Chamber of Trade boss hopes to boost business in Burnham
new chairwoman of Burnham-On-Sea's Chamber of Trade has this week
unveiled plans to launch a fresh bid to save the future of the
town's Christmas lighting display and also produce 100,000 copies
of a new shopping guide to the town.
Shickle, the group's outgoing Chairman, welcomed Rhonda Mills,
who runs Burnham's Sea Breeze art gallery, to the role during
the Chamber of Trade's AGM on Wednesday evening (June 16th).
his closing speech at the meeting, Mr Shickle criticised the district
council for neglecting parts of the town and not coming forward
with more financial help.
said: "The past year has been been one of mixed fortunes.
The disappointment in removal of funds for the long awaited regeneration
scheme has been a clear example of not relying on outside money
to drive the town forward."
slow process in improving Marine Cove and the removal of the paddling
pool demonstrated the neglect of Sedgemoor District Council since
its inception in the mid seventies. I am not alone in thinking
they just do not understand a seaside resort, do they?"
the contrary, the town council's encouragement and help - albeit
within their limited budget - has been appreciated and we very
much hope this co-operation will continue to our mutual benefit."
added: "During the year, some businesses have closed, some
have opened and many have been revamped. However, we are fortunate
in that for a town of our size, there are very few empty properties
in the main shopping areas. Compared with other parts of Somerset,
the town gives an impression of vibrancy, which is the envy of
other centres such as Bridgwater and Weston."
Christmas lighting scheme is a project of which we should be justly
proud. Over the years, this has evolved under the guidance of
Mike Ham into one of the best spectacles in the county."
Shickle continued: "It has long been a bone of contention
how the district council has looked after Bridgwater and given
a minimal grant to other towns to provide a festive display. Now,
even that funding is
being cut again."
Chamber cannot carry the burden of financing, or the physical
effort of many volunteers indefinitely, and a question mark remains
over this year's event."
other focus of the chamber has been the Shoppers Guide booklet,
which is about to evolve into a third edition under the guidance
of Rhonda Mills. It is anticipated up to 100,000 copies will be
produced and distributed."
wish the new committee and officers of the chamber my very vest
wishes for the future and for the prosperity of the town."
Mills told the audience at the meeting in Alfie Blus in Pier Street
that she is a firm supporter of Burnham's Christmas lights and
would like to see them continue.
Chamber Of Trade committee members Mark Newman, Geoff Shickle,
Jonathan Walter, Rhona Mills (Chair), Steve Spaven, Christine
Redman and Jermone Andrew. Not pictured: Tom Ashton (Deputy Chair)
and Mike Ham