News

Fairtrade Fortnight - Mon 27 Feb to Sat 11 Mar

February 23rd 2017

To mark Fairtrade Fortnight in Wotton (27th February to 12th March) the Ark is doing 2 special promotions which hopefully will be of interest to you:
 
During the fortnight the Ark is offering a free hot drink with every £5 of fairtrade products purchased from the shop
 
Also they are holding two Open Evenings to highlight the fairtrade products they carry. They will be on Thursday 2nd and Tuesday 7th March from 5.00. to 8.00. On each occasion their full range will be on display; there will be tasting sessions of the products; the new free Spring catalogue will be available; there will be new lines and special offers and the full facilities of the coffee shop will be functioning.
 
The organisers would be grateful for our members' support in promoting Wotton as a Fairtrade Town.

See the pdf below for details of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Let's see if we can all support it.

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Chamber President appeals for calm following malicious messages

February 9th 2017

Following incidents of hate mail and verbal abuse to some traders in the town who support the car park our President has appealed for calm and reason to prevail.

Read the Gazettes's report in the pdf below

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Wotton's Town Council has rejected the plans for the new car park

February 3rd 2017

To reverse the opening sentence of the Gazette's report, the Chamber may have lost a battle but we have still not lost the war.

See how the Gazette reported the goings on last Monday in the pdf below.

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Coming to a letter box near you - Chamber counters opposition leaflet drop and its myths

January 26th 2017

In order to correct some of the claims and counter-claims in the car park saga the Chamber has delivered the leaflet below to nearly every letterbox in the town

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Chamber President issues warning to the town.

January 26th 2017

Chamber President Alex Wilkinson has warned that Wotton will die unless its parking problems are fixed. Read the Gazette's report on the pdf below.

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If you aren't sure about the car park just wait until you have read this letter

January 24th 2017

The Chamber's sincere thanks go to Janet and Jeff Walshe for taking the time and trouble to write one of the best letters of support ever. They have sat down and weighed up all of the pros and cons and considered the wider picture and how the proposed development will help the town.

If you weren't sure about it beforehand you certainly will be once you have read it.

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A 'dodgy deal' or 'vital' for town?

January 19th 2017

That is the headline on the front page of this week's Gazette reporting the eventual submission for planning consent for the new car park and its associated housing development.

For the true facts of the matter visit our Questions and Answers page which outlines the scheme and why your Chamber is fully behind it.

Plans for the development and the opportunity to submit a comment are available on the Stroud District Council's website - Application No: S.16/2895/FUL.

You have just two weeks to register your support so go there now to demonstrate that you believe that this is the way forward to give our town some financial security for the future.

Read the Gazette’s report on the pdf below        

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New car park one step nearer to reality

January 15th 2017

After what seems an age the application for planning approval of an additional car park and coach park behind the fire station has eventually been submitted to Stroud District Council (SDC).  

For those of you who have been on a different planet for the last year or two and have not been aware of the scheme, the Chamber has brokered a deal with the developer Colburn whereby, in addition to building 10 quality new homes on the site they will also create a car park that will cater for 96 cars and 2 coaches. The car park will then be given to our Town Council for free: to be funded by the sale of the aforesaid houses.

The value of this new facility is believed to be in the region of £750,000.

Plans for the development (Application No: S.16/2895/FUL) are now available on the SDC’s website (https://www.stroud.gov.uk/apps/planning?AppRef=S.16/2895/FUL#searchResults).

There is a list of questions and answers which we have put elsewhere on this website (http://www.wotton.biz/carpark) in the hope that they will give you a concise and accurate overview of the main issues involved. Despite being in support of the scheme we have tried to be unbiased in our answers: trying to present the actual facts without the distortion of local hearsay, speculation and emotion.

The Chamber is not telling you what to think when considering your opinions but what we do implore is that if you are in favour of the scheme and what it is trying to achieve then please visit the SDC’s website before 2nd February to register your support.

If you have any unanswered questions or you don’t agree with any of the answers given to the questions then please contact the Chamber's President Alex Wilkinson (his details can be found elsewhere on this website). We will then try to update the Qs & As on a regular basis – again in the quest for giving everyone the TRUE facts about the scheme.

There is an important extra element to the scheme which is not part of the developer's remit. 

Although there will be street lighting down to the new homes the developer is not going to pay for the lighting that has been suggested for the car park. The Chamber of Trade would like to facilitate the raising of the extra money needed to provide low-level lighting, 2 electric car charging points for visitors and a link to the Town Council’s existing CCTV system.

