STEP 10 IMPORTANT EXTRA INFO
10.1 BUSINESS MODEL
- The model uses the availability of up to 100% discretionary Business Rates relief from Councils, 330 of whom have declared a Climate Emergency in the UK.
- Dicretionary Rates Forms Eg Islington Council https://www.islington.gov.uk/business/business-rates/rates-reduction-and-relief/discretionary-rate-relief Newham Council newham council discretionary business rates relief or Camden Council www.camden.gov.uk › documents › drr_app_form.docx
- The Camden form seems the simplest to fill out. Each council’s form will vary, but you need to basically list how you will be benefiting the local community in the borough.
- This model provides Local Authorities with a ‘next step’ from declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ to taking active steps to support local communities and businesses to act together. Helping them to find a space for community cooperation, sustainable business incubation and resilience. Owners / developers of vacant buildings can be offered up 100% off their business rates in return for providing a temporary ‘meanwhile’ lease use of the property for an interim period (minimum 1 year) before development.
- NB Not for profit Companies get an automatic 40% off the business rates. Charities get a mandatory 80%. Any not for profit company, charity or co-op can apply for discretionary 100% business rates from the local authority.
- SELF FUNDING ECO COMMUNITY SPACES :The developer is invited to contribute a negotiable % return to the project fund from the business rates saving.
The % is negotiable in each case eg 10% – 30% of the savings on rates.
A % contribution of the business rates relief saved is given from the property owner, towards a CEC project fund. Which is for the running, upkeep, utility payments, repairs / maintenance outgoings and payment of staff / volunteer living expenses for the new project.
For example on a 2 storey London office block if the rates were £100,000 which received 100% relief and 20% was contributed to the Centre fund = £20,000
If only 80% relief granted and £80,000 was saved the developer contributes £16,000 at 20%.
You can negotiate the contribution down as low as 10 – 12.5% ,or haggle for 30 – 50% but the higher the % the more project funds,and the percentage of the contribution depends on your negotiation skills and the generosity of the owners.
During the negotiation over the meanwhile lease for the property, ask for the developer to pay the utilities bill. Capped to a certain limit eg £800 / month and then work out a renewable energy plan to reduce energy consumption to more sustainable levels. ‘Power down’ for a sustainable future.
Space Generators Consultants are available to help with advice on negotiations with developers and renewable energy plans.
OTHER INCOME STREAMS FOR THE PROJECT
Cafe food and drink, space hire, event / workshop entry, merchandise , memberships, grants and funding. Crowdfunding.
- 10.2 Working Groups (WGs) further info – each WG has a brief or area of responsibility.
- 10.3 50 GENERIC local Groups LIST – that can be contacted in any town / city -see Appendix I to help build each cities Climate Emergency Alliance.
- 10.4 Clearly signposted diagrams on decision making structure and how you can get involved should be displayed in the centre and online. Glass Frog is a way to visualise working group circles https://www.glassfrog.com
- 10.5 Eco Ethics – Eco / Sustainability Policy – Ethical and sustainable policy of CEC – see Appendix A – Principles and values.
- Agreements to work toward eco principles and reducing carbon footprint, ethical sourcing and human / animal / Earth Rights.
- Sharing across the network a suggested list of eco friendly suppliers, products and services that are helping to build an ecological and sustainable future economy.
- 10.5. CREATE Group involvement agreements – power sharing / mitigation for power / REVOLVING ROLES create a SPOKES COUNCIL – https://seedsforchange.org.uk/spokescouncil
- Put strategies in place to avoid any 1 group dominating or controlling the space. ( revolve roles ) ( share power and activities across a number of groups) This is about a circle of groups cooperating on URGENT ACTION ON THE CLIMATE AND ECOLOGICAL EMERGENCY.
- 10.6. Transparency – especially on finances – choose an ethical bank or building society eg Coop, Triodos or Nationwide. Publish accounts, define spending limits and decision process on funds.
- 10.7. Conflict Resolution process – How to deal with conflict in groups – process clearly defined and displayed and link to a group of experienced mediators.
