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

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

  1. :-D

    :-D Peas & Cues

    Organ donor card
  2. :-D

    :-D Peas & Cues

    10 or 20 years ago this would have sounded like a good idea but as you'll gather by the property prices in foxtons window, there are people out there, who are happy to pay a lot of money to live here now!
    My concern is the effect all this popularity is having on business rents.
    editor likes this.
  3. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Er - why? People should be free to take no interest / have no opinion / allow their vote to go either way / go to the pub instead without having their opinion dictated to them.
    A low turn out suggests a general lack of engagement, so there should be a threshold turnout below which the action fails.
  4. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Not quite sure I understand your point. Did you mean to quote Ed's post rather than mine?

    Good name , by the way!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  5. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Except not being interested in this particular niche scheme can end up with your small business being compelled to hand over money.
    Well, indeed, and I'd suggest the low level of engagement in this BID should have stopped it in its tracks.
  6. :-D

    :-D Peas & Cues

    Sorry, you're right, wrong post. I'm a bit new to this game, hence the hour it took me to come up with a nom de plume.
    editor and Rushy like this.
  7. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Market Row Wines aren't happy either.

  8. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    I had my bill a couple of weeks ago too. It was only £25 but (if I remember rightly) my resident parking bill was only £40 the first time I got it and now look at it....!:(

    I think it would be interesting to have a look at all who were invited to vote. I am not sure they were all businesses paying business rates.

    And, as I mentioned before, once a precedent has been set, once the foot is in the door, there's no telling where it might go. Businesses today, residents tomorrow....
  9. :-D

    :-D Peas & Cues

    When the nice lady from BID came canvassing, if I understood how she explained it, every business location with a rateable value over 5000 that is located within the designated inclusion zone gets 1 vote....so that means Sainsburys gets like, 6 votes to my 1.

  10. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Because a non-vote is otherwise taken as an endorsement, when it isn't.

    A low turn out can suggest a lot of different things, not just a lack of engagement. It might, for example, suggest a level of disenchantment with the council so deep that traders can't bring themselves to interact with the town hall scrotums.
  11. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    And/or that people assume that whatever happens the council and the big players will just force through whatever they wanted to and their voting won't make any difference anyway, so they might as well get on with some real work instead of bothering with this nonsense. Which is hardly an irrational position.
  12. Sirena

    Sirena Don't monkey with the buzzsaw

    If you check back to p2 of this thread, you will see that Tenants and Residents Associations were also invited to vote, even though I do not believe they are businesses with rateable business premises. I may be wrong, though.
  13. editor

    editor hiraethified

    We weren't.
  14. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    That too!
  15. :-D

    :-D Peas & Cues

    I'm still not happy,

    I'm a shopkeeper within the area affected by the BID and can confirm that every other shopkeeper I've spoken to who didn't vote, feel that this initiative doesn't hold anything of benefit for them. Au contraire, we see a scheme which will benefit a minority of board members. Whose levy will increase dramatically over the next 5 years for no discernible benefit to us.
    I can't see any economy of scale savings for any business services that aren't available to me already if I shop around.

    It's here now and I can't see the possibility of asking for a second vote.

    I want as little to do with this as possible.

    Are there any other shopkeepers out there who feel the same and fancy being a bit non cooperative with BID?

    I've already checked to see what the maximum quantity of small coins I can use to pay the levy and if anyone with a legal bent could suggest other ways to demonstrate not being a happy bunny, I'm all ears!
    editor likes this.
  16. editor

    editor hiraethified

  17. editor

    editor hiraethified

    it looks like a lot of these businesses that the BID is supposed to be helping aren't keen on being forced to pay for the privilege:

    Lambeth Council issues court summons to 141 Brixton businesses for non-payment of Brixton BID

    Gramsci, Sirena, Greebo and 2 others like this.
  18. shakespearegirl

    shakespearegirl just worked out taglines

    Absolutely fucking ridiculous. Forcing small businesses to contribute to a scheme they haven't agreed to be part of.
  19. Pickman's model

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

  20. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    Perhaps they should've voted.
  21. editor

    editor hiraethified

    It seems that a lot of businesses were too busy, well, getting on with doing their business to go through all the gumph about the BID, and a few have also said that they had no idea that the charges were going to be forced on them regardless.

    I also know of at least one business that walked out of their meetings because they thought it was a complete waste of time, and another that was so angered by the way this appeared to have been steamrollered through that they were considering paying off the charge in pennies: frozen in a block of ice!
    Greebo likes this.
  22. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    If the business was unaware due to a lack of communication from the local authority, then I can see why there's anger.

    But that quote in isolation seems like crying over spilt milk. Why did they choose not to vote?
  23. editor

    editor hiraethified

    There does appear to have been a real lack of communication.
    Perhaps they were just to damn busy working their small business.

    Either way, the BID should never have been allowed to go through with such piss-poor community engagement - and that's the fault of the BID team, not the businesses.
    Sirena and Greebo like this.
  24. mwgdrwg

    mwgdrwg Be a Pisces. Jam.

    With such a low turnout it does seem like the whole thing wasn't run properly at all.

    Saying that, If I was aware of a vote about possible business rate increases then I'd make sure to vote, instead of choosing not to.
  25. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Yes, you've made that point, but then you're assuming that the full ramifications of the BID were carefully explained to each of the 721 businesses.
  26. Tolpuddle

    Tolpuddle Cooperative council-my arse.

    I wonder if they take the Brixton Pound?
  27. editor

    editor hiraethified

    One of the traders did a local survey of 12 businesses in his street (all of whom have to pay the BID levy).

    Seven had never ever heard of the BID until the summons arrived.

    There's a lot of very angry traders out there. They're having to pay for the BID's inability to properly advertise what they're up to, and they're having to pay large sums of money for something that was voted through by a very small minority of traders.
  28. happyshopper

    happyshopper Well-Known Member

    Can we assume that 580 businesses have now paid the levy?
  29. editor

    editor hiraethified

    Some caved in fearful of having to incur greater costs, while a number were in court last week. There may be more cases coming up.

    I heard that they were extremely unhappy. Some feel that the tax - you know, the one that is supposed to help local businesses - may even kill off their business.

    Some are really struggling to find the money to pay for something that they don't want, that appears to offer no tangible benefits, and that they didn't vote for - and if the recent straw poll is anything to go by, the thing that many hadn't even heard of.
  30. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    How much are we talking for the street traders? Even village business owners I know who are against it said it was a pretty inconsequential amount. I don't like BID but it surprises me to hear that the cost itself is enough to cripple a viable business.

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