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Breakfast at Cranleigh School

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members were treated to breakfast, networking and an informative presentation at Cranleigh School this morning.

The venue for our June networking breakfast was the Reading Room at Cranleigh School, with headmaster Martin Reader presenting a potted history of the school before sharing details of its business model and future plans.

Guests were fascinated to hear the story of Cranleigh School along with its role as the largest employer in Cranleigh, employing over 350 staff and making extensive use of local businesses for other services.

Cranleigh School is a community focused institution, with many pupils and staff playing an ongoing role in various aspects of village life.

Chamber members heard about how seriously Cranleigh School takes its responsibilities to the village as a large local employer and how it plans to sensitively manage any future growth in an increasingly global economy.

Following breakfast, Chamber members were taken on a guided tour of the school, learning about the history of the buildings and hearing some interesting stories about how life at the school used to be.

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Cranleigh Decides – Exit Poll Results Revealed

Residents and local business owners took part in a spirited EU Referendum Debate yesterday evening at Cranleigh Arts Centre.

Hosted by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Hart Brown Solicitors, Cranleigh Decides was arranged to give people another opportunity to hear both sides of the argument and get questions to their questions ahead of the big vote next week.

A panel of experts with equal representation from both sides of the debate had the opportunity to present their opening arguments before answering questions from the audience.

Mark Nottingham, Nick Hopkinson, Ian Brown and Harry Aldridge covered topics including immigration, the economy and sovereignty, with questions asked by the audience, who also shared their passionate views.

Chairing the debate was Philip Calvert, a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and award-winning social networking entrepreneur.

Audience members were invited to participate in a confidential ballot at the start and end of the evening.

The entry poll revealed audience voting intentions of 21% Undecided, 33% Leave and 45% Remain.

These voting intentions changed dramatically during the course of the debate, with the exit poll showing 49% Remain, 46% Leave and 5% Undecided.

Our thanks to the panel members, chairman, event sponsor and, of course, the audience members who brought their questions and opinions to this debate.

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Additional panel members announced for Cranleigh Decides

With less than a week to go until the Cranleigh Decides – EU Referendum Debate, two additional panel members have been announced.

Nick Hopkinson and Ian Brown are joining Mark Nottingham and Harry Aldridge to form the expert panel for this debate.

Representing the Remain side is Nick Hopkinson.

Nick is chairman of the Liberal Democrat European Group (LDEG) and chairman of London4Europe, the London branch of the European Movement.

During Nick’s 23 year career at Wilton Park, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s policy forum, Nick progressed to Director, including acting as chief executive for a year.

He wrote more than 100 policy reports and articles, notably on the Eurozone crisis, the EU ‘Budget’, world trade negotiations, financial regulation, the EU constitutional treaty, EU accession, and lessons of the EU’s Eastern Accession for the Arab Spring.

On the Leave side of the debate, Ian Brown is South East Chairman for Business for Britain, the cross-party business campaign for Britain to Vote Leave.

He is Managing Director of Portsmouth based Industrial Maintenance Services Ltd (IMS) which he founded in 2003. Previously, Ian worked in London having founded marketing services group Fennstreet in 1991.

Ian has never been a member of any political party. He has two teenage daughters and lives on the Isle of Wight.

Tickets for Cranleigh Decides are only £5 each, with all proceeds going towards the cost of the Cranleigh Christmas Lights this year.

You can find out more and book your tickets online at

Space at this debate is strictly limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Our main sponsor for this event is Hart Brown.

Hart Brown is a leading law firm with offices throughout Surrey and in London.

Established in 1919, their continued success and ability to build long term relationships has been based upon their unique understanding of the law and their clients and their commitment to making the process as straightforward as possible, in the most professional way.

Find out more at

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BT Broadband Outage in Cranleigh

Residents and business owners in Cranleigh woke up on Friday 13th May to find they had no broadband. 

It soon became apparent that they whole village had been affected and this was not going to be a short term outage. 

Initially, BT reported that broadband would be back on at midday, then early afternoon, and as evening approached, villagers were assured it would return on Saturday. 

