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> Will new shops tax improve Newbury?, Business Improvement Districts
Bofem
post Dec 18 2010, 07:55 AM
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Newbury Town Centre Partnership is planning a public consultation on raising 1% business tax from town centre businesses to be used to improve things like safety, visitor numbers and appearance, which involves putting together a Business Improvement District business plan.

It looks like overheads for this are about 20%, with the other 80% of funds raised going directly to improvements.

In the absence of any public consultation, I thought I'd start a thread to find out what we think. (PS I'm in favour).

See here for how it's going in Reading.



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user23
post Dec 18 2010, 08:51 AM
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Sounds like a good idea, for a trial at least.

Who actually raises the money though, can the TCP levy tax on businesses in Newbury?
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Bofem
post Dec 18 2010, 09:13 AM
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I believe you need government permission, and the tax is usually collected by the district council and passed on.

A quick win I can think of is that the Christmas lights could be handed over to them, and so would no longer be taxpayer funded....and so should lead to a cut in council tax from Newbury Town Council.


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Iommi
post Dec 18 2010, 10:25 AM
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QUOTE (Bofem @ Dec 18 2010, 09:13 AM) *
...and so should lead to a cut in council tax from Newbury Town Council.

...or frees up cash for other needs (like an ageing population). A reduction of CT is highly unlikely.
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On the edge
post Dec 18 2010, 10:34 AM
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Not the best idea given that the biggest competitive threat is Newbury Retail park. Frankly, the best way to solve this would be to tax ALL benefits in kind properly. That means the 'free car parks' at most supermarkets and retail parks. That would have been done had HMG not been so scared of Tesco.

Rasing taxes for the town centre only would be regressive - just another nail. Cutting tax is the only way in our economy - good old Adam Smith again.


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Iommi
post Dec 18 2010, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 18 2010, 10:34 AM) *
Not the best idea given that the biggest competitive threat is Newbury Retail park. Frankly, the best way to solve this would be to tax ALL benefits in kind properly. That means the 'free car parks' at most supermarkets and retail parks. That would have been done had HMG not been so scared of Tesco.

And the voter. Giving Tesco et al the need to put prices up because of parking tax would also give supermarkets the ammo to accuse the government of loading the burden on the poor as well. Not the wisest idea from a political point of view.
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Biker1
post Dec 18 2010, 12:45 PM
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QUOTE (Bofem @ Dec 18 2010, 08:55 AM) *
Newbury Town Centre Partnership is planning a public consultation on raising 1% business tax from town centre businesses to be used to improve things like safety, visitor numbers and appearance, which involves putting together a Business Improvement District business plan.

It looks like overheads for this are about 20%, with the other 80% of funds raised going directly to improvements.

In the absence of any public consultation, I thought I'd start a thread to find out what we think. (PS I'm in favour).

See here for how it's going in Reading.

I suppose it depends on if you are a shopkeeper, already hit by sky high rents and business rates, or not.
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user23
post Dec 18 2010, 01:37 PM
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QUOTE (Biker1 @ Dec 18 2010, 12:45 PM) *
I suppose it depends on if you are a shopkeeper, already hit by sky high rents and business rates, or not.
The majority of shops in town seem to cope with supposedly "sky high rents and business rates".

Perhaps those that can't are in the wrong business?
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Richard Garvie
post Dec 18 2010, 01:52 PM
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My concern would be that the high street and Kennet Centre are almost full at the minute, if we are going to do anything we need to look at ways of improving the northern end of Northbrook Street and the southern parts of the town centre. Lets say we go for the BID, and we spend money on events in the town centre etc. Where will those events be held?

