12 Reasons To Vote YES

12 Top Practical Business Reasons to Votes YES in the Ballot

The postal ballot papers for the renewal of the Business Improvement District (BID) will be issued shortly if you have not already received them.

The present BID period terminates on 30 June 2019. The period can be extended for a further 5 years but requires a fresh mandate from the business community. In both 2009 and 2014 an overwhelming majority voted in favour and we require another majority to continue the BID and the services it provides and also to attract match funding for improvements.

Ten top business reasons to vote YES are listed below.

1 | Retain CCTV

To retain the CCTV system: the coverage is not owned by the Council or the Police but is funded, maintained and managed by the businesses on the estate via the Willow BID Company. The CCTV coverage has been instrumental in reducing the level of major crime on the estate, as verified by the police. The police do not have CCTV coverage on the estate and rely on the BID’s for footage to investigate incidents, as do the Council who are responsible for fly tipping investigations.


2 | Expand CCTV Coverage

To fund expansion of the CCTV system with the purchase and installation of additional cameras and associated monitoring equipment. These will be deployed in vulnerable areas where gaps have been noted from previous investigation.


3 | Continue Close Relationship with Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team

To continue the close relationship with the police, who we jointly work with to tackle crime on the estate. The BID continues to chair the Cricket Green panel where residential groups along with representatives from the estate discuss crime in the area and agree priorities with the police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT). In the five years of the BID there has been a reduction in major crime and vandalism. The SNT have been able to organize operations to combat the dangerous racing by youths on mopeds and in cars in the evenings and weekends and crack down once again if they remerge.


4 | Ensure Levels of Major Crime are kept low

Avoid returning to the bad old days on the estate when major crime was far more prevalent and vandalism common .  These were the days when there was no CCTV and there was no body to develop a close relationship with the police.


5 | Continued Investment on the estate to enhance the trading environment.

This is facilitated by the i) BID levy monies ii) additional match funding the BID can attract and iii) lobbying for improvements on existing services, for example those provided by the Council. The BID Levy and match funding are 100% invested on the estate, whereas businesses feel that only a low percentage of the Business Rates is spent on the estate.


6 | Attract Additional investment

To actively explore, lobby and apply for additional funding to be invested in the estate.  In the first ten years we managed to attract £184,000 that was invested in additional CCTV cameras, new signage and banners under the Wayfinding project to facilitate navigation of the estate, a new website and branding. Many of the bodies that can provide investment prefer to work with a body representing businesses and have a growing preference for match funding contributions made by the businesses.


7 | Retain an Active Representative Business Voice for the estate

Businesses do not participate in the election of MPs or councilors and Willow BID is their sole representative to serve their interests. The opening of the bridge is a good example, where the BID lobbied persistently and managed to finally persuade the Council to invest in remedial work on the bridge.  This saves the businesses valuable time and resources and a body representing 200 plus businesses is likely to be more effective than a lone voice.


8 | Retain Faster Broadband but also explore better and cheaper alternatives.

The BID can employ collective purchasing power to bring down costs and we shall be exploring an alternative faster broadband source that will be cheaper and faster.  In the new BID period we will be seeking to expand this into other areas, such as reduced costs for mandatory training that businesses are required to undertake including first aid training.


9 | Retain and Develop Promotional Opportunities

To maintain the website and the promotional opportunities – a web page for each business’s goods and services and a facility to promote special offers to the businesses on the estate. The web page will include a personalized map of your precise location on the estate. In addition the site will provide a function to promote property available to rent or purchase.  All these services will be provided free by the BID.


10 | Communication Role to Businesses

Keeping businesses informed of news and developments on the estate, as well as business support opportunities.  These will be communicated via the website and circulated by email.


11 | Maintain Wayfinding Signage and Banners

To maintain the Wayfinding signage and banners and look to develop further improvements to facilitate the navigation of the estate. Many of the businesses employ the coloured banners to direct their visitors, collections and deliveries to their premises


12 | Free Membership of Merton Chamber for each BID Levy Paying Business

A Group membership will be paid by the BID that is worth £360 per annum to each business. This will enable discounted participation in First Aid and Fire Warden training courses that are statutory for many businesses


In summary, the feedback from businesses is that security remains the top priority. They greatly value the CCTV, the lobbying and representative function of the BID and support the development of the promotional function of the website that can help develop business.

In the previous two ballots, over 90 per cent of those voting, voted in favour of the BID. However it is imperative to achieve a third strong YES vote if we are to obtain and attract further match funding.


Get In Touch

Please do not hesitate to contact the Willow BID if you would like any further information or would like to arrange a meeting to discuss our proposal in more detail:
Graham Willins
Tel: 020 8640 2507