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

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

  1. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    The BID ballots were sent out to the addresses where Business Rates bills are sent. For chains like the Phone Companies, KFC, Nandos, TK Max etc with shops rated over £12,000 RV, the votes generally won't have been cast because they would have disappeared into back offices. Shops and Restarants smaller than something like 50 or 60 sq m don't pay and don't vote, but are heard.
    The BID team were out canvassing through October, they were making efforts to contact all Levy paying voters. They are interested in doing good for Brixton, they were looking to understand how their constituents interpreted that - Pissing in the Street and protecting the identity of the area were raised.
    They were informed that people regarded their remit as an unfortunate but inevitable privatisation of Council Services. They have regular meetings with the council, councillors, interest groups - It is something of a club and the board does get filled by people giving time and energy through enlightened self-interest. It does create jobs including the part of its budget assigned to the cost of the police people who wouldn't be there otherwise.
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  2. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Mutual appreciation by people who are in regular contact over the same issues isn't surprising, perhaps not right though. Not sure if the BID should be apolitical, difficult with this Council's current political make up.
     
    8ball likes this.
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Of course as an organisation Brixton Bid should not endorse a particular candidate.

    The Chief executive of Brixton Bid is paid post.

    It is imo totally out of order for Brixton Bid employee to use his post to endorse a particular candidate at an election.
     
    editor, 8ball and Pickman's model like this.
  4. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    What issues?
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  5. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Can I make it clear the elected ruling Council and Brixton Bid are in legal terms separate entities.

    They should behave as separate bodies. With different responsibilities as laid out in legislation.

    "Mutual appreciation" should not happen. Both Council and BID should negotiate on basis they are separate and distinct bodies.
     
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  6. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    You do realise the Chief executive of Brixton BID gets paid a handsome salary? He doesn't do it purely for enlightened self interest?

    So this levy is about semi privatisation of Council services?

    Yes BID creates jobs. Whole chunk of levy goes to paying for Chief executive salary plus the other bureaucracy of BID. In that sense it creates jobs.
     
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  7. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    The police should be there BID or no BID.

    BID is supposed to supplement services not pay for services that have been cut by central government.
     
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  8. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I'm no great supporter of capitalism. But making small business pay extra for street cleaning and policing stinks to me.

    Its also nauseating to see it justified here.

    Sole traders I know are really struggling. Some posters here don't have a clue.
     
  9. alcopop

    alcopop Well-Known Member

    The sole traders had a chance to vote against the BID if they didn’t want it.

    If they didn’t think the levy was worth it they should have voted!
     
  10. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    Compared to other BIDs the Brixton one has strong support, with a very high turnout to vote in favour.

    Only 11% of the total number of traders voted against the BID.

    Alex
     
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  11. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    BID Board = enlightened self interest
    BID CEO = well paid job - part of his remit is to raise funds from other sources and grants which seems to be successful
    Yes it is privatisation of Council Services
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  12. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Very few sole traders have to pay it - the Levy affects businesses with an RV over £12,000. Anyone with a business premises in the BID area with a property of higher RV is very unlikely to be a sole trader, not good business sense.
     
  13. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    Mutual appreciation across this arena should not be so overt - but does the BID remit expressly require the CEO to be apolitical - please refer me to the rule...
     
    Gramsci likes this.
  14. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    I didn't set out to be a defender of the BID but emotional aversion to the philosophy behind it doesn't actual equate to a reasonable argument that it is all wrong.
     
    8ball likes this.
  15. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    on the grounds that...
     
  16. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    it is impossible to be apolitical in such a political organisation
     
  17. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    right. so as i said it is very political.
     
  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Mutual self appreciation is one thing but using their influence - and official channels - to try to get people to vote for one person/party over another is waaay outside their remit to my eyes.
     
    8ball likes this.
  19. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    The family run (and now closed) A&C Deli were compelled to pay the BID tax, very much against their wishes, and these are the kind of small businesses that Brixton needs. The Bid just adds an extra burden to these traders. If they don't get involved they have to pay anyway, even if they struggle very hard to find any tangible benefits.

    By their very nature, BIDs are anti-democratic, part-privatising and not interested in the wishes of residents and smaller businesses. And the more they cosy up to the council, the worse it might be for everyone who's not in the club.
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  20. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I have to say that I can’t see much of a philosophical argument against the general idea. It makes sense to have a union of people working together to identify needs goals and action. My own objections to the Brixton BID were originally based on the composition of its board which seemed very night time economy focused. It also had some very questionable characters on the board such as, I forget his name, the guy who tried to cover up a shooting in his bar on Acre Lane. It gave the impression of a suspicious little cartel. I haven’t followed its progress in any detail but I know of a couple of businesses who were originally infuriated by the general idea but now are keen supporters so it must be doing some things right.

    My main concern now, as a resident, is that it creates a big imbalance where the interests of residents and traders are in conflict. The night time economy is one of those areas. BID is a well funded body with well paid permanent staff, access to consultants and legal advice etc. , putting forward a united voice. And possibly most importantly, it has smooth channels into the council and local press. Residents don’t have anything like that and our councillors and unfunded part time scrappy resident associations do not fill that gap. And let’s not pretend that the businesses set this up for themselves and that residents should sort their own shit out. It was a government backed initiative, spoon fed to businesses which would never have happened without the government devising and supporting the means of funding it.

    The solution might be as simple as local resident associations having meaningful and effective representation within BID. Or BID part funding an independent resident equivalent. But at the moment I don't much like the balance. Of course, BID has PR support which will constantly remind us that it is looking after the needs of residents every step of the way!
     
    alcopop and Winot like this.
  21. Tricky Skills

    Tricky Skills I demand tea - NOW!

    Sitting on the BID board are two Lambeth Labour Cllr's: Mary Atkins and Irfan Mohammed.
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  22. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I assume they are there as business representatives ?

    Iirc the council is capped to one rep.

    Alex
     
  23. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Well, that's nice and cosy.
     
    Pickman's model likes this.
  24. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    3 Atlantic Rd had a RV of £7,000 rising to £13,250 in April 2017 - they could have appealed that and got it under the £12,000 threshold but even at £13,250 they would pay less than £100 a year and they could have voted against the BID

    At my building we appealed the 2017 Rate increase of over 35% and it was reduced to an increase of about 4%
     
    alcopop likes this.
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    To a struggling business, an additional £100 in exchange for no palpable benefits could be enough to tip them over the edge. Straw/camel#s back and all that.
     
  26. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    If there were no benefits - no one would have voted for it
     
  27. alcopop

    alcopop Well-Known Member

    If there were no benefits you would expect a big no vote or a low turnout, and there were neither
     
    8ball likes this.
  28. ricbake

    ricbake working out how

    I think perhaps Cllr Mohammed is doing too well out of his Council connection
     
    Tricky Skills likes this.
  29. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm sure there's plenty of benefits for big companies like Squire & Partners or for people seeking local influence, or for those looking to get cosy with the council. But of the 513 eligible businesses in the area, only 228 were in favour.

    And let's not forget:
     
  30. TruXta

    TruXta tired

    That's not true, as has been pointed out repeatedly. Neither you nor I know how non-voting businesses would have swung.
     
    alcopop likes this.

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