This year’s AGM will be at Hemingways at 6.30pm on 3rd April. The committee agreed that members attending would receive ONE free cocktail and will explore food options, one of which being wood-fired pizzas. To celebrate this offer, this year “AGM” stands for Another Great Margaretta. This will be a great opportunity for networking as well as hearing about what the Chamber has been up to, help shape its future direction and discuss key issue affecting the town.


Those who have not paid their membership will now be removed the website directory and the Chamber’s Facebook page. While some 90 members have paid their subscriptions for the year, around 45 still need to renew. Members of the committee will be contacting those who have not yet paid up.

Update from Waverley’s council and chambers

Chamber president Craig MacGowan reports that Waverley Borough Council is facing a tight budget that is only going to get tighter. The council is also facing a shrinking commercial base due to commercial properties converting into residential properties.

To help promote the borough as a business destination, WBC intends to interview local retailers to gather quotes that will be used as soundbites on the council website.

Having attending a meeting of the Four Chambers in Waverley, Craig fed back to the committee that a parking strategy review is being carried out and a scoping document will be produced.

At the Four Chambers meeting it was also discussed that following Brexit, the A31 will be used for parking lorries waiting to get ferries from Hampshire’s south coast.

BID update

An update on the application for accessing up to £60,000 a year of funding through local business rates to improve the commercial prospects of the borough will be presented to Waverley Borough Council and the Four Chambers on 12th March. Consultancy Mosaic will present its findings for the Business Improvement District (BID) funding and next steps will be discussed.

Member survey

The committee discussed an ongoing survey to gather members’ opinions about the future direction of the Chamber. There has been a healthy response so far, but more views are sought. The survey results are due to be revealed and discussed at the AGM.

Vice President stepping down

Eddie Paterson has decided to step down as vice president of the Chamber, while Tom Pearse is stepping down as membership manager. There will be an opportunity for members to vote on who replaces Eddie and Tom at the forthcoming AGM, along with the opportunity for any Chamber member to stand for the committee.

Haslemere Library – Use it or lose it!

It has been reported that Haslemere Library may close due to lack of footfall, which is the lowest in Surrey. The only chance to save the library is to use it. So get out your library cards.

Death on the High Street

A murder mystery event to encourage people to visit Haslemere shops has been endorsed by the committee. Organiser Martin James of the Radio Times, wants participants to solve a fictional murder by collecting clues that will be found in various retailers around the town.

St George’s Day window dressing

A proposed window dressing competition to celebrate St George’s Day has been cancelled due to its proximity to Easter. Organisers, the Order of St George want local retailers to concentrate on attracting customers into their shops through their window displays rather than focussing on a competition.

Chairs for those with mobility issues

Waitrose is to be approached by Craig about purchasing 10 chairs with arms to go into shops and other locations around the town to help those people with mobility issues.

Haslemere Hounds

The Haslemere Hounds project is to be supported by the Chamber. The latest round of “H” animals to adorn Haslemere will help promote the town and various charities through painted statues of hounds, each one focussing on a different theme or business. The Chamber will not purchase its own hound.

Paying for expertise

The committee agreed to pay token sums to Step Bak Copywriting and @tweetingbyhand for their services promoting the good works of the Chamber.

Love Haslemere. Hate Waste.

The committee heard a talk about a new initiative to promote the creation of Haslemere as the first zero waste town in England and a green print for other towns to reduce waste. The aim is to send nothing to landfill or incineration. The initiative hopes to work with schools, local community groups, and businesses to help them find solutions to reduce their waste.

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