Paddington BID Goes Back to the Ballot Box to Reduce its Bills

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Statement from Paddington Business Improvement District

11 February 2010

Paddington BID Goes Back to the Ballot Box to Reduce its Bills
 

A 10% discount will be applied to bills from Paddington Business Improvement District (BID) in
2010/11 to alleviate pressure on local businesses.
Recognising the high rises in business rateable values in the area (from which the BID levy charge is
calculated) and the impact of the recession, the Paddington BID Board voted unanimously last week
to make a fundamental change to its formal levy rules, to bring down its charge.
In order to apply this discount and change the BID’s formal rules, a ballot of businesses will take
place, known as an ‘Alteration Ballot’, in June 2010. No other changes to the BID’s operation,
projects and services are proposed. The BID will continue to run the police community safety team,
the CCTV system, the popular recycling service, environmental schemes, and a range of consumer
events and marketing initiatives.
Maxine Chapman, Chair of Paddington BID and partner at M&L Associates said:
“Business rates have increased by 45% in Paddington, just when the Business Rate Supplement is
introduced in London. The Board felt very strongly that Paddington BID should not be adding to
this financial burden, but instead trying to ease it. It is now vital that all businesses vote in the
Alteration Ballot in June, to ensure that the discount can be applied.”
Kay Buxton, Chief Executive of Paddington BID, said:
“Paddington BID needs to represent the interests of its businesses. Under the existing
arrangements it would stand to benefit from the large increases in local rateable values that take
effect in April 2010, as this is how the BID levy is calculated. Whereas there is transitional relief
on business rates, this does not apply to the BID levy, so what we are in effect doing is
introducing our very own form of transitional relief. The 10% discount generates a combined
saving of between £80,000 and £90,000 to local businesses.”
“Holding a full Alteration Ballot is an opportunity to reduce BID bills. The BID Board have made a
clever move reducing the overall bill to businesses. Whilst there will be an increase, it will be
much less than might otherwise be the case. The Board has shown that it has listened and
responded to local business needs.”
Notes to Editors:
1. Paddington BID was established in 2005 following a successful ballot of businesses. It was
renewed in April 2009, following a renewal ballot in October 2008.
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2. The BID covers 34 streets and includes 340 businesses. It is overseen by a Board of Directors,
who are representatives drawn from local businesses.
3. The BID raises over £500,000 each year through the levy to spend in Paddington. The BID uses
the levy to create a more attractive, safer, greener and better marketed Paddington.
4. In 2009/10 the BID:
• Extended a commercial recycling scheme, providing a free twice-weekly service to
businesses, with over 150 businesses participating in the scheme, recycling on average
14,500kg each month. From April 2010 a third weekly collection will be introduced. The
scheme also offers businesses free collection of waste electrical and electronic
equipment and furniture and is currently piloting a free battery recycling collection in
partnership with the European Recycling Platform and First Mile.
• Saw 3,000 visits made to businesses by the dedicated Police Community Safety Team and
purchased 17 shortwave radios to enable direct radio communication between
businesses, BID partners, Westminster City Council’s CCTV Operations Centre and the
Community Safety Team.
• Held the official re-opening of Talbot Square Gardens, after extensive renovation works
funded by the BID in partnership with Westminster City Council, English Heritage and
Transport for London.
• Promoted and organised a ‘Circus in the Square’ one day event in Norfolk Square Gardens
in August 2009, attended by over 2,500 people. At Christmas TV and radio presenter
Jonathan Ross switched on Paddington’s first ever Christmas lights along Praed Street,
funded directly by the BID. The BID also laid on 55 guided walks between April and
December 2009 attended by over 1,000 walkers. Plans for 2010 include ‘A Summer
Holiday’ event in August and a Christmas market.
• Gained formal accreditation status, becoming a British BIDs Accredited Company, one of
only six out of 95 BIDs in the country.
5. Westminster City Council, as the billing authority for the BID, has been a supportive partner in
facilitating the Alteration Ballot, which will be the first of its kind in the country. There are
currently 95 BIDs in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
6. As the Alteration Ballot takes place in June, BID levy bills will not be issued in March/April this
year as normal, but will follow in July 2010, after the Alteration Ballot. The bill will then be backdated
to 1 April 2010, with the 10% discount, assuming the majority of businesses vote to
support the proposed levy discount.
7. The discount can be adjusted by the BID Board for the remainder of the BID’s current term (but
never exceeding the levy rates set out in the original renewal proposal) without the need for a
further Alteration Ballot.
More details of the BID’s activities are available at: www.paddingtonbid.co.uk
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