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Voting under way for London Bridge BID

The London Bridge Business Improvement District ballot has been launched with a reception attended by more than a hundred business representatives at Cotton's Atrium.

A Business Improvement District (BID) allows businesses greater influence over the local environment.

BIDs have been set up following a 2003 Act of Parliament. A BID's additional services are funded by a small annual compulsory levy on businesses. Earlier this year a ballot among businesses on Bankside established the Better Bankside BID.

The London Bridge BID area is between London Bridge and Tower Bridge with Crucifix Lane, Snowsfields and St Thomas Street as the southern limit. Businesses this zone are being asked this month if they wish to approve the BID by taking part in a postal ballot. All papers should be returned within 28 days and the result will be announced on Tuesday 15 November.

Should the BID be approved there is likely to be an early concentration on clearing rubbish and eyesores quickly and providing good signage. Until recently such initiatives have been undertaken by the Pool of London Partnership whose work ceases in 2007. The London Bridge BID would be in existence until 2011.

More London and St Martin's Property Corporation have already given formal support to the London Bridge proposal.

A pilot BID is also operating in Waterloo with a vote expected early next year.

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