FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

I didn’t sign up for the Business Improvement District. Why do I need to pay?

In terms of the legislation which set up the Business Improvement District scheme, if a majority of eligible voters in the BID area vote to set up a BID then it is binding on all businesses within the BID area.

 

I don’t know anyone that voted for a BID.

 The ballot was organised by the Electoral Reform Society who supervise all parliamentary votes in the UK. They sent ballot papers to all businesses in the BID area and counted the returned votes.  80% of votes cast were in favour of setting up a BID.

 

How long does the BID last?

The BID was set up for a five-year term and ends in January 2020. There will be a renewal ballot to decide whether the BID should continue for another five years in November 2019.

 

Why is Renfrewshire Council involved?

The Paisley First BID Ltd is an entirely separate organisation from Renfrewshire Council, however, the law states that a local authority must collect the BID levy on behalf of the BID.  This protects businesses contributions to the BID as there is a clear line of financial reporting.

 

Can I be taken to court for non-payment of the BID levy?

The law gives BID levy notices the same status as Non-Domestic Rates or Council Tax notices. This means that we do not need to raise a court action establishing our right to payment and can move straight to enforcement action.

 

What can Sheriff Officers do to enforce the debt?

Sheriff Officers can seize money or other assets of the business, such as stock, equipment or furnishings.

 

Why has there been an addition to my levy?

It is our statutory duty to collect BID levies. When it is necessary to instruct Sheriff Officers to enforce an unpaid levy, the Sheriff Officers will add their fee for enforcement action to the sum outstanding. This can significantly increase the sum payable.

 

I’ve had some exceptional difficulties which have resulted in me being unable to pay my levy, can you help?

Paisley First has introduced an Exceptional Hardship scheme which allows us to talk to businesses and help our members when their ability to trade has been affected by extraordinary circumstances. This does not cover normal trading difficulties or issues which are likely to affect businesses from time to time. As a guide, a recent levy reduction featured a case where a business had to cease trading for a number of months due to the serious illness of a family member.

 

How much are the directors of Paisley First paid?

The Directors receive no payment of any kind from Paisley First but devote large amounts of time in helping to operate the BID. In addition, they must pay their BID levy the same as everybody else.

 

Who can become a Director?

All levy payers are eligible to become Directors. Six new Directors were appointed at and after our AGM in August 2016, including some who had concerns about how the BID was being operated. There will be another opportunity for levy payers to become Directors at the next AGM on 5th September 2017, when one-third of the current Directors must stand down and, if they wish, stand for election against anyone else who wishes to become a Director.

 

Who decides which projects are carried out by Paisley First?

Paisley First staff work together with our directors, partner organisations and local businesses to create a programme of events and to attract visitors to Paisley town centre. These have included the successful Pride of Paisley 2016, CarFest 2017 and our Summer Festival of Fun to trade events and initiatives such as driving the application and subsequent award of Purple Flag status to the town. We have also sponsored a number of town centre events including the Sma’ Shot Community Festival 2017.

 

Need more information about Paisley First?

Please contact the Paisley First team on 0141 237 8120 or email ask@paisleyfirst.com.