A debt-laden business improvement company will continue operating until 2018, according to the managing director, despite an estimated £80,000 required to keep it afloat.
The publicly-funded E11 Business Improvement District (E11 BID) Company, which charges some Leytonstone businesses a levy in return for improvements such as CCTV, was found to be over £86,000 in debt last month when an independent report was published.
The managing director and one of two shareholders Fawaad Shaikh said the board is “enthusiastically committed” to working with the council for the rest of its current five-year term.
It is thought if the company fails it would be the first in the UK to do so.
The council has not collected the levy since January because Mr Shaikh refused to agree the costs involved.
He did not clarify where the money needed to run the BID would come from.
“The first term operations of the BID exceeded the expectations of many people,” Mr Shaikh said in a statement.
“I believe that with a strong and even more disciplined management board in place for the second term we will go further to champion the economic revival of Leytonstone and again exceed all expectations.”
He added that the BID’s ultimate objective is to establish generate “excitement to live, work and shop in the BID area again”.
The other shareholder, Mohammed Ahmed, who served as finance director in 2011 before he claims he was ousted, is calling for the BID to be completely re-established because of the financial chaos.
“The fact that I was summarily ‘removed’ from the board by the managing director speaks volumes about where the problems lie, as does the fact that other directors have resigned because they felt that information was being withheld,” he said.
“We must now look to the future and rebuild the BID on democratic and accountable lines, so that Leytonstone traders and residents alike really do draw benefit.”
Directors of the company, which in the past included deputy council leader Clyde Loakes, were criticised last month for failing to maintain proper accounts for years.
More than £150,000 of public money has been paid into the scheme and police are carrying out a fraud investigation.
A levy-payers meeting is being held on April 23 from 7.30pm until 9pm in St John’s Church hall in Leytonstone High Road.