Since our last update, we have seen Step 3 of the Govt roadmap be rolled out and it has been great to see businesses re-open. And, whilst we wait with bated breath for news on Stage 4, the Executive have been discussing ways of getting members together once we are permitted to all meet.
The Town has been busy and everyone’s efforts in getting the “Shop Local” message across seems to have paid off. With the beautiful hanging baskets being installed at the beginning of June, we will be resplendent in colour – all we need is some sunshine!
What we know is most important to you, is to finish with zoom and virtual events and to actually meet with others to network and generally have a chat about how everyone has coped during the past year. So, we are looking at our first meet as being more of a social event, a glass of wine (or two!) find out what else the Chamber has in store and just enjoy being with other business people.
John Puddy, one of our Vice Chairmen, has been regularly attending the ASB Steering Group meetings. These are where representatives from the Police, Chamber, Torridge District Council and Councillors meet to discuss ways to improve the Town, especially concentrating on the more anti-social behaviour that occurs, and affects both business and residents. He has been somewhat disappointed that Councillors have not been attending but is positive that improvements can be made and that funding is available to assist with this.
Some of you may receive a letter from us explaining that you have not cancelled your standing orders and have continued to make a membership payment. If you do receive one of these and need to discuss it, do please contact our lovely Natalie at [email protected]
ASK YOUR MP
During the last 12 months, our President has been conducting meetings with Geoffrey Cox MP for Torridge and West Devon, with a selection of members across the various business sectors. These have been to feedback to Geoffrey on how business is coping. The most recent meeting was at the end of April and Geoffrey was very much in favour of visiting Bideford and chatting to businesses owners.
This continued dialogue with Geoffrey is something the Chamber is determined to progress and asks you – do you have a question for Geoffrey? It doesn’t matter what your politics are, he is our MP and is in the right place to lobby for us all. He has, throughout the pandemic, worked tirelessly to secure funding for our area and has been successful in his efforts.
Finally, you may know that Bideford was unsuccessful in its bid for the Future High Streets Fund, for the project known as Isaac’s Yard. All is not lost though, there is a second chance, and the bid has been put forward for the Levelling Up Fund. We will know more about this later in June/early July.