Minutes 16 Jan 2024

Minutes of the Porthcawl Chamber of Trade meeting held on Tuesday 16th January 2024 at the Green Room

Present: Margaret Minhinnick (President), Debbie Lester,
Alun Edwards, Mark Morgan, Nathan Goldsworthy,
Jon Hurley, E Jones
In Attendance: Peter Morgan-Sussed Director, Sarah Watkins

Welcome and apologies for absence

Margaret Minhinnick, Chamber President welcomed Members present. Apologies were received from Gemma – Pantri Box.

Approval of minutes – 21st November 2023

Copies of the minutes were provided to members.

As per agreement at the last meeting Jon Hurley distributed the produced business cards to members at the meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 21st November 2023 were approved by members present.

Discussion: Switch to renewable energy and save £££ – Sussed switched account and reduced energy bills – Peter Morgan explains how business can purchase renewable energy and save money

This agenda item was brought forward for discussion.

Peter Morgan, Director of Sussed provided an invaluable insight into renewable energy.

Peter informed members that Telex Pozitive Energy UK are analysts who work with businesses to save money on energy costs and that he had had a positive experience in dealing with them. Telex provided quotes for renewable energy for Sussed and that a saving of £12,000 over three years was achieved.
It was discussed that the Chamber members should be notified regarding these energy saving costs via social media and on the website. It was highlighted that four Chamber members are already currently using renewable energy at their business.

It was suggested that Nathan and Peter to liaise together to create content to place on social media and the website and to also establish as to whether or not there is any grant funding available.

Members thanked Peter for his informative presentation.
Peter’s Notes attached.

Matters arising – not on the agenda

Members mentioned the overflowing bins that are located at the back of shops in Hillsboro Place and that some action needs to be taken regarding the siting of these bins.

M Minhinnick reminded members of the ‘Sleepwalking into Climate Change’ event taking place on Monday 29th January at 7.00pm. Margaret ran through a brief description of the content of the films that are to be shown and advised that everyone is invited to attend.

Correspondence and any members current concerns etc to be added to agenda

Andrew Highway had sent a survey an email in relation to the Green Top markets.

An application from Green Tops was with ESAG, BCBC for this year. Discussion took place surrounding the location of the markets and the effect that they had on the local businesses. The general preference was that the stalls should be brought back to John Street instead of Dock Street car-park. Margaret said that Ella Williamson (Better Porthcawl) had drafted PCOT a questionnaire, asking for traders’ opinions, which we could distribute to the membership. Members were encouraged to complete and return the questionnaire to her, or Margaret.

The footfall data for the town was discussed and agreed that Andrew Highway, Town Centre Manager, should be contacted to enquire whether or not this data could be shared with the Chamber. It was suggested that this information could perhaps be placed on the Chamber website if obtained.

Nathan left the meeting at 8.00pm.

Update events/review activities:

Victorian Day Dec 2nd/letter to Leader BCBC Huw David

It was noted that Sussed were not able to take part in the Christmas event in town due to restrictions imposed from BCBC. Discussions also took place around the confusion who were the organisers of the Christmas event. Members thought as last year the Victorian Day was a Museum event which was added to by Porthcawl Town Council in conjunction with Kerry Marlow.

Discussion took place regarding some issues of the event and E Jones agreed to convey the concerns back to PTC.
M Minhinnick informed members that a letter had been sent to Huw David, BCBC in relation to the traffic turning issues at Hillsboro Place/James Street and that no reply had been received to date.

Xmas tree for All Saints

Elen Jones reminded members that historically and last year baubles were placed on the Christmas trees showcasing the logos of all local businesses. It was suggested that a donation be requested from each business to promote their business on the trees for this year.

Xmas Social, best dressed Xmas Window Competition results

M Minhinnick advised that the Christmas Social was organised in conjunction with a Sussed event and was held in the Green Room.

Members were informed that the Christmas Window Competition is usually judged in advance of the Christmas Event and that the cup and prizes are presented to the winners at the event of which was not done this year.

It was advised that there were three prize winners and a community prize. Jon Hurley was asked to promote the winners on the Chamber website. It was suggested perhaps having a theme for the competition this year such as ‘pantomime’ as done in previous years. It was further suggested that alternative prizes such as hampers and/or vouchers could be sourced for this year.

It was agreed that J Hurley is to produce a new prize certificate for the Christmas Window Competition and some frames to be purchased for the certificates.

Xmas town centre lights and trees

Members advised that they were generally happy with the Christmas lights this year, however, they felt that the string lights were not suitable for the Town Centre.

It was advised that the tree located outside Age Concern had been removed due to complaint received from a resident above the shop.

Discussion took place surrounding the cost of the Christmas trees and service provided by EPM and as to whether some quotes should be obtained for this year. It was advised that the Town Centre Manager provides some funding to the Chamber for the Christmas trees.

Hi-Tide Town Centre Place-Making Strategy meeting

The event was run by Architectural Designers, Austin-Smith:Lord and also attended by Jacob Lawrence, BCBC Principle Regeneration Officer, and Billy Stark, BCBC Principle Regeneration Officer.
M Minhinnick and Jon Hurley attended. Other representatives were from the Town Council, A Voice for the Future Porthcawl, Better Porthcawl and Porthcawl Comp. Discussion took place regarding the potential funding that BCBC could obtain for Town Centres.
Key areas if discussion were around the strengths and weaknesses of the Town Centre. – see website link below.

MM and JH thought the event was of very small consequence and that a summary overview of the event has been placed on the Chamber website by JH, thanks to Ella Williamsons (SW) summary. https://www.porthcawlchamberoftrade.co.uk/2003-2/

PCOT Communications Development – Website content, comms strategy, membership development etc

J Hurley advised that he had devised a membership development plan of which had been placed on the Chamber website. Jon ran through the three membership packages that are available to the local businesses. It was agreed that a standard welcome letter be devised for each new member who signs up. 

Discussion took place surrounding how to encourage members to attend the Chamber meetings and regarding publicising the meeting dates. It was suggested that a link for the Porthcawl Chamber of Trade website could be placed on the Porthcawl Town Council website.

M Morgan and D Lester left the meeting at 8.39pm

Any other business

Members were informed that an e-mail had been received from Andrew Highway to invite businesses to attend monthly networking events, starting on 21st February 2024 at the new development on Cosy Corner next to the Harbour in Porthcawl.

The meetings are scheduled to take place on the third Wednesday of each month between midday and 2pm and this informal session will be held in a different visitor attraction or venue each month. It is an opportunity for businesses to get to know the tourism experiences on our doorsteps, to meet other tourism operators and to also talk to members of the wider Council team.

It was advised that the Chamber AGM meeting is scheduled to take place on 19th March 2024 at the Y Centre. Discussions took place on who to invite to speak at the event and agreed that Sarah Murphy should be invited to provide information to members on the new recycling laws that are coming into force this year. The agenda item for the speaker should read ‘Future ready, future fit’.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday 20th February 2024 at 6.45pm.

Meeting closed at 9.09pm