Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee - New Policy Issues


We would like to bring to your attention some new policy issues that have emerged from the two recent House of Commons select committees and on which we are gathering evidence from members.

As you will know from my last Insight, the House of Commons select committee on Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, chaired by Clive Betts, has produced a major new report on High Streets and Town centres in 2030. In that document, a number of very specific BID related matters were raised.

Clearly we were very pleased that the report specifically says “The BID member retailers that we spoke to were generally supportive of BIDs, although we heard that their remit should be “extended” and that there should be more sharing of best practice, knowledge and skills between them”. We are very confident that our growing British BIDs membership, our 2018 National BID Survey, the National BID Criteria and the variety of increasingly popular training and membership services that we provide goes some way towards satisfying the select committees need for databases, lists and training.

However, the report raises the issue of community involvement in BIDs and BID Boards. There is no denying that traditionally BIDs see themselves as very much representatives of the business community. They are funded by businesses and operate in order to improve businesses within their various communities. Nonetheless many BIDs have managed to ensure that they have elected councillors or representatives from their elected organisations on their Boards. Indeed, the latest National BID Survey suggests that 84% of BID Boards had local authority representation that was primarily elected members, with offices acting in an observer capacity. At the same time many BIDs ensure that community groups such as civic trusts, environmental groups and historical societies, along with residents, have seats on Boards in BIDs across the country. Nonetheless the select committee’s report does ask the Government to look very specifically at the matter of representation on Boards and so we are gathering together a group of people who might be able to continue to advise us on how to present advice to Government. If you have an interest in this can you please email me

Secondly the select committee report raises again the issue of Property Owner BIDs. The British BIDs consultation note to Government on Property Owner BIDs was very specific, and we were very supportive and we continue to be supportive. One of the key issues was the boundary framework under which Property Owner BIDs had been proposed under the Government legislation. We still are very confident that our advice at the time was the right one and we will be reworking our documents on Property Owner BIDs to submit them to the Government at the appropriate moment. Again if you feel that you would like to be involved in these conversations do please get in touch.

Finally, the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee is looking again at the vexed issue of business rates and the pressure on businesses. Much has been written on this and indeed the Betts report has much about the issue of business rates and the taxation burden on businesses, and it will be interesting to see how the Treasury committee makes use of that information in its own report. British BIDs submitted much information to the Grimsey review on the impact of business rates and was specifically supportive of the proposals put forward by the New West End company on the matter of rethinking the whole business rates structure.

British BIDs proposes to revisit this information, and a number of BIDs have already been in touch on this. We will be gathering a group together to respond by the deadline of April 12. Can I ask that members who would like to be involved to contact me by email so that we can augment the work that we have already done.

Professor Christopher Turner, Chief Executive, British BIDs

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