A BID can only be formed following consultation and a ballot in which businesses vote on a BID Proposal or Business Plan for the area. The Ferndown and Uddens BID is due to go to ballot in June/July 2014.
The BID consultation considers each role of property owners and businesses, sets out who is a ratepayer, and who is not, as well as formalising the structure of the BID. The Consultation is a communication with the businesses of the estate, the local government and estate landlords over a set period of time, to define common issues to be proposed in the BID.
The BID Proposal or Business Plan sets out businesses’ priorities for improvements to their area and services they require, as well as how the BID will be managed and operated. This document becomes legally binding once a ballot has been won and becomes the framework within which the BID will operate.
The Ballot will be arranged by the Returning Officer at East Dorset District Council. It is likely the Electoral Reform Service will be commissioned by the Council to conduct the ballot as they have considerable experience in undertaking ballots for BIDs. All businesses eligible to pay the BID Levy are balloted. For a BID to go ahead the ballot must be won on two counts: straight majority and majority of rateable value. This ensures that the interests of large and small businesses are protected. There is no minimum turnout threshold.
An Operating Agreement is entered into between a BID and their local authority, governing how the BID levy monies are collected, administered and passed over to the BID.
BIDs enter into Baseline Agreements with the local authority and other service providers, which guarantee the level of service provision in the area. These ensure that any services the BID provides are truly additional.
A successful BID is then funded through the BID Levy for a period of 5 years, which is a small percentage of a businesses’ rateable value (1.25%) moderated by a ceiling of am maximum contribution per property of £2,000 and a floor of £75.