Minutes 21st June 2022


Present:  Margaret Minhinnick (President), Elen Jones (Vice-President), Alun Edwards (Hon Treasurer), John Berry, Mark Morgan, Jonathan Hurley, David Swidenbank, Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

1 Welcome

Margaret welcomed members.  

2 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence had been received from Cllr Lorrie Desmond-Williams and Gemma Lewis.

3 To approve the minutes of the last meeting

Elen clarified that she had not, in fact, agreed to judge the Jubilee Window Competition and apologized if anyone had been misled by this statement.

The minutes of the last meeting were otherwise approved.  

4 Matters arising

i) Chamber Chain of Office 

David said that a location had been allocated by the Museum for the display of the Chamber Chain of Office. David added that he had spoken to Paul Joseph to carry out a formal handover of the Chain to the Museum and that he would finalise arrangements and take photos of the event.  David said he has also spoken to David Newton-Williams, who had said he would be pleased to do an article in his newspaper column.

ii) Jubilee

Margaret reported that SUSSED had put on a Jubilee tea, when the cake was cut and enjoyed by all who came along.  Bridget and others thanked Margaret for doing this and agreed it most enjoyable.

Mary confirmed the winners of the Jubilee Window Competition:

1st prize Guttridge

2nd prize Bon Marche

3rd prize The Y-Centre

Community prize The Museum

Mary said that the Jubilee cakes had been well-received in the town and the Town Council had supplied 80 cakes in total.  

iii) Large Information Screens in the Town

Bridget said that she had received an email from Stuart Bentley, who was previously leading the information screen project for the Chamber some years ago.  Stuart said that this project had been transferred to Credu and that he would speak to Mike Clarke to ascertain what had happened to the screens.

5 Correspondence

Bridget confirmed there had been no further correspondence.

6 Financial matters 

Alun verbally delivered brief financial information covering the period since the last meeting.   There were no queries.

Alun said that a few more members’ subscriptions had been received.    It was discussed how to attract new members.  Elen said that she had heard that some traders felt the Chamber meetings had resembled Council meetings in the past and this could be putting traders off from attending.  Bridget thought this was an unfair statement that had been perpetuated, as she had no recollection of Council matters being discussed certainly in recent years.    Bridget added that Councillor members had always been very supportive of the Chamber and recalled that two Councillors who were past-Presidents, ie Les Tallon-Morris and Robert Lee, were exemplary in their support and hard work for the Chamber, both of whom had businesses and every right to be members of the Chamber.

7 Talk of the Town

i) Green Top Events

Margaret said that the Green Top markets were now established in the town and seemed to have corrected initial complaints.  David thought that the layout of the stalls was disadvantageousl to the shops, with foot traffic inclined to walk down the centre of John Street, rather than on the pavements, thus business being lost to the shops.  It was also queried whether their products were ‘artisan’, as advertised.  

Alun thought the footfall would indicate whether the markets were beneficial to the town in the longer term.

Margaret referred to the ESAG food and drink market coming to the town in the location of the old Harlequin building, and a discussion ensued on its benefit to the town, with conflicting views. 

ii) Planters

Margaret said that the planters were looking good and there had been many compliments. Margaret referred to the boat on the side of the road coming into Porthcawl and it was discussed who could be responsible for funding the maintenance.  Margaret queried whether PTC would take this on.

Mary said she would raise this at the next PTC meeting.

iii) Events in Porthcawl 10k Race

Margaret said that the 10k Race would be taking place in Porthcawl on 3rd July.

Alun said that the Seabank Hotel would be the runners’ ‘village’.  Alun thought that traders should get involved in some way.  John added that a map had been circulated indicating the route.

Website/Social Media/Branding

i) Website Development

Jon displayed the website, indicating the additional photographs and information.  Members thought it was excellent. 

Mary said there should be a Fairtrade link on the website, which Jon said he would add this.

Alun said there should be reciprocal links with BCBC, PTC and the Welsh Government.  Also, an A-to-Z list of members.

ii) Social Media/Branding

Margaret said we should be planning a strategy for this.  It was agreed that Jon would arrange a training session for anyone interested.

Elen suggested formulating an events strategy for the Chamber.

9 Library of Things

Jon displayed the page on the website that listed the Library of Things and a discussion ensued.    

John queried the term ‘Library of Things’. Margaret explained that it was a modern term, denoting a pool of items which traders were willing to loan to each other, saving money and the environment. The loaned item would have a disclaimer and the arrangement to share would be strictly between the 2 traders. John asked for it to be made clear that the items had not been tested and there would be no responsibility on the Chamber.  John said the Chamber should draw up a contract and ask our Solicitor to review this before lending any items.

Alun referred to the marquee owned by the Chamber and thought the Chamber should keep it as it had been funded by BCBC, unless offered to a charitable organization such as the Church or Rotary.  Alun reiterated that, if loaned, insurance would need to be taken out for it and it must carry a disclaimer.

Jon asked for make and model of the marquee, for listing on Library of Things.  Jon confirmed that these items were available on loan to members only.

10 Environmental Policy: Sub-Committee update

Margaret said the Chamber could have agreement on environmental/sustainability values which she outlined on the TV screen. Members were in agreement and would review this further.

worker exploitation, social exclusion,  waste, energy and resource use,  habitat and heritage loss  and pollution
Increase eco design + the circular economy reuse, easier recycling renewable energy supplies public transport, cycling, walking conservation of local bio-diversity animal welfare democratic participation ethical investment  fair trade/local trade local distinctiveness local information well-ness

11 Regeneration

Margaret said that there had been a meeting with herself, Elen, Cllr Jamie Strong and Cllr Jeanie Monks and Jacob Lawrence, BCBC Liaison Officer, to discuss plans for Hillsboro Terrace, currently earmarked as a car park.  Margaret added that a 3-tiered multi-storey is all Jacob indicated at present, a design as yet is not available. (John was invited but unavailable because of illness)

A discussion ensued regarding the BCBC consultation re: appropriation of land including open space land at Griffin Park and at Sandy Bay. Members were alarmed to note the situation, such as ownership of Sandy Bay and CPOs (compulsory purchase orders). Various views were put forward.  Margaret showed the area of land on the Tv screen.

Reference was made to the circular that had been sent by Porthcawl Town Council, asking all residents to respond to the consultation. Mark said that the map showing the land for development conflicted with the map available at the library and asked for clarity on this.  He thought it was all very misleading and should be questioned.

Elen made the point that the parcel of land was very complex involving legal issues and ownership rights.

Elen said we still do not know what is going on that land, it will be at the next stage that residents will have chance to object to whatever is put forward.  Elen said, in respect of the Ptown circular,  as the deadline date for responses to BCBC was 27th June , the leaflet was distributed widely in Porthcawl to alert people to make comments.  John thought that everyone should respond individually to BCBC and not as a group.

Alun thought that the Chamber as a group could only comment as to how it will affect business and trade in the town.  It was agreed that a simple statement would be sent from the Chamber, along these lines, as well as pointing out that the map was misleading and conflicting with the one provided by the Library.

 Margaret said that there was a meeting for SUSSED volunteers at 5pm on the following Thursday, if anyone else would like to come along they would be welcome.  

12 Any other business

i) Summer night out

Alun said he would be planning an evening out for Chamber members in August, to take the place of the Chamber meeting.  He suggested visiting a pub in Barry, now run by friends of the Chamber, where a meal would be served.  A mini bus would be arranged for transport, hopefully.

ii) Next meeting of Chamber

Bridget suggested meeting at SUSSED and holding a drinks reception afterwards.  Margaret agreed.

The meeting was closed.