THIS MONTHS Bb ROUND-UP FROM DR JULIE GRAIL
1. Quality is at the Heart of British BIDs
The brand values for British BIDs have always been firmly rooted in quality and innovation both for our own activities and for inspiring the industry as a whole. We are therefore delighted to report that we have been awarded ISO Accreditation for British BIDs, which follows our successful accreditation previously of the consultancy business, Central Management Solutions. Alongside this accolade, we have recently received confirmation of our Trademark application securing the future branding of the business.
2. Latest Ballot Results – the total stands at 208
The total number of BIDs currently stands at 208 and this year has already seen 15 yes ballots, of which 11 were new BIDs (two of those from the BID Loan Fund – Hereford and Sheffield) and also including the first BID in Northern Ireland in Ballymena and the first BID in the Corporation of London at Cheapside. The yes ballots included Exeter, which had previously failed an attempt to create a BID back in 2011, and there are two other previously failed locations now developing towards ballot again in Leicester and Southampton. During the same period, we have only seen two no votes in Scotland Stirling and Wales Penarth.
3. In the News
We are certainly entering event and festival season with many of our BIDs being featured for their respective fashion and other festivals including Bath, Blackburn, Darlington, Hull and Plymouth. Meanwhile, safety and security has been a focus in Croydon with the introduction of breathalysers at club entrances, and reporting of reductions in crime stats in Solihull. Garden restoration for a children’s centre has been a recent project delivered by Baker Street Quarter, whilst a major £1.4m public realm scheme has been secured for Liverpool with the Liverpool Commercial District BID contributing £900,000. And finally, the new Chief Executive at Edinburgh, Roddy Smith talks of the importance of partnership and utilises the words of Henry Ford ‘Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success’. Wise words and very relevant for the world of BIDs.
4. The Transparency Issue continues…
Many will have heard me speak previously on our concerns about the critical importance of Transparency and Accountability within BIDs. This is important right through the journey from very early feasibility, through ballot, through day to day management and through to eventual renewal. At our Annual Conference last November we ran a session on concerns, issues and naysayers but the problem is not going away. This month alone I have heard real concerns being raised about the seriously low turnout of only 19% at the new Greater Yarmouth BID and more recently the Anti-BIDs Facebook page is raising concerns about the perceived undemocratic approach to renewal in Rugby First. Meanwhile, the Against BIDs site is continuing to raise concerns about lack of accountability and is reporting on a variety of negative news stories.
5. Changing Faces
We are continuing to expand our skills and reach within British BIDs and are delighted to introduce two further new appointments this month. Emeka Johnson joins us as Brand Manager, sharing his time across British BIDs and Central Management Solutions and Charlotte-Daisy Ziff joins us from Town Centre Securities as Membership and Research Executive, leading on the Nationwide BID Survey amongst other things. Meanwhile the buoyant job market across the industry continues with new additions on our Bb Job Bank for Leeds, Sheffield, Ealing and Bexleyheath.
6. Trending Topics: Policy Debates
Clearly we are in purdah with a general election looming, however the Government’s Review of BIDs Consultation is live until 19th June and focuses on a number of key elements that we as an industry should be concerning ourselves with – Transparency, Service Level Agreements and Local Authority Charges to name just some. There are also proposals to take on our recommendations of changes to the current Regulations including Extending the Replacement Ballot Period and Strengthening the Notification Provisions with relation to Ballots. However an important aspect that we have lobbied over for some years now, Electronic Voting for BID Ballots, has been omitted from the current consultation. We will still seek to keep this request alive.
7. Getting Together
Our Leadership Network, which brings together our advanced BIDs from our Premium membership, met this month with a packed agenda focusing on Measuring the Performance and Impact of BIDs with a view to working up a pilot project through a consortium of BIDs; Neighbourhood Planning with a presentation from the Government team; plus a debate on the Government Review of BIDs Consultation. On the same day, having shared a lunch with the Leadership Network, our Chairs Forum met with a fabulous attendance and a really dynamic debate including the importance of Transparency in BIDs; the challenges of Local Authority Cuts; the possible Implications of the Business Rates Review on BIDs; and an update on Property BIDs. Coming up is the BID Academy Induction for our Class of 2015; our next Five Stages of BID Development Training on 27th May; and in June, our Marketing Forum is on 17th and our Management & Operations Forum on 30th, both in London this time. We are also scheduling a Marketing Masterclass for September 24th 2015. It will be focusing specifically around the challenge that holding data brings.
8. Out and About
The International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) held their 40th anniversary conference in London this month. A new programme element for their anniversary year was a TED-style Next-Gen Live session on day 1, where I was invited to present on How to Lead a Successful Place. Of course, I ensured the BID concept got great airtime and indeed there was some good discussion and Q&A following the session. On a regional basis, the Southern BIDs meeting was hosted in Newbury and I was delighted to meet and present to the assembled BID managers. Coming up is another regional session, this time at the North West BIDs meeting in Liverpool; a seminar on Local Tourism & the Visitor Economy on 5th June that we are supporting in partnership with The Means; and our BID Summit in London that we are running on 25th June in partnership with New London Architecture and GVA.
9. In case you missed them…
The write-up from our BID think-tank at the New London Architechture in March can now be read here; my article on the prospects for Property Owner BIDs and the first pathfinder ballots was published this month in the RICS Property Journal; and finally we are clearly awash with General Election material but worth a read is the Centre for Cities General Election City View.
10. Industry Accreditation
The British BIDs Accreditation is rapidly becoming the ‘must-have’ quality mark in the industry. It is designed to support BIDs in ensuring they are running robust quality management systems as a business and that they are acting openly and transparently for the benefit of those who pay the levies. I am delighted to announce the latest BID to achieve Accreditation is Love Wimbledon BID, making it the 18th BID through the gauntlet of a deliberately vigorous five stage process. Meanwhile a further 18 are in the pipeline, which if all achieve the status would mean 20% of the industry accredited. If you haven’t already considered Accreditation do take a look.
And finally…..Nationwide BID Survey 2015
Have you completed your online survey yet? The deadline for submission is 15th May so please do turn your attention to this critical industry survey that not only benchmarks a whole range of key issues but also collates the National Proud Project Award entries that will eventually be awarded at the industry Annual Conference on 5th November in London.
Until next time.