In the end, the village was without BT broadband for 36 hours.   

This is an example of a tweet from Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce member, Martin Bamford of Informed Choice seeking information which was very poor and proved to be incredibly inaccurate.   

Many Cranleigh residents were affected, some of whom were able to use mobile phones to access the Internet socially. But it was the businesses and retailers which suffered the most.  

Tills and credit card machines were affected and retailers were asking customers to visit the nearest ATM machine to get cash to pay for goods.

Phone operating systems operated through broadband were also affected and those businesses in that situation would have been unable to take orders for the whole day. 

For example, Cranleigh Arts Centre could not take bookings or calls by phone which only recently had been linked to broadband. Informed Choice sent staff home and closed its doors. 

It is not known just how many local businesses were forced to take the same action.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce investigated how compensation could be obtained for local businesses and retailer members. This proved to be extremely difficult since there is no clear information on the website. 

Residential customers may claim for 36 hours rental as long as they reported the fault. Business customers have to prove their losses and negotiate on a one to one basis with BT, but again, only if they reported the fault at the time. 

The problem is that most residential and business customers did not report the fault because BT were already publishing online that there was a fault as witnessed in the tweet earlier in this post. 

Rosemary French, who runs Ivyhurst Bed & Breakfast in Cranleigh, followed up on a compensation claim only to be told that since she had not reported it, she was not entitled!

It was not ‘some customers’ as quoted by BT but everyone in the area that used the Internet socially or for business using the landlines. Every service provider in Cranleigh, whether BT or not, has to use the BT fibre and copper network. 

There has already been considerable debate recently amongst MP’s about ending BT’s unhealthy relationship with its service provider OpenReach, formally separating the two companies. 

£1.7bn of taxpayers money has been pumped into subsidising BT’s monopoly and yet 5.7m people in the UK cannot access the Internet at the Ofcom required 10 megabits per second and even worse for the economy, 42% of small and medium sized businesses have insufficient broadband speeds.

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VantagePoint magazine offer for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members

VantagePoint magazine offer for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce membersCranleigh Chamber of Commerce has negotiated special discounted terms for our members who advertise with VantagePoint magazine.

VantagePoint is the free monthly Royal Mail delivered community magazine, published by the locally based team at Vantage Publishing.

They have a successful track record in magazine publishing, having published local magazines since 2009.

VantagePoint champions and promotes local businesses to the local community to benefit the local economy.

Their five magazines serve the communities of Cranleigh, Dorking, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Haslemere, Leatherhead, Midhurst and Petworth.

All magazines are hand delivered by Royal Mail to 108,193 local homes.

The magazine is delivered during the first week of the month and is packed full of varied and interesting features including food, gardening, local history, travel, walks, and competitions.

The magazine also features their Jottings section, which offers readers the greatest coverage of forthcoming local events and organisations, and also extends the shelf life of the magazine.

The following discounted rates and editorial offers will apply to advertising by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members within the Godalming, Cranleigh and Villages edition of VantagePoint.

VantagePoint magazine discounted offer for Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce membersThis edition covers the GU6, GU7 and GU8 postcodes, with delivery by Royal Mail which means 23,402 households will receive a copy.

To take advantage of this special offer from VantagePoint, please contact Marcus Atkins on 01483 420173 or by email to

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Stronger Communities in Cranleigh

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce is pleased to be a part of the Cranleigh Community Resilience Group.

This group, led by Surrey County Council, consists of several local organisations working together to explore the role and resilience of individuals and communities before, during and after an emergency.

Community resilience is about communities and individuals preparing and planning for an emergency so that if a major incident were to happen, they would be able to put a carefully prepared plan into action, so that know they what to do.

You can find out more about this group during a drop-in meeting taking place on Thursday 9th June 2016 between 4pm and 7.30pm in Cranleigh Village Hall.



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Cranleigh Decides – EU Referendum Debate

Cranleigh Decides - EU Referendum DebateFollowing the success of our recent sold-out EU Referendum Debate, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce is bringing the event back to the village next month.

