What is a BID is:
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a geographical defined area where businesses and organisations come together and agree to invest collectively in projects and services which will improve their trading environment and future business prospects. See the BIDs Scotland website for further details www.bids-scotland.com .
BIDs are developed, managed and paid for by the private sector in the BID area through a modest but compulsory Levy. Every eligible business within the proposed BID area has a vote on whether or not the BID is established: it is for you to decide.
The ballot for the Milngavie Town Centre BID is open from 3 February to 17 March 2014.
The BID is NOT a way for the Council to save money
The BID is emphatically NOT about the Council removing existing services. A BID scheme provides NEW or ADDITIONAL activity and cannot replace statutory services delivered by East Dunbartonshire Council or Police Scotland. Milngavie My Way has put in place a Baseline Service Agreement to ensure that businesses are not short changed in the future. The future BID company will continue to monitor service levels outlined in the agreement.
Businesses should still expect to receive the services which the Council and Police currently provide for the benefit of business and the public such as cleaning, lighting, access and safety. We have already urged the Council to improve some of its service levels, such as for lighting in the underpass in order to meet its obligations.
Baseline agreements have been prepared for the following services:
- Roads and Footways, Car Parks,
- Pedestrianised Precinct and Link Footpaths
- Street Lighting
- Street Cleaning
- Horticultural Services
- Commercial Waste Collections
- Environmental Wardens
- Trading Standards
- Police Resources
These documents define the benchmarks for the provision of these services and how they will be measured.
A BID has nothing to do with business rates
The Levy Investment income from a BID is kept locally and spent locally for the benefit of the local area based on projects identified through consultation with business owners in the area. The BID levy is nothing to do with rates. The income from the Levy and any other contributions secured for the BID’s activities will be used to fund local activities and services, as decided by businesses.
Business rates are a national tax collected by the Council on behalf of the Scottish Government and then redistributed according to a national formula. Businesses have very little say about the way the rates funds are spent.
A BID is managed and delivered by and for local businesses
A BID will establish a not-for-profit limited company to deliver the Business Plan for Milngavie Town Centre. The company with be run by a board of voluntary (unpaid) directors appointed from the local Levy payers to reflect all sectors in the local business community. It will be accountable to local businesses for the way their money is spent. Everyone who pays and has a say!