Select Committee on Transport, Local Government and the Regions Memoranda

Memorandum by British Property Federation (LGB 11)

  This is an issue which members of ours feel particularly passionate about, because of its exclusion of property owners in voting on and funding BIDs. This is contrary to the experiences of many quasi-BID schemes that already exist in the UK, town centre management projects for example, which have predominantly been initiated and co-ordinated by property owners. It is also at odds with the experience in the United States, where property owners play a lead role in BIDs. One of the implications is that the legislation as it stands is excluding a potential source of funding for BIDs, which will either mean less resource overall for projects, or more of the funding required being asked from small businesses and other occupiers.

  We have a draft briefing prepared, but given the short timeframe for this inquiry it has been impossible for us to satisfy our own internal procedures for the approval of documents to be submitted to the Committee, and we would only be able to provide a final written briefing by 4 July.

  I know from giving evidence to the Committee on Local Government Finance in the 1998-99 session, however, that many members were genuinely interested in this issue and if that remains the case we would be delighted to put forward a leading figure from the property industry to give oral evidence. From discussions I have had with colleagues at the British Retail Consortium they too would be keen to contribute to a joint evidence session, which would give the Committee the unique opportunity to hear the perspective of property owners and occupiers at the same time.

  I am sorry that we have been unable to meet your deadline, but hope that the Committee agree this is an issue they should be exploring. If you would like further information please do not hesitate to contact me, tel: 020 7802 0112.

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