Minutes 20th September 2022


Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), John Berry, Jonathan Hurley, Mary Emment-Lewis, Debbie Lester, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members to the meeting and Debbie to her first one.

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Elen, who was in Uganda on a business trip to visit Jenipher’s Coffee and help distribute £40.000 support from the Welsh Assembly.  Gemma has baby- sitting problems.

3 To approve the minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were approved. 

4 Matters arising

i) Large information screens

Bridget said she had sent an enquiry to Kerry Grabham of PTC to consider the feasibility of the Chamber to take over management/maintenance of these screens but had not yet received a reply.

ii) Chamber meetings 

The matter of Chamber meeting was discussed further.  Bridget repeated a previous suggestion of holding Chamber meetings bi-monthly, with Executive meetings alternating with social/information/  development evening.  Margaret suggested having guest speakers and  meetings held in different (traders) venues from time to time. This would be further reviewed at the next meeting.  

Margaret proposed having financial information presented quarterly instead of monthly as at present.  This was approved by members present.  

Mary suggested sending out a Q&A survey to traders, to see what they would like.

Margaret requested a hard copy of the membership paperwork for the next meeting, which Bridget said she would arrange.

Margaret was pleased to report on a new Chamber member, Kitty from the business ‘Imaginarium’,  Lias road.

iii) Trecco Bay Signage

Margaret confirmed she had sent a letter to the Manager at Trecco Bay, via Andrew Highway, who had suggested he should send our letter on to Trecco Bay,  requesting the possibility of signage on the site, directing visitors to Porthcawl Town and John Street shops.  

Margaret referred to the History of Porthcawl’s relationship with Trecco owners, that Kerry Marlow said he had sent to the Chamber.  Bridget said she would check on this.  

iv) Regeneration

Margaret explained that a steering group had been formed hoping to develop a community partnership called ‘Better Porthcawl’. It was made up of some key individuals such as herself, Elen, Gemma, Jamie Strong, Cllr Jeanie Monks, Helene Mathews and Richard Thomas (BCBC).  The purpose of the steering group would be to engage with BCBC staff and politicians constructively on the regeneration plans. Informed and collaborative decision-making is crucial. The approach over many years by the planning department was seen as limiting local aspirations which has often caused political alienation within areas of our community and to work for everyone. The Chamber would be asked to join this, when it was established formally.

Mary made the point that there should be a Council representative.  John added that officers such as Huw Davies should be included, whom John felt was most helpful and capable.

5 Finance

As Alun was not at the meeting, no financial information was presented.  

6 Talk of the Town

i) Green Top Events

This was discussed and it was thought that initial issues were now resolved.  Debbie said that although initially the markets meant to a loss in business for her shop, she felt it was now generally good for town trade.

ii) Theft/Forgery

Debbie said that there had been an increase in shoplifting recently, with forged notes in circulation.  

Margaret asked Bridget to report this to Andrew Highway and ask if the provision of security cameras could be increased.

iii) Elvis Weekend

Mary confirmed that there would be some road closure and thought that the seafront road was being closed.  

iv) Planters 

Margaret said that Rob Jones, Senior Licensing Officer, BCBC had written to her at SUSSED with an application to complete a licence to occupy the area of the planters, which involved public liability insurance, etc.  

This was discussed and thought to be heavy-handed, considering it was a voluntary project to bring benefit to the area.  It was agreed that a reply would be sent to this effect.

Margaret presented an estimate of £700 from Saulat for the autumn maintenance of the planters, which included new plants, soil, etc.  

7 Website/Social Media

Margaret said that Jon would be providing training for managing the website.  Bridget made the point that this should be confined to 2 or 3 people maximum to avoid obvious problems.  Jon agreed it should be limited.

Jon asked if the membership list could be updated.  Bridget said she would liaise with Alun and let Jon have this information.

8 Pakistan Disaster Appeal

Margaret explained the joint initiative between Sustainable Wales and PCT and confirmed that collection boxes had been delivered to 13 shops in town.  Debbie suggested a raffle to boost funds.

Mary said that a coffee morning was being held on 11th November at Trinity to support this appeal.

9 Christmas Events

Bridget said that she had received an email from Paul Whittaker, asking if the Chamber intended to provide Christmas trees again this year, also whether we were considering putting on a Christmas Carnival or event in the town and offered his services once again.  This was briefly discussed and whether the Chamber should be supporting the Museum’s Victorian event on 3rd December.  It was agreed that Bridget would ask Andrew Highway whether funding was available again this year.  The matter would then be reconsidered at the next Chamber meeting.

Mary informed members that Christmas Trees would be put up at All Saints’ Church, as part of the annual Rotary Christmas initiative, on 5th December.  Bridget commented that she usually puts up the tree for the Chamber but a new one would be needed this year.  

Mary also reminded members that the Museum would be holding their Victorian Christmas day on 3rd December.   Also, PTC would be holding a Christmas market at Griffin Park on 4th December, with Christmas market huts and other decorations.  

Debbie thought it would be a good idea to provide the wooden market huts for the town to do a Christmas market.  Bridget said this had been considered but they were too expensive.

10 Any other business

  1. Y-Centre AGM

John said that the Y-Centre AGM would be taking place on 11th October and said all were invited to attend.  John added that Margaret would be speaking at this event.

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