I suppose what I'm getting at is what will the benefit be to the smaller, independent traders who already feel sidelined when events take place? Those businesses who can't afford to be in the middle of town, and take smaller cheaper units on the edge of town. I think the health of Newbury Town Centre is relatively good right now, and things like a BID can have a negative impact (Sleaford is the perfect example). I'm all for exploring it as an option, providing other options are being looked at too.
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Iommi
post Dec 18 2010, 01:58 PM
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Recently, I saw on TV the other day, that Newbury is a growing retail environment, where as places like Reading are shrinking. I'm surprised nothing was mentioned on here about this.
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Simon Kirby
post Dec 18 2010, 02:17 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Dec 18 2010, 01:52 PM) *
My concern would be that the high street and Kennet Centre are almost full at the minute, if we are going to do anything we need to look at ways of improving the northern end of Northbrook Street and the southern parts of the town centre. Lets say we go for the BID, and we spend money on events in the town centre etc. Where will those events be held?

I suppose what I'm getting at is what will the benefit be to the smaller, independent traders who already feel sidelined when events take place? Those businesses who can't afford to be in the middle of town, and take smaller cheaper units on the edge of town. I think the health of Newbury Town Centre is relatively good right now, and things like a BID can have a negative impact (Sleaford is the perfect example). I'm all for exploring it as an option, providing other options are being looked at too.

I don't give a stuff about independent retailers. Should I? I'm interested in range, price, and convenience. If a BID gives its members a competative advantage because they can invest in their retail environment then great, and if independents can't survive then sorry, but that's progress. Actually I'd have thought a well managed BID would create local distinctiveness as part of its branding and that would be the saving of the small retailer, but the BID is only as good as the retailers allow it to be.


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Richard Garvie
post Dec 18 2010, 02:27 PM
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A fairly good point. It will only work if everyone gets behind it. Is there a web site with figures and a plan of how it will work anywhere? I think if it's what the retailers want, we should all get behind it and make sure it happens. If they don't want it, then we should ensure it doesn't happen. For anyone to make an informed decision, we need to see the plans I guess. Every example I've seen has had a negative impact, but that is not to say it can't work here if it is run and planned correctly.

On a side note, if it goes ahead, who will run it and how will that person be selected?
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On the edge
post Dec 18 2010, 05:02 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Dec 18 2010, 10:43 AM) *
And the voter. Giving Tesco et al the need to put prices up because of parking tax would also give supermarkets the ammo to accuse the government of loading the burden on the poor as well. Not the wisest idea from a political point of view.

Given that twenty years ago most supermarkets were town centre and didn't have car parks. Having to drive some way out of town to buy these 'cheap goods' hardly helps the poor. Politics is all about selling your values and policies, although today that's often translated as selling them out as the LibDems are now demonstrating.


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On the edge
post Dec 18 2010, 05:11 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Dec 18 2010, 01:58 PM) *
Recently, I saw on TV the other day, that Newbury is a growing retail environment, where as places like Reading are shrinking. I'm surprised nothing was mentioned on here about this.


Perhaps deserving a thread of its own. However, whilst it might have come as a surprise to some; if you look at the detail demographic trends for the whole area it has been pretty obvious for a while that 'Newbury' is growing. Residential developments when aggregated are on a massive scale. These are set to continue - race course etc. The train service to Paddington is improved and Paddington itself is being commercially redeveloped, meaning a far more attractive commute proposition. That all means the volume of trade in the retail sector has increased as a consequence. If the contibution made by the developments mentioned is removed - then the trading volume percentages are very similar to Reading. It made a good headline and explains why Park Way was always an attractive proposition to the bigger retailers.


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Iommi
post Dec 18 2010, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 18 2010, 05:02 PM) *
Given that twenty years ago most supermarkets were town centre and didn't have car parks. Having to drive some way out of town to buy these 'cheap goods' hardly helps the poor.

So Tesco moved there to attract the Waitrose trade did they?

QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 18 2010, 05:02 PM) *
Politics is all about selling your values and policies, although today that's often translated as selling them out as the LibDems are now demonstrating.

What do you think was the best out come for the country after the election results were announced?
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On the edge
post Dec 18 2010, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Iommi @ Dec 18 2010, 08:02 PM) *
So Tesco moved there to attract the Waitrose trade did they?


What do you think was the best out come for the country after the election results were announced?


