Merton Council is to meet with businesses to ask them about their views on the council’s budget and business plan proposals.
Leader of the council, Councillor Stephen Alambritis will be at the civic centre on Thursday, 20 February 2020, 6pm – 7pm along with council officers and cabinet members to answer any questions and address concerns business owners may have about the proposals for 2020/21 and the business plan 2020-24.
The meeting is part of the council’s annual consultation with businesses on the financial decisions it has to make to balance the budget and plan for the coming four years.
Details of the proposed Business Plan will be considered by cabinet on 24 February 2020 and will be available on the council’s website after the meeting.
The Government designated a pan-London business rates pool in 2018-19, which piloted 100% retention in that year, and this was revised to pilot 75% retention in 2019-20. The Government confirmed in September 2019 its intention not to renew the London pilot in 2020-21, and for London to revert back to the pre-existing 2017-18 67% retention scheme (which was a partial pilot, reflecting the incremental impact of the rolling in of the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) Revenue Support Grant (RSG) and the Transport for London investment grant).
For 2020/21, London boroughs and the GLA have collectively agreed to continue to operate a Business Rates Pool based on the 67% scheme across London and distribute the financial benefit to each participating authority on an agreed basis.
The aim of the Pool continues to be to improve the well-being of the communities served by the participating authorities in London. By working together, they can retain a greater proportion of business rates growth within London, providing additional resources to support local communities and strengthen financial resilience following a decade of significant funding reductions.
In returning to the 67% retention scheme for London, London boroughs will receive a share of 30%, the GLA a share of 37% to reach the total 67% retention scheme, with the Government receiving the balance of 33%.
Merton Council recognises the importance of a vibrant local economy and the role local businesses play in creating jobs and prosperity. The responses to the consultation will all be considered as part of the business plan which will be finalised at full council on 4 March 2020.
Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “I am a small businessman myself and was spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses so I understand businesses and how vital they are to the economic success of the borough. As a council we have adopted a business-like approach to our services and to the financial decisions we have to make. So I value greatly all our discussions with the business community when we get to hear their thoughts on what we’re doing and how we can continue to make Merton a place that’s business-friendly.”
For more information, and to confirm your attendance, contact Elaine Connaughton. Elaine.Connaughton@merton.gov.uk
Last Thursday Merton Council launched the NEW proposals for the Wimbledon masterplan at the Wimbledon Community Forum meeting and the full masterplan is now available on their website.
The area covered by the masterplan stretches across the whole Love Wimbledon BID area so we do encourage you to read it.
Merton Council is keen to hear the business voice as well as residents and other stakeholders. The consultation has been extended to 6th January 2019.
READ THE FULL MASTERPLAN HERE (140 pages)
Emerging Priorities on The Masterplan:
- Greening Wimbledon
- Mid-rise contextual architecture
- Public space
- Cultural space
- Traffic intervention
- Transport interchange
- Over station development
- Retail offer
Helen Clark Bell, CEO of Love Wimbledon comments, “Love Wimbledon has been an integral part of the consultation process over the last few years that has led to the development of the masterplan for Wimbledon. Having worked with Merton Council and the Design Council on the initial Design Competition in 2014, it is great to see so many of these initial ideas being brought forward to give Wimbledon town centre a strong vision and aspirations for managed growth over the next few decades.
“We are particularly keen to see the emphasis on greening of the town and improvement of public space to enhance the pedestrian experience as this is paramount in the development of any town. We look forward to hearing the views of local businesses, landowners and other stakeholders during this consultation to ensure that Wimbledon further develops as an attractive town for commerce, which in turn delivers a great place for individuals, either as residents, employees or visitors to enjoy their leisure time.”
Date for your diary
Love Wimbledon and Merton Council will be organising a business, landlord and agent briefing session to answer questions you may have. We expect this to be in early November and will be in contact again when the details are confirmed.
What is a masterplan?
A masterplan of an area, in this case Wimbledon Town Centre, provides a long term vision for the future development of the area. This stems from understanding how people interact with and use the town, its buildings and its public spaces. It helps to guide development and investment decisions, promoting economic growth and giving clarity to investors, landowners over the quality and scope of proposed development. It provides a structured approach and creates a clear framework for developing an area and delivers strong aspirations for the town for 2030 and beyond.
Visit the FUTURE WIMBLEDON WEBSITE