by Alan Quick

CREDITON Chamber of Commerce has created a new action sub group of members resulting in the decision that its core direction will be focusing on the current health and future well-being of the commercial businesses of the town.

Tara Conabeare, chairman, opened the sub group discussion on what the main aims of the chamber should be in the future and and how it could be achieved.

A proposal based on purely providing support and assistance to the businesses of the town was put to the meeting by members David Walters, Ernest Jackson Co Ltd, managing director, and David Pike, chief executive officer of Graphic PLC, and this was agreed by those present.

Previously there had been a focus on social and community projects and while it was agreed these should still be supported, it was agreed these should not be main discussion topics.

The members discussed that the new focus for the group of businessmen and women from the town could include the impact of the closing of local banks, the risks to businesses and individuals of no street lighting in areas of the industrial estate, parking charges, business rates, and the impact of housing developments on both infrastructure and employment opportunities.

It was agreed that future Chamber meetings will include a programme of guest speakers who could inform members of relevant current and changing knowledge e.g. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), accountancy law, employment law, pension schemes, cyber-security, the impact and opportunities of future technologies including social media, business continuity and business rates, to name but a few.

It was agreed that the first guest speaker night will be open to all and any business representatives will be welcome to attend. The subject will be cyber security and GDPR - a new law which will effect every business holding customer information.

This will be held on Thursday, March 15 at 7pm and everyone is invited to attend including non members.

Tara said: “Please do come along - you may think this will not effect you... however most business will be affected.”

Tara said that thereafter the Chamber would be requesting membership to attend following speaker meetings.

All guest speaker evenings will take place at Crediton Football Club. All future planned speakers will be made public prior to the event so any business can decide if they would like to attend. Membership is only £40 per annum.

Also discussed at the meeting was the suggestion of a Crediton Gift card, redeemable in any shop or in any Crediton business.

It was agreed to look at this suggestion in detail.

It was also suggested that Chamber invests in an augmented reality application which would help put a business or a group of businesses or the town as a whole more on the map.

Discussed were: (1) A collectively owned Crediton town app which would work for all the businesses taking part and link to web content on smartphones the services and products they can and/or (2) Creating the Boniface app for the Town Team’s eight Boniface Heritage trail glass panels, aimed at attracting visitors to the town and extending their stay by walking between the eight glass heritage artworks. All of these suggestions are to be investigated further.

Town community functions will no longer be discussed at Chamber meetings - eg putting up flags / trees etc - although members will still offer voluntary help in carrying out these tasks.

Chamber also agreed that an honorary secretarial post be made to assist the chairman with administrative tasks on a voluntary basis.

Expressions of interest should be made to the chairman at: [email protected] .

For further details visit the website: .

Businesses are invited to follow Crediton Chamber of Commerce on "Facebook" at: @creditonchamberofcommerce .