Waitrose focus is on a different customer segment. Arguably the best place for food stores is in the retail centre. There were two reasons why these traders started moving out, first a reduction in rent and rates and second the ability to attract far more 'one stop' customers who necessarily needed cars. Savacentre at Calcot is a good example. Just outside the Reading rate area and the ability to create a large car park. The car park is therefore a support and promotion to sales - just the same as any other 'come on'. As such, getting the land in effect rate free is a subsidy.

For me the outcome is quite OK. I was a Liberal through my youth and until the time we moved to Newbury. However, having lived through what the LibDems did in Newbury when they tasted power - I've changed my views and would never vote for them again. I no longer think three party politics works.

To form a Government a joint agreement meant give and take on both sides. It should have meant that each party held on to its core principles at least.

The LibDems had argued that tuition fees were a core manifesto promise, a core pledge. I heard their party chair and shadow education secretary say this quite forceably at a public meeting before the election. Sorry, if they cared that much about their principles this one would have been written into the agreement. Were there ANY principles they were prepared to hold on to at all? Indeed in my view as I said above experience locally suggests otherwise.


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Iommi
post Dec 18 2010, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Dec 18 2010, 08:30 PM) *
Waitrose focus is on a different customer segment. Arguably the best place for food stores is in the retail centre. There were two reasons why these traders started moving out, first a reduction in rent and rates and second the ability to attract far more 'one stop' customers who necessarily needed cars. Savacentre at Calcot is a good example. Just outside the Reading rate area and the ability to create a large car park. The car park is therefore a support and promotion to sales - just the same as any other 'come on'. As such, getting the land in effect rate free is a subsidy.

For me the outcome is quite OK. I was a Liberal through my youth and until the time we moved to Newbury. However, having lived through what the LibDems did in Newbury when they tasted power - I've changed my views and would never vote for them again. I no longer think three party politics works.

To form a Government a joint agreement meant give and take on both sides. It should have meant that each party held on to its core principles at least.

The LibDems had argued that tuition fees were a core manifesto promise, a core pledge. I heard their party chair and shadow education secretary say this quite forceably at a public meeting before the election. Sorry, if they cared that much about their principles this one would have been written into the agreement. Were there ANY principles they were prepared to hold on to at all? Indeed in my view as I said above experience locally suggests otherwise.

I largely agree with you except the emboldened text. I don't believe it wasn't a core pledge on the manifesto.

The question is: is Britain more 'Liberal' (or should we say 'fair'), with the Lib Dems in coalition with the Tories, or not?
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Richard Garvie
post Dec 18 2010, 11:14 PM
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Back on topic, have a look at these links:

Are nationals exempted from Bid schemes? This suggests they can opt out - http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.a...779146?UserKey=

Plymouth seems to have worked well: http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/plymouth_bid_review.pdf

Rugby happy, coventry less so: http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/cove...92746-26811246/

I guess it all comes down to what you expect from the BID and who operates it. Once again:

Who is paying for the research and study into the feasability of the proposed BID scheme?

Who will be apointed to run it, what is the selection process and how much will they earn?

What are the benefits to smaller traders and businesses / independents?

Will all nationals have to pay the levy? If not, why not?

Just some questions to start the ball rolling, and is there a place we can see the plans?
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On the edge
post Dec 19 2010, 08:36 AM
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The questions you pose seem pretty reasonable. Suspect the answers are just as you hint. The benefits seem pretty thin to me - certainly the Plymouth publicity is mainly hype. Strikes me as just throwing money at what is thought to be the problem. Ready, fire, aim! Concerns about the inclusions of 'nationals' also throws doubts on these schemes - without them, this is simply a tax on small traders. Again, tye benefits are very thin indeed. So not convinced this is a way forward.


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Strafin
post Dec 19 2010, 09:38 AM
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Sounds to me like another tax on anyone who works hard and is succesful in order to prop up a council who are inept at running a town centre retail enviroment. I would only support this if it replaced business rates rather than being in addition to them.
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