Kendal businesses ponder payments for town improvements

A CONSULTANT has started a debate in Kendal regarding whether the town should become a Business Improvement District.

Councillors expect Chris Kolek to spend around 12 months discussing the concept — where each local firm pays one per cent of its rateable value to fund independent town enhancements.

A vote on the BID proposal is expected to take place next September and, if more than half the local businesses vote ‘yes’, the funds will be collected from each business in the town.

Mr Kolek has visited 250 companies in Kendal so far to answer questions about the scheme, which was turned down in Windermere and Bowness last year and is currently being debated for Penrith.A website at www.kendalbid.co.uk has been created to communicate with and inform the town.

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Comments (27)

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1:05pm Tue 20 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

Good luck with that one!

Most businesses are nervous of how it works, and the voting system, as well as being annoyed at the manner in which SLDC do so much to harm businesses.

The BID scheme IS well worth while - but requires a greater degree of cooperation than is usually the case.
Good luck with that one! Most businesses are nervous of how it works, and the voting system, as well as being annoyed at the manner in which SLDC do so much to harm businesses. The BID scheme IS well worth while - but requires a greater degree of cooperation than is usually the case. life cycle too

1:29pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

Let me introduce myself. I am the "consultant" meeting businesses in Kendal. I have now visited over 400 of them so many will have met me and shared their concerns and aspirations with me.

I am determined to prepare a proposal written from the perspective of the town's businesses and I want to involve as many of the town's businesses and organisations as possible in this important work.

Come and have your say at:
Riverside Hotel 21 Nov 12-1pm
Shakespeare Centre 29 Nov 6-7pm
Riverside Hotel 5 Dec 6-7pm

These are open meetings so please consider what a BID could mean for Kendal and have your say!
Let me introduce myself. I am the "consultant" meeting businesses in Kendal. I have now visited over 400 of them so many will have met me and shared their concerns and aspirations with me. I am determined to prepare a proposal written from the perspective of the town's businesses and I want to involve as many of the town's businesses and organisations as possible in this important work. Come and have your say at: Riverside Hotel 21 Nov 12-1pm Shakespeare Centre 29 Nov 6-7pm Riverside Hotel 5 Dec 6-7pm These are open meetings so please consider what a BID could mean for Kendal and have your say! kolekconsulting

3:32pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

What criteria have you applied in choosing the 400+ businesses you have visited? How have you found them? Business lists are few and far between, I'm fascinated to hear of your methods.
What criteria have you applied in choosing the 400+ businesses you have visited? How have you found them? Business lists are few and far between, I'm fascinated to hear of your methods. Kent123

4:46pm Tue 20 Nov 12

MJ-kendal says...

Kent123 has a good question. No one has even contacted our business. Businesses are a diverse group - what is the purpose of this BID, and why will it help /all/ businesses and not just retail?
Kent123 has a good question. No one has even contacted our business. Businesses are a diverse group - what is the purpose of this BID, and why will it help /all/ businesses and not just retail? MJ-kendal

4:47pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

The Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004 allow for a BID proposer to obtain information from the billing authority (SLDC) for the purposes of developing a BID. This includes a list that includes the name of each non-domestic ratepayer and the address and rateable value of each hereditament (i.e. the business premises).

As for the selection criteria, I am presently focusing on Kendal town centre using the Conservation Area boundary as a guide until the BID area is established.

If anybody wants further details just give me a call on 07900 608085 or email me on chris@kendalbid.co.u
k
The Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004 allow for a BID proposer to obtain information from the billing authority (SLDC) for the purposes of developing a BID. This includes a list that includes the name of each non-domestic ratepayer and the address and rateable value of each hereditament (i.e. the business premises). As for the selection criteria, I am presently focusing on Kendal town centre using the Conservation Area boundary as a guide until the BID area is established. If anybody wants further details just give me a call on 07900 608085 or email me on chris@kendalbid.co.u k kolekconsulting

5:13pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

MJ-Kendal asks what is the purpose of a BID?

