Dear Kings Heath Businesses,
You may have received a letter in the last few days from “the Vote No to the Kings Heath BID renewal campaign group.” This message is in response to the many, many lies within it, a number of which have already appeared in letters from this group.
- In October 2022, 71 votes were cast against renewing the BID. This represented less than 24% of those eligible to vote, so not an “overwhelming majority” in any sense. The results can be viewed on the Birmingham City Council Website.
- The BID Board listened to feedback from businesses and has made several significant changes, including amendments to the BID Boundary and removing schools from the BID.
- We are running another ballot having received nearly 100 signatures from levy payers on a petition to re-run the ballot, so yes, businesses did ask us to.
- The BID is not about “power”, but we would absolutely suggest that it is in your business interests to see the BID into a 4th We have one of the best high streets in the country and it needs the BID to help keep it that way.
- The 14.3% increase is the difference between the current levy rate of 1.75% and the proposed new rate of 2%. The average annual levy payment will increase from £463 to £529, and 201 out of 281 levy payers will pay less than this.
- The figure of BID admin costs rising to “£80k per year” is completely fabricated. There is nothing anywhere in any BID literature which could lead to this figure.
- As easy as it is to pick two things that didn’t happen, everything that the BID did do and has done has been ignored. From the valuable work of the Street Wardens to the events that did take place, and from the business consultation events to deep-cleaning the high street, the BID has consistently (over its 15-year lifespan) raised the profile of Kings Heath and provided many opportunities for businesses to receive value for money for their investment.
- The Board of Directors has never been “sacked by the membership”, and in fact its actions were endorsed via a series of resolutions at its AGM in March 2021.
- The BID and its Board of Directors has never done anything to “support the road closures”.
- The BID and its Board of Directors does not support the removal of the high street parking spaces.
- The BID and its Board of Directors has never criticised the Kings Heath Business Association for campaigning against the road closures.
- The LTN is a Birmingham City Council initiative which has an impact on the lives of everyone who lives, works in or visits Kings Heath. The BID has consistently and publicly worked alongside Birmingham City Council and the business community of Kings Heath to minimise any negative impacts and maximise the opportunities it may bring.
- The Board of Directors has hardly been “hijacked by a minority”. Of the current nine directors there is a range of views on most issues affecting businesses in Kings Heath and sensible debate at Board meetings leads to a consensus of opinion. Any levy paying business can apply to join the Board – there are a maximum of 15 seats on it, so we currently have six vacancies. Please contact us if you’d like to join the Board.
- Birmingham City Council, represented by Councillor Lisa Trickett, has one seat on the BID Board, as it does with all BIDs in the city. It can therefore exert no undue influence on the way that the BID is run and is a levy payer in its own right.
- The current Board has not spent a single penny of levy payer’s money to “keep themselves in control of the BID”.
- There are no “pet projects”. The majority of the projects that the BID wishes to continue or commence in the next BID term are clearly set out in the BID Proposals and Business Plan, which were compiled in consultation with you, the levy payers.
- The BID and its Board of Directors has never pushed for a single road closure or reduction in car parking spaces.
- The BID is ultimately run by you, the business community. Rather than stop it, why not join the Board and affect the way it is run?
- If you are a national chain, consider the impact that losing the street wardens and a managed high street will have on your trade.
- Birmingham City Council does not send out ballot papers. They appoint a company called Civica, an independent election services provider to manage the ballot on their behalf.
- If you do not receive a ballot paper by Friday 10th March, DO NOT contact Mark Hudson. Contact Civica, the election services provider, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, as a reminder, Mark Hudson is not a resident of Kings Heath, neither does he have a business here. If you have not met him or come across his comments and posts on Facebook, please ask yourself why he is so passionate about stopping Kings Heath BID before taking at face value anything he tells you.
Equally, don’t just take my word for it. Please read our BID Proposals and Business Plan, speak to your customers, colleagues and neighbouring businesses. Contact me for a conversation, go and see one of the Directors (whose details are in the BID Proposals and on our website) or speak to one of the street wardens.