Richard Graham’s speech as outgoing Chamber President

At our annual dinner on Tuesday evening, Richard Graham delivered his final speech, stepping down as President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce after three years.

Richard started by welcoming our invited guests to the dinner, which saw more than 50 members and special guests enjoying an evening at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club.

He reported on a third successful year under the new committee and thanked Cranleigh businesses for their support of the Chamber during that time.

Membership of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce remains stable at 138 members. Richard reported that this means Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has the largest membership of the four Waverley Chambers.

He reported on another busy year of events, as well as lobbying, influencing, campaigning, partnering and collaborating, all to ensure Cranleigh remains the very best place to live, work and play.

Richard explained that Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce is being listened to; by the press, Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council and Cranleigh Parish Council.

During the past year, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has worked in partnership with Waverley Borough Council in particular, influencing and lobbying on:

  1. Discretionary business rates relief scheme
  2. The soon to be launched Public Space Protection Orders – anti-social behaviour, dog fouling and litter.
  3. Start Your Own Business in Waverley Handbook
  4. Contributing to the Waverley Economic Strategy, which is about to be produced at long last now the Local Plan is agreed!
  5. The Waverley Business Survey
  6. Article 4 Directions legislation protecting our employment sites. We have given a list of suggestions which are especially relevant following the loss of Hewitts.
  7. Check In/Check Out car parking, which failed to be sustained due to poorly designed machines, but the option to pay by debit or credit card has remained in place.
  8. Subsidised car parking for local employees.
  9. Lobbying against the proposed closure of Cranleigh Recycling Centre.
  10. Lobbying against a trading consent for the kebab van outside the Post Office.

Along with our Surrey County Councillors, we have been lobbying for Longfield House to include small business working space.

With our colleagues in Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere, we have been working to create a Waverley Joint Chambers of Commerce.

We have also commissioned a Corridor Assessment on the Downs Link between Cranleigh and Guildford, carried out by Sustrans, to understand the viability of this strategically important green corridor becoming a shared use cycle and walkway with an improved surface for year-round use.

Richard also spoke about the range of events hosted by Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce during the past year. These included a range of breakfast networking events and an evening BBQ (on a very chilly evening!).

The range of topics covered included GDPR, cyber security, social media, sales and marketing, and the Brooking Collection.

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce worked with Cranleigh Arts Centre to host another successful Cranleigh Food & Music Festival in September.

With invaluable help from Cranleigh Lions and Jigsaw School, we hosted the Cranleigh Christmas Lights Switch-On event in November. Richard gave a special thanks to our 100 Club members and all of the sponsors of the Christmas Lights.

Richard also highlighted the work of Cranleigh in Bloom and its volunteers, led by Martin Bamford, which won Gold and the overall Town of the Year prize at the South & South East in Bloom Awards. Cranleigh in Bloom is entering these awards again in 2018 and remains an exceptionally attractive village.

As the work of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce has increased, and the committee have competing demands on their time from their full time jobs and families, we needed additional help with administrative and events support. Richard welcomed Elizabeth Campbell who started providing this assistance from the start of the year.

Richard finished his speech by thanking his committee, members and speakers from the past year.

Cranleigh Chamber

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