Revolving roles – mitigating for power – sharing power and training up replacements – skillsharing – building project resilience – need continuity of a certain length of time, but roles revolved every 6 months – 1 year
- 10.8 Horizontal (non hierarchical) Organising Models – Reclaim the Power model https://reclaimthepower.org.uk/who-we-are/
- 10.9. Safer Spaces Policy (SSP)
- THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT it should be discussed designed and agreed by the group so that they have agency and ownership of it and will therefore ALL help to enforce it
SSP Basic Template :
- No racist, sexist, homophobic behavoiur.
- No violence or threats of violence .
- If you break safer spaces in minor or major way (which should be defined) you will be told to leave for a short or a long period (eg 1 day / 1 week / 1 month) ….Or permanently barred
- …..and / or the Police called ( in cases of extreme threats or violence DO NOT be afraid to call the Police ). In cases of arguments or fights separate the parties asap ONLY if possible to do so safely and work on de-escalation and mediation ONLY if safe to do so.
- or referred to conflict resolution or mediation group process – these need to be defined early, here are two useful guides.
- Different people approaching the conflict situation, men or women, individuals or groups or people of diverse experience or backgrounds can sometimes help the situation. Most of all stay safe and deal with things as a group and community and call in help if you need Do not take unnecessary risks.
- Make a collective commitment to hold people accountable for their behavior so that the organization can be a safe and nurturing place for all. Avoiding blaming and shaming does not mean letting unaccountable out of order behavior continue. Challenge and question the behavior.
- Make sure the SSP is displayed in 4 prominent places – eg entrance, cafe, toilets, library etc
- 10.10 Reuse Reclaim – how to build the circular / sharing economy. Making it ‘the thing to do’, make it cool, this is the future sustainable norm. Set up a clear recycling / reuse system asap at beginning with these easily downloadable and printable signs template …
- Circular economy and the intelligent use of community infrastructure and resources https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/circular-economy/about
- We at Space Generators and the Climate Emergency Alliance UK are looking for a network of buildings and Infrastructure in each city to support each other – eg 1) CEC eco community centre 2) CEC High street shop for outreach – reuse resale,circular economy items 3) a Circular economy warehouse, for eco innovation and solutions demonstrations / resource / reuse storage. Think in networks and webs – build the ‘Mycelium’ of a sustainable future.
- 10.11 Evaluating the Reach, Value, and Impact of Space Generators and CEC projects – Sheffield University, linked to UCL, King’s college and Brighton University – to provide a system for monitoring and evaluation at future SG and CEC projects eg footfall, demographics, jobs created, workshops / events provided, funds generated, resources shared / used , societal impacts etc. This data will help prove the case for more CECs
- 10.12 Fire Marshal responsibilities
- Developing and updating a fire evacuation and emergency plan.
- Ensuring that fire-fighting and safety equipment has been properly installed.
- Ensuring that said equipment is always readily available and in good working order.
- Carrying out fire risk assessments.
- Carrying out fire drills and assessing results.
- Taking swift, appropriate action in the event of a fire, i.e. evacuation and fighting fires.
- Monitoring fire safety at all times.
- Actively adopting good fire safety practices.
- Checking all fire doors.
- 10.13 . Useful websites
- Training , facilitating meetings,advice resources
- Guides / web links below to help setting up a legal entity which helps to arrange a meanwhile lease with a landlord
- Radical Routes guide to starting a Housing Co-op:
- Radical Routes guide to starting a Workers’ Co-op:
- Community Land Trusts http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/what-is-a-clt
- Community Benefit Society https://communityshares.org.uk/resources/handbook/community-benefit-societies
DISCLAIMER THIS HANDBOOK IS FOR ADVICE ONLY. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE AND ACT RESPONSIBLY AND REASONABLY AT ALL TIMES – WORK IT OUT AS YOU GO ALONG. YOU ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN ONE OF THE GREATEST ADVENTURES OF YOUR LIFE ….. HAVE FUN, REMEMBER TO BREATHE, RELAX, TAKE BREAKS AND ENJOY BUILDING COMMUNITY AND TAKING ACTION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Phoenix – Rainbow Warrior
Keep organising, keep networking, be relentless, build a network of people, groups, contacts and resources. Never give up, keep learning and evolving, have fun.