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Minutes of 5th Oct meeting

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October 13, 2011 by oswestrychamberoftrade

Minutes of Oswestry Chamber of Commerce Meeting 5th October 2011

1. Introductions
The Vice Chairman welcomed members to the meeting, including additional guests; Cllrs Bill Benyon and Paul Milner, Phil Jones (Oswestry Showground), Mike Lade (Osyteers), John Swogger and Diana Baur (Inside out Arts Group).

2.    Matters Arising Since the Last Meeting

(i) ‘WalkersareWelcome’(WaW)
MC (‘management committee’) member described a new proposal. The idea is that Oswestry applies to become a WaW town as this will encourage walkers to visit Oswestry. For interested parties, a meeting is being held on 11th October at the Guildhall for further information.

(ii) Boost your Business courseThis is still planned to go ahead but more applicants are required. It will be a 2 hour workshop. Aim to take place in November 2011. Anyone wanting further information should contact John Waine.

(iii) MTRP
The Chamber had expressed a wish to put brief details of the next ‘wave’ of bids onto its website. However, the Council would prefer the bids not to be disclosed at this time because of potential alterations which could result in a deluge of questions. They would rather wait until the bids are more certain and then more information will be made publicly available.
The proposed World Café event has been delayed and is now scheduled to happen in November.

(iv) Affiliation to the Shropshire Chamber of Commerce
Oswestry Chamber of Commerce is now affiliated to Shropshire Chamber of Commerce; this will give our Chamber more access to information on a wider scale. The next meeting of the Affiliated Chambers is 3 November at Shrewsbury.

3.    Welcome to Guest Speakers

(i) MikeLade–Osyteers
This is a new local charity of Oswestry volunteers aiming to ‘plug’ the gaps that other local charities don’t cover. One proposal is to work with businesses to release staff members for a limited number of hours each year to help in the community. Businesses that support the scheme will be accredited by Osyteers. Mike’s presentation is available on the Chamber website and more information is available on the website www.osyteers.co.uk.

(ii) Diana Baur and John Swogger – Inside Out Arts Group
Their idea is to bring artists and businesses together in and around Oswestry. They have 20 artists interested in linking with businesses. They are looking to hear from any businesses which are interested; businesses just have to provide a place for the artist to carry out their work. John described the example of him working in the tattoo parlour, where he has been sitting in one day a week for the last month and drawing, which involved very little time and input from the business. Diana and John informed members that there is no cost associated with this. Next year they plan to possibly hold an exhibition in Oswestry including an art trail to incorporate the works done in conjunction with businesses. For further information contact johns@insideoutart.co.uk

(iii) Phil Jones – Oswestry and District Agricultural Society
Phil reported that the organisation owns the Park Hall site, which extends to 40 acres, and brings in many people throughout the year as the ground is hired out for lots of different events. He estimates that 60,000 people visit the site each year which opens up business opportunities for the Town. They are looking for ideas for working with and linking with the town. They have received a grant from the MTRP which they intend to use for significant repairs to the pavilion building.
Ideas included having information about the town available at the showground for visitors to look at which may encourage them to venture into Oswestry centre. Notice boards in the show office and plasma screens with information, together with a large town map, were other suggestions.
One member asked about the possibility of Chamber members getting preferential rates for stands in the business marquee on show day.

4.    Report from MC meeting with Oswestry Town Council (5 October)
Several members of the MC committee had met with the Town Council Chairman’s Group and gave a summary of the items discussed.
Christmas opening times and late night shopping were discussed. This sparked a debate amongst the members as to whether it would be preferable to open late night and, if so, which night would be best and also whether to have Sunday opening in the run up to Christmas. There was general support for late night / Sunday opening and the Chamber will conduct a survey of members to identify preferred times / days.
OTC have said that, subject to official approval, they would be consider waiving car park charges after 5pm on late night shopping evenings.
One member suggested the Chamber talks to the National stores in the town to find out what their experience is of which nights and times are most popular for out of hours shopping and also to try and get them on board with the idea in Oswestry in the hope that they also would extend their opening at the same time.
The Chamber and the TC have agreed to meet quarterly and requested that members put forward items they want to be discussed each quarter; (items on the agenda for the 5 Oct meeting included: late night opening, Sunday opening, car parking charges, getting parking machines to print 2 tickets so retailers can run a scheme to refund charges when spending over a certain amount, importance of tourism for Oswestry, festivals (with a specific proposal to develop a calendar that tells visitors when they are)). OTC also wish to sign a Memorandum of Co-operation with the Chamber.

5.    Future events to note
–    Votes for the Footfall bid for £6k funding; members urged to place their vote
–    Unveiling of train mural
–    Phil (manager of the gym at Wynnstay) told members about free guest passes available to them
–    The Marches School Christmas Fair, Sat 10th Dec 10am until 3pm
–  Oswestry Business Expo 6-9pm at Wynnstay Hotel. Free to attend.


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