We had a very nice email from the Against BID Facebook group saying they found our site very useful and wanted to thank us. We’re pleased to help and in return support them.
This is how the group describes BIDs and the group:
Business Improvement districts destroy the free commerce of a city. They are undemocratic, unaccountable and uneconomic.
Initially this group evolved to counter the iniquitous behaviour of the Plymouth City Centre Company but it has now grown to counter all the unfairness and unaccountability of all BID companies throughout the UK and the world. Bid companies remove the democratic principles of public community and transfer urban governance to the hands of an unelected elite motivated purely by business profit.
Please do join the more than 1,100 members of the Against BID group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/nobid/
A number traders in a business improvement district in the Scottish town of South Queensferry are refusing to pay their BID levy because they believe the charge is too high and doesn’t return them enough benefits. The Queensferry Ambition BID charges every single business no matter how small, with the big businesses paying proportionately less. The small businesses pay 4.8% of the RV while bigger business pay as little as 1% or less, according to their business plan. But even some of the larger businesses are complaining because they say the BID is not benefiting them. And some companies are exempt from the BID levy altogether.
You can read more here.
A proposal to establish a BID project on the Isle of Mull, Argyll, Scotland (http://www.mi-bid.co.uk/) was firmly rejected on the 21st March 2013.
Aggregate Rateable Value: £1,934,440
Aggregate RV For the BID: £859,075
Aggregate RV Against: £729,370
Rateable Value turnout: 82%
Person turnout: 81%
Votes in total were cast 363
Total for the BID: 134 votes YES (36.95%)
Total against the BID 229 votes NO (63.08%)
Traders in the Clarkston district of Glasgow want to end their BID after no improvement in three years.
Jim Watt, who runs Cafe Roma with his son James, was served by sheriff’s officers on Monday with a £1300 bill for unpaid BID fees. He has come to a payment arrangement, but regrets voting yes to the BID.
He said: “Our revenue hasn’t gone up a penny since it came in, but we’re paying out an extra £900 a year. There was a Christmas open day which maybe increased our turnover by about £200 compared to an average Saturday, but there were plenty of other businesses that saw no increase at all.
“We wouldn’t mind if we were seeing something substantial in return, but the BID has done nothing.”
The levy of an extra 3.5p in the pound on business rates for the Clarkston scheme is the highest BID charge in Scotland. Herald Scotland.
A number of traders in Babbacombe, Torquay, in Devon say their BID was approved despite some traders not receiving ballot papers. The same traders say they would have voted against the BID if they had been given the chance.
a group of about 20 traders, mainly from the Reddenhill Road and Babbacombe Downs area, claim some businesses did not receive voting papers and they object to having to pay an extra bill to pay for the BID after the ‘yes’ vote” http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/Babbacombe-businesses-didn-t-receive-BID-ballot/story-17504388-detail/story.html#ixzz2RKDuW4QD
But how when the ballot papers didn’t reach the traders, their business rates bills and BID levy have no problem reaching the traders?
Sleaford businesses have rejected a proposal to renew the BID which was set up in 2007. A ballot in July 2012 in the Lincolnshire town rejected plans to renew the BID. The BBC reports that residents want to keep the CCTV cameras, while John Elkington chair of the BID claims that the town “has a collection of individuals who only tend to look after their own businesses”. I wonder what they thought of him?
Firms in Carlisle city centre have not backed a proposal to set up a Business Improvement District. Most of the business ratepayers in the area who voted rejected the plan – although the majority of rateable value voted in favour, reported The Cumberland News.
A ‘yes’ vote is required for both categories to allow a BID to be approved, which means that in this case the smaller businesses rejected the BID plans. The BID levy threshold was set at a rateable value of £7,500 Read more…
The city of Cambridge is holding a ballot for a BID to cover the city centre. Businesses with a rateable value over £20,000 are being balloted in October 2012. There is a discussion on the BID from a blogger with an interest in the Mill Road area just outside the Cambridge BID area.
Even though Mill Road is not included in the CBBID area it does not mean it wouldn’t be affected by its’ implementation. For example, if businesses in the City Centre get together to network with each other and promote themselves, could Mill Road end up getting left behind? I do hope not. But it’s probably just as well the Council have recently appointed a new Mill Road Co-ordinator, as it looks like we’ll need her help and support to promote Mill Road and ensure that it remains an important part of the City of Cambridge.
Read more here.
Is there any legal basis on which we can contest the BID levy? This was a question asked by someone who contacted us. There are some cases (can’t think of any at the moment) where a BID can be contested but it is not easily done.
In one case in Bayswater in City of Westminster, London small businesses did refuse to pay the BID levy. Read more…