid into a central 'kitty' in May each year, to be spent on projects that benefit Hitchin businesses.Our stated priorities are to:

• Invest in promoting the town to a wider geographical area through a new tourism strategy
• Ensure the town is clean, safe, welcoming and attractive for those who live, work and visit
• Offer businesses a greater choice of discounted offers and remain the collective voice on key issues
• Ensure the town centre is a vibrant place for visitors to enjoy all year round

Hitchin Video

Hitchin Video is a member of Hitchin’s thriving creative community and helps businesses engage with both existing and new customers. They recently worked with the Hitchin BID team – and local businesses – to help raise awareness of the BID team's role in making the town thrive over the past 10 years.
Housing a studio and post-production facilities, their company offers a diverse range of services, from consultation to full production to after-market services. Contact Simon on 01462 431385 or

Gallopers Carousel

The traditional Gallopers Carousel will be on the Market Place on the following dates in December:
 Friday 21st
 Saturday 22nd
 Sunday 23rd
 Christmas Eve
This annual visit of the vintage carousel has become a regular feature of the build up to Christmas and will be on from 10am each day.

Council Services

A warm welcome to new Herts County Council Chief Executive Owen Mapley as he takes the helm at this difficult time for local government.

The unfortunate juxtaposition of the story in the local paper following the report on the County’s decision to spend around £280k on a process to put the library services out to tender as part of a drive to save £500k is a stark illustration of those difficulties as the market rate for a Chief Executive is £180k per annum.
This does bring into question once again the set-up of local government in Hertfordshire. The County Council has an enormous budget with extensive responsibilities – something like £1million each day on adult care alone and so the salary of the Chief Executive is commensurate with that level of management. But there are 10 Districts with annual budgets less than a one-month County budget that deliver predominantly services delegated by national government and so have little discretionary funding available. Each of these has a Chief Executive, planning department and other services such as environmental health and waste under a system set up in 1974. Times have changed and slowly, neighbouring Councils are starting to share services – North Herts shares an economic development officer with East Herts and Urbaser have recently been appointed to provide waste collection for both Districts albeit with teething troubles.

So how do we go about rationalising our three-tier local government system? Unitary Authorities are the answer. Let the main services remain with County or split it into two and delegate the really local services to Town & Parish Councils; thus three tiers of government become two and the resulting savings can be put into front line services.

Rotary Carols

The carols are on the Market Place at 8pm on Wednesday 19th December and this year will be preceded by the ‘Light Up A Life’ lantern procession with an opportunity to purchase a lantern from the stall and join in the parade.

Discounted Commercial Waste

We have obtained a contract with a new commercial waste provider to secure a discounted fixed collection rate for BID businesses using 1100ltr bins on a regular basis. The current rate is £16.50 per lift, but the more businesses that join our new contract, the cheaper the fixed rate will be.

At this stage we are looking for businesses to get in touch and register their interest ready to roll the new contract out in the new BID term. Please get in contact by emailing

Grit Bins

Additional grit bins have been strategically placed around the town to ensure the pathways are kept safe and clear in the event of inclement weather.

Hitchin Information

Hitchin Information at 1A Churchyard will close on Christmas Eve and re-open on Wednesday 2nd January 2019.

Record Poppy Appeal

This year’s Hitchin Poppy Appeal has raised in excess of £35,000. Organiser Tony Norgan said: “This has genuinely been a tremendous Hitchin Town effort. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Hitchin Property Trust who let us operate from the former Kenmore Interiors building and also Hitchin Initiative for arranging for the schools to put up their stunning displays in the shop windows. We are also very grateful to all those with premises who sponsored Poppies and supported us. This year the volunteer effort has been amazing with over 60 volunteers, being generous with their time and effort. I should also like to thank the Rotary Clubs, Cadets, Town Centre Rangers, Police, Fire Brigade, Canon Michael Roden and the Church Wardens at St. Mary’s.

Those who attended the Centenary Act of Remembrance at 11 a.m. were impressed with the integration of the scenes at the Cenotaph shown on a giant screen in the Market Place, again superbly organised and paid for by the Hitchin Initiative.

Above all, I want to thank the people of Hitchin who have contributed most significantly, in raising this massive sum of money.

December Town Dates

Sat 08      BIG Weekend, Market Place 10am-4pm. Giant Snow Globe,
                Reindeer Parade, Santa’s Grotto Salvation Army Band 10.30am-
               Christmas Tree Festival, Holy Saviour Church, Noon-6pm
Sun 09    BIG Weekend, Market Place 10am-4pm Giant Snow Globe, Santa’s
               Grotto, Snow Lion
               Christmas Tree Festival, Holy Saviour Church, noon-6pm
Sat 15    Gavioli Organ with Hitchin Lions, Market Place from 10am
               Hitchin Fire Station ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ safety campaign
               Christmas Craft & Farmers Market from 8am, Riverside
Wed 19   Rotary Carols, Market Place, 8pm
Fri 21    Traditional Vintage Gallopers Carousel, Market Place
Sat 22   Traditional Vintage Gallopers Carousel, Market Place
              Christmas Craft & Farmer’s Market from 8am
              Knebworth Singers, Carols at the War Memorial from noon
Sun 23  Traditional Vintage Gallopers Carousel, Market Place
Mon 24 Traditional Vintage Gallopers Carousel, Market Place

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