Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To give support in the renewal of Ulverston Business Improvement District Limited (BID) and to hold a ballot in June/July 2020. If successful, it would continue for a further five-year term from 3rd September 2020.
Ulverston BID would then seek to carry out the activity as set out in its 2020-2025 Business Plan, acting in the interest of Ulverston businesses to create a well-promoted, economically viable, attractive and vibrant town.
Note – Councillor Janette Jenkinson declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item of business by virtue of the fact that she was the Council’s representative on the Board of the Ulverston Bid. She remained in the Chamber during the discussion and voting on the item, although with no voting rights as a Member of the Shadow Cabinet.
The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder introduced a report seeking Cabinet’s support for the renewal of the Ulverston Business Improvement District (BID).
Ulverston BID had started a five-year term from 3 September 2015 after securing a favourable outcome at ballot on 26 March 2015. The proposed boundary had been defined at that time, and included 482 eligible hereditaments with a total rateable value of £8,700,275. Current figures for 2019/20 showed there now to be 509 eligible hereditaments within this boundary, with a total rateable value of £8,709,100.
The Council had received formal notification from Ulverston BID to seek a ballot for its renewal, as well as its proposed 2020-2025 Business Plan which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. The renewal was not considering any changes to the current BID boundary, hereditaments or percentage rate of levy. If the business community voted to renew the Ulverston BID, it would raise circa £108,863 per annum over the five-year period.
Details of the Council’s responsibilities in relation to BID proposals or renewals were provided within the report and it was considered that this BID renewal met all requirements. Also provided within the report was information relating to the holding of BID ballots and the Council’s responsibility following a successful BID. Attention was also drawn to the fact that there were 12 Council hereditaments in the proposed BID area, meaning that the Council would have 12 votes available in a BID ballot.
Attention was drawn to a typographical error within the report at paragraph 7.4 and to the fact that the total levy payable by South Lakeland District Council represented £2,276.91 per year for five years and not £8,481.50 as stated.
The Economy, Culture and Leisure Portfolio Holder closed, commending the positive work of the BID.
Councillor Janette Jenkinson, the Council’s appointed representative on the Ulverston BID Board, spoke in support of the BID, thanking the officers involved for a good report and praising the excellent work being carried out by the BID. The Leader and Promoting South Lakeland Portfolio Holder thanked Councillor Jenkinson for her service to the BID Board. Councillor Mark Wilson, an Ulverston East Ward Member, also expressed support for the renewal of the BID.
RESOLVED - That
(1) the renewal of the Ulverston Business Improvement District be supported and it be agreed that the 2020-2025 Business Plan (Appendix 1) meets the required regulatory requirements;
(2) the Ballot Holder be instructed to formally manage the ballot process in accordance with the BID Regulations;
(3) the Chief Executive or his designated officer be authorised to vote ‘Yes’ in relation to the District Council’s votes as a National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) levy payer in the BID ballot;
(4) subject to a ‘Yes’ vote at ballot, it be confirmed that the Council, as the relevant local billing authority, will manage the billing and collection of the BID levy and its transfer to the BID Company, in accordance with the BID Regulations, and will recharge the BID Company for the collection costs of the levy, as estimated in Appendix 2 to the report; and
(5) the relevant Lead be authorised to ensure that the legal arrangements are appropriately formulated and the Council will continue to hold a Service Level Agreement together with a data protection arrangement with the BID Company.
Reasons for Decision
The business proposal meets the Council Plan priorities by enabling local businesses to grow and helping towards inclusive economic growth for Ulverston and South Lakeland. The proposal also links to the principle of creating cultural and creative industries while developing Ulverston’s town centre as an attractive and accessible place for living, working and exploring.
The proposal also supports the Council’s Economic Growth Strategy, supporting the Council’s commitment to work with partners and enable further investment to allow the district to fulfil its economic potential.
Business Improvement Districts provide a valuable source of private sector investment and contribute to the district’s competitive advantage, having the ability to impact positively on town centre vibrancy and the visitor economy.
Ulverston Bid’s five-year programme will see the delivery of initiatives and improvements to the town and its trading environment, funding and managing initiatives which increase footfall and support town centre businesses. A vibrant town centre and healthy business environment best serves the needs of residents and visitors and will help attract further investment. Ulverston BID’s continued promotion of Ulverston as a destination through marketing, branding and the support of events and festivals will generate greater interest and lead to increased prosperity in the area.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
To not proceed with the BID renewal. It should, however, be noted that grounds may be needed for a veto in this instance and the proposer or any levy payer would have the right to appeal such a veto. This option is not recommended, as a well-managed BID will provide additional income for the area. It is also a way for the private sector to manage projects and improve services that the Council would not otherwise be able to deliver due to resource restrictions.
Report author: Anna Brisley
Publication date: 07/02/2020
Date of decision: 05/02/2020
Decided at meeting: 05/02/2020 - Cabinet
Effective from: 17/02/2020