Minutes 16 May 2023


Held at the Y-Centre 

Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Alun Edwards (Treasurer), Cllr Elen Jones (latter part of meeting), John Berry BEM, Jonathan Hurley, David Swidenbank, Bridget Hall (Minutes) 

1 Welcome 

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting and asked if there would be any items for AOB?

2 Apologies for absence 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Gemma Lewis, and Kat Stonehill. 

Elen Jones was able to join our meeting around 8.15 – 8.30pm after her Porthcawl Town Council meeting.

3 To approve the Minutes of the last meeting 

The minutes of the meeting were confirmed as accurate, apart from the following minute: 

i) Minute 3, para 3 

John corrected Minute 3, paragraph 3:  John said that he fully understood that Sustainable Wales* and Sustainability was paramount to Margaret but felt that these points were over-emphasised at meetings. John apologised if he had upset Margaret in the previous meeting, which had not been the intention.  

Margaret responded by saying that we are in a climate and ecological emergency and all have a responsibility to consider the steps we can take in light of future generations.

It was highlighted by members that the emphasis of the Chamber should be on promoting trade. 

4 Matter arising 

I) Regeneration /Place – Making /Stakeholder engagement 

Margaret said she had been invited to and also stated she was representing the Chamber, at the stakeholder engagement events for the regeneration of Porthcawl, and that consultation should be promoted.  It was about making sure that the Chamber is kept involved in the community.  Margaret added that Elen, Gemma (and Jamie Strong) partners in Better Porthcawl  were also included. 

Alun agreed that the Chamber should work with this hub.  

ii) Coronation Window Competition 

Bridget said that she had judged the windows along with Alun.  She said that engagement had been generally disappointing, with mostly bunting and flags used to decorate windows.  However, there were a few good window displays and it had been decided to award the following: 

1st Prize – The Museum  

2nd Prize – Vera Lils, Well Street 

3rd Prize – Divine Gifts, John Street 

Alun said he would prepare the prize cheques and Margaret agreed that she would distribute to the winners. 

Margaret mentioned that Elen Jones has told her that PTCouncil has some annual budgets for projects and the Chamber should be applying.    For instance, for funding for the planting project.  Alun said we should seek Mary’s guidance on this and should plan projects for the forthcoming year. 

David reminded member that David Newton Williams still runs his newspaper column and we should be asking him if he could input articles on the Chamber.  Action Point 1 – Secretary to follow up 

5 Updates  

i) Closure of banks in the town 

Margaret referred to the closure of banks in the town and confirmed that she had sent the letter which was drafted to MS Sarah Murphy, Huw David and Cllr Neelo Farr.   Margaret confirmed that a banking hub would open in Porthcawl.  David mentioned that this initiative had been delayed, with openly 4 banking hubs so far opened in the UK. 

Margaret said that Sarah Murphy had replied to the letter agreeing to come along to a Chamber meeting and would arrange a date.  Alun said that a meeting with Sarah Murphy should be opened to all traders.  This was agreed.  Margaret said she would contact Sarah again to confirm a date.  

John suggested a coffee morning which might attract more attendees, rather than an evening meeting.  

Action Point 2 – President to confirm date to meet Sarah Murphy and all to confirm attendance.

ii) Banner 

Margaret displayed the new Chamber banner, made by Harris Printers. Member thought it was very good.  Cost £82.50, which would be paid for by Andrew Highway, BCBC.    

iii) Parkdean 

Margaret said that she and Jon had met the Manager of Parkdean, Tim Howell and his assistant, Gemma, who were very helpful.  They discussed proposals for signage as well as a wall board located on-site for advertising local businesses. Jon said the area that had been offered for this was in an excellent location at Parkdean, with approx 80,000 footfall in the area they suggested.  Alun thought it was a good arrangement to have a reciprocal support arrangement. 

It was agreed that Margaret, Jon and Alun would form a sub-group to progress this initiative. A meeting with Andrew Highway was also suggested to ask his advice. Action Point 3 – President to follow up with Andrew Highway and set up sub-group with Jon and Alun. 

iv) Porthcawl Hotel 

Margaret said that she had not been able to attend the recent open-community meeting to view the plans for the Porthcawl Hotel site. John had attended and he said that the plans were for it to be turned into 17 x 2bedroom social housing flats. With the 4 retail service entrances in Hillsboro Terrace.  

A discussion ensued on the various points of the plans and how this would impact further on the parking problems in the town.   

A further discussion continued regarding the siting of the new Aldi supermarket.  John questioned why that prime location was chosen and who made the decision on the siting, adding that he thought it should have been built as close as possible to John Street. 

6 Events and Chamber meetings 

i) Steve Flett 

Margaret said that Steve was unable to join the meeting that evening.  Steve will be able to train/advice arrange social media training etc for Chamber members. 

Elen reminded the members that this matter was discussed and agreed for follow up last November and would now be good to progress.   

Action Point 4 – Secretary/ President to follow up with Steve Flett and arrange training

ii) Visit to Cenin  

Bridget said that, following Jon’s introduction, she had been in touch with Cenin and they would be pleased to invite the Chamber to look around their site.  They had suggested several possible dates and this would be progressed, likely July or August. 

Action Point 5 – Secretary to follow up with Cenin and confirm date of visit

iii) Huw David 

Margaret said that Huw David had agreed to attend our next meeting on June 20th.  She proposed that the meeting be held in the Green Room, serving cakes/tea etc afterwards to make it more sociable. 

The group agreed that Huw David should focus on access from Aldi into the town centre, car parking and the problem of delivery lorries at the back shops on Hilsboro. Margaret would express these priorities to Huw David.

Margaret asked Jon to prepare a poster for this and make it an open invitation to all traders. 

Action Point 6 – Jon to create advert. All to confirm attendance

iv)  Future meetings/Programme of events 

John reminded members that Executive meetings should be held quarterly. Elen asked what was the difference between a monthly members meeting and an Executive meeting. John and Alun explained that an Executive meeting would not be needed if all issues had been covered in the members meeting.

7 Any other Business 

Elen drew attention to the amount of disposal Polystyrene food trays etc being found on Coney beach from fast food outlets and the impact this was having on our beautiful town. The Blue Tits had raised the matter with town and borough councillors, and it will be discussed at the June’s Porthcawl Town Council meeting. The Community has an expectation that businesses act responsibly and that action was needed. It was suggested that the Chamber should support action that makes our town fit for future generations. 

Action Point 7 – Vice President to update members at next meeting

There was no further business, and the meeting was brought to a close. 

 Action Point 1 – Secretary to follow up

 Action Point 2 – President to confirm date to meet Sarah Murphy and all to confirm attendance.

Action Point 3 – President to follow up with Andrew Highway and set up sub-group with Jon and Alun. 

Action Point 4 – Secretary/ President to follow up with Steve Flett and arrange training

Action Point 5 – Secretary to follow up with cenin and confirm date of visit

 Action Point 6 – Jon to create advert. All to confirm attendance

 Action Point 7 – Vice President to update members at next meeting