Residents fear for their neighbourhood after new central London BID ballot is announced

Community newspaper Fitzrovia News reports that a ballot for a BID in the central London district of Fitzrovia has been announced. The newspaper reports concerns by community groups and lack of information by both the local authority and the BID company. Businesses with a rateable value of £100,000 and over will be balloted. The BID could be set up by 1 August 2012 if businesses vote for it. The paper has run three articles.

Part 1: Increased commercialisation of Fitzrovia looms as ballot for a business improvement district is announced

The Fitzrovia Partnership, a business group created by landowner and property developer Derwent London, has been allowed by Camden Council to ballot businesses over whether to part-privatise streets in Fitzrovia by creating a business improvement district (BID). If successful the BID would begin on 1 August 2012.

Community groups in Fitzrovia have for the last couple of years been concerned about the establishment of a BID and the damage it would do to the character of the area. Business improvement districts are set up to intensify business activity, increase footfall and inevitably drive up land values. Tenants and small businesses tend to be priced out in favour of higher paying occupants.

Camden Council made the announcement on its website today but gave no details about what streets would be affected. The website of the Fitzrovia Partnership also gave no details about the BID.

Read more here.

Part 2: Residents and voluntary groups in Fitzrovia could be marginalised by the power of a business group after its financial details emerged this week.

An annual income of up to £1.5m could be gained by The Fitzrovia Partnership if their proposed business improvement district (BID) is given the go ahead by a ballot of businesses.

Read more here.

Part 3: Camden confidential: who are The Fitzrovia Partnership and what are they up to?

A postal ballot is currently taking place over whether to create a business improvement district (BID) in the central part of Fitzrovia. The result will be decided by an electorate of just 232 large businesses yet the outcome could affect half the neighbourhood including thousands of residents and over a thousand small businesses.

Read more here.

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About no2bids

A critical look at Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and worldwide. Public and private space.
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