Launch of Business Improvement District (BID) 2019-24
March 6, 2019
“Vote YES” was the theme of the Launch of Witham Industrial Watch (WIW)’s Business Improvement District (BID) 2019-24 on Friday at the Tiptree Patisserie. The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP, Police Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst, The Mayor of Witham Cllr Tom Pleasance and representatives from the Police, local businesses, Witham and Braintree Councils came to support the Launch and to learn about the plans for the next five years.
Philip Lawrence, director of WIW, explained that each five year Business Improvement District (BID) term is approved by local businesses through a formal vote overseen by the Electoral Reform Services; the BID is then funded by a levy collected by the local authority and handed to WIW to undertake plans set out in the Proposal document. After two successful BID terms the industrial areas now safer and cleaner by having:
82 cctv cameras with the latest digital software
ANPR cameras linked directly to Essex Police
2 estate managers
A winter gritting service
Additional waste bins
An interactive web site for local businesses
Parking on the estates is an ongoing problem and WIW tries to work with the Parking Partnership to help manage the issues.
“We have achieved a great deal in the last ten years and the cameras have provided some important evidence that has helped the police and local businesses,” said Philip Lawrence. “As a Board we strive to look after our members and this includes reporting issues such as fly tipping, large potholes, dangerous parking and providing weekly checks on the eight defibrillators.”
Neil Jesse, director of WIW, thanked BDC, Witham Town Council and Essex Police for their support but said we can only expand and improve with a YES vote in July. Local businesses had been consulted in a survey highlighting their needs for the next five year BID term: safety and security, maintenance, cleanliness, roads and gritting. The investment in the new software for the cctv cameras has saved a huge amount of WIW managers’ time; previously they had to scroll through hours of data to identify incidents, now they can access the system remotely and will receive alerts to incidents. The upgrade will benefit everyone, members and the police. “As directors we are passionate about Witham; the next BID term will see new initiatives and will be an opportunity to build on our success,” said Neil Jesse. “We will continue to share alerts and knowledge with our members such as training sessions on the emergency defibrillators. We will constantly review our cctv system installing additional cameras when necessary. Neil Jesse concluded with an appeal for some new directors for the WIW board; he reminded members that if there was a NO vote all the existing services and cameras would be removed and the crime rates would increase.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner commented: “It’s good to be here to support the BID - Business Improvement District. Witham Industrial Watch is an important element of keeping people safe, it is a great example of what can be done by businesses working together with the police and is a model for what could happen in other areas. “Working together you can squeeze out the criminals from this area; making it harder for the criminals so they can’t thrive so they move or, even better, stop committing crime altogether. Intelligence from communities and information from schemes like the BID here in Witham are invaluable in building up cases against criminals. “I’m here to lend my voice to encourage your work in partnership with the police and the community. Please vote YES and thank you very much for all your good work.”
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP added her support: “I want to thank everyone involved with Witham Industrial Watch. I am proud of the achievements of Witham Industrial Watch as they have worked in partnership to make the town an even better place. I look forward to seeing the new plans for the next five years develop and supporting them as they seek to have them endorsed. “Witham has a strong heritage, as do many of the local businesses, which is good for the health and well-being of the local economy and it has a huge impact on the social welfare of the community. “Going forward we need to be looking at trends and opportunities, including the infrastructure of Witham and Braintree District, what that means in terms of bringing new business into the area and providing more employment opportunities. In these business and enterprise areas we need to see how we can all work together – building on the success of the past to help generate a healthy economic future for this town and across the county.”
A short discussion followed covering a recent lead theft from serveral businesses and the frustration of the unkempt verge in Crittall Road.
The Mayor of Witham Cllr Tom Pleasance thanked WIW for all the work they had done over the last ten years and said. “On half of Witham Town Council he wished them every success at the July ballot.”
Concluding the launch Valerie Pattenden, director of WIW, thanked all the speakers and visitors saying: “It would be heart breaking if we can’t continue with WIW, please remind your neighbouring businesses we will need a “YES” vote in July.
Left to right back row: Cllr Tom Cunningham, Roger Hirst, Chris Dale, Neil Jesse,
Front row: Philip Lawrence, Priti Patel MP, Kate Carling, The Mayor of Witham Cllr Tom Pleasance, Valerie Pattenden, Inspector Colin Cox