Minutes 18th September 2018

Present:  Cllr Robert Lee (President), Stuart Bentley (Vice President), Mark Morgan (Treasurer),

John Berry, Cllr Chris Smart, Michelle Smith, Alun Edwards, John Berry, Cllr Mary Emment-Lewis, Barbara Bridge, Cllr Lorrie Desmond-Williams, Cllr Tracy Hill, Bridget Hall (Minutes)

In attendance:  Mark Bryant, Chief Executive, Experience Porthcawl.com/Credu

1              Welcome

Robert welcomed members to the meeting and introduced guest speaker, Mark Bryant, Chief Executive of Experience Porthcawl.com/Credu.

2              Apologies

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Les Tallon Morris, Bobby Lewis and Peter Fenton.

3              Mark Bryant – Speaker

Mark Bryant thanked the Chamber for the opportunity to introduce Experience Porthcal.com/Credu.

Mark presented the website that was in the process of being completed and took members through the various pages, which included a Traders’ Section, What’s On, Accommodation section, etc.

Mark said he was based in the Harbourside offices above Cosy Corner on the seafront.  Four people were currently employed, including a brand manager, sales and marketing.

Mark explained how the initiative came initially from the need to promote Porthcawl and tourism in the area, including the new Maritime Centre.  Experience Porthcawl promoting Porthcawl nationally and internationally and generating a higher spending tourist for the town.

Mark said that Experience Porthcawl was a non-profit making, self-funding charity, apart from the proposed 5% commission on holiday accommodation listings.

Bridget asked if the Traders could have input to the relevant page on the website, to which Mark said that they would be welcome to contribute.

Mark said that the website would facilitate a platform where all event organisers could list their event and gain a larger marketing opportunity.  Regular meetings could be set up to look at how events could be marketed for the month in advance.

Mark confirmed the website address:  www.experience-porthcawl.com.  He said this was not yet live.

Chris added that Experience Porthcawl.com was formed following the demise of Porthcawl Tourism Association and would fill this gap that they left.

Tracy said it would encourage other events to the town by offering experience and knowledge.  She added that it is not an events committee but there to help others put on events.

Mark said that six interactive tourist information boxes with interactive screens were also planned for installation in various points around the town.  These boxes would be live and updated weekly. They would not provide an income, as such.  Traders would be able to advertise free of charge.  This initiative would be rolled out on social media in due course.

Stuart added that the format would be portrait style and bilingual.

Lorrie asked if vandalism was a concern.  Mark replied that they would be installed within a wall, which it was hoped would detract from vandalism.  The kiosk would be a trial.  Lorrie added that there didn’t appear to be a problem in the boxes in Cardiff with vandalism

Chris thanked Mark and his team for the excellent work.

Robert further thanked Mark for his time and wished him the best of luck with the initiative.

3              To approve the minutes of the last meeting

  1. i) Town Council Events

Chris corrected minutes, ….explaining that Experience Porthcawl.com is not part of the Council.  Promoting Porthcawl, which is a sub-committee.

Stuart said he had previously corrected the draft minutes to say this.  Bridget apologised for the error and said she would make the correction accordingly.

4              Matters arising

  1. i)
  2. ii) Council

P2           Mary clarified she had sought an opinion of her line manager and if not out of order.

Lorrie said the line manager and if in future email not be read out.

5              Events

6              Correspondence

  1. i) Christmas Trees

Bridget confirmed that an email had been received from Alison, Town Clerk, confirming that £2250 grant had been awarded to the Chamber towards the cost of the installation of Christmas Trees in the town.

Chris said that he had been impressed with Paul Whittaker of EPM as well as Mari-Wyn Elias Jones, when they addressed the recent meeting of Porthcawl Town Council to support the Christmas Tree initiative.  In particular, Mari-Wyn referred to the declining footfall in the town.

Robert agreed that Mari-Wyn was most supportive of the Chamber.

6              Financial Report

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

7              Membership Report

Bridget said she could now progress this campaign, following the approval of the Christmas Trees initiative.

8              Events/PR

  1. Christmas Event

Bridget confirmed that a meeting was being held the following week with Paul Whittaker and Mari-Wyn, to discuss plans for a Christmas event and whether this could be held in conjunction with PTC’s event taking place on …  Alison says it is not possible due to Centrigate not being able to switch on consequtively.