In order to do this we need to raise approximately £25,000 from the local authorities, any potential grant money and also from local businesses and organisations. In support of this proposal we are seeking pledges for a minimum of £50 or more to provide the additional funds required to enhance this much needed facility for the town. Monies pledged will only become payable as and when planning permission is granted.

To date, we have already received initial pledges amounting to £6,600. A number of other main businesses have indicated their willingness to support the project and to put money towards it.

In recognition of their support, the Chamber intends to place a plaque within the car park with the names of all the businesses that have given a minimum donation of £100 (and are happy to be acknowledged publicly).

If you agree with us that the future economic security of the town is at stake here then it is now time for you to stand up and be counted. You can:

  • make a pledge by contacting Alex Wilkinson
  • register your personal support on the SDC website
  • talk to your customers and friends and get them also to register their support on the SDC website
     

And remember, it IS ok to say yes to the car park. 

The pdf below this article is supplied so that you can print out a poster (perhaps on coloured paper) to show your support.

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Chamber thanks Christmas under the Edge

December 5th 2016

Wow! What a tremendous effort from Nicki and her team in organising Christmas under the Edge 2016. So many people have commented on the lovely atmosphere in the town that evening - cold but very festive.

As a gesture of its appreciation the Chamber has presented Nicki with a bouquet of flowers. We should all be grateful to her and her team for attracting so many people into the town.

And what’s more is that she is already talking about doing it again next year! 

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Battle between traders and residents over homes and car park proposal for town

November 28th 2016

The battle of words about the car park has reached Stroud Life. See how it is reported in the link below.

http://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/battle-between-traders-and-residents-over-homes-and-car-park-proposal-for-town/story-29934415-detail/story.html

 

Wotton's traders aren't working hard enough according to this letter

November 24th 2016

Yet another letter pleading for the town to be saved from the car park and suggesting that Wotton's traders aren't working hard enough. See the pdf below.

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More about the car park

November 18th 2016

Things are beginning to get a bit heated despite the fact that the planning submission still hasn’t been made.  There is still far too much guess work, speculation, intimidation, scare mongering and unfortunately some comment which is close to slander.

Nobody other than the developer really knows what is proposed at the moment

If you believe that the future of our town depends on a healthy community with shops and traders serving residents and visitors alike then please prepare to stand up and be counted when the time comes.

It’s ok to say yes to the car park 

You can see this week's offering from the Gazette in the pdf.

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It will soon be time to step up behind our President

October 27th 2016

As we await the formal submission for planning consent of the car park which could save out town's traders, our President has appealed for common courtesy to prevail on both sides of the inevitable debate. In this week’s Gazette (see the pdf below) he describes how he has been the subject of abuse for simply trying to secure our town’s future – but in a way that not all seem to approve of.

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The letters have started! Just remember that not everything you read is true.

October 6th 2016

When you  read the letters that were published in this week's Gazette (click on the pdf below) always remember that not all of what you read will be factually correct.

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BluesFest hailed as a success!

September 29th 2016

The town's first Blues Festival has been a great success. See how the Gazette reported it in the pdf below:

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Thriving Chamber working for Wotton

September 16th 2016

See how the Gloucester Citizen writes about our Chamber and how it is working for the benefit of our town.

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The fight for our town's future is about to start

September 15th 2016

The submission for planning consent for the new car park and the associated housing development is imminent. The pdf below is a compilation of the latest coverage in the Gazette which includes a response from the Chamber President to the front page story which appeared on September 1.

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Wotton - a Fairtrade town..again!

May 31st 2016

We have been appproached by our friends who have once again been able to ensure that Wotton has 'Fairtrade' status.

The Chamber wants tohelp them continue this success so we have agreed that they could contact all of you, our members, through our news page. Please help make the town even fairer for now and into the future!

 

 

13 Tabernacle Road

Wotton under Edge

GL12 7DR

01453 842403

Email: davidbarter1@yahoo.co.uk

Dear friends,

Wotton – A Fairtrade Town...again!

As I am sure you are aware Wotton has been awarded the status of ‘Fairtrade Town’ for a  number of years and a few weeks ago we learned that our application for this to be renewed by the Fairtrade Federation has been successful. We have the certificate to prove it!

I hope you are as proud of this award as we are on the Wotton Fairtrade Group of which I am a member. I am also on the committee of The Ark Coffee Shop in Long Street which has for its 21 years promoted the selling and serving of fairly traded goods in the town. My wife Margaret and I have taken over from Pam Smith as town reps for  Traidcraft, one of the major UK fair trade pioneers and champions.

It is our fervent hope that ‘Fairtrade Town’ will not just be an attractive sign on the way in to Wotton but will increasingly represent the commitment and values of the community and its businesses as we support justice and the relief of poverty through fair trade across the world.

