BID INSIGHT FROM CHRIS TURNER - AUGUST


The summer tends to be a slow time for ballots – understandably as leave and holidays impact on voters, BID teams and electoral managers alike.  And of course, last month there were a large number of ballots. But in the last four weeks we have had a success at Fulham, a new BID, and sadly a failure at Kidderminster. In the autumn the ballot season returns, with a fair number of new and renewing BIDs coming forward.

I am spending increasing amounts of time with BIDs as they come to ballot, either at the consciousness raising stages at the very beginning or in the run up to the voting. Some BIDs find it useful to have a BB involvement talking to local businesses about the national scene, how BIDs operate in other parts of the country and how effective BIDs can be. If you are interested in this sort of input do please email me. I am always very keen to come and visit and we see this very much as part of BB membership.

The National Survey is progressing and I am at the analysis stage before writing up starts. We will be launching the outcomes at the National BIDs Conference in Cambridge on November 8th, for more details visit here. Early survey headlines are that we currently have 305 active BIDs, 47 BIDs are being developed, and in the past twelve months we have had 66 successful ballots, with 5 failures, of which 2 were at renewal and 3 failures were new BIDs coming to ballot for the first time.

A very useful piece of work is the Arup’s City Economics practice, along with Professor Tony Travers of the LSE, who were appointed by the New West End Company (NWEC) to review the strengths and weaknesses of the business rate system and assess options for change. The Focus was on two questions: How can the current system be improved in the short term? And what might an alternative solution look like? The summary report explores the potential for a goods and services turnover tax or sales tax to replace business rates and is available here Business Rates review study. It is a really interesting piece of analysis for those who want to raise it with their MPs and other political contacts.

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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