Would a "Business Improvement District" (BID) be good for Brixton?

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by Gramsci, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    There was article in SLP. Not every article is on the SLP website. The SLP website is partial paywall.
     
  2. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Article in Brixton Blog about BID and interview with one of the people behind it.
     
  3. editor

    editor hiraethified

    This seems to be becoming more and more likely.

    I remain a tad cynical seeing as it seems to require zero input from residents.

    There's a site set up against them here:
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  4. snowy_again

    snowy_again Slush

    They're not for residents though are they - they're for businesses.
     
  5. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It's something that's quite likely to have some sort of impact on us though, one way or another. At least we can have some influence on what our rates get used for.
     
  6. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Been hearing a bit more about this. It seems that not all local businesses are on-message with this bid concept, and there could be the potential for a bit of snouts in the trough-age with some insider entrepreneurial types looking to exploit the expanded revenue flow that a favourable outcome may bring them - and that may hurt other similar businesses who aren't being included in this highly selective process.

    Can't say any more for now, sorry.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  7. CH1

    CH1 "Red Guard"(NLYL)

    The vote in favour for a BID in Streatham was hardly resounding, despite it being vigorously backed by MP Chuka - at least according to his website.
    http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/NR/rdonly...5FD71346CE05/0/StreathamBIDBallotOfficial.pdf
    Cynical as ever I had thought it was a new business-oriented variant of the "Wimbledon Common rate" - i.e. a surcharge to pay for servicing a common right - in our case the right to operate or use a shop in Brixton.
     
  8. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Interesting piece here: London BIDs: friends and foes
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  9. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    I understand the Brixton Bid organization will have eight salaried staff initially, though I don't know the details of the salary levels they will grant themselves.

    I suspect - if the bid succeeds - this will just be the first step towards the growth of a monster.
     
  10. editor

    editor hiraethified

    The more I hear about BIDs the more dubious I become.
     
    Greebo likes this.
  11. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I have seen at least one person with a rates hike quite literally frothing with rage about it!
     
  12. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    I can't see much in the brochure that falls outside what you would normally expect the Council to be doing. There is something about setting up collective negotiation mechanisms to get better deals on phone services (or whatever businesses might need) but you have to set any speculative savings against the annual levy you will have to pay. It could work out businesses will end up worse off even if they take advantage of these negotiated deals.

    It seems the Council might be keen to promote the Bid in order to outsource (privatise) certain areas of their responsibilities, in a way that will be paid largely by businesses who are already paying for the same services through their rates. And, once the levy is introduced, it would create a precedent and there would be no way to be sure that the business levy would not be racked up in subsequent years. Businesses would then become hostages to fortune.

    And, in case people think 'it's just businesses - they can pay it', you have to remember that Brixton is full of small businesses, already struggling to make ends meet in a depressed business world.
     
    snowy_again, Greebo, Gramsci and 2 others like this.
  13. 8ball

    8ball Resident Right-Winger

    Never even heard the term. Is it an area where you're only allowed to trade if you're really good or something? :confused:
     
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    A private company will be set up, half funded by the Council and half paid by a levy on local businesses, based on the size of their business properties. The private company will have staff and a Committee made up of certain local business people and they will create initiatives to bring more people into Brixton (that sort of thing). But most of the areas they are proposing to work in are areas you would normally expect to be the responsibility of the Council.

    It seems to me that, if businesses want to propose initiatives, they could do this easily through an (unpaid) Committee and pass their proposals through to the Council.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  15. 8ball

    8ball Resident Right-Winger

    It sounds a bit like one of those admin tricks that basically passes public money into private hands.
     
    Greebo and Sirena like this.
  16. editor

    editor hiraethified

    There's no shortage of local concerns all lobbying to get their greasy palms on some of the BID moollah too.
     
  17. 8ball

    8ball Resident Right-Winger

    So who owns the 'private business that is set up'?
     
  18. youngian

    youngian Well-Known Member

    Brixton centre isn't an homgenous shopping destination in the same way as some of the other BIDs are. It has a different character to Fitzrovia but the arguments Rhys Jones was putting forward are similar to Brixton.
     
    Greebo likes this.
  19. 8ball

    8ball Resident Right-Winger

    Brixton seems like a weirdly structured place to me. Absolutely lovely in the summer, a little bit Bladerunner in the winter (with some suitably lovely Japanese food on Coldharbour Lane).

    I do like the 'organic' feel of Brixton, the way it feels unplanned and like it 'just happened'. Schemes like this, aside from my political reservations, smack of overthinking and 'brand management'.

    I'm in full 'whimsically talking shite' mode tonight. :oops:
     
    Greebo likes this.
  20. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    I think it will be a partnership but of whom I don't know.
     
  21. 8ball

    8ball Resident Right-Winger

    That's the tricky bit - if it's 'private', then who is it accountable to?
     
  22. Effrasurfer

    Effrasurfer SW2 I Love You

    Oddly enough, our TRA has been sent a BID ballot form with a covering letter from the council saying they are in favour.
     
  23. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    The Council are pushing the concept quite hard and will already have supplied the Bid company with details of the rates paid by your TRA (whatever one of those is......) and other relevant information about it.
     
  24. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    One I talked to recently is only just getting by week by week.
     
  25. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I am intrigued by this. I thought the ballot would be only of the business owners in the BID area.

    So does your TRA get a vote on this BID?

    One of the problems with the BID idea is also that residents do not get a say. Brixton is also a residential area.

    BIDs work with Council and Police. But if you are a resident u do not get a say. Some BIDs for example employ there own security staff/ wardens to patrol the BID. I would be concerned if issues around policing and street life started to be controlled by a body I as resident can have no say over.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
    Greebo likes this.
  26. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    What's a TRA?:confused:
     
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I did point out to one of the main movers behind the BID that residents do not get a say in it. He replied they were looking into it and were thinking of possible resident involvement. Whatever that is he did not elaborate. It certainly would be at the largesse of the BID. Its not a requirement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Tenants and Residents Association.

    Residents as Council estates also have leaseholders under RTB.

    Probably one on a Council estate as the Council sent letter to the TRA.
     
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  29. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    Does a TRA have a rateable business premises or is it just a committee? I understood the former was required to qualify for involvement in (and payment to...) the bid
     
  30. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I think the one BID that is comparable to Brixton would be the Camden one.

    The central London ones are led by larger developers/ owners. Which is why the Fitsrovia one is controversial.

    The argument for one put to me was that the Council are encouraging them. That if local people do not set one up a larger owner / business might. That it is necessary to make sure a BID is set up including all the smaller shops. That it would be there to try to protect the long time small business/ shop keepers.
     
    Greebo and youngian like this.

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