I’ve been delighted to serve as Chamber President, a role I assumed – rather than being elected – in 2012 when the previous President stood down, mid term. It’s been a pleasure to be involved with the trading community and to play a part in helping Chalfont St Peter to thrive. I am confident that I am leaving a stronger, more active, forward-looking and worthwhile business association and want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who I have worked alongside, especially the core members of the committee without whom nothing would be possible.

As a marketing consultant, it was always my aim that the Chamber improved the work it did for its members in terms of promotion and raising awareness amongst residents and visitors of the rich array of goods, services and trades locally available. We took a big step towards that this year with the launch of our new Keep it Local online directory – A listing is free to Chamber members – and new members joined us in order to be part of it. It has been accompanied by a publicity campaign – press releases, estate agent signboards and fridge magnets – and a new set of flags will appear in late Spring. I am sure that Keep it Local will continue to grow.

We continued our seminar programme, hosting three in the last year, at The Breadhouse, Chalfonts Community College and Diogenes Sun Club. At each, guests enjoyed presentations from Chamber members and were able to meet other traders and key people from the village in a sociable atmosphere.

Our work on the street decorations has continued with flags and Christmas lights put up and taken down throughout the year. Additional work was carried out to ensure power supply connections were in place and to fix damage caused by trucks in the precinct. Our thanks go to the businesses who provide the power for the lights every year at no cost to the Chamber. We were accepted by the Chiltern District lottery and donations can now be made to the upkeep of the street decorations accompanied by a chance of winning a cash prize. Thanks also to the few people who help with the in- stallation and removal – but a plea, we need many more people to assist if we are to continue them.

The Chamber contributed to both Feast Day and Christmas Fun Night by taking stalls. Our noticeboard at the bottom of Market Place was overhauled.

We continued to foster links with councils and councillors at the Parish, District and County level, exploiting those relationships on behalf of our community when issues arise. We support our members by providing information, updates and action on a number of aspects that affect them such as planning, roads and signage, parking. We established good contacts with the builders at the Holy Cross site and kept the trading community in the loop with updates and information. We helped promote the Employability Day at Chalfonts Community College and have worked with the police on the implemen- tation of their ‘Shopwatch’ scheme. We assisted the Parish Council in connection with the business listings in the forthcoming ‘Village Guide’

Our high profile on social media continued with promotion, information and conversation being regular features. Regular newsletters were issued through the year. We made it easier for businesses to join the Chamber by providing an online joining form. The process of integration for new members was also improved with the issue of a comprehensive digest of instructions on how to get involved.

Shops and businesses come and go, as is expected but our village received what we hope will be a boost to visitor/shopper numbers by the arrival of international brands Costa coffee and M&S Foodhall.

Finally, a gift of thanks was given to committee member Georgiana Sol for her long service when she retired from her business at Flowers Unique. It is wonderful, however, that she continues to be an active committee member, attending all meetings and continuing to be responsible for specific areas of our work.

Andrew Welch


President, Chalfont St Peter Chamber of Commerce M: 07774 955138