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Representing You Our BID Businesses

In our February newsletter, we mentioned that we had resolved over 200 issues in January relating to waste, graffiti, flytipping etc. to help our town centre stay clean and be an area we can all be proud of. Having received a number of questions in relation to this, we wanted to inform you that we do not do all this work ourselves!

Love Wimbledon plays an important role in representing you and your business to lobby utility companies, Veolia and Merton Council amongst others and we rely on a strong relationship with them to resolve these issues. As an example we have been working closely with UKPN to address both persistent and one off power cuts in the town. Just this last week there was a power cut along The Broadway affecting a number of businesses. We are liaising with UKPN to request they address Wimbledon as a key business district and to install the infrastructure needed to resolve these power cuts.

You can report incidents directly to our Town Ranger Tom on Tomr@lovewimbledon.org to take forward and as a reminder of the correct channels to use in the case of:

Waste – Report any issues directly through to your specific waste contractor, if issues are persistent please contact Tom.

Graffiti – On public property, please report directly to Tom. On private property, the onus is on the property owner to deal with.

Flytipping – Report directly to Tom.

Water – Report to Thames Water by calling 0800 980 8800.

Power – Report through to UK Power Network on 0800 029 4285 or through their website.

 

Merton Business Rates Consultation

Helen Clark Bell attended the annual Business Rates Consultation at Merton Council, well attended by business representative groups from around Merton.

Merton Council announced that Business Rates for 2019/20 will be increasing by 2.2% as set by central government. In 2018/19 Merton Council collected £92million in business rates, 64% of which was retained to fund local council services. Merton Council will be automatically applying the 100% relief for Small Business Rate Relief, the transitional rate relief from the last revaluation and the 30% retail business rate reduction if your shop has a rateable value of less than £51,000. If you are eligible and this has not been automatically applied then please do contact Merton Council to discuss this.

There are a number of support schemes that Merton Council provide for businesses that may be struggling to pay their business rates and you are encouraged to speak to the council rates department directly if this applies. There are also local discount schemes for new businesses, empty properties and expanding businesses.

For more information https://www.merton.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/business-rates

Merton Council Scrutiny Panel

Merton Council, as part of their scrutiny panel, are asking for support in identifying issues that need to be reviewed. Past reviews have covered issues ranging from cleaner town centres, housing, recycling, road safety and children’s mental health.

Local councillors on Merton’s overview and scrutiny panels regularly carry out reviews of issues and services that affect people living and working in the borough. Ideas are not limited to council services and we will consider any suggestions as long as they affect people living and working in Merton. Fill out the online suggestion form at www.merton.gov.uk/scrutiny by 1st March for consideration at the June meeting.

Proposal to Increase Parking Costs in Wimbledon

In December, Merton Council cabinet received a paper that will have a significant impact on the cost of parking in Wimbledon, within the council car parks and on pay and display bays on the street. The proposals correlate parking with air quality in the town in an effort to encourage a modal shift.

The proposals will see an increase to £4.50 per hour on the street, higher than Richmond, Greenwich, Wandsworth and Hammersmith. Whilst the car parks will increase to either £1.50 or £2 per hour with a 100% increase at The Broadway car park to £2 per hour. Season tickets will also be increased by 25% and business permits will be reviewed later this year.

We fully support the efforts to improve the air quality in Wimbledon, however we believe there are many other contributory factors that are far more significant and at a time of national decline in retail we question whether this is the right time to discourage visitors to the town. Over 60% of the traffic in Wimbledon is through traffic and the biggest polluters are the 10 bus routes that serve the town.  Transport for London have had significant success in Putney High Street, a 90% reduction in NOx emissions, by introducing a Low Emission Bus Zone.

There will be a public consultation for 21 days commencing in January and we have requested to be included within the formal list of consultees.  Helen, our Chief Executive had a meeting with Cllr Martin Whelton before Christmas to discuss these proposals and is also attending the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel on Wednesday 9th January to voice our concerns.

We will notify you as soon as we know more detail to enable you to respond.

The full cabinet paper can be viewed here

Update: Merton Council Wimbledon Masterplan

The council masterplan for Wimbledon is still in consultation and closes just after New Year. Love Wimbledon is overall supportive of the vision of the masterplan in particular that they have listened to business and residential feedback during the process to inform the journey. We will be issuing a full response in the next ten days read more here.

 

Some of the benefits for Wimbledon Town Centre from the masterplan include:

  • Providing a flexible choice of retail space to entice varied businesses in the future
  • Developing workspace to suit different needs
  • Incorporating new civic space to develop an attractive central core
  • Greening the town centre
  • Decking over the tracks to create a less linear centre
  • Improving leisure and cultural space (inside and out!) which includes community space that can be accessed during the day for exhibitions / events etc
  • Designing a world-renowned transport interchange to be proud of
  • Increase in pedestrian ways around town
  • Creating clear zones which are bite sized and clearand could help with short and long term phasing plans

We will be raising  a number of questions on some of the detail which we will be highlighting in our response.

 

To read the full masterplan (140 pages) please click here

To make a response to the survey please click here

Deadline SUNDAY JANUARY 6th 2019