So far, businesses in town have suggested that its purpose should be threefold:
• To create a resource to take action (including initiatives to increase and retain footfall in Kendal)
• Using that resource to effect change and influence policy
• Generating stronger collaboration to unite the town

This work certainly does need to include more than just retailers as non-domestic ratepayers are, as you say, a diverse group. My visits to all non-domestic ratepayers, including non-commercial organisations in the town centre, should help to meet this need.
MJ-Kendal asks what is the purpose of a BID? So far, businesses in town have suggested that its purpose should be threefold: • To create a resource to take action (including initiatives to increase and retain footfall in Kendal) • Using that resource to effect change and influence policy • Generating stronger collaboration to unite the town This work certainly does need to include more than just retailers as non-domestic ratepayers are, as you say, a diverse group. My visits to all non-domestic ratepayers, including non-commercial organisations in the town centre, should help to meet this need. kolekconsulting

5:39pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

Where is there a map of the Conservation area please?
Where is there a map of the Conservation area please? Kent123

5:49pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

Reply to Kent123. Remember I am using this as a guide only, and the BID Development Group (whose membership includes a growing number of businesses, chaired by Martyn Nicholson) is currently reviewing where the boundary should be.

You can access the Conservation Area map online at:
http://www.southlake
land.gov.uk/pdf/Kend
al%20Conservation%20
Area%20Revised%20Bou
ndary%20REV2.pdf
Reply to Kent123. Remember I am using this as a guide only, and the BID Development Group (whose membership includes a growing number of businesses, chaired by Martyn Nicholson) is currently reviewing where the boundary should be. You can access the Conservation Area map online at: http://www.southlake land.gov.uk/pdf/Kend al%20Conservation%20 Area%20Revised%20Bou ndary%20REV2.pdf kolekconsulting

6:00pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

We are in the Conservation Area and we haven't been contacted!
We are in the Conservation Area and we haven't been contacted! Kent123

7:34pm Tue 20 Nov 12

LK2010 says...

You can't expect this single consultant to visit every single business, hence the reason he has been quite open about the available sessions you can attend Kent123.

What has he already written.....

Come and have your say at:
Riverside Hotel 21 Nov 12-1pm
Shakespeare Centre 29 Nov 6-7pm
Riverside Hotel 5 Dec 6-7pm
You can't expect this single consultant to visit every single business, hence the reason he has been quite open about the available sessions you can attend Kent123. What has he already written..... Come and have your say at: Riverside Hotel 21 Nov 12-1pm Shakespeare Centre 29 Nov 6-7pm Riverside Hotel 5 Dec 6-7pm LK2010

8:09pm Tue 20 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

There are over 800 premises in the Conservation Area and my intention is to contact face-to-face with as many as practically possible by a variety of means.

Further to this I will visit any business in town that requests an appointment to discuss the BID.

Contact chris@kendalbid.co.u
k
There are over 800 premises in the Conservation Area and my intention is to contact face-to-face with as many as practically possible by a variety of means. Further to this I will visit any business in town that requests an appointment to discuss the BID. Contact chris@kendalbid.co.u k kolekconsulting

8:12pm Tue 20 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

kolekconsulting wrote:
There are over 800 premises in the Conservation Area and my intention is to contact face-to-face with as many as practically possible by a variety of means.

Further to this I will visit any business in town that requests an appointment to discuss the BID.

Contact chris@kendalbid.co.u

k
I didn't appreciate how many businesses there were in this area. Does that mean there are 800 businesses paying rates within the area. If so, a one to two percent levy should raise quite a substantial sum.
[quote][p][bold]kolekconsulting[/bold] wrote: There are over 800 premises in the Conservation Area and my intention is to contact face-to-face with as many as practically possible by a variety of means. Further to this I will visit any business in town that requests an appointment to discuss the BID. Contact chris@kendalbid.co.u k[/p][/quote]I didn't appreciate how many businesses there were in this area. Does that mean there are 800 businesses paying rates within the area. If so, a one to two percent levy should raise quite a substantial sum. Kent123

9:49am Wed 21 Nov 12

Kendal Jock says...

kolekconsulting wrote:
MJ-Kendal asks what is the purpose of a BID?

So far, businesses in town have suggested that its purpose should be threefold:
• To create a resource to take action (including initiatives to increase and retain footfall in Kendal)
• Using that resource to effect change and influence policy
• Generating stronger collaboration to unite the town