Join us at Cranleigh Arts Centre at 7pm on Tuesday 14th June 2016 for a robust panel debate and an opportunity to get your EU Referendum questions answered by experts from both sides of the argument.

Book your tickets now

Our panelists will take questions from the audience on a range of subjects including the economy, immigration and sovereignty, in order to debate the facts, figures and speculation.

We have invited Mark Nottingham and Harry Aldridge to participate in this debate, expertly chaired by Philip Calvert.

Mark Nottingham is Head of Office for Mary Honeyball MEP. He is a lecturer on Europe at the Civil Service College and Member of the Executive of the East Kent European Movement.

Harry Aldridge is director of and former UKIP parliamentary candidate for Guildford. Harry is back by popular demand after featuring in our first panel debate.

Our chairman for the debate is Philip Calvert; a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and an award-winning social networking entrepreneur.

If you need help making up your mind ahead of the big vote the following week, or simply want to better understand each side of the argument, this panel debate will educate, inform and entertain.

We will be conducting confidential polls before and after the panel debate, to understand how Cranleigh might be voting in the referendum.

Tickets for Cranleigh Decides are only £5 each with all proceeds helping to fund the Cranleigh Christmas Lights this year. Space at this debate is strictly limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.

The event is generously sponsored by Hart Brown Solicitors.

Find out more and book your tickets online at

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When Chamber members across Waverley meet

When Chamber members across Waverley meetMembers of Farnham, Cranleigh and Godalming Chambers are coming together to meet, socialise and network at the newly re-furbished and upgraded Frensham Pond Hotel.

The hotel is nestled against the stunningly beautiful Frensham Pond and has recently been upgraded by the AA from 3 to 4 Stars in recognition of its excellent quality service and standards across all areas of the business.

Join us on Thursday 16th June from 5.30pm to enjoy a welcome drink and some networking.

An exquisite finger food buffet will be served at around 6.15 pm.

All this for £12 which you can book here.

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Cranleigh Community Showcase

Cranleigh Community ShowcaseThis Saturday 21st May 2016 Cranleigh Parish Council will be hosting a Community Showcase in the Village Hall.

The event runs from 3pm to 6pm. It is an opportunity for local residents and business owners to find out more about organisations in the village, to discover what they have to offer for the community.

Some of the local schools will be providing musical entertainment throughout the afternoon and Cranleigh Country Market are providing light refreshments.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce will be exhibiting at the Community Showcase.

Do pop in to see us at the Showcase to find out more about the Chamber and our activities in the village.

The event will conclude at 6pm with the Annual Parish Meeting which is expected to end no later than 6.30pm.

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Why cycling is good for Cranleigh & good for business

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members enjoyed breakfast at The Stables Restaurant this morning, with informative talks about cycling and helping the local community.

At the sold out breakfast meeting, business people packed the restaurant to enjoy a morning of networking, delicious food and presentations.


Andrew Kolmar of Rotary Club of Cranleigh described the work done internationally and locally by the Rotary, encouraging Chamber of Commerce members to volunteer at specific events in the future.


The main presentation came from Tom Hough, co-owner of bike shop (and cafe) Maison du Velo in Cranleigh High Street.

Tom described his entrepreneurial journey and why cycling has become so popular in the UK recently.

He explained that cycling is good for business, with employees much fitter and less likely to take time off work due to illness.


Tom told us that Cranleigh is the centre for cycling in the South East of England, having become a real thoroughfare for road cyclists with access to the surrounding Surrey Hills.

It also appeals to mountain bikers, with some of the best mountain biking areas in the region, and the Downs Link offers excellent cycling for families.


Our next breakfast meeting takes place at Cranleigh School on Wednesday 15th June, where our guest speaker is headmaster Martin Reader, talking about the business of education.

Do also join us at the Cranleigh Community Showcase in the Village Hall from 3-6pm this Saturday, where Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce will be exhibiting alongside many other local organisations.

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