Lambeth council and local businesses are working in partnership to campaign against the Government’s impending huge rise in rates. The business rate revaluation, which is due to come into force from 1 April next year, will see some businesses pay 45% more in rates.
This hike in rates could prove crippling to some businesses, especially those with 5 or fewer staff. West Norwood and Herne Hill, each with a high proportion of SME businesses, will be very hard hit.
Lambeth has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asking for measures to be put in place to support businesses through any rates rise and a longer term review of the effectiveness of business rates as a method of taxation.
A London-wide campaign is also underway, supported by Lambeth council and backed by the capital’s Mayor Sadiq Khan along with London Councils, London First, London Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses London and New West End Company, with 37 additional groups including 32 London BIDS
London businesses overall will pay an additional £855 million in business rates every year, while businesses in much of the rest of the country will see rates decrease in real terms.
We are delighted to share that yesterday the businesses in West Norwood and Tulse Hill voted to form a Business Improvement District (BID). The vote was 76% in favour of the Station to Station project which encompasses over 300 businesses.
A BID is a not-for-profit collective of local businesses, enabling business to come together and collectively lobby for improvements, contribute to and spend a shared fund as well as take the lead in shaping the community to allow local businesses to thrive.
There are currently over 47 BIDs in London and in Lambeth there are BIDs in Vauxhall, Brixton, Streatham and Clapham. Improving the business community is a priority for us as your local Labour councillors. We campaigned for investment in local businesses and for the development of a BID as candidates in 2014 and have been working hard on delivering it since.
Cllr Fred Cowell as the West Norwood Neighbourhood Lead has been working really hard with local businesses and the Means consultancy, along with many other hard working volunteers from the business community, to make this happen. It has been hugely valuable to have a local neighbourhood lead councillor to drive this forward and ensure momentum. For example, in April the BID steering group were able to launch a fashion show in at the Portico Gallery, showcasing designs made in Norwood.
We are looking forward to working with the BID when it starts in work in September and hope to see many more successes in the future.
In May 2014 we committed to working with local businesses to improve our local town centre. We have been working with businesses to take the necessary steps to become a Business Improvement District. The Means were recenty appointed by local businesses to take this work forward in West Norwood and Tulse Hill and the first steering group meeting last month resulted in lots of positive conversation about the issues the BID could tackle.
If you own or work at a local business, we would love to have your input. Our next West Norwood and Tulse Hill steering group meeting will
be held on:
Wednesday 30th September 2015, 6-7.30pm at
Portico Gallery Knights Hall 23a Knights Hill SE27 0HS