Planning and Economic Development Portfolio
To consider report PES/333 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
The Cabinet considered report PES/333 of the Head of Economy and Planning, the purpose of which was to provide an update on the Crawley town centre Business Improvement District (BID) proposal. The Cabinet noted the Council’s entitlement first to vote on the proposals, and thereafter, its requirements to administer the postal Ballot and collect and transfer the levies to the BID Company. The Cabinet discussed both the BID and the town centre in general, and raised the following points:
· Pride in business relations and the small business grants scheme in the BID
· Success of the Public Space Protection Order established in Manor Royal
· Progress of the town centre redevelopment and of the number of occupied businesses/shops
· Hope for success of the BID in the future
· Acknowledgement of the partnership between Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council in rolling out the Crawley Growth Programme
· Acknowledgement of an increase in the number of PCSOs in the town centre.
Leader of the Opposition Councillor D Crow raised concerns regarding crime in the town centre, asking the Cabinet to take proactive steps to prevent such issues.
All present Cabinet members spoke as part of the discussion.
That the Cabinet:
a) Notes the intention of the Town Centre Partnership to create a Town Centre BID and the associated timescales leading to a Ballot in November 2019.
b) Agrees that the Council will vote ‘YES’ in favour of the BID and by so doing agrees to pay the levy on those rateable hereditaments owned by the Council which are located in the BID area, as listed in Appendix A. The cost to the Council is to be included within future years’ budgets if the Ballot is successful.
c) Subject to recommendation b) above, agrees to instruct the Head of Economy and Planning as the nominated officer representative to cast the ‘YES’ vote in respect of the Council’s eligible hereditaments in the BID boundary area.
d) Agrees that the Chief Executive as Returning Officer and Ballot holder should hold a Ballot for the Town Centre BID proposal.
That, in the event of a successful vote, the Council:
e) Agrees to assist the BID Company with cash flow until the levies are collected and to delegate to the Head of Economy and Planning and the Head of Corporate Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, the power to make the necessary arrangements.
f) Approves that it has the legal responsibility for the collection and enforcement of the BID Levy. These responsibilities will be subject to an Operating Agreement being signed off between the BID Company and the Council, to be agreed by the time of the Ballot in November 2019.
g) Delegates to the Head of Economy and Planning and the Head of Legal, Democracy and HR, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, the power to approve and sign the Operating Agreement with the BID Company, together with any other agreements/documents required for the BID.
h) Delegates to the Head of Economy and Planning in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development the power to take, where appropriate, any direct or incidental action.
Reasons for the Recommendations
To agree to support the creation of the Town Centre BID taking into account the implications to the Council as a ratepayer, service provider and billing authority. The development of a Town Centre Business Improvement District is an aspiration clearly set out in the Council’s Town Centre Regeneration Programme, adopted in December 2015 and refreshed then agreed by Cabinet in November 2017.