The Committee met on November 6th and, as members would anticipate, the Business Improvement District (BID) was high on the agenda. The BID Steering Group had met on 5th November and the momentum towards creating a business plan and submitting the Haslemere application has been maintained. The Steering Group would welcome more members so if you have a business in the town centre (including Weyhill of course) then please do step forward and get involved. An email to firstname.lastname@example.org would quickly see you co-opted onto the BID Steering Group!
Meeting with the Mayor
The President of the Chamber had his regular monthly meeting with the Mayor of Haslemere and we continue to share ideas and information with the Town Council through these monthly meetings. The Mayor is very supportive of our application to create a car park for town centre employees on the land behind Collingwood Batchelor and has agreed to write to the land owners to try and move things along more quickly. We remain hopeful that despite the slow start we will eventually achieve our goal.
As part of the Remembrance Parade, the President will lay a wreath at the War Memorial on behalf of the Chamber.
It had been anticipated that a new contract for the Haslemere Xmas lights would be awarded to a new contractor during 2019 but that did not happen and the last contractors have agreed to extend by one year. The Chamber will be contributing towards the cost as usual. Christmas Carols this year will be at the Museum on 19th December.
On behalf of the Chamber, the President attended a presentation by Slow Shopping (slowshopping.org.uk). Slow Shopping is an organisation that provides training for organisations and their staff in order that people with disabilities can be better supported to do their shopping. The idea is that shops set aside a time when there are fewer shoppers, when lights can be dimmed and staff have the time and skills to assist disabled shoppers. This is particularly helpful for those with mental ill health disabilities and mobility problems. The Chamber is very supportive of anything that can be done to help people with disabilities to shop. It was felt that the Slow Shopping training offering was prohibitively expensive and we are therefore not recommending that particular route. However, if members indicate that they are interested in learning more, then the Chamber would be happy to undertake some research and provide a more financially accessible training event for members.
South West Railways
The Committee noted the proposed strike action by South Western Rail through December. This will be a difficult time for commuters but every cloud has a silver lining and we hope that people will do their Xmas shopping locally rather than taking the train to other venues. Every purchase made in Haslemere helps to keep our High Street open and vibrant.
Finally, the Chamber was delighted to be the very first group to meet at the newly opened RedH in West Street. As members know, the Chamber provides a free drink to members on the last Thursday in the month – all members are welcome. The next drinks meeting is on Thursday 28th November at The Mill at 1745hrs.