This work certainly does need to include more than just retailers as non-domestic ratepayers are, as you say, a diverse group. My visits to all non-domestic ratepayers, including non-commercial organisations in the town centre, should help to meet this need.
What a load of 'Leftie' sounding Mumbo Jumbo! How much is this 'consultant costing? Seems like another waste of council tax payers money. What traders need, is a reduction in the rates, not an increase. Get rid of the over-paid paper shufflers and pen pushers in the various departments (and there are many) OR, reduce their salaries and give the tax/rate payers a break. Encourage visitors to Kendal by reducing parking costs and, not closing free ammenities such as toilets and parking, as you have done.
Plain logic does not require consultants.
[quote][p][bold]kolekconsulting[/bold] wrote: MJ-Kendal asks what is the purpose of a BID? So far, businesses in town have suggested that its purpose should be threefold: • To create a resource to take action (including initiatives to increase and retain footfall in Kendal) • Using that resource to effect change and influence policy • Generating stronger collaboration to unite the town This work certainly does need to include more than just retailers as non-domestic ratepayers are, as you say, a diverse group. My visits to all non-domestic ratepayers, including non-commercial organisations in the town centre, should help to meet this need.[/p][/quote]What a load of 'Leftie' sounding Mumbo Jumbo! How much is this 'consultant costing? Seems like another waste of council tax payers money. What traders need, is a reduction in the rates, not an increase. Get rid of the over-paid paper shufflers and pen pushers in the various departments (and there are many) OR, reduce their salaries and give the tax/rate payers a break. Encourage visitors to Kendal by reducing parking costs and, not closing free ammenities such as toilets and parking, as you have done. Plain logic does not require consultants. Kendal Jock

12:50pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Lakeuk says...

Going to be a hard sell, Windermere and Carlisle businesses voted against on their BID proposals - have any lessons been learnt from those outcomes.

Would any money raised just be spent in areas that the council would of put the money up for anyway in the past - granted probable after much arm twisting

Maybe the council should commit to a extra 1% saving in their cost against business rate income which is earmarked to BID
Going to be a hard sell, Windermere and Carlisle businesses voted against on their BID proposals - have any lessons been learnt from those outcomes. Would any money raised just be spent in areas that the council would of put the money up for anyway in the past - granted probable after much arm twisting Maybe the council should commit to a extra 1% saving in their cost against business rate income which is earmarked to BID Lakeuk

2:19pm Wed 21 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate!

Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal.
Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate! Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal. life cycle too

2:31pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

life cycle too wrote:
Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate!

Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal.
SLDC are very good at not fully explaining what happens to business rates!

Yes they do go to the Government BUT the Government gives SLDC a very similar amount back!
[quote][p][bold]life cycle too[/bold] wrote: Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate! Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal.[/p][/quote]SLDC are very good at not fully explaining what happens to business rates! Yes they do go to the Government BUT the Government gives SLDC a very similar amount back! Kent123

5:22pm Thu 22 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

life cycle too wrote:
Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate!

Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal.
The estimates for Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates) published by SLDC state that a total of £37,280,000 will be collected in the district and paid to the Government. Of this total only £4,380,200 will be reimbursed to the district to pay for local services.

The reality is that local authorities across the land will struggle to support initiatives to strengthen their local economy. Hence the need to look at alternatives. Business Improvement Districts may be part of the answer. My job is to help the town to investigate this option and most businesses do
seem to understand that.
[quote][p][bold]life cycle too[/bold] wrote: Business rates don't go to the council - they go to the Government, so SLDC would be very unlikely to commit anything to making businesses run better in the current economic climate! Windermere BIDs failed largely because those businesses that were largely in favour, failed to appreciate the complicated voting system, and lobby their fellows to accept the proposal.[/p][/quote]The estimates for Business Rates (Non-Domestic Rates) published by SLDC state that a total of £37,280,000 will be collected in the district and paid to the Government. Of this total only £4,380,200 will be reimbursed to the district to pay for local services. The reality is that local authorities across the land will struggle to support initiatives to strengthen their local economy. Hence the need to look at alternatives. Business Improvement Districts may be part of the answer. My job is to help the town to investigate this option and most businesses do seem to understand that. kolekconsulting

8:41am Fri 23 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

Figures can be deceptive!

The SLDC accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012 show receipts from central government exceeded £25m. SLDC even say in their accounts "Central Government .... provides the majority of its [SLDC's} funding in the form of grants..."
Figures can be deceptive! The SLDC accounts for the year ended 31 March 2012 show receipts from central government exceeded £25m. SLDC even say in their accounts "Central Government .... provides the majority of its [SLDC's} funding in the form of grants..." Kent123

6:56pm Fri 23 Nov 12

whitevanman2 says...

K Village will be licking their lips ......... bet they try for a big wack of any improvement fund
More wasted money I think
K Village will be licking their lips ......... bet they try for a big wack of any improvement fund More wasted money I think whitevanman2

7:38am Sat 24 Nov 12

LK2010 says...

Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever!
Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever! LK2010

10:29am Mon 26 Nov 12

MJ-kendal says...

