I am delighted to be serving as the current president of the Chalfont St Peter Chamber of Commerce, taking over from Andrew Welch after his 5 year term – the longest anyone has served since its inception in 1947. It’s been a real pleasure continuing his good work for the business community.
It’s been a successful year for our street decorations. The amount of globe lights were increased at Christmas, replacing some of the older mismatched decorations. Thanks to the support of the residents who volunteered their time to make the lights – what fantastic community spirit! You will have noticed the new professional lights on the lampposts opposite the shops on Market Place. There was a significant investment made, some of it funded by the £1000 Persimmon grant as well as a very generous donation of £950 from the Feast Day Funding, for which we are very grateful. A colouring competition was organised with the children of The Academy to help raise funds for the ongoing costs of not just just the lights but the repairs we need to make every year. The winner switched on the lights in the precinct and received a book voucher donated by the Rotary Club. Runners up were treated to prizes donated by some of our businesses and all winners had their entries professionally framed. The competition was a great success so we plan to include other schools this year.
Our St Georges Day Flags were replaced and we doubled the number from previous years. This year we will be putting up brand new Cross Keys flags kindly donated from Feast Day Funding.
We continued to run our seminars 3 times a year, with a different venue hosting each time. January’s seminar was held at the Epilepsy Society where we learnt more about the fantastic work they do. We have forged a wonderful relationship and we hope we can be beneficial in raising awareness for the Society. On March 26thwe are aiming to make our high street purple for their ‘Purple Day’ We hope that everyone will join in, even those businesses that don’t have a high street presence, maybe a purple cake sale or a wear purple day. The Epilepsy Society along with the Chiltern Open Air Museum who hosted September’s Seminar are our first charities to join the Chamber – we hope to see many more on board this year.
Chalfont St Peter was entered in the Great British High Street Awards, a government initiative sponsored by Visa. The people of Chalfont St Peter were asked why they thought we should be considered for a prize. We received such amazing feedback and this was used to put together our entry. Unfortunately, we weren’t shortlisted but we did get a special mention. This year we will be entering again, prizes are up to £10,000 so well worth the effort. Look out for our next Keep It Local newsletter where we will be publishing a summary of our entry, we’ll also announce our High Street Hero.
We have maintained links with councillors at the Parish, District and County level, exploiting those relationships on behalf of our community when issues arise. We have worked closely with our PCSOs on the Shopwatch scheme and have resurrected our relationship with the Neighbourhood Action Group, attending their bi monthly meetings.
Our closed Facebook group has been a source of information and discussion and our Whatsapp group has proved useful for passing on urgent information when there have been issues arising in the village centre. Our Keep it Local directory continues to grow with more members joining for the opportunity to be featured.
Finally, we closed the year with 91 members – more than we’ve ever had. I am confident that the Chamber will continue to grow and do great things for the business community and residents of Chalfont St Peter. I’m looking forward to welcoming even more members this year.
Chalfont St Peter Chamber of Commerce