Minutes 19th July 2022


Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Alun Edwards (Hon Treasurer), Ellen Jones (Vice-President), Gemma Lewis, Lorrie Desmond Williams, Cllr May Emment-Lewis, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

In attendance:  Kerry Marlow, Buccaneers

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting.

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Jonathan Hurley, John Berry and David Swidenbank.

3 To approve the minutes of the last meeting

Elen referred to item 6 of the minutes and said it did not accurately reflect what she meant.  It was agreed that Elen would revise a statement to replace the minutes.  The minutes were otherwise approved.

4 Matters arising

Margaret wanted to explain the definition of a ‘cooperative’, which shared democratic rights and made decisions with their community members:  SUSSED is a cooperative/social enterprise, independent, not-for-profit, community membership company, trading for the benefit of the community, not multi-nationals.  The aim of SUSSED is to help shoppers respond to the ecological and climate emergency, trade justice, and purchase ethical goods, thus live more sustainably.  The goods sold – local, green and fair-traded – are selected because they are people and planet-friendly and are a challenge to corporate power via the power of the purse.  www.sussedwales.com

SUSSED supports the Porthcawl-based charity Sustainable Wales, involves volunteers and offers work-experience.

Elen added that sales at SUSSED this year were increasing, with 15,000 cotton masks having been sold during the pandemic.  

ii) Chamber meetings

Elen said people didn’t seem to want to attend meetings.  Gemma suggested more network-style meetings, at more of a social venue such as Cosy Corner.  Also, to have guest speakers.  Alun said that meetings some years ago were held at the Atlantic hotel and members would stay on for a meal.  Bridget said that when she first started as Secretary, meetings were held at the Waterfront until a hefty fee was charged for use of the room, but had similar numbers of attendees.

Elen thought the Chamber should attract new members.  Perhaps having an Executive meeting to discuss business with a members’ social networking meeting instead.  It was agreed that this would be reviewed at a future meeting.

iii) Information Screens

Bridget referred to the message from Cllr Robert Lee (member of the Chamber) who confirmed that the screens were owned by PTC and located at the Black Box co. in Port Talbot. Black Box co.  Lorrie confirmed PTC ownership because of the VAT payable.   

Kerry said that he had requested use of the information disc for these screens for use by the Buccaneers, but this had not been granted.  He said he did establish that some of the 5 or 6 screens appeared to be working and that Kerry Grabham, Town Clerk, was aware of the situation.   Kerry said to remember that Steve Flett could manage them if the Chamber was able to take over.  It was agreed that Bridget would write formally to PTC to ask if the Chamber could take over the project.

5 Finance

Alun gave a verbal account of bank balance.  No issues were raised.

6 Correspondence

i) SUSSED letter of Support

Bridget said a request had been received from SUSSED for a letter of support for a grant to fund a staff member for Community Developments.  Margaret asked for further letters of support.

ii) Two Bikes

Bridget said that an email had been received asking for support for the Two Bikes project, running from Newton to the Harbour to provide transport for senior citizens.

Mary said that PTC had received a presentation on this the previous week, with a further public presentation to be made on the promenade in August.  £7k cost of the project.  

It was agreed that the Chamber would support the project in principle. 

iii) Trecco Bay – Signage

Margaret suggested contacting Parkdean at Trecco to ask if signage could be installed on their site directing visitors to the John Street shopping area.  Margaret added that she had spoken to Andrew Highway who had suggested we send a draft to him for input.  Kerry commented that Parkdean would not approve of this, as they want to retain visitors on their site, not direct them away.  

Alun thought it might be an idea to put up signs on the green opposite the Coop in Newton.  

Elen made the point the Parkdean has a bad image recently with the late-night music and might want an opportunity to improve their PR.

7 Talk of the Town

i) Green Top Markets

Following the initial complaints about the stalls facing away from shops drawing footfall down the centre of John Street, Margaret said that the stalls were turned to face shops at the last market, thereby approved by shops.  

ii) Planters

Mary said that we should apply for a PTC grant for the maintenance of the planters.  Kerry Marlow confirmed that Emma Sparks was the Porthcawl Community Coordinator for BCBC for this matter.    

Mary said that £8k funding was available so it was as well to ask for a share of this for the planter project.

iii) Kerry Marlow address re Carnival and Christmas Swim 

Kerry addressed the meeting to explain his proposals to the Chamber and would do the same with the other organisations, such as the Lions and Rotary, in order to bring different parties together in agreement.  He explained his proposal of holding a Victorian Day on 22nd July 2023 in conjunction with Porthcawl Museum and asked Chamber members what they would like to see provided at this event, ie type of stalls, street entertainment, etc.  

A discussion ensued and some thoughts were put forward.  It was agreed this would be discussed and further contact made with Kerry to progress.  Kerry stressed that events in Porthcawl should be run on a non-profit-making basis.

iv) Events

Alun confirmed that the Summer Dinner Night Out to the Tynewydd Inn, Barry, had been confirmed for 23rd August, in conjunction with the Y-Centre and that he would arrange transport.  

8 Website/Social Media

Margaret said that Jon would be providing training for managing the website after the summer holidays.

9 Regeneration

Margaret said a group had been set up to establish a community partnership which she hope would be able to collaborate constructively with the Council Regeneration office for BCBC.

A discussion ensued on the regeneration plans and a number of points put forward.  

10 Any other business

There was no further business.  The meeting was closed.  Informal refreshments were served.