LK2010 wrote:
Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever!
I want to know what the money will actually do for the town. I don't want to pay for "a resource to affect change", but I would pay for decent toilets, signage, and some other direct impact things. I think that retailers should be funding some of these things directly, but all businesses have an interest.

Don't the Chamber of Commerce already have a list of things they'd like to see? Why aren't they leading this? And if they are, then why not list the top three things it would pay for.
[quote][p][bold]LK2010[/bold] wrote: Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever![/p][/quote]I want to know what the money will actually do for the town. I don't want to pay for "a resource to affect change", but I would pay for decent toilets, signage, and some other direct impact things. I think that retailers should be funding some of these things directly, but all businesses have an interest. Don't the Chamber of Commerce already have a list of things they'd like to see? Why aren't they leading this? And if they are, then why not list the top three things it would pay for. MJ-kendal

10:55am Mon 26 Nov 12

Kent123 says...

Well said MJ-kendal.

Perhaps you should be the business spokesman?

In my opinion too much of the process, despite the glossy image, is being carried on behind closed doors.
Well said MJ-kendal. Perhaps you should be the business spokesman? In my opinion too much of the process, despite the glossy image, is being carried on behind closed doors. Kent123

11:20am Mon 26 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

MJ-kendal wrote:
LK2010 wrote:
Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever!
I want to know what the money will actually do for the town. I don't want to pay for "a resource to affect change", but I would pay for decent toilets, signage, and some other direct impact things. I think that retailers should be funding some of these things directly, but all businesses have an interest.

Don't the Chamber of Commerce already have a list of things they'd like to see? Why aren't they leading this? And if they are, then why not list the top three things it would pay for.
To attempt to do anything that involves around 800 businesses necessitates a period of consultation and awareness raising. In other words, listening to their views and ideas as well developing their understanding of what Business Improvement Districts are, and how they work.

These vital tasks only take a few weeks and from these we should have a list of practical things to do - to be publicised early in the New Year.

The Chamber of Commerce is a key partner in this process but the BID is likely to include many businesses who are not part of the Chamber's membership.Everybody this might affect must be given the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions.

I do understand that this may all seem unnecessary to some people but ultimately the businesses themselves will decide on the proposal for a BID through a ballot. It is therefore vital that the proposal they vote on contains actions which are relevant to them and reflect the current priorities of businesses and organisations in Kendal.
[quote][p][bold]MJ-kendal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LK2010[/bold] wrote: Some of these comments are frustrating to read. For those moaning and suspect, just sit back in your chairs then and snipe from the sides, do nothing and watch your business or your town fail....well done, you are all so clever![/p][/quote]I want to know what the money will actually do for the town. I don't want to pay for "a resource to affect change", but I would pay for decent toilets, signage, and some other direct impact things. I think that retailers should be funding some of these things directly, but all businesses have an interest. Don't the Chamber of Commerce already have a list of things they'd like to see? Why aren't they leading this? And if they are, then why not list the top three things it would pay for.[/p][/quote]To attempt to do anything that involves around 800 businesses necessitates a period of consultation and awareness raising. In other words, listening to their views and ideas as well developing their understanding of what Business Improvement Districts are, and how they work. These vital tasks only take a few weeks and from these we should have a list of practical things to do - to be publicised early in the New Year. The Chamber of Commerce is a key partner in this process but the BID is likely to include many businesses who are not part of the Chamber's membership.Everybody this might affect must be given the opportunity to contribute their ideas and opinions. I do understand that this may all seem unnecessary to some people but ultimately the businesses themselves will decide on the proposal for a BID through a ballot. It is therefore vital that the proposal they vote on contains actions which are relevant to them and reflect the current priorities of businesses and organisations in Kendal. kolekconsulting

8:21pm Mon 26 Nov 12

snuggle-bunny says...

the buisness of kendal pay enough as it is . How much is this' conultant' getting paid and what, if anyything, will the town gain from this. Someone, somewhere will be laughing all the way to the bank
the buisness of kendal pay enough as it is . How much is this' conultant' getting paid and what, if anyything, will the town gain from this. Someone, somewhere will be laughing all the way to the bank snuggle-bunny

7:52pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Kendal Jock says...

