Businesses stunned as Oswestry BID leader quits

Reporter:

Colin Channon

The man who has led the campaign to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID) in Oswestry has abruptly resigned.

Gary Ridgway last year started pulling local business people into a cohesive group and became chairman of the Oswestry BID.

But last week he sent an email to the people he had been working closest with to say he was stepping down with immediate effect.

Although some working group members were understood to have doubts about the BID leadership, Mr Ridgway said the decision to leave was his own.

“It was time was step down – I need to earn some money,” he said.

“Voluntary work is nice but it takes up a lot of time. I didn’t know if I was always going to be involved – the BID process is very time consuming and I was playing it by ear to see how things went. The people I have been working with have been very supportive and I shall keep a keen eye on the BID project.

“BID is a great opportunity for Oswestry – there is a lot of momentum and enthusiasm for it in the town and we’re working with the best consultants in the business.”

Working group member Stuart Phillips said there had been “some issues” and added: “It is essential we do what is best to help make the BID succeed.

“We have a working group meeting this week when we will discuss what happens next and how we move forward. We have a lot of capability in the group – although we could always do with more.

“We have about 15 people in the group – although not all of them can make every meeting we hold – and we really need about 20 active people prepared to give a bit of time to the BID.

“Gary has done extremely well and has headed things up with a lot of enthusiasm. We now need to carry on and move things forward.”

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