Orpington votes yes for business improvement district

First published in Bromley News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

ORPINGTON is leading the way for businesses after traders voted yes to the borough’s first business improvement district (BID).

In a ballot which concluded on Thursday (February 20) 54 per cent of people voted in favour of the BID.

The initiative is set to boost the town centre and give business owners a real say in how the area is managed.

Key issues to be handled by the Orpington 1st BID over the next five years include improving the look and feel of the town, promoting it as a destination for shoppers and potential investors and improving accessibility and parking.

Other issues include tackling crime and anti-social behaviour and introducing initiatives to reduce costs to businesses.

Orpington 1st chairman Gary Morris said: “We are absolutely delighted with the positive result which represents months of hard work and heralds the start of an exciting time for Orpington.

“We can guarantee Orpington 1st won’t be resting on its laurels and will be getting started on delivering the campaign promises straight away.”

Portfolio holder for renewal and recreation Councillor Peter Morgan said: “This is great news for Orpington town centre and we can really build on the work we have done in the town to ensure it is competitive for many years to come.

“Businesses are clearly passionate about their town and we are looking forward to working ever more closely with them going forward.”

And Orpington’s MP Jo Johnson said: “This is a huge vote of confidence in the High Street.

“The Orpington BID will cement Orpington’s reputation as an attractive place to start a business.

“Congratulations to Gary Morris, Chairman of the Orpington 1st BID working group, and Cheryl Curr, town centre manager, for their outstanding efforts in achieving this hard-won result.”

The total number of votes cast in the ballot was 164, representing a turnout of 48 per cent. Fifty-four per cent voted in favour representing 60 per cent of the rateable value.

Traders and businesses within the defined BID area voted on whether to contribute a levy, based on 1.5 per cent of rateable value.

Orpington 1st Ltd will use the levy money along with funds generated from other sources to deliver additional services to boost the town centre and its businesses.

Comments (5)

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5:19pm Sun 24 Feb 13

Slonik says...

Well done! Let's hope it works and Orpington can reverse what's been happening.

If they're so keen for Orpington to thrive, perhaps the council will do its bit and finally get around to fixing all the potholes and faulty, subsiding blockwork which punctuates the High Street.
Well done! Let's hope it works and Orpington can reverse what's been happening. If they're so keen for Orpington to thrive, perhaps the council will do its bit and finally get around to fixing all the potholes and faulty, subsiding blockwork which punctuates the High Street. Slonik
  • Score: 1

6:07pm Sun 24 Feb 13

GSAndy says...

The last attempt to popularise Orpington resulted in a fortune spent on laying unsightly block paving which is now a broken mess punctuated with temporary tarmac repairs.

Oddly enough this all did nothing to make Orpington more popular.
The last attempt to popularise Orpington resulted in a fortune spent on laying unsightly block paving which is now a broken mess punctuated with temporary tarmac repairs. Oddly enough this all did nothing to make Orpington more popular. GSAndy
  • Score: 0

9:10pm Sun 24 Feb 13

goldenbroomboy says...

What "work in the town"? Orpington looks terrible at the present time, Peter Morgan is telling a bigger joke than even Stephen Carr can manage whilst wearing a clown's hat.

Orpington needs to runs it's own affairs, rather than relying on money from Bromley.

As for little bro giving free publicity to local Tories who want to kiss Bromley Councillors feet, some of us have been around for longer than either you, or your overweight older brother.
What "work in the town"? Orpington looks terrible at the present time, Peter Morgan is telling a bigger joke than even Stephen Carr can manage whilst wearing a clown's hat. Orpington needs to runs it's own affairs, rather than relying on money from Bromley. As for little bro giving free publicity to local Tories who want to kiss Bromley Councillors feet, some of us have been around for longer than either you, or your overweight older brother. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

1:58pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Invicta58 says...

Part of the Orpington 1st flyer told us “…Nearly 70% of businesses surveyed identified availability of parking and traffic congestion as issues for the town centre... “

I wonder then if Orpington 1st will be lobbying Bromley Council to review their disastrous and incompetent redesign of the High Street which constricted four lanes of traffic into two and is responsible for the permanently congested queue from Home field Rise to the War Memorial? Bearing in mind Bromley Council – by the generosity of its taxpayers – are funding Orpington 1st to the tune of £15,000 this year what are the chances they will even have a conversation about congestion let alone fix the problem?

It is now acknowledged by everyone except Bromley Council that the £2.2M wasted on the High Street resulted in a complete mess. Apart from keeping Conway’s in employment the one tangible benefit was the signage. So what to Orpington 1st want to do as a priority – improve the signage! Talk about re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

The choice of which businesses were included in the scope of the 1.5% levy is very revealing. Why does the scheme mysteriously go way off to the North East to capture the BT telephone Exchange located in Chislehurst Road? It couldn’t surely be because they probably have one the largest rateable values in Orpington and will therefore be a major source of income to the scheme? I’d love to see what benefits Orpington 1st have planned for the Chislehurst Road section of the High Street.

Check out the map at http://cds.bromley.g
ov.uk/documents/s500
03356/Appendix%20C%2
0for%20BID%20for%20O
rpington%20Report%20
.pdf

One final thing – it isn’t quite true that 54% of people voted in favour. Orpington 1St has been quite cute with their use of “percentage of percentage turnout” but doing the maths behind their press release it looks like there were 342 ballot papers of which 88 voted in favour. That’s 25% of eligible voters. Only by clever manipulation can this be made into 54% of people voted in favour.
Part of the Orpington 1st flyer told us “…Nearly 70% of businesses surveyed identified availability of parking and traffic congestion as issues for the town centre... “ I wonder then if Orpington 1st will be lobbying Bromley Council to review their disastrous and incompetent redesign of the High Street which constricted four lanes of traffic into two and is responsible for the permanently congested queue from Home field Rise to the War Memorial? Bearing in mind Bromley Council – by the generosity of its taxpayers – are funding Orpington 1st to the tune of £15,000 this year what are the chances they will even have a conversation about congestion let alone fix the problem? It is now acknowledged by everyone except Bromley Council that the £2.2M wasted on the High Street resulted in a complete mess. Apart from keeping Conway’s in employment the one tangible benefit was the signage. So what to Orpington 1st want to do as a priority – improve the signage! Talk about re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. The choice of which businesses were included in the scope of the 1.5% levy is very revealing. Why does the scheme mysteriously go way off to the North East to capture the BT telephone Exchange located in Chislehurst Road? It couldn’t surely be because they probably have one the largest rateable values in Orpington and will therefore be a major source of income to the scheme? I’d love to see what benefits Orpington 1st have planned for the Chislehurst Road section of the High Street. Check out the map at http://cds.bromley.g ov.uk/documents/s500 03356/Appendix%20C%2 0for%20BID%20for%20O rpington%20Report%20 .pdf One final thing – it isn’t quite true that 54% of people voted in favour. Orpington 1St has been quite cute with their use of “percentage of percentage turnout” but doing the maths behind their press release it looks like there were 342 ballot papers of which 88 voted in favour. That’s 25% of eligible voters. Only by clever manipulation can this be made into 54% of people voted in favour. Invicta58
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Invicta58 says...

Shambles Latest:
Orpington High St will be closed overnight for the second time this year for more random repairs on Friday 1st March

Hard to guess which bit will be ripped up and started again - so many places to chose from !

We'll find out on Saturday.
Shambles Latest: Orpington High St will be closed overnight for the second time this year for more random repairs on Friday 1st March Hard to guess which bit will be ripped up and started again - so many places to chose from ! We'll find out on Saturday. Invicta58
  • Score: 0

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