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Meetings

Meeting Details

Ealing Business Partnership
10 Feb 2016 - 19:00 to 21:00
  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Declarations of Interests
  • Visitors

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
1 Introduction and Welcome
                
In the absence of the Chair and the Vice Chair, it was agreed that Cllr Johnson chair this meeting.
2 Apologies for Absence
           
Cllr Ahmed-Shaikh, Cllr G Stafford, Geoff Langston (Chair) and Mahanta Shrestha (Vice Chair).
3 Urgent Matters
Any urgent matters that the Chair has agreed should be considered at the meeting.
         
There were none.
4 Matters to be Considered in Private
                
There were none.
5 Declarations of Interest
To note any declarations of interest made by members.
          
There were none.
6 Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Matters Arising
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 26th November 2015.
         
That the minutes of the meeting held on Thursday on 26th November 2015 be agreed as a true and correct record.
7 Update on Matters of Interest Around Ealing
Verbal Update - Carol Sam (Senior Economic Regeneration Manager)
           
Carol Sam (Regeneration Manager) and Henry Kennedy-Skipton (Head of Regeneration) introduced this item. A verbal update was given on the developments and initiatives around Ealing.

The initiatives and developments will have a direct positive impact on many businesses around Ealing through driving up footfall, as more shoppers and visitors will be attracted to Ealing. As new homes are being built, more people will choose to live in Ealing and Businesses will be attracted to the new affordable workspaces/hubs and the benefits of Cross Rail in Ealing.

1. West Ealing Hub - Nearly £600K has been secured for a workspace in West Ealing which is due to open in the autumn of 2016. This will offer a home for new and small businesses. The space is over two floors of St James House on St James Avenue.
2. Acton High Street Fund Approximately £800K has been secured to implement a programme of interventions to help transform Acton Town Centre which includes delivery of public realm improvements, a new workspace hub, development of a business improvement district (BID), formation of a Town Team, shopfronts and events.
3. Development Sites around Ealing:
(a) Ealing Broadway Centre - Work has started on the Platform extension, moving and making a larger ticket hall, putting lifts on the platform which is all anticipated to be completed in summer 2017. Cross Rail due to start operating in December 2018 with full operation planned for 2019.
(b) Previously Known as Arcadia- 9-42 The Broadway – This is going to Planning Committee 24th February- create new retail space and a new music studio.
(c) Cinema Site – The opening planned for late 2018. The vision is to have a new cinema, new Public Square, restaurants, bars and shopping. CPO confirmed - 1st site bought negotiations underway with the other surrounding sites and legal discussions are also underway.
(d) Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre - Owners of the site are planning to raise the quality of the retail offer and improve the shopping centre overall.
(e) Curzon in Acton – The Company are still working on a number of ideas and designs for this site.
(f) Ealing Town Hall – The tender has gone out for this and there have been some bids made at stage 1, there is a lot of potential for an excellent development for a hotel with the Council keeping access to some parts of the building.
(g) Perceval House – Discussions have started about how to optimise the space in Perceval House.

The Regeneration team has designed a new survey that they are asking Businesses to complete, to enable them to collate robust intelligence on Businesses within the Borough. Businesses were asked to leave their cards with Carol so that the survey can be sent to them.


The Hanwell Hootie is coming up on Saturday 2nd April 2016 which is a free one day festival in Hanwell.
(Director of Legal and Democratic Services)
          
Cllr Johnson informed the Forum about the election process for a new Panel Chair and Vice Chair for the 2016 – 18 Municipal Year. Invitations for nominations would be sent to all businesses on the data-base in April, in accordance with the timetable set in the report.

Resolved
That the process to elect an independent EBP Chair and Vice Chair for the 2016 -18 period be noted.
9 The Living Wage in Ealing
               
Stefan Baskerville (Lead Organiser, West London Citizens) gave a presentation on the Living Wage around Ealing, and Cllr Bell gave a brief update on the Council’s views on this topic.

A Business Owner asked whether the scheme benefited small Businesses.
Stefan explained that there is a mixture of small and big Businesses that have signed up to be part of the Living Wage Foundation and that it may not benefit all Businesses; however there are many benefits to the scheme.

A Forum member asked about the accreditation process.
The Living Wage Foundation website has an enquiries box where Businesses can find out how they can become part of the scheme. The accreditation is a legal licence which will demonstrate commitment to the Living Wage conditions.

Cllr Hynes asked about the benefits for a small Business.
The main benefits for accredited Businesses are that it will help with staff well-being and morale, reduction of absentees at work; employee productivity and lower the cost spend on training as staff retention will be higher.

A Forum member asked whether a cost benefit analysis had been conducted.
The research carried out by KPMG had identified risks and opportunities for this scheme. The primary benefits are the staff retention and staff well-being. Surveys have also shown that customers would prefer to shop from an accredited Living Wage Business.

