Minutes 18 April 2023


Held at the Y-Centre

Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Alun Edwards (Treasurer), John Berry BEM, Jonathan Hurley, Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

Presentation: Ella Williamson, Sustainable Wales  Better Porthcawl)

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting.

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Elen Jones, David Swidenbank and Gemma Lewis.

3 To accept the minutes of the last AGM

The Minutes of the AGM 2022 were accepted.  However, this was for administration purposes only as formal approval cannot be made until the next AGM.  

Bridget said that the last monthly meeting prior to that held on 1st March was not quorate with only Margaret and Jon Hurley in attendance, so the meeting instead took the format of an informal discussion.

Alun Edwards and then John Berry expressed concern that the recent bad news about the forthcoming closure of the last two remaining banks in the town. John complained that that this was not on the Agenda and that Regeneration was taking precedence over other important issues, such as this one.  Also, that Margaret should not bring Sustainable Wales agenda into this meeting.  Margaret said she was flabbergasted at this comment and said she did not agree with that statement. It was agreed to continue discussion on this matter in the next Agenda item. 

4 Financial Matters

Alun reported that there was currently £1724 in the bank account and expressed concern at the dwindling balance.  A discussion ensued regarding the possibility of seeking funding for the Chamber, but it was pointed out that grants or funding was usually only usually available for special projects.

The discussion reverted to the repercussions of bank closures in the town and the problems it would cause for businesses, residents and visitors alike.    

Mary also made the point that, with the nearest bank now being in Bridgend and having to park 10 minutes’ walk away in the multi-storey, this would cause additional problems for disabled people who can no longer now park nearby to a bank, with the nearest bank being in Bridgend and the multi-storey car park being 10 minutes’ walk away. 

It was agreed that Bridget would draft a letter about the unacceptable situation and implore various individuals for consideration of the situation, which would be adapted to each and sent to:

Huw David, Leader BCBC

Mark Shephard, Chief Exec BCBC

Chief Executives of the two banks due for closure

Jamie Wallis MP

Sarah Murphy MS

Cllr Neelo Farr

Disability groups

5 Updates 

i) Businesses

Margaret reported that PantriBox had now opened in new premises in the old Harlequin building.  She added that Jeniphers Coffi would be moving into PantriBox’s old premises in Newton.  

Margaret suggested doing short interviews with photographs of new businesses such as Pantri Box, Jenipher’s Coffi, Balsa Surf, Rusty Cauldron and Imaginarium, for the website and promoted via social media.  This was thought to be a good idea.  Margaret said she would arrange this with the help of Jon Hurley, when possible.

ii) Park Dean

Margaret said that she had met the Manager of Parkdean, Tim Howell at a Coastal Forum meeting and she had asked him about the possibility of signage at Trecco directing visitors into the town.  He had agreed to discuss further.  It was agreed that a meeting would be set up for Bridget, Jon and Margaret to visit him to discuss and progress if possible.  A wallboard placed at Parkdean displaying business cards was also suggested.

iii) BCBC Destination Management Plan

Margaret said the aim was to encourage and increase visitor experience, economic growth and manage tourism in the area but, once again, Porthcawl had not been included in the consultation of this initiative. She expressed this dismay at the Coastal Forum meeting.

Iv) Banner

Margaret said she was still waiting for a response from Andrew Highway regarding the two estimates submitted to him for production of a Porthcawl Chamber of Trade banner from Harris Printers and   Photo Shop. She had asked Andrew if the eco-friendly quote could be considered, even though more expensive than the standard one.

John told Margaret and Jon that Les Tallon Morris makes banners and suggested asking him for a quote also.

v) Green Top

Margaret said that Green Top would be continuing with their monthly markets in the Town. 

6 Chamber meetings and speakers

i) Cenin Renewables

Margaret said that Cenin Renewables had invited Chamber members to visit their site.  Jon said he knew the manager and would discuss and progress with him.  

ii) Chamber Meetings

John made the point that scheduled Chamber meeting dates should not be changed if the President was unable to Chair the meeting.  In the event of unavailability of the President, then the Vice-President or an Executive member should Chair the meeting. 

iii) Programme of events

John reminded Margaret that it had previously been agreed that a Programme of Chamber meetings and events would be prepared.   Margaret said that there were item headings on the agenda which would allowing ideas and discussion for events, activities to emerge. Bridget said she would prepare a draft along the following lines: 

May informal.  Huw David suggested at guest speaker

June formal  Steve Flett to be invited to attend to discuss social media. 

July Visit to Cenin Renewables, followed by social drinks in a nearby pub

August Dinner – Atlantic

September formal

October informal

November formal

December Christmas Dinner

7 The King’s Coronation

Mary said that PTC was planning a Coronation party at Griffin Park, with entertainment for all the family, competitions, etc.  A big screen had been planned but, at present, a supplier was not available.

Mary confirmed that the Veterans would be in a marquee on the rear end of Griffin Park.

Margaret explained in response to King Charles’ initiative to encourage volunteering, a promotion was planned to take place on Bank Holiday Monday 8th May at 11am, James Street.  Churches Together had requested a joint approach with Sustainable Wales to this Coronation event.  Margaret added that more voluntary sector stalls, hire of the bandstand, closure of James Street and risk assessment, posters/promotion etc was being organised by Ella.  Activities would include e.g. music (some live) street food, a fairtrade cake stall, donated haberdashery, tools for self-reliance, tombola (shops were being asked to donate any suitable prizes to contribute to this and thus PCOT new banner could be used) 

Margaret asked for members to be reminded that the Welsh bunting was available to borrow.

Mary asked if the Chamber would be doing a Coronation Window Competition.  Bridget asked if it were possible that PTC may sponsor this event.  Mary said to email Town Clerk with this request.

Mary mentioned that the Council AGM would be taking place on 11th May with the inauguration of the new Mayor.

8 Website/Social Media

Jon suggested that members take a look at the updated website.  This was looked at and members complimented Jon on the excellent job he had done.

(Mary left the meeting)

9 Presentation: ‘Better Porthcawl’ by Ella Williams, Local Sustainable Development Officer

Ella presented to the meeting, explaining about Better Porthcawl, its aims and objectives and clarified misunderstandings that had occurred following the presentation at the AGM.

Describing the initiative as a developing network of community groups aiming to engage collectively and constructively with BCBC planning, politicians and others over the Waterfront development.  The aim is to be able to pass on accurate information to the community groups involved and thus help ‘informed decisions and ideas to emerge’ and create a simplified process for the planners and community to engage more effectively. The network is non-party, inclusive, democratic and advocates for future generations. Groups maintain their independence.

A discussion ensued at the end of the presentation. 

Alun thanked Ella and thought that a lot of points on Better Porthcawl had been cleared, following the first presentation at the AGM.  

Margaret clarified that Better Porthcawl was asking for support, rather than membership.  

Alun replied that the Chamber should support on the basis of individual members, rather than as a body but agreed to his personal support in principle, depending on the particular initiative. 

10 Any other Business

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