30 Aug Statement from Hexham BID Board on Town Rangers Project
The Board have been made aware of an incident on Thursday 24th August when Town Rangers were verbally assaulted while out on a shift. As a result, the Hextol Foundation have withdrawn from their contract with the BID to provide Town Ranger services to the business area of Hexham. The incident is in the hands of the police.
The Board were proud to have contracted with the Hextol Foundation, a well respected local social enterprise providing working opportunities in Hexham for people with learning disabilities or mental health conditions, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary. However, we understand that they cannot risk exposing their trainees and staff to this kind of appalling behaviour.
Bruce Howorth, Chief Executive of the Hextol Foundation said “It is obviously very disappointing that we have had to take this decision, especially given the very positive comments we received from members of the public when we were out in Hexham.”
Janine Armstrong, Chair of the Board of Directors, said “Everyone at Hexham BID is both angry and outraged at this incident, which has not only led to a vulnerable young person being the subject of an unprovoked verbal assault in a public place, but has also put in jeopardy our Town Rangers project. This is damaging to the town and its business community who want to see greater investment to make Hexham an even better place.”
Helen Grayshan, BID Manager, said “We have had so much support from residents and businesses in Hexham who were keen to see improvements in the town’s cleanliness, and we were delivering just that with the Town Rangers project. It is a huge shame that this campaign by a tiny minority of Levy payers against the BID has now reached this level of intimidation, where projects valued by the business community are threatened. We look forward to hearing from the Police what action they are taking.”