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Chamber Meeting Minutes 6th July 2011

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July 23, 2011 by oswestrychamberoftrade

Oswestry & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Minutes of Meeting held on Wednesday 6th July 2011
6pm – 7pm at the Wynnstay Hotel

Introduction
The Chairman, Martin Anderson (MA), welcomed those present to the meeting and also invited
people to stay from 7pm to 8pm for the launch of the Chronicle Business Club.

Financial Report
The treasurer reported that there are currently 46 paid up members. Bank balances total £4,177.
Membership fees remain at £20 for 2011.

Matters arising since last meeting
Logo and name – a member of the management committee (MC) proposed that we go to 4
designers with a brief for a new logo and then present the options to the members for final decision.
Name – the chamber intends to put a thread on it’s website to get members views on a change of
name. MC member told attendees that there was a perception that the current name might be old
fashioned and that a new image was needed.

Training events – suggestions were requested as to what type and style of training members were
looking for; suggestions included ‘master classes’ for say, 2 hours maximum at a time possibly
including a question and answers session in each. Members were asked to provide ideas for training
they required. Timing was also discussed; general consensus being that either a breakfast time/early
morning or end of the day training session would be most suitable.

Picnic in the park – MC member reported the event was a success; lots of enjoyment to be had. One
new member signed up on the day with membership forms handed out to others. A lot of people
were interested to hear what the Chamber are about and what we do. MC hope this will be the first
of many social events.

Stakeholders – MC have had meetings already with; Kate Garner (Shropshire Council (SC)), Phil Jones
(Oswestry Show), Martin Bennett (Oswestry Town Council (OTC) and SC) and others. A meeting has
been scheduled with Pub Watch. The chamber is keen to liaise with other organisations who could
work with us.

Speaker – David Preston, Town Clerk, Oswestry Town Council
MA welcomed David Preston (DP) and his colleague David Clough (market manager).
David Preston spoke to the attendees about the latest developments within the Town Council and
Oswestry, as follows.

DP welcomed reform of the chamber and talked about the willingness to work together and how we
engage with each other.

It was reported that the OTC has a turnover of £2m, is a major local employer and it invests c £300k
back into the local economy each year. It also owns a number of properties within the town.

DP told members that the forthcoming Localism Bill will have an impact on the town and this is
something the chamber should be looking into.

Supermarkets and the Smithfield
S106 agreement is being finalised between the legal parties. DP said that the capital receipt sum
being quoted in the press is roughly the amount expected. The sum cannot be spent on grants or
wages; it is to be used for Oswestry based projects. Extra consultation with the local community will
take place for their input on the projects. It is intended to be a community driven process. There will
be a link to local/countywide strategies and regeneration projects. The spend is restricted to the
electoral boundaries of Oswestry. DP told those present that the voice of the chamber will be very
important in this process.

DP went onto say that they are trying to set up a Regeneration Forum in Oswestry; they are already
working on the markets and on a business clinic.

He has recently had meetings with Shropshire Council; SC have agreed a regeneration forum will be
set up; another World Café event will be held in Oswestry. SC will put resources in immediately to
help to build up the profile of the town for ‘quick wins’. SC have also confirmed support for the
Cambrian Railways Project.

There are plans to open a museum in Oswestry within the vacant former court area in the council
buildings.

The farmers market has improved significantly and regeneration of the market will go ahead.

To summarise, DP listed the following points as being key for the town and for the chamber to have
input on:
1. Involvement in the next world café event
2. Capital monies from Smithfield site
3. SC study of town and willingness they have to put resources in to find ‘quick wins’.
4. Town council starts budget setting process in September. Chamber is invited to meet the
Mayor and Deputy Mayor.
5. There will be elections in 2013 where a new council will be elected.

DP finalised by saying the ‘doors are open’ for the chamber to work with the Town Council. DP
agreed to take part in a brief question and answer session in which the following arose:

– Why are there different parking charges around the town?
– The chamber asked DP when OTC need input re decisions on parking, timelines, etc
– SC are doing a street survey in Oswestry very soon
– Would the capital receipt counteract the negative impact of the Smithfield development?
Timing is important and projects need to be specific
– The development monies will be received in phased payments; some upfront prior to
development
– Free bus service into town centre? This is part of the plan as far as DP aware
– Free parking at Christmas?
o Thoughts were it needs publicising better if happens again
o Feedback required and enforcement issues with people potentially using as long stay
parking
o DP suggested that Chamber come to OTC with a request in September if free parking
is desired.
o Approx £10/11k was lost in revenue by OTC last time ran free parking for 2 weeks.

The chairman commented that as a Chamber we need to understand the timelines so we have time
to react and input.

DP mentioned a planned B&B enhancement programme to encourage more accommodation in
Oswestry which may involve grants to those businesses. MA thanked DP for his contribution to the
meeting.

Plans/speakers at future meetings

August 3rd (next meeting) – Catherine Howell of Lloyds TSB, local business manager will do a
presentation.

September 6th meeting; Paul Wiseman will present a talk on ‘if your company has a thief, what do
you do next’, sharing his knowledge about how to prevent fraud in business.

Members were asked for suggestions for speakers for future meetings.

December meeting – planning a cheese and wine tasting with talks from the suppliers.

The chamber is also planning to invite Keith Barrow of (SC) to come and speak at a future meeting.

Minutes from the last meeting
MA apologised to members on behalf of the MC for the minutes not being available.

Future events to note

– Oswestry market town regeneration meeting at Whole of Life centre 19 July 7.30
– Oswestry Food Festival 9 & 10 July, this is the 5th year and they are looking for ideas for
future years
– Traders Day 30th July and Take to The Streets. Wendy at The Gates has flyers for distribution.
– Re-play it day on 3 August; free play event. On 15th July there will be a bag pack at M&S to
raise funds for the play day.

The meeting closed at 7pm.


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