Published: 13:16, 12 July 2019
| Updated: 13:16, 12 July 2019
A divisive scheme aimed at boosting footfall in Canterbury has been voted in for a second term after securing almost 70% of a referendum-style ballot.
It means the Canterbury Business Improvement District (BID), which is funded via a mandatory levy for traders and property owners, will operate in the city centre for another five years.
Having gained 64% of the share in 2014, the initiative has boosted its mandate by earning 69% of votes.
A total of 763 ballot papers were issued - with 400 being returned for this morning's count.
Christmas lights, street cleaning, floral displays, marketing and investment in events are among the many things BID funds in the city.
Before today's results, the BID team, who are based above the Barretts showroom in the lower end of the high street, stated they wanted to improve 4G coverage in the city centre.
Under the scheme, businesses must pay 1.6% of their rateable value in a single payment each year.
It has not come without its critics, with Revivals clothing store owner Debbie Barwick leading a campaign calling for the BID to be scrapped.
Today's count was held behind closed doors and conducted by Canterbury City Council's chief executive Colin Carmichael.
More by this authorJoe Wright