Minutes - Annual General Meeting - 10th September 2020
Minutes of the London Riverside BID AGM, 10th September 2020
Those in attendance: -
Cllr Robert Benham (RB) LB Havering
Mike Brundle (MB) F H Brundle
Ilker Dervish (ID) Comfort Zone
Maggie Dixon (MD) Racefold Ltd
Danny Keeble (DK) Keebles Recycling
Eric Mollison (EM) Chaimran and EMS Ltd
Debbie Moore (DM) London Riverside BID Ltd
Jaswinder S Vasir(JS) RAJ Consultancy
Mark White (MW) Security Projects Ltd
Apologies: Paul Johnston (PJ), Olga Astaniotis (OA)
Proxy vote: Maggie Dixon
Meeting commenced 9.30 am
1. Approval of minutes AGM 05/09/2019 - Proposed DK, Seconded ID
2. Chairman’s report
My first year as Chairman, new Board Members working well together, and fresh input has been very welcomed.
New financial management processes and accountants are in place, so it’s been a busy year of change.
The Rainham skyline is changing too – GLA’s brownfield sites developed by SEGRO, and Rainham Steel’s sites at Ferry Lane have attracted new businesses in to the area and we will continue to see the shape and size of the BID area evolve with new industries and technologies introduced.
The new housing zone on the A1306 and Crossrail station will bring all sorts of opportunities as well as challenges and we’ll need to stay vigilant to make sure the voices of BID Members are heard and their interest safeguarded.
We work hard to maintain a high profile for the BID area amongst Havering Council and important stakeholders. In September we welcomed the Deputy Mayor for business for a tour of the BID area. We spoke about several issues and challenges that need addressing, including digital connectivity, public transport and the need to protect London’s industrial land for business growth, and jobs.
We hold quarterly strategic meetings with the council to ensure we maintain pressure on them to develop pro-business policies and tackle some of our most stubborn problems,
including crime and anti-social behaviour. Debbie will tell us a little more about these areas in a moment.
We’re approaching the final year of our third term. During the year we conducted a mid-term consultation, with encouraging results: 1/3rd of BID Members responded with 77% stating they would vote yes, 21% undecided, and only the remaining small percentage intending to vote no.
(MD stated that this information has not be circulated. DM replied that during COVID newsletters were sent as and when information deemed important for businesses and quarterly newsletters stopped. The newsletters will commence September 2020 and this information will be included, as well as being published on the website)
Thank you to those of you who continue to show your support for our hard work and efforts.
The BID is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in minimising the impact of industry and business on the environment.
We continue to lobby of the Council to recognise the importance of the industrial area’s proximity to the River for freight, and are urging them to put in place policies to safeguard access for jetties and wharves.
Every year for the last 7 years my predecessor has spoken about the need for improved public transport in to the south of the BID area. Our efforts are ongoing, keeping the subject on the agenda at every single opportunity.
Our industrial area and its resident businesses face continued threats, including from the pressure for housing, outdated infrastructure, the costs of competing with newer technologies and limited amenities for our workforce in the south of the BID area.
We’ve seen success in 3 related areas, which will begin to impact on businesses over the next 12-18 months.
Firstly, we worked with Havering Council to secure £800,000 of funding from central Government to build the infrastructure for super-fast broadband throughout the BID area. This is now in the late stages of being put out to tender so we should see delivery in the next 6 months. If done well, this means that every business in the BID area will be within reach of cabling to deliver superfast broadband via any commercial supplier.
Secondly, we provided the business lead on a successful Good Growth Fund application from the Mayor’s office. Our contribution helped secure £1m of funding for an Innovation Hub which will be housed at SEGRO business park at Consul Avenue, to provide demand-led services over the next 5 years.
This will bring to our doorstep free expertise on process and productivity improvements, and open up opportunities for BID members to benefit from all sorts of innovation resources, new technologies and suppliers. Our team is represented on the Steering Group for the project ensuring that services are relevant to our Members today and tomorrow.
