Frequently Asked Questions
What are the BID's Terms of Reference?
How have the BID projects been chosen?
The projects are based on ideas put forward by Dorking businesses through the survey and meetings that we have carried out, as well as by looking at what other BIDs have successfully achieved in their areas.
Shouldn’t the local authority be doing this anyway?
A BID is not a substitute for central or local government investment, but an additional investment to strengthen the local economy. Part of the BID Proposal includes a series of ‘Baseline Service Agreements’ which detail the existing services which MVDC/SCC is either statutorily required to deliver or which it currently delivers on a discretionary basis for the town.
What if most businesses vote ‘YES’ in the ballot?
There is no minimum turnout required in a BID ballot, however a majority of businesses (both in terms of total number and overall rateable value) must vote ‘YES’ for the ballot to be in favour. If the ballot is successful, all businesses in Dorking town centre over the rateable value threshold of £8,000 will be required to pay into the BID, even if individual businesses voted no, or did not vote at all. The money collected will be ring fenced and held by the BID to deliver the projects set out in the BID Proposal.
Non-payment of the BID levy will be followed up in the same way as non-payment of business rates. There is no option to opt out of the BID once the ballot has been run, but there will be many opportunities to influence how the money is spent, by sitting on the BID Board or one of the project groups that will be set up.
What if most businesses vote ‘NO’ in the ballot?
Very simply, the projects set out in the BID Proposal will not go ahead. As a result, Dorking will quickly fall behind other nearby centres, especially those with established BIDs, shopping centres or retail parks. Many town centres have successful BIDs that have been running for some time and make a real difference to their town (Guildford, Wimbledon, Oxted, Kingston, Brighton). Other nearby areas are also developing BIDs (Epsom, Richmond) or are considering them (Leatherhead, Reigate).
What if I don’t vote?
Much like a general election, there is no minimum turnout for a BID. So, if you don’t vote, it will not affect the outcome of the ballot in any way.
What will the BID cost me?
The amount you pay will be based on your individual business rateable value (not your business rates) based on the 2017 rating list. Smaller businesses pay less than larger businesses. The levy will be a mandatory 2% levy per year for the BID term of just under five years. If you are not sure of your rateable value please email firstname.lastname@example.org
How was the current Board appointed?
The current DTP Board is made up of individuals who are keen to champion the BID development. If the BID is voted in, the Board will be open to nominations from businesses who would like to sit on the Board. An AGM will be held at which the new Directors will be voted in.
What costs can the Board Directors charge (expenses / remuneration etc) to the BID fund?
The current DTP Board and future BID Board will not be remunerated in any way. The positions are totally voluntary. We rely on the use of free meeting space and don’t have any other expenses. If a Board Director is required to travel to a BID related meeting away from Dorking from time to time, his/her travel expenses will be reimbursed from the BID funds.
Why do businesses like the idea of BIDs?
The Dorking BID is being developed for the businesses to finally have a real say and be able to take some action in Dorking. This has been one of the big selling points for the idea of the BID so far. Local business people are keen to make an investment into the future of Dorking and they understand that Mole Valley District Council and/or Surrey County Council are highly unlikely to be able to put
a) a member of staff back into Dorking or
b) any amount of funding over a five year period to be spent purely on business priorities, in the centre of Dorking. Many businesses like the idea of a BID because it means that everybody has to contribute, rather than the same businesses contributing voluntarily year after year. Many others like it because the BID levy is a proportional charge, meaning that larger businesses contribute considerably more, and the funding available will be greater than that currently available through voluntary contributions.