May 21, 2014 by oswestrychamberoftrade
1.Election of Officers
Heather Noble, Chair, introduced Cllr. Alan Davies from Oswestry Town Council who had kindly agreed to act as independent Returning Officer for the Chamber’s election of committee and officers.
The election took place by secret ballot. There were ten nominees on the ballot paper. Cllr. Davies confirmed there were 18 people present in the room with 15 paid up members eligible to vote.
The nominees and votes cast for each candidate (in brackets) were as follows:
Martin Anderson (14), Andrew Clarke (15), Mike Coppock (14), Eva Hill (14), Gemma Syrett-Judd (15), Clive Knowles (14), Heather Noble (15), Jools Payne (15), Jude Robinson (14) and John Waine (15).
Heather Noble was re-elected as Chair. Martin Anderson re-elected as Vice Chair and Andrew Clarke newly elected Treasurer.
HN thanked Cllr. Alan Davies for his time and presented him with a small gift as a token of appreciation.
2. Strategic Priorities – Open Discussion
Heather Noble facilitated an open discussion and invited all present to offer a view on what they would like to see the Chamber focus upon in 2014-15.
John Waine – JW raised the issue of shared space and advised members of a working party which had recently visited the town of Poynton which is successfully implementing a shared space scheme. There is a video on You Tube for members wishing to learn more about the scheme and its implications.
JW added that he sees it as a project that Chamber should engage with and give a level of profile to in order to get discussions going. HN and JW to meet with Jaz following the meeting on this very subject.
Craig Marston – CM raised the issue of a masterplan for Oswestry and suggested an in-depth Town Analysis is required to set strategic goals for the town.
CM also added that transport around the town be added to the Chamber’s future agenda.
Tim Morris – TM reiterated that a Whole Town Plan is key to a successful town centre. Open Space is just one project as part of a Whole Town Plan and suggested the Chamber could plan an Open Meeting to discuss the Whole Town Plan issue and invite contributions from all parts of the community not just the business community.
TM also suggested the Chamber invites the Town Council to make a statement on Capital Receipts gathered from the sale and works now commenced at the Smithfield Development site and that the Chamber committee needs to “be on the ball” with that issue and add its voice to onward discussions.
John Waine – JW advised there is a re-negotiation of Section 106 in the Smithfield Site Development due to the omission of a power supply sub station in the original planning application. The inclusion of a sub station will impact upon availability of car park spaces with potential onward ramifications.
JW highlighted the need for transparency and clarity from the developers and the Town Council regarding the changes made post planning consent.
Martin Anderson – MA raised the issue of Portas Money and how the award of £10k is spent to best benefit the town. MA reiterated the Chamber is just one of several stakeholders and does NOT ‘own’ these monies.
MA made clear the £10k is NOT required to be devoted to a ‘legacy’ project – that particular caveat was reserved for the winning town bid of £100k.
Heather Noble – HN stated that Chamber’s executive committee previously explored what other towns had done with some success and would revisit with urgency the Portas money issue with the other key stakeholders including Footfall.
Ingrid Knowles – IK queried why as many as 10 committee members were required to sit on the Chamber’s executive. HN stated this was the figure set in the Constitution. HN stated that on several occasions late last year as few as three committee members attended executive meetings and thus the required quorate for decision making, as determined by the constitution, was not achieved.
HN added that a full committee, with the option to co-opt further members onto working groups as set out in the Constitution, will ensure a fairer and more equal distribution of tasks and responsibilities and will make for a more robust Chamber.
Jools Payne – JP queried the potential for Chamber to act as a facilitator for a more joined up approach to strategic town and activity planning and to harness thinking amongst Oswestry’s many and varied special interest groups – most if not all of which have a shared ambition for a better Oswestry at heart.
Discussion ensued and it was felt Chamber could create a special event to bring these disparate groups together.
Neil Jenkins (visitor) suggested there would be entrepreneurs such as himself who may be prepared to offer their entrepreneurial expertise to Chamber and Oswestry to build a more ‘giving’ ethos in the town.
Ingrid Knowles – IK presented her view on a recent Donation Parliament event she had attended in Europe. This ‘giving ethos’ was applied practicably with financial donations (even very small amounts) given by attendees to worthwhile projects and ideas pitched by organisations and groups. IK queried whether this could be replicated in Oswestry and facilitated by Chamber.
Open Invitation to Contribute
Heather Noble concluded the meeting by thanking all for their contributions and inviting all present to mull over the ideas talked about in open discussion and relay further thoughts back to her or any other member of the committee.
Ideas will be gathered and fed through to the first meeting of the new committee later in the month.
HN also reiterated that the committee is eager to hear all views, opinions and concerns of members at any time in order to be fully aware and on top of issues and concerns.
3. Any Other Business
Walford & N. Shropshire College
Hazel Wakefield advised that Walford & N. Shropshire College is changing the use of its theatre to a construction department and is taking apprentices through their qualifications on site. All members to be aware of the opportunities.
HW also advised that a new head had been appointed for the college and that it would be good to invite her to a Chamber meeting.
HW further advised the College has an excellent new restaurant open to public diners.
Hope House Fashion Show
There is a fashion Show for Hope House on Wednesday 14th May with a 2 course lunch for £25.
Shropshire Business Awards
The annual flagship awards event for Shropshire businesses takes place on Friday 11th July at Telford International Centre.
HN invited anyone interested in joining forces for an Oswestry Chamber of Commerce table to get in touch with her. Early bird tickets cost £60 per head and are available at that rate until 30th May when they rise to £80 per head.
Date of Next Meeting
6.00pm Wednesday 4th June 2014
The Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry
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