And thirdly, also part of the same Good Growth Funding, we secured £250,000 to improve the outdoor amenities for staff along Ferry Lane South and Coldharbour Lane so that we can provide usable outdoor space on the piece of land adjacent to the sea wall and Tilda Rice.
We consulted with local business and staff on the design and use of the space and work will start this year, with plans to complete the work in 2021.
As well as providing a much-needed seating out area, the plans incorporate improvements to the walkways, tree planting and introducing planting that attracts and protects the rich wildlife in the area, which is a valuable asset and appreciated by many of the people who work here.
Although progress has been made in many areas, challenges remain, particularly in relation to the accessibility of the BID area by public transport, illegal use of the area for drifting and continuing low levels of crime, which require constant monitoring and proactive preventative measures.
An area that is of considerable risk to all our Members is the continuing loss of industrial land to residential use, both in the London Riverside area and across London. We’ve made considerable representations at Local and London level to ensure the views of our Members are heard. The Mayor’s new London Plan and Havering’s Local Plan have recognised the importance of protecting the area as a Strategic Industrial Location, but new planning laws being developed by the current Government may see this status threatened, so the battle is far from over to preserve the right space for all types of businesses to thrive.
Of course we can’t discuss the challenges facing the area and not mention the coronavirus pandemic. Apart from the financial impact this will have on all of us long term, it has highlighted the need to re-design our workspaces and working practices.
We’ve been assured by Havering Council that a Masterplan will be developed for the Rainham area, which will go a long way to defining a vision for economic growth so that we continue to attract investment for infrastructure and for an environment that helps us all run successful businesses for many years to come.
Budget cuts in the wider public sector will have a significant impact on the delivery of front-line services by all public bodies, including the Council, the Police and the Environment Agency. The BID team and Board will be keeping a close eye on any adverse effects and continue to apply pressure so we do not lose out on essential services.
3. London Riverside BID Administrator’s update to 31st March 2020 (DM)
SAFE & SECURE
Evening and Weekend security continues to work well, security reports are provided to the BID and reported on the BID’s website for members to view. The BID has dispensed with the radio link in favour of a WhatsApp’s group hosted by the BID security who send updates of suspicious vehicles etc to any security company in the area that wishes to be included.
The CCTV and ANPR systems have moved from LB Havering’s monitoring company and are now monitored ‘in house’ by Security Projects UK Ltd, our security contractor based on Fairview Industrial Park.
Incidents such as Drifters/Travellers are reported to the Police immediately The ‘blanket’ injunction for Havering seems to be keeping the Travellers away, with the police / Council able to act swiftly to move groups on. We have had no overnight traveller incursions since the injunction, which is good news.
The BID continues to lobby the council for road calming measures in Ferry Lane South to deal with drifting/quad bike activity. In February 2020 the redesign of the roundabout was agreed, but due to COVID and funding works have been delayed. The same applies for the Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO), which we have been lobbying for. In the interim the Police have carried out raids and made arrests at these meets.
CLEAN & CO-ORDINATED
The BID continues to supplement the Councils weekly litter pick and carries out additional cleansing / clearing when necessary in an effort to keep the BID area clean, tidy and presentable. The BID notifies the Council of fly tipping immediately, which has seen a big decline, also assisted by the decrease of the traveller incursions.
A new planting scheme was devised for the two roundabouts at Marsh Way in February 2020. The design is intended to reduce the need for cutting back to once a year, and to have a scheme that is all-weather tolerant. The planting was paid for by Havering Council, but was not fully completed due to lock-down. It will be completed in due course.
FIT FOR THE FUTURE
Continued lobbying for public transport improvements, including a trial bus service subject to consultation and funding.
Working alongside the Council to ensure the BID area benefits from improved broadband connectivity after Havering secured money from the Mayor's Strategic Investment Pot.
The BID has delivered extensive feedback in to several local plans and strategies that affect the BID area, as well as the following Mayoral Strategies:
The London Plan
The Industrial Strategy
The Environment Strategy
London in Bloom – We were awarded a Silver awardfor London in Bloom 2019 and will apply again, hoping for a gold Award, once the public realm improvements have taken place in the south of the BID area.
Fund raising for Rainham Royals Once again the hot weather in 2019 postponed our ride for two weeks, but finally went ahead and the BID businesses raised over £1300. Security Projects kindly provided lunch and H Smith provided water for all participants. Hopefully we will be able to resume our fundraising activities in 2021.
Salamons Way – The new owner of the road is considering his options. Plans to upgrade the drainage system, carriageway, lighting and footpaths are on his ‘wish list’ .
Partial Surface water flooding issues – Works carried out by the Council to Ferry Lane north /south have alleviated 90% of the flooding issues. Some works around the Albright Industrial Estate entrance are planned for later in 2020. After completion of the works by the Council the owners of the road are planning to relay the carriageway and the BID will be expecting a funding application towards the carriageway costs.
The BID has provided match funding for the following projects:
New signage K9 Industrial Estate (both entrances)
Double yellow line installation Lamson Road
Ditch cleaning works Albright Industrial Estate (three parties contributed)
Preventative Maintenance Infrastructure Safety works – Manor Way Business Centre
CCTV/ANPR updates and monitoring
Funding approved for 2020:
Albright Industrial Estate – carriageway repairs (funding has been approved providing the council have carried out repairs to the culvert under the entrance ) - Council work started 18th August 2020
Signs for the PSPO Ferry Lane South /Coldharbour Lane
For the late part of 2020 and into 2021 the BID is considering projects towards the following projects:
Easter Industrial Park – installation of double yellow lines and gully repairs
Redesign of Ferry Lane / Coldharbour Lane roundabout to alleviate drifting
Carriageway lighting at Avocet Industrial Estate
Ferry lane roundabouts – slate membrane and crash barriers
Travel Survey to support a new bus route
London Riverside BID Ltd (LRBID), is a not for profit organisation with a revenue agreement for five years which expires in March 2022. Revenues for the year ending 31st March 2020 were £ 311,423, (2019: £ 311,390) and included £3,755 (2019: £ 4,203) for miscellaneous recharges and other income.
Against the revenues for 2019/20 costs of new and existing programmes totalled £287,061, (for the year previous £ 298,453) which left a surplus for the year of £ 24,362 compared with a surplus of £12,985 for the year previous. The surplus was credited against accumulated reserves which totalled £174,032 as at 31st March 2020 compared to £149,670 for the year ending 31st March 2019.
This accumulated fund is intended to be utilised by continuing with existing objectives, establishing new projects and contributing towards the maintaining of the BID Levy at its present level.
The Directors of LRBID have continued to implement stringent financial controls to reduce and control costs mentioned in previous year’s reports. This has gained even more importance given the fall in revenues this current financial year, due largely to Covid-19.
5. Nominations for new Directors
The current Directors stepped down, confirmation received they wish to stand again and new Directors proposed as follows:
Paul Johnston (absent) requeest to stand again and Sue Farmer from Easter Park, (also absent) expressed a desire to attend the next directors meeting, as she is considering joining the Board.
|Michael Brundle||Director w/voting rights (levy payer)||DK||EM|
|Ilker Dervish||Director w/voting rights (non levy payer)||EM||DK|
|Paul Johnson||Director w/voting rights (levy payer)||MB||EM|
|Danny Keeble||Director w/voting rights (levy payer||MB||EM|
|Cllr Robert Benham||Director, non-voting||DK||EM|
Debbie Moore, on behalf of herself and Olga Astaniotis, expressed thanks to the Chairman and Directors for their support and input throughout this year of change and looks forward to their continued support for the coming year, onwards and upwards.
AOB - none
Date of next AGM – Thursday 2nd September / 9th September 2021
MEETING CLOSED. 10.15 am