Local businesses working
Skittles Evening a Success
April 25th 2013
Chamber members and friends enjoyed a great skittles evening at the Full Moon last night, followed by a buffet. Nobody disgraced themselves too much and fun was had by all.
We will hope to arrange more such evenings soon.
The Chamber Donates
March 25th 2013
The Wotton Chamber of Trade has made a £100 donation to the 1st Wotton Scout Group.
Wotton High Street is bucking the trend
February 25th 2013
See the pdf below for a report in the Gazette about how some of Wotton's businesses are reporting good trading for Christmas 2012
More Information : Click to view PDF
Report on the Annual General Meeting held on 29 October 2012
November 6th 2012
Annual General Meeting 29 October 2012
There follows a report on the meeting held in the Swan for the benefit of those members who were unable to attend:
Report from the acting President
Jacqui Moore welcomed those present and reported on the year gone by. She described how the past year has been difficult for the Chamber due to the resignation of the president & shortage of committee members. Nevertheless the Chamber attracted or maintained a membership of almost 100 local businesses. There have been several breakfast networking meetings and supper clubs, members have been represented at the town council and there has been liaison with other agencies over plans that may affect local businesses such as the development of the Old Town site to a supermarket. The Chamber supported the Portas Pilot bid made by Stroud which included raising the tourist profile of Wotton and the regeneration of key areas. Although Stroud was unsuccessful it established more of a link between Wotton and Stroud’s Chamber.
She also described how the Chamber had sponsored the highly successful Christmas event last year which succeeded down to the hard work of a small organizing group and fantastic weather. Christmas trees for traders were also organized which made the town look much more festive.
Some local charities have been supported through small donations; these include the Silver band, the Jason Moir Foundation and KLB PTA. The Chamber tries to offer small donations to other local groups that approach it wherever possible.
The Chamber has seen a shift in membership from the original membership of mainly traders and businesses based in the town centre to many members working in surrounding villages in small or home offices. The shift has been reflected in those that attend meetings who are looking for more of a chance to develop contacts and create business. There is not one member of the committee who is based in the street or in a retail environment which will make representing the views of traders more problematic in the future.
On a personal note, Jacqui stated that she had been involved in the Chamber since it was restarted 7 years ago. The aim then was to give a voice to those trading in the town and a chance for business owners to share their experiences and concerns. She pointed out that all of the members work, all have demanding lives but too often she hears members asking what the Chamber has done for them. However, she suggested that they should be asking what they can do for the Chamber. It exists to be whatever its members want it to be- it is not meant to be just about Christmas trees & free adverts. She hoped that new members and committee members will support other members to develop the Chamber in to a dynamic group representing the needs and desires of its membership. It is a chance with such a large membership to create something unique, useful and forceful within the community.
Being on the committee or being an active member takes just a few hours a month but it does give one the chance to shape the direction the group takes. If members choose to take a passive role, that is fine but they must expect to get less out of chamber than if they use its members’ skills, resources and knowledge.
Jacqui finished by saying that she had enjoyed her time with the Chamber but life moves on and she now looks forward to being a professional “ Lady who lunches”. She truly hoped that the Chamber goes from strength to strength and if anyone needs an ex shop keeper with a huge range of transferable skills- you know where to find her.
Martin Roberts shares the role with his wife Jo.
Martin reported how it had been another good year with membership standing at 97. Once again there was a surplus and a healthy bank balance.
He detailed how increased donations had been made to local organisations including the youth centre, Wotton in Bloom, the jubilee celebrations and the town cinema’s calendar.
The Christmas under the Edge event made a surplus of £932. It was organised with more involvement from the high street shop keepers and will be again for Christmas 2012. The introduction of the event programme raised a significant amount of money. Unfortunately the Chamber had not had the manpower to run the usual Chamber drinks stall - with free drinks for members.
Once again the Chamber organised the Christmas trees and lights with the town council providing £812 towards the costs. A loss of £24 was recorded.
The Chamber had hosted a number of free buffets this year, including the AGM and Christmas gathering.
Martin concluded by describing how general expenditure had been considerably reduced over the year. Notable items were the printing of the new membership cards and sponsorship of the Wotton video by James Walshe.
Accounts for the16 month period ended 30 September 2012 are attached at the end of this note.
