Marble Arch London BID strives to not simply meet but exceed the minimum industry standards laid down by British BIDs and The BID Foundation. Here we set out how we operate the BID in line with the National Guiding Principles of a well-managed BID (British BIDs), Industry Minimum Standards (The BID Foundation) and Business Plan Criteria for Business Improvement Districts (British BIDs).
Representative and Responsive
The BID renewal and alteration proposal has been developed in collaboration with businesses and is firmly grounded in the business community. The proposals benefit all businesses, while bringing advantages for the wider community.
The BID invests the BID levy in the local area by delivering projects and services against its agreed business plan.
Consultation with businesses and local stakeholders have ensured that the BID’s operations will continue to be locally-focused and intelligence-led, based on ongoing research and data collection.
Feedback from businesses shaped projects and services throughout the BID’s first term and has likewise shaped this renewal and alteration proposal.
Monitoring of targets, projects and services has been undertaken throughout the BID’s first term, with regular reporting of outcomes and achievements to BID levy payers and stakeholders through newsletters, infographics, the BID’s website and the annual report and billing accompaniment.
The BID has been able to broaden its services, respond to requests from businesses and adapt to local conditions throughout its first term, remaining agile and flexible to changing priorities among levy payers, with Covid-19 being the biggest test for the BID and the district. During the pandemic the BID swiftly adapted services and projects to meet business needs.
New businesses entering the BID and becoming liable for the BID levy are welcomed as soon as notification is received from the local authority.
"The BID team were incredibly responsive during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, helping us and other businesses access vital government support."
Tim Seyner Harness, Artisan People, Upper Berkeley Street
Delivering Good Governance
The BID is a separate legal entity, Marble Arch Partnership Limited, and is not for profit.
An Operating Agreement is in place between the BID and Westminster City Council detailing the contractual relationship in respect of levy collection and BID management. Regular meetings are held between the BID and the City Council to review the fulfilment of the Operating Agreement.
Similarly, a Baseline Agreement is in place for each term that sets out the services to be delivered by Westminster City Council over the course of that term.
The BID’s operations are overseen by a BID Board drawn from the various business sectors across the district. There is a clear distinction between the role of the Board and staff in relation to overseeing vision and delivery, with systems for handling and recording conflicts of interest.
Sector specific and themed groups help guide BID services, working alongside the Board.
The BID is managed professionally by a staff team, with defined roles and job descriptions. Staff have professional qualifications, with contracts of employment in place and training needs regularly reviewed.
A Staff Handbook underpins the values and framework under which staff operate, which is refreshed regularly to remain in line with employment law.
New staff are recruited using best practice, with roles externally advertised. All new staff are fully inducted and subject to a probationary period.
"As active members of the BID’s Hotels and Venues Group we enjoy being part of the hospitality collective, benefiting from insights and campaigns."
Stephanie Segoura, Marriott Marble Arch, George Street
The BID fulfils its responsibility to manage finances effectively and prudently.
An annual budget setting process takes place for each year of the BID’s five-year term, which has its basis as the agreed business plan on which businesses voted. Changes to expenditure plans, following changes in local conditions, are approved by the Board.
Additional income and voluntary contributions over and above BID levy income are clearly identified in the BID’s budget.
Robust day to day financial procedures and accounting practices are in place, with all expenditure assigned to projects and tracked regularly.
Full externally audited accounts are produced each year and placed on the BID’s website for businesses to view and download. The BID is VAT registered and exempt from Corporation Tax, ensuring that BID levy income can be carried forward from year to year to build up project funds for local investment.
Thorough procurement processes are in place for the appointment of suppliers, proportionate to the value, underpinned by contracts. This ensures best value for BID levy payers.
Cover is in place for employer, directors and public liability insurance, professional indemnity, cyber and contents insurance.
Transparency and Accountability
There is a continual two-way exchange with BID levy payers, our stakeholders and the wider community.
The BID communicates with levy payers through monthly newsletters, regular one to one contact, on individual projects and issues via casework, through sector specific groups or themed sub groups.
BID levy payers can request copies of Board minutes.
An annually agreed business plan identifying spend and income is sent to all BID levy payers and is loaded onto the BID’s website to view and download.
Alongside this, other strategic policy documents available to view and download from the BID’s website include a map of the BID area, most recent ballot result, current training programme, project review infographics, and the BID’s charity policy.
Board members’ names and the companies they represent are shown on the BID’s website, alongside the names of BID team members.