Another-well said! to MJ-kendal.
Why have so many businesses closed
over the last few years? I would assume, high rates and lack of visiting shoppers through high parking charges and toilet facilities etc. Just look at the K Village, Westmorland centre and 'White Elephant Yard'.....What do you see? empty units. Does that not tell the powers that be, something.
Still like to know much the consultancy fee is? No doubt will be kept under wraps.
Another-well said! to MJ-kendal. Why have so many businesses closed over the last few years? I would assume, high rates and lack of visiting shoppers through high parking charges and toilet facilities etc. Just look at the K Village, Westmorland centre and 'White Elephant Yard'.....What do you see? empty units. Does that not tell the powers that be, something. Still like to know much the consultancy fee is? No doubt will be kept under wraps. Kendal Jock

11:23am Wed 28 Nov 12

kolekconsulting says...

snuggle-bunny wrote:
the buisness of kendal pay enough as it is . How much is this' conultant' getting paid and what, if anyything, will the town gain from this. Someone, somewhere will be laughing all the way to the bank
I agree with the comments that many businesses will be paying enough as it is but, without any powers to reduce the business rates, what CAN be done to avoid so many business closures and to address the lack of visiting shoppers in Kendal?

A Business Improvement District (BID) could help businesses by generating an increase in numbers of people using the town, increasing sales and by reducing their overheads through group purchasing or similar initiatives that take advantage of the economies of scale. Most importantly, the BID can focus on what CAN be done to address some of the challenges facing businesses in Kendal.

There is keen interest to know how much I am paid to do this work; to consult with hundreds of businesses and to develop a BID proposal for the town compliant with BID Regulations i.e. to meet the requirements of the brief. My fee is commensurate to the costs of a part-time appointment over a period of 12 months. The only significant difference is that I am independent, self-employed and therefore carry the on-costs myself. These include tax, NI, pension, insurance, travel expenses, car parking charges, etc. I do not believe I would have secured the work if my tender had not been very competitive on price.

Am I a waste of money? A few individuals may already have formed their own opinions but those who have witnessed my work will testify to my thoroughness in approach and my hard-working nature. I did not take this on to 'be laughing all the way to the bank'. I actually do believe that my work could help Kendal to be the vibrant town it should be. That is my primary motivation.
[quote][p][bold]snuggle-bunny[/bold] wrote: the buisness of kendal pay enough as it is . How much is this' conultant' getting paid and what, if anyything, will the town gain from this. Someone, somewhere will be laughing all the way to the bank[/p][/quote]I agree with the comments that many businesses will be paying enough as it is but, without any powers to reduce the business rates, what CAN be done to avoid so many business closures and to address the lack of visiting shoppers in Kendal? A Business Improvement District (BID) could help businesses by generating an increase in numbers of people using the town, increasing sales and by reducing their overheads through group purchasing or similar initiatives that take advantage of the economies of scale. Most importantly, the BID can focus on what CAN be done to address some of the challenges facing businesses in Kendal. There is keen interest to know how much I am paid to do this work; to consult with hundreds of businesses and to develop a BID proposal for the town compliant with BID Regulations i.e. to meet the requirements of the brief. My fee is commensurate to the costs of a part-time appointment over a period of 12 months. The only significant difference is that I am independent, self-employed and therefore carry the on-costs myself. These include tax, NI, pension, insurance, travel expenses, car parking charges, etc. I do not believe I would have secured the work if my tender had not been very competitive on price. Am I a waste of money? A few individuals may already have formed their own opinions but those who have witnessed my work will testify to my thoroughness in approach and my hard-working nature. I did not take this on to 'be laughing all the way to the bank'. I actually do believe that my work could help Kendal to be the vibrant town it should be. That is my primary motivation. kolekconsulting

12:07pm Wed 28 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

Why have (potential) customers abandoned the town?

For myself, it is the time it takes to get into the town, and the cost of parking, and the number of "chain" outlets which are already present in nearly every other town... including Bowness.

I can travel to Barrow on a Sunday, find more shops, park for FREE, enjoy a drive along the coast road and Newby Bridge roads - and if time allows, visit the Dock Museum or the Wildlife Park at Dalton for free (Winter only for the Wildlife Park!).

When I visit my mother in law, I go to Southport - park and ride is £1.50 and there are a lot more independent retailers.
Why have (potential) customers abandoned the town? For myself, it is the time it takes to get into the town, and the cost of parking, and the number of "chain" outlets which are already present in nearly every other town... including Bowness. I can travel to Barrow on a Sunday, find more shops, park for FREE, enjoy a drive along the coast road and Newby Bridge roads - and if time allows, visit the Dock Museum or the Wildlife Park at Dalton for free (Winter only for the Wildlife Park!). When I visit my mother in law, I go to Southport - park and ride is £1.50 and there are a lot more independent retailers. life cycle too

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