In this regard we would like to invite all of Wotton’s businesses, large and small, to consider making a commitment to use and promote fairtrade products as part of their ethos. The range of such products is large covering teas and coffees of many varieties, sugar, chocolate, honey, jam, dried and fresh fruit, nuts, as well as soap, laundry and cleaning materials, crafts, clothes, etc.

Such goods, whether for staff or customer use, can be obtained in some local shops, especially the Coop who have an ongoing commitment to stock fairtrade goods, and also from The Ark Coffee Shop where we carry a wide selection of produce and can order anything you might require from the Traidcraft range. We can deliver free catalogues on request.

I am attaching some extra information  (click on the pdf link below) which explain in more detail how a workplace can adapt to fairtrade; and also how Traidcraft in particular can both serve your particular situation and how its work goes beyond that of some other organisations in pioneering and developing this vital cause around the world. I hope they will be of interest to you.

Thank you for reading this. We would like to think that over time all local businesses will join us in the active promotion and support of fairtrade and will be proud to be part of a Fairtrade Town.

If I or the local Fairtrade Group can be of further help or you would like further information please get in touch. We would like to build a register of all local groups, societies and businesses who commit to using and promoting fairtrade whenever possible so that we can use it to support the application for Fairtrade Town status when we seek to renew in 2018.

Wishing you the very best for your business, its staff and customers,

Yours sincerely,

David Barter (on behalf of the Wotton Fairtrade Group)

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Networking and election breakfast

April 25th 2016

We are holding a special breakfast meeting on the morning of the District Elections, Thursday 5 May in the Swan Hotel.

Invitations to join us have been sent to the two other candidates for which Alex Wilkinson our President and independent candidate has suggested the local electorate should vote to keep the whole affair local. 

Sadly, we are already aware that Catherine Braun of the Green Party is unable to attend but we still await a reply from the Liberal Democrat candidate Ken Tucker.

Book now by clicking on this link to ensure your place. 

A full English is £7.50 and a sandwich £4.50 (both include coffee and tea). Please note that to ensure a speedy service the only eggs available will be scrambled.

It could be an interesting meeting.

The car park campaign is hotting up

April 7th 2016

The Gazette has reported on a meeting of those opposed to the new cark park proposal and publishes the letter from our President and a couple of those with the opposite view.

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Our President responds to the letter in the Gazette

April 1st 2016

Our President has responded on the behalf of the membership to the letter and article which appeared in yesterday' s Gazette (see the preceding entry on this news page).

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Objections to new car park raised

March 31st 2016

Not everyone is in favour of the proposal to build a new car park behind the fire station at no cost to the town along with ten houses to pay for it.

The Gazette report in the pdf below describes how a long term resident off the town believes it is wrong.

When the scheme goes to planning it will then be time for the town's traders and businesses, whether members of the Chamber or not, who believe that Wotton's future rests on improving the dire parking situation to stand up and be counted.

There are strong emotions at play here on both sides. Let us all hope that common sense prevails.

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Reaction to car park and new houses 'reasonably positive'

March 31st 2016

See how the Gazette reported the consulation evening by clicking on the pdf below

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Car park consultation meeting today

March 18th 2016

The consultation meeting between the developer of the proposed housing and car park scheme behind the fire station takes place today in the Coombe Suite of Wotton's Civic Centre between 3pm and 8pm.

Come along and let us know what YOU think.

See the pdf below for a preview of the meeting as published in yesterday's Gazette (please note that the times published in the paper are wrong. See above.)

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Meet Wotton's own Polar explorer - Book now to avoid disappointment

March 10th 2016

Our first super club of the season gets off ot a cracking start with a special guest speaker, none less than Newall Hunter, Wotton's own Polar explorer. 

Make no mistake, space will be limited so book NOW to avoid disappointment

See the pdf below for more details

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Wotton poster secret vote slammed in Gazette

March 3rd 2016

The discussion at the recent Town Council's planning meeting of our Chairman's application for Listed Building Consent for the 'Wotton poster' is described in some detail in the pdf below.

Hmmmm!

The Chamber leaves it up to the reader to decide on how accountable some of our Town Councillors think they are to their electorate. 

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Programme of events for 2016

February 27th 2016

Following hard on the heels of the report is the first edition of our events programme for the year. We will try to re-issue it on a regular basis to keep you up to date. Remember - the Chamber is here for you. Use it or lose it!

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Report to the members

February 27th 2016

Now that the dust is settling after the AGM here is a brief report on the major topics covered - see the pdf below

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