The Board of Kings Heath Business Improvement District (Kings Heath BID) would like to clarify some claims that are circulating on social media about the inclusion of three addition schools in the new Kings Heath BID.
Every five years, all business improvement districts (BIDs) have to have a reballot of their members to see if they wish the BID to continue for another five years. The ballot for the renewal of Kings Heath BID will begin on Tuesday 16th January and end on Thursday 15th February. The result will be announced on 16th February. All future BID levy payers will have the opportunity to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the new Kings Heath BID.
As part of the renewal process BIDs have the opportunity to amend the boundary of the BID area to either include or remove businesses. During the summer of 2017, officers of Birmingham City Council asked the team organising the renewal ballot, if serious consideration could be given to including the following local authority schools in the new Kings Heath BID. The schools were:
- Bishop Challoner School – current part of Kings Heath BID, since 2008
- St Dunstans Primary School
- Queensbridge Secondary School
- Kings Heath Primary School
The council officers felt there were huge opportunities for partnership working between the BID and the local schools. For example, two of these schools are already regularly involved in events organised by the BID, and there will be further opportunities when the BID gets the long awaited Literature Festival off the ground.
A major concern raised by the Kings Heath BID Board when considering whether or not to include these schools was whether the schools’ budgets would be affected. Some of the Board members have children who attend these schools and recognise that school budgets are already tight. Birmingham City Council has assured the Board that the school budgets will not be affected and the BID levy will be paid for from the corporate centre of the council.
After receiving this assurance from the council, the Board of Kings Heath BID agreed to extend the boundary.
As part of the consultation on the new boundaries, the town centre manager, Martin Mullaney, has met with two headteachers of those schools. The other two headteachers did not respond to our requests to meet.
The new boundary for Kings Heath BID has been designed with agreement with Birmingham City Council.
The Board of Kings Heath BID feel that the schools will benefit from inclusion in the new Kings Heath BID as follows:
1) Events – the BID organise a whole range of events, which local schools already get involved in. We want the local school children more involved in these events. Proposed new events the schools could involved in are: Kings Heath Annual Literature Festival; Kings Heath Christmas Lights Switch On; the return of the annual September Street Festival, and various art trail’s around Kings Heath.
2) Security – we will have a security team patrolling the streets 6 days a week. Many of you will already have met or heard about the fantastic work that our security guard Simon has achieved as part of his post, the new proposal will increase Simon’s hours + provide him with an assistant. This presence means that any pupils from these schools that use the High Street will be able to walk home in a safe environment. For example, we have had problems in the past with teenagers from different schools fighting in the shopping centre at school closing time.
2) A cleaner environment – the council have dramatically reduced their graffiti removal and street cleaning services across the city due to local government fiscal measures. The new Kings Heath BID will have a budget for cleaning up the town centre. The Board recognises that both secondary schools have major litter problems outside their entrances and the BID will aim to reduce the level of litter.
4) Workplace experience – teenagers are always looking for workplace experience… and we have a huge shopping centre with a gigantic selection of workplace experiences. Indeed, there are jobs available in Kings Heath, which school leavers could apply for. There are opportunities for local businesses to work with these schools to provide workplace experiences.
5) Venue space hire – our local schools have some fantastic facilities available for hire outside of school hours on an hourly or daily basis. For example, sports halls, sports grounds, meeting conference rooms and even an Olympic sized Dojo specifically designed for Martial Arts! Being part of the Kings Heath BID allows our school’s to promote these services to a wider business network.
The new Board of Kings Heath BID is passionate about working with the local community and partnerships with local schools will be one of these.