Michelle said the Chamber has the following options:

  1. TC having event on 25th. Switch hours on same time.
  2. We have an hour own late night shopping g event
  3. 3 runn another event on the Saturday in mid-December to have a separate event.

Michelle  3rd December – should be end of November for this year.

For this year should do it on the Sunday.

The event is  11-4 and the difficult is that it is not really that dark.

Rob  Bandstand could go off and then put on

John said that in past years, the town had a light switch on event and wondered why this was not possible now.  Michelle explained that the Christmas Trees would be on a timer switch.  Robert added that the street lights were controlled by Centrigate.  However, Robert said he would speak to Centrigate and see if anything can be done.

Stuart said signage is needed.  Lorrie added that signage was on the vision budget.

11           Any other business

  1. i) meetings

Michelle referred to the last Chamber meeting, saying that the general opinion was that there is very little definition between PCT and PTC and a lot of PTC issues were being brought into Chamber meetings.  Michelle felt, also, that member Councillors were not fairly representing the good interest of the Chamber members, for instance she had heard that member Councillors were making comments such as there was no real issue with footfall, etc.  Michelle added that any Council matters should be brought to the Chamber only through the Council representative, Tracy.  Politics were being brought into Chamber meetings.

Robert agreed that there had been conflict at last month’s meeting and it was difficult that Councillors who are Chamber members are unable to vote on important issues, due to a conflict of interest.

Stuart said the problem was that not enough is being done to attract new members.

Alun made the point Councillors who are in business are entitled to become members.  He added that members who criticise the Chamber for not taking enough action should come to meetings and put forward ideas, which would then be taken forward.

Chris said he takes Michelle’s point but there have always been Councillors on the Chamber, many quite prominent and active in the Chamber over the years.   The same applies to the Rotary Club, Civic Trust, etc.

Michelle said she attends meetings as the voice for the traders.

John said he was very much in agreement with comments made and said he has often expressed irritation that TC business was being discussed in Chamber meetings.  PTC business should be discussed away from this meeting. He added that non-Chamber business must come through Tracy, as representative.  John further added that in previous years, PTC and PCT had twice yearly joint meeting.  Members thought it would be a good idea to restart this and Bridget said she would write to the Council to organise.

Michelle said an Action Plan should be set at the beginning of each year.  Bridget said she had prepared an Action Plan last year but no-one engaged with it.  She would bring a copy to the next meeting.

Alun said a loyalty card was set up and ran for a couple of years.  However, this failed because retailers would not support it.

Robert suggested preparing a survey to send out to traders, asking for their opinions and view.

Stuart suggested a newsletter.  The Chamber could submit articles in the Seaside News.

  1. Toilet closure

Robert referred to the recent announcement that BCBC were closing the John Street toilet, which has met with huge opposition.  Keeping the Pavilion.

Lorrie said that objections should be put submitted individually.  30 signatures=1 objection.

PTC are fighting this and wants the Chamber to write to BCBC to protest on behalf of PCT.

Chris BCBC has not come up with public toilet strategy.  Chris said, however, that provision of public toilets was not statutory.  Mary said that there should nevertheless be a duty of care as the Pavilion is not accessible to disabled people.

  • Treasurer

Chris understand that the Chamber will be losing its Treasurer and this should be on the Agenda for the next meeting.  Alun said that he was prepared to take over this role.  A new bank signatory would need to replace Mark and it was agreed that Bridget would take this over

  1. Bobby Lewis

Mary was sorry to say that Bobby had fallen and broken h Bobby has fallen and broken his hip.  Robert asked for best wishes for a speedy recovery be passed on to Bobby from all members of the Chamber.

  1. Mayor’s Charity Dinner – 1st November

Chris told members that the Mayor’s Charity Dinner was being held on 1st November at the Atlantic Hotel.  Cost of tickets was £30 per person for a 3-course dinner and entertainment by Owen Money.  Chris encouraged members to support this event with all proceeds going to the Sandville and Porthcawl Stroke Club.

  1. Christmas Window Winner’s Cup

Robert said that the Winner’s Cup would need to be retrieved from Beach Locker, as it had now closed down.  Bridget said she would endeavour to do this.

  • Date of next meeting

The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 16th October.

The meeting was closed.