Minutes 18 July 2023


Held in the Green Room , above SUSSED

Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Cllr Elen Jones (Vice President) Alun Edwards (Treasurer), Sharon Edwards, Jonathan Hurley, Mark Morgan, Gemma Lewis, Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Bob Lewis,  Bridget Hall (Minutes)

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting and said she was pleased to say that the meeting would close with a social to mark Bridget’s last meeting as Secretary.

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from David Swidenbank, Kat Stonehill and from Cllr Elen Jones for her late arrival.

3 To approve the minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

4 Matters arising

3(I) Sustainability and Environmental Matters

Margaret referred to comments made at the last meeting of her devoting too much time to sustainability and environmental matters.  Margaret disputed this statement, saying that it was not about her pushing sustainability, but that this was a matter of vital importance for the future generations, and she would continue encouraging the Chamber to make responsible decisions, otherwise would need to walk away from her position as President of the Chamber.

Gemma added that it was vitally important for businesses to be able to talk about this matter and to deliver better margins for their businesses, such as establishing the use of solar power.  This would also help attract new members, if the Chamber were able to support businesses in this way.

Margaret said that, through the Federation of Small Businesses, she had heard of a company named Pozitive Energy claiming it can greatly reduce bills though buying renewable energy.  Margaret said this was something that should be explored and passed on to all businesses, not only members.  Mark queried whether they dealt with solar power, to which Margaret replied that she would make enquires and ask Peter Morgan, SUSSED, to come to a Chamber and explain further.

Alun thought that all businesses would want to be Green but cost was a key factor, with businesses struggling to survive and any extra cost would add to this struggle. 

Bridget referred to the Welsh Government’s recent announcement of targets to stop the use of polystyrene food containers, plastic cutlery etc.  Bridget thought it a good idea to write to the Welsh Government to ask about funding for business to cover the extra cost this would entail.

5 Updates

i) Update re banking hub

Margaret reported that, following MS Sarah Murphy’s request to set up an online group to discuss with Link representatives, the proposed banking hub in Porthcawl.  Margaret said that Peter Morgan, SUSSED, had kindly agreed to represent the Chamber at this online meeting.  Notes of this meeting are attached.  A location for the banking hub was discussed.  Ideally, it should be located where Lloyds Bank is currently situated, but this was to be decided.  In the meantime, it has been confirmed that Lloyds Bank will remain open until March 2024, and Halifax until April 2024.  Margaret thanked Peter for this report.

ii) Park Dean Signage was about to be on display at Park Dean, as produced and displayed online by Jon.  Margaret confirmed 2 quotes were sent to BCBC. The cost of the one chosen ( Harris Printers) was £180, and funded by BCBC arranged by Andrew Highway.   

Jon commented that approx 80,000 visitors come to the Park Dean site each year.

Mark suggested having further signs at the bus stops, or at Portway, which Margaret said could be considered at a later time.  

Mark enquired whether the Chamber should approach the new Aldi store.   Alun thought it best to let the ‘dust settle’ and then approach Aldi, once they have an established general manage.  

(Elen arrived at the meeting)

Elen made the point that the PTCouncil logo on the signage was under review by Mary said that particular logo would remain unchanged.  

iii) Steve Flett – Social Media 

Margaret said that she had spoken again to Steve Flett, who had quoted £30 per hour and could train up to 6 people in the use of social media.  

Bridget made the point that Steve was initially being brought in to review the Chamber social media and increase the reach, etc., it was not for training.  Margaret asked Bridget to liaise with Steve.


iv) Email server

Margaret said that there had been problems with the email server, which Alun was attending to.

6 Events and Chamber meetings’ schedule

I) Cenin Renewables

Margaret said that it was hoped that an evening could be established that was convenient for those members who would like to visit the site.   Margaret believes that Cenin Renewables can, at times, produce 95% equivalent of Porthcawl’s energy needs (which would be renewable energy) which she thought was an excellent statistic.  

Margaret suggested one of the scheduled Chamber meeting dates for a trip to Cenin:  18th or 26th September was suggested at 6pm.  

7 Executive meeting 

Margaret proposed an Executive meeting to discuss the role of new Secretary, fundraising, membership development, etc. Alun, Jon and Margaret to discuss the role of Secretary:  Thursday 6.30pm. 

8 Any other business

I) Beach Clean

Elen raised the matter of the amount of waste on Porthcawl beaches which was a huge environmental problem.  It was hoped to pull together all stakeholders to commit to a plan of working together to analyse the amount of waste and establish whether there are sufficient bins or sufficient collections by BCBC.  A draft strategy would be prepared and sent to all stakeholders with the hope of support in principle.   

9 Viewing of Sustainable Wales’ Coffee and Climate Film featuring Jenipher’s Coffee

Following the viewing of the film, the meeting was brought to a close for a social to thank Bridget for 8 years support to the Chamber.