Minutes 19 July 2018

Present:  Stuart Bentley (Vice President), Mark Morgan, Cllr Les Tallon-Morris, Michelle Smith, Margaret Minhinnick, Alun Edwards, John Berry, Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Bobby Lewis,

Barbara Bridge, Cllr Lorrie Desmond-Williams, Cllr Tracy Hill, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

In attendance:  Marie-Wyn Elias-Jones, Town Centre Manager

1              Welcome

Stuart chaired the meeting due to Robert being indisposed after his recent hospitalisation.  Stuart wished Robert a speedy recovery, on behalf of Chamber members.

Stuart welcomed members to the meeting and introduced Marie-Wyn Elias-Jones, the new Town Centre Manager.

2              Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Robert Lee, Cllr Chris Smart, Peter Fenton and Mike Clarke.

3              Mari-Wyn Elias-Jones

Mari-Wyn said she had been in her new post as Town Centre Manager for two months, following her previous employment as the Town Centre Manager for the Vale of Glamorgan.  Mari-Wyn explained that she was excited about her new role which would be the same as the previous TCM, with the only difference being that she intended spending more time in the town and hoped to secure a local base to be more accessible.

Mark asked if Mari-Wyn was able to help with the car-parking issue in the town and whether there had been any further news on this.  Mari-Wyn said that she fully understood that this was an issue and assured members she would do as much as she could to help.

Michelle said it was concerning that there was talk of increasing charges.  Stuart added that there should be a balanced approach to this and proper consideration given to the level of charges imposed which would best encourage visitors to the town.

Marie-Wyn said that there would be a Pay and Display car park consultation later in the year and that all town residents would be receiving a letter about this.

Lorrie commented that the Hillsboro Rd car park was in a bad state and the charge for that car park should be lower than elsewhere.

Marie-Wyn said that motorway signage for Porthcawl was inadequate and this should be improved, which was a further issue she would work on.

Lorrie said business rate relief was a vital issue that needed attention.  Michelle said that she had made progress in regard to her own business rates liability and she has, after challenging this, received business rate relief.  However, some businesses had not received a letter offering it.  Marie-Wyn said she was happy to be a conduit to help with this matter.

Marie-Wyn said she was happy for members to email her with any queries or issues that she could help with.

Marie-Wyn said that she would be meeting with traders on Monday 30th July to discuss footfall and what could be done to help in this regard.

Stuart thanked Marie-Wyn for attending and addressing members.

Margaret left the meeting

3              To approve the minutes of the last meeting

The Minutes were approved.

4              Matters arising

  1. i) Y-Centre

Mark noted that the Y-Centre had increased the charge by a nominal amount which Chamber members had approved.

  1. ii) Town Council events

Tracy explained that about the new events group that had been set up, ExperiencePorthcawl.com, which would henceforth be organising all events for PTC.  Sarah Watkins would be seconded to this group for assistance.   The main summer event planned was an open-air Movie Night, planned for 26th August at Porthcawl RFC ground.  The Pirate Festival scheduled for 28 July had been cancelled.  The Christmas event had been planned for 2nd December.

Tracy confirmed that there would no longer be an events committee and that the Chamber would not be represented on ExperiencePorthcawl.com.  Lorrie explained that this was an advisory group and would be chaired by Cllr Norah Clark and included: Tracy, Mary, Les and Steve Maitland Thomas.

Stuart added that Experience Porthcawl.com was non profit-making and encompossed the Charity, Credu.  Mark Bryant was the Chief Executive, who was also Chief Executive or Porthcawl Maritime Centre.  Stuart felt that Experience Porthcawl would be a catalyst in bringing influential businesses in Porthcawl together, i.e. Hi-Tide, etc.

Les said he felt it had been unfair that 3 major events which been successfully run in the town in recent years with huge contribution from the Chamber had now been dropped.  Les said that Councillors had received an email recently outlining the planned events, including the Cinema Night.

Mary added that this email referred to by Les had been sent from Sarah Watkins, and read out the content, omitting the financial amounts.  It outlined the arrangement for the Cinema Night taking place on 26th August and other future event.

Lorrie raised an objection to the email being read out and said she would report this to PTC.  Lorrie asked for this to be minuted.

 5              Correspondence

  1. i) Porthcawl RFC

Bridget read out an email from Porthcawl RFC requesting sponsorship.  Bridget explained that this had been last year and approved by Chamber but no one from Porthcawl RFC had collected money.

  1. ii) Porthcawl Carnival

Les confirmed he would be representing PCT at this event the following week.

6              Financial Report

Mark circulated the Financial Report for consideration.   No issues were raised.

7              Membership Report

Bridget said 6 new members had signed up following the incentive of Christmas trees being erected in the town and that there had been a very positive response to this.

8              Events/PR

  1. Christmas Event

Lorrie thought it would be a good idea for the Chamber of Trade to have its own Christmas Event.

Bobby queried whether there would be sufficient funding for the Christmas Trees, should the Council reject the application for £2.250 funding contribution.

Michelle asked if Paul Whittaker could be involved with a Christmas Tree lights switch-on event in the town and hoped this could be on the same date as the Council event.  Bridget said it was now difficult to coordinate any events with PTC in view of the new arrangement for PTC events.  Tracy agreed that there should be a representative from the PCT and said she would speak to the group about this.

9             Summer Trip

The option of a summer trip being organised was discussed.  Bridget made the point that there had been little interest in this and would only be supported by a small group of members, if arranged.  Stuart thought it was worthwhile considering this again, perhaps for the autumn and asked Bridget to send out an email enquiring interest with members.

11           Any other business

  1. i) John Berry BEM

Stuart congratulated John Berry on his BEM award, which he said was befitting of his wonderful achievements.

  1. ii) Date of next meeting

It was suggested that the date of the next meeting would revert to the 3rd Thursday, i.e. 20th September.  This would be confirmed.

The meeting was closed.