Join Vauxhall One’s business theme groups

Vauxhall One

Vauxhall One, the new Business Improvement District for the riverside district, is inviting representatives of any business within the BID area to join one of the four Vauxhall One committees and so help improve the district for everybody. The four committees or ‘theme groups’ are

Vauxhall Safe (safer streets)

Vauxhall Change (physical regeneration)

Vauxhall Day & Night (‘selling’ the area)

Vauxhall Together (community engagement & environmental performance).

The Vauxhall Society is represented on all four ‘themes’ and on the Vauxhall One board. For more details and how to join visit www.vauxhallone.co.uk

One into Vauxhall will go: business ballot backs Business Improvement District

vauxhallone

Vauxhall businesspeople have voted with their wallets to establish a Business Improvement District, Vauxhall One, to ginger up business services and environmental standards. Green spaces in the BID area include Vauxhall Park and Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

The to-be-or-not-to-be ballot of businesses with a rateable value of over £20,000 returned a strong ‘Yes’ from those voting – with 83% in favour by number and 91% by rateable value.

The post-ballot Vauxhall One held its first management committee meeting on Monday 27 February, and decided that a first move will to hold a business breakfast to bring local businesses up to speed on the transport stresses the Olympics threaten.

Vauxhall One will be working hard to persuade smaller local businesses that the BID is not an extra tax placed on them to fund pet Lambeth and big business schemes.

Although the 91% yes vote by rateable value was strong, turnout by number of firms was only 42% against a national average for BIDs of 45%. Some no- or non-voting small firms  may see the result as suggesting that a few big firms may have carried the day.

There are 252 properties of rateable value in the Vauxhall One district, equating to about 190 businesses. Lambeth Council will be paid to collect a levy of over £800,000 (1.5% of rateable value over £20,000) on Vauxhall One’s behalf in the first 12 months.

As a newly incorporated company, Vauxhall One says it will invest over £4 million received from local businesses in ‘a comprehensive programme of improvements’ between 2012 and 2017.

Vauxhall One thinks it can draw in at least 20% more  (£320,000) from other sources in the first two years, and aims to reach 100% (about £800,000) in Year Five.

Reaction to the ballot win: what Vauxhall businesses say 

BID map

A Business Improvement District for Vauxhall? Ballot closes on 23 February

If you’re the owner or manager of one of the couple of hundred Vauxhall businesses occupying premises with a rateable value of more than £20,000 then remember that Thursday 23 February is the closing day for your vote in the ballot for against a Business Improvement District (‘Vauxhall One’). Vauxhall One would be empowered to raise a levy, collected by Lambeth, of 1.5% of rateable value over £20,000 to spend in the BID area on commissioning new or improved services such as recycling or street patrols.

www.vauxhallone.co.uk

Business Improvement District: Vauxhall Park back on the map with Vauxhall One

The Management Committee of Vauxhall One, Vauxhall’s Business Improvement District vehicle, has confirmed that Vauxhall Park does, has and will lie within the BID’s boundaries, and so will feature on all future BID maps. If, that is, there’s a simple majority ‘Yes’ vote to a BID in the ballot of Vauxhall businesses that closes on 23 February. If so, on 1 April ‘Vauxhall One’ becomes a Business Improvement District, empowered to raise a levy of 1.5% of rateable value on businesses with rateable value of more than £20,000.

Lambeth would collect the money for Vauxhall One to spend in the BID area on commissioning new or improved services such as recycling or street patrols. The confirmation of Vauxhall Park’s inclusion in the BID boundary removes any doubt that the park is included in Vauxhall One’s improvement programmes.

After The Vauxhall Society pointed out that Vauxhall Park had disappeared from the BID proposal/ballot document Vauxhall One’s Giles Semper was quick to reassure TVS and its affiliate the Friends of Vauxhall Gardens that the omission was unintentional and would not be repeated.

Now it’s official. The BID boundaries, Semper explains, are drawn around streets on the map in question and that, as the park was on South Lambeth Road, it falls within the BID boundaries of the BID area. The park does appear on the Vauxhall One website map.

Vauxhall gets its park back

What a BID is and what Vauxhall One (Vauxhall’s BID vehicle) says it would do for Vauxhall

Vauxhall One to give Vauxhall its Park back

Vauxhall Park

At the urging of The Vauxhall Society, Vauxhall Park is back on the map. By the end of 2011, the park had disappeared from maps and text published by Vauxhall One, the consortium of local businesses behind February’s referendum over whether or not the Vauxhall Cross area should have a Business Improvement District (BID).