Councillor Bell then gave a brief update on the Council’s perspective on the Living Wage and said that Ealing Council had been a Living Wage Employer since 2007 and accredited in 2013. He said that using this scheme saved the government money in paying fewer benefits such as housing.
Cllr Bell confirmed that since the Living Wage Week that took place in November 2015, the Council have had some interest from Businesses in Ealing regarding joining the Living Wage Foundation.
He explained that this scheme would benefit the Business community in Ealing and would help to ensure that the local residents keep their Business within the Ealing economy.
10 Hot Topic - Budget 2016/17

Please see Supplementary Agenda.

Pursuant to Section 5 of the Access to Information rules, the proper officer has agreed that this report cannot reasonably wait until the next meeting of the Ealing Business Partnership and may be published less than five clear working days prior to this meeting. The Council has a statutory duty to consult the Ealing Business Partnership by no later than 23rd February on the 2016/17 Budget.  The Ealing Business Partnership meeting is scheduled for 10th February (which is the only available date before Council on 23rd February) so that the Partnership can consider the budget and their views can be taken into account by Council on 23rd February.  The documents on which the Ealing Business Partnership is legally required to be consulted will not be available until the Cabinet agenda is published on Monday 8th February 2016.

The Ealing Business Partnership report has to include information that is up to date and relevant and also include information provided externally for e.g. Greater London Authority so that the Ealing Business Partnership can make an informed judgement and express their views.

Maria G Christofi (Director of Finance), Nick Rowe (Strategic Finance Partner) and Councillor Johnson (Portfolio Holder of Finance, Performance and Customer Services) gave a presentation on the Budget 2016/17.
The purpose of this report was to give the Ealing Business Partnership a chance to express their views on the budget which will be reflect the final budget position being considered at Council on the 23rd February 2016.

Ealing’s net revenue budget for 2016/17 is £255.1m which is made up of council tax, business rates, collection fund and settlement funding. The council keeps 30% of business rates collected and received both a top-up grant and a revenue grant from central government.

The medium term financial strategy for 2016/17 – 2019-20 includes managing council finances working in a four year rolling business plan, freezing the council tax for the 8th year running, deliver the remaining savings to be made whilst ensuring that council resources are invested in the priority areas. To keep financial stability, to ensure we have planned and are prudent with our budgets.

Councillor Johnson outlined the key priorities for the Council which are; a prosperous borough, a safer borough, a healthier borough, a cleaner borough, a fairer borough and an accessible borough.

Maria G Christofi explained the risks in the budgets savings that have been identified, as they are yet to be delivered and balanced by the end of the financial year. The Services will be asked to see how they can make and manage these savings.

In conclusion the Council budget has been balanced with the council tax frozen for the 8th year running, rigorous review process and member led budget, Capital investment in key areas and the continuation to work with reducing grant funding.

Nick Rowe reported on the Local Tax and Accounts receivable and updated the Forum on the various changes that have occurred since the last Municipal year.

Businesses that are still on the 10 month instalment scheme should contact the NNDR team if they wish to transferred to a 12 month instalment plan.

2016/17 bills will be processed at the end of February and issues on or before 01/03/15.

Ealing has a new discount scheme for accredited Businesses in Ealing that are part of the Living Wage Foundation; this discount will be twice the cost of the Living Wage Foundation accreditation. This is subject to formal Cabinet approval.

The revaluation in 2017 will take place from 1st April 2017, a leaflet will be sent with Business Rates bills and ratepayers are encouraged to register with the Valauation Office Agency (VOA) for further information. The VOA will then contact the business by email and it is the Business’s responsibility to check that the right information has been logged and to send updated amendments back as soon as possible.


The government has announced the intention that authorities will be allowed to keep the Business rates that they collect by 2020, however it is not known whether this will be achievable and schemes and tariffs, transfers and top-ups will be introduced to decide where the money will remain.
11 Table Discussions about the Hot Topic
             
Attendees were then given the opportunity to break into small groups for table discussion.
12 Feedback, Summaries and Next Steps from Table Discussions
             
Councillor Seema Kumar asked what will happen to Charity Shops and how will they be affected.
Nick Rowe explained that presently, there is no difference on the revaluation process between Charity Shops and other Business’s. The amount to be paid in rates will depend on the status of the Charity and the use of the retail outlet. The wider issue of reliefs and the complexity of the current system has been raised with Central government as part of the ongoing review of the rating system.


Councillor Bell asked about small Businesses or new starter Business’s and how they can find initial and affordable premises in Ealing.
Carol Sam said that the development of North Acton, Park Royal and Old Oak Common which have undergone consultation and are now at a developmental stage, could benefit new small business’s looking to start up or relocate.
13 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held on Thursday 30th June 2016.
        
The next meeting of Ealing Business Partnership was scheduled for Thursday 30th June 2016.

Attendance

Name
No other member attendance information has been recorded for the meeting.
NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Councillor Natasha Ahmed-Shaikh  
Mr Geoff Langston  
Mr Mahanta Shrestha  
Councillor Gregory Stafford  
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
No declarations of interest have been entered for this meeting.

Visitors

Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting