East London’s Arches, Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum + more.

Tower Hamlets Business Rates 

Pub Relief – Tower Hamlets has awarded £94,000 to 94 local public houses. The qualifying ratepayers have all been rebilled and LBTH will continue to look at all local public houses to ensure all those that meet the qualifying criteria have received this additional relief.

The new cap for those coming out of Small Business Rates Relief – In line with all other local authorities, they have been working with software suppliers to design the software to enable them to rebill all qualifying businesses. This software has now been fully tested and new bills will be issued on Monday 4th September 2017. Testing has indicated that we will award an additional £871,434.00 to 668 small local businesses.

Local Discretionary Relief Scheme – Two options are being put forward to LBTH Cabinet based on either a fixed sum or a percentage increase. The aim will be to reach as many small and medium local businesses as possible, who have had an increase of over £100pa in their rate bill as a result of the revaluation. A consultation exercise will be carried out with local businesses and business groups after the Cabinet decision is made in September.

Hackney Business Rates 

Hackney have launched their consultation on their proposed discretionary relief scheme and it will close on the 26th September. If you are based in the London Borough of Hackney, and have had a significant increase but do not  fit criteria for other reliefs then make sure you read the proposal and then fill out the survey by the 26th September. Click here to read the proposal and fill out the form.

Grant Funding

This year we have been successful in stepping up our grant funding with 10k from the Royal Society of Arts Manufactures and Commerce and 5k from our partners the New Economics Foundation.  Although these are relatively small amounts of money the endorsement will assist us in seeking larger grants so that we can employ more staff and enable our business model to become sustainable.

The RSA grant will be used for us to build a Trades Guild Toolkit that will be complete this time next year. The toolkit will assist our staff to deliver training’s to build Trades Guilds in other parts of London and the UK. It  will also help to strengthen our work in East London beginning with Guild Rep Leadership Training in October.

The NEF funding is for the EETG to deliver the qualitative aspect of the research on affordable rents which will run parallel to their quantitative research by economists.

Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum – Public Consultation

Spitalfields Neighbourhood Planning Forum is currently undertaking the first phase in its public consultation for the Spitalfields Neighbourhood Plan. If you are based within this boundary we urge you to participate in this process.

To participate will only take a few minutes of your time and will ensure that the views of you/your business are included in the data we will draw upon when analysing the response to the consultation and formulating priorities arising from it.

To take part please click on this link:  https://spitalfields.commonplace.is/

Once you are on the website you will be asked to register (this is to prevent abuse) and you can then review what other people have said (and “like” the comment, if you wish) or add your own comments. You can add as many comments to the online map as you wish.

Please take the time to participate in this important process which will complement the local development framework and legally establish the guidelines for town planning in Spitalfields for the next fifteen years.

Up Coming Meetings & Workshops

20th September – A delegation of Guild Representatives are meeting with Mayor of Hackney – Philip Glanville on the 20th September to build on the constructive relationship struck on our business rates campaign. If you are interested in becoming a Guild Rep then come along to our Rep Leadership Training in October, dates are below and further information will be provided in the next few weeks.

Wednesday 11th, 18th October at 15.30 to 17.30  – Guild Rep Leadership Training, venue TBC.

Tuesday 11th November at 15.30 to 17.30 – Affordable Rents Workshop, venue TBC.

East London’s Arches

Our work engaging both Transport For London and Network Rail is progressing and our members who are Transport for London tenants will meet directly with TFL staff in November. Since our intervention earlier this year we’re pleased to announce that Transport for London have made all their surveyors aware that complete disclosure on comparable evidence is to be made available to all tenants.

This level of transparency is critical for tenants in fair negotiation on their rent reviews. We applaud this action by Transport for London and hope that other large landlords will follow their lead. We are also proud to say that Transport For London have made more reasonable proposals to our members who are currently under review.

We were mentioned in the Evening Standard on the 14th August in regards to this action and are expecting further press around this work soon.