Voting and nominations for roles
Existing Committee members were introduced to the members and then their roles on the Committee were outlined. Some were happy to continue in their roles and they were accepted back onto the Committee without voting.
Local HR consultant and owner of Wave Human Resources, Duncan Elliott, was nominated for the position of President. Duncan lives in Wotton, and works with businesses of any size with all aspects of employing staff. Since moving to Wotton with his family in 2010, Duncan has been an active member of the Chamber and has connections with many local businesses.
Duncan said, "I would like to thank the outgoing acting President, Jacqui Moore, and the committee members past and present for making the Chamber what it is today. It is my intention that all members can enjoy increased business development opportunities which will benefit the town as a whole. Due to the great success of our business breakfasts we have plans to increase the networking opportunities beyond our current membership, so I would therefore encourage all businesses in the area that are not members to join up, and add your voice to our already 100-strong team. There are huge opportunities and benefits of membership for everyone, from one-person businesses to large corporations."
Duncan was accepted without opposition.
Following a call for volunteers to the Committee the following were accepted:
Jill Tebb (who also agreed to continue as the Chamber’s representative on the town’s Regeneration Group), Jo and Martin Roberts (who will continue to share the role of Treasurer), Andrew Cope, Trevor Mason (who will continue as the Chamber’s publicity Officer), Lara Madge, Alex and Claire Wilkinson, Jamie McCuaig and Moira Buist.
It was agreed that election for the posts of Vice President, Secretary and Membership Secretary would be held over until the first meeting of the new Committee when they could be discussed in more detail.
Update on future events
Christmas under the Edge (Saturday 1 December, 4pm – 7pm) – is being organised under the auspices of the Chamber but with a separate committee.
Janet Walshe described how arrangements are progressing well with a lot of help and support from the town’s traders. It has been advertised locally and there are already over 40 stalls booked and paid for.
A shed has been purchased so that it can be decorated and used as a ‘Santa’s Grotto’ for this and future years. The Edge coffee shop has agreed for it to be placed in their garden for the entire Christmas period. As a consequence they are now looking volunteer Santas to man the grotto for the period (Hopefully from 11am – 2pm, Saturday and Sunday throughout December.
The overall plan is to develop an ‘events committee’ and have a rolling fund where any surplus cash from an event goes towards the costs of the next one – which is almost certain to be next summer.
There followed some discussion about how some felt that the original aim of the Christmas events had been lost (an opportunity for the traders to thank the townsfolk for their custom over the last year.
Christmas Trees – there was discussion about whether and how the Chamber should provide trees to its members in the town and how it was hoped that the town council might be able to mitigate the impact of spaces due to the non-members’ shops by providing some funding to fill them in.
A letter had been sent to the council requesting a grant but no reply had yet been received. It was agreed that a reply would be chased.
Any other business
Alex Wilkinson requested that the Chamber’s thanks go on record to Jacqui Moore who, as Vice president, had stood in for him after circumstances dictated that he was no longer able to remain as President. This was met with approval from all of those present.
More Information : Click to view PDF
Car Parking Update
July 19th 2012
An update from SDC:
Having met with the Town Council on Monday evening I can advise that we have agreed a proposal for reducing long stay at the Chipping. This doesn’t involve permits (which would have been more flexible in terms of numbers allocated, but unpopular) but takes out a row of long stay and replaces it with short stay i.e. takes the number of currently marked out spaces from 36 long stay to 18.
We will also be marking out the spaces that mostly residents use, alongside their properties and making these long stay (we think we can fit about 5 along here).
The changes are subject to a legal process to change the car parks Order (to make them enforceable) and I attach a proposed timetable for that process. The aim is to bring any changes in by mid-November. You will see that the council must consider any objections it receives and we will not be able to confirm whether the proposal will be implemented until after that has been done.
I am also exploring with the Town Trust whether it wishes us to mark out and enforce the top end of the car park (the other side of the green). I would imagine that if this goes ahead it would be as a long stay area as well.
Head of Asset Management
Stroud District Council
Find us on Facebook
February 10th 2012
We've added a Facebook page for the Chamber of Trade, so it's easy to keep up with Chamber news if you're also on Facebook yourself.
Please take the time to visit the page and "like" it! Thanks.
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