Now, however, after an approach from The Vauxhall Society, Vauxhall One Chairman Richard Tice, confirms that Vauxhall Park is back in the BID area and indeed, appearances to the contrary, never left.

‘Vauxhall Park is in the BID area and will benefit from BID programmes and services’, Mr Tice told the Vauxhall One management committee on 12 January. Mr Tice is Chief Executive Officer of Vauxhall property developer CLS Holdings.

Vauxhall One’s Giles Semper told the management committee that the omission of Vauxhall Park from BID maps was ‘a mistake’. He confirmed that, should February’s BID referendum succeed, Vauxhall Park will be reinstated in Vauxhall One maps, publications and website.

The price of exclusion

The appearance of exclusion could disadvantage Vauxhall Park in the allocation of BID and other funding. Failure to capitalise on an asset of such outstanding attraction as Vauxhall Park would make it harder for Vauxhall One itself to attract funding over and above income from the annual levy Vauxhall One plans charge local businesses should the BID go ahread, The Vauxhall Society argued.

The BID area map on the Vauxhall One website is misleading in that it identifies Vauxhall Park, without making it clear that the park is in the BID area, even though South Lambeth Road is. Two other green spaces, Spring Gardens and The Oval, are clearly shown as in the BID area.

Vauxhall Park disappears completely from other Vauxhall One maps, including the latest, which is in Making a Better Vauxhall, the Vauxhall One booklet that accompanies the referendum voting pack the Electoral Reform Ballot Services is now sending out.

The text of Making a Better Vauxhall makes no mention of Vauxhall Park, although there are also two businesses in Vauxhall Park that could opt into BID membership.

Vauxhall One literature promises to help make Spring Gardens ‘more inviting for workers, residents and visitors’.

In another Vauxhall One map, entitled 8 Reasons to Get Involved, Spring Gardens is identified as the BID area’s only green-space ‘target area for improvement’.

One referendum you are allowed to have

Mr Tice and Mr Semper issued their clarification after the Vauxhall One management committee had considered a written protest submitted by committee member and Vauxhall Society chairman Ross Davies, with the backing of fellow-member Helen Evans of Covent Garden Market Authority.

The BID ballot of businesses in the BID map area closes on 23 February. If there is a simple majority ‘Yes’ vote then on 1 April Vauxhall One becomes a Business Improvement District, empowered to raise a levy of 1.5% of rateable value on businesses with rateable value of more than £20,000.

Lambeth would collect the money for Vauxhall One to spend in the BID area on commissioning new or improved services such as recycling or street patrols.

What a BID is and what Vauxhall One says one would do for Vauxhall:  www.vauxhallone.co.uk

BIDs: Waterloo’s got one: Lambeth Council website

 

 

Are the police worth local business’s coppers?

Do local businesses think they’re getting their money’s worth from Lambeth police? If you’re running a business in Lambeth we’d like to hear your views at vauxhallcs@gmail.com. We also invite the police to comment on complaints that they’re too politically-correct to crack down on a particular gang of shoplifters.


DIY ‘justice’?
One long-established Lambeth DIY retailer complained to a Vauxhall Society member that the police try to entrap him by sending kids into his shop asking to buy knives. This retailer said he had chased one child out of the shop, and then confronted a police officer who was waiting nearby. The officer, in the time-hallowed phrase, ‘made an excuse and left’.

That shopkeeper’s allegation perhaps comes under the heading of ‘private complaint to be taken up with Lambeth Police by the individual concerned’. What, however, are we to make of current mutterings among traders on the Brixton Road that the police are so ‘useless’ over one particular shoplifting gang that they, the traders, may ‘have to take the law into their own hands’?

A public order issue?
Here we could be moving away from one-off gripes and towards a public order issue. Traders of various faiths and none with stores on the Kennington Church-Mowll Street stretch of Brixton Road say they are plagued by a gang of women shoplifters who are able to visit shops repeatedly in order to steal. The women wear Muslim-style masks and robes.

Nobody, of whatever faith, claims these women are Muslim; indeed, the indecorous behaviour of one woman when challenged by the police – and let go – may suggest otherwise. The robes make it easier for the women to conceal stolen goods, and the masks to evade identification, say the shopkeepers. In bank robberies, one shopper said, thieves may wear Mickey Mouse masks, but that does not mean they are mice.

Rightly or wrongly, shopkeepers see the police as reluctant to get involved in a complaint that may appear to involve a Muslim woman. The police are reluctant to even conduct inquiries in the shops affected, says one retailer; it isn’t a good career move. Yet if it’s true the police are reluctant to get involved, might not the reluctance of hard-pressed retailers to take the law into their own hands diminish?

Your comments, please.