Book launch and private signing

Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce members are invited to a book launch and private signing.

Shalini Bhalla is launching her new book, Always With You, at the end of this month.

She is hosting a private book signing on 12th July 2018 at Cranleigh Arts Centre, from 6pm to 8pm, to which members of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce are invited.

Please see below for details.

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Monkeying around GDPR

Like everyone else, my inbox is full to bursting with General Data Protection Regulations opt in requests, better known as GDPR.

Indeed, I have had to send out my own Opt In e mail, apparently to avoid a fine up to €10m or 4% of turnover.

The whole thing has become such a bonanza for those companies offering paid services to organise it for you. Reminds me of the Millennium Bug although we do not have to fill the bath with water.

Or do we? Who knows? The legislation is such a confusing minefield resulting in misinformation and the good old British solution of just ‘belt and bracing’ everything just in case!

I can just hear the Spanish saying ‘Manyana’, the Italians throwing their hands in the air and the Germans saying, ‘we have already done it’!

What is interesting is watching the different approaches everyone is taking having taken differing advice. My favourite is from a company, that got rather personal asking me to click ‘I love you! Please continue to send me emails.’ Seriously?

Or if I want to be unfaithful, I have the choice to opt out with ‘Please just stop, I can’t take it anymore!’. This is not a fun company but is from a serious business! But it did make me respond immediately and I am hoping for a date soon!

I understand the concept of ‘legitimacy’ in GDPR. An organisation must prove it has a right to contact people. But if I have signed up and paid my subscription to a membership organisation, surely that is clear legitimacy and I do not need to receive an instruction to opt in?

And why did my doctor ask me to opt in? If I do not opt in, does that mean I lose access to the NHS?

And another one is my bank who should be more worried about its IT problems rather than sending me an email that says, ‘But without your permission, we can’t get in touch with you.’ Really? I have entrusted my money to you. Surely that is legitimacy?

I like the simple e mails that only ask you to respond Yes by return. No boxes to tick. Brilliant.

I also like those that are automatically filled in for you and all you must do is click the opt in box. I used that method in my own opt in e mail.

And yet I am still getting e mails from organisations which should know better asking me to punch in every detail almost down to leg measurement! And when I think that ‘well I do not want to give you that much detail’, I discover the boxes are red starred and must be filled in.

Is this not uncalled for data collection which rather spoils the reason of GDPR? So, I do not finish those and think ‘stuff it’.

My final bugbear is those at the end of some emails which insist on checking whether I am a human. I know what they are trying to do but their wording is so unfortunate.

‘Before we subscribe you, we need to confirm you are a human.’ Why not just say ‘To avoid spam emails please tick this box’ or similar?

The whole point of building a successful mailing list is to engage subscribers who want to hear from you, not to be insulted. Not for them to question whether you are a bot or an animal. Particularly pertinent when it is Mail Chimp sending most Opt In requests!

First published in Last Word, South East Business Magazine June/ July edition 2018

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Supporting your tourism business in Waverley

Waverley Borough Council are hosting this event at Charterhouse School in Godalming on Thursday 5th July 2018, starting at 10am.

Boost your tourism business in Waverley.

-Network with local industry colleagues

-Be inspired by James Cretney, Chief Executive & Director of Conservation at Marwell Zoo and Wildlife

-Find out more about trends and marketing opportunities from Nigel Smith, Chief Executive at Tourism South East

Working with Charterhouse school, the event will take place in the Saunders Room where numbers are limited to 25.

This is Waverley Borough Council’s second tourism business event and they look forward to seeing you there.

This event is free of charge with registration online at

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Dementia – a Cranleigh conversation

SMART Cranleigh is looking to provide an open forum to discuss how Cranleigh can better support those living with dementia.

If you have an interest in dementia, are a carer or are living with dementia, please come along to Cranleigh Arts Centre on Thursday 14th June 2018 from 7.30pm to 9pm, or on Monday 18th June 2018 from 2pm to 3.30pm.

Just arrive or, for more information, contact

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Fake banknote warning

Members of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce and other local retailers are warned to take additional care after reports of counterfeit £20 and £50 notes in circulation in the village.

The Chamber has been alerted to these fake banknotes being passed in several shops in Cranleigh, including recent cases of six £50 notes and four £20 notes.

The perpetrators are described as young men, buying low value items with the fake notes in order to pocket the change.

It is claimed that these fake notes have been treated with hairspray, rendering fraud detection pens useless.

Shopkeepers are reminded that they are not obliged to accept high value bank notes. This from the Bank of England website on the subject of legal tender:

‘Whether you pay with banknotes, coins, debit cards or anything else as payment is a decision between you and the other person involved in the transaction.

‘In addition, shops are not obliged to accept legal tender. If you hand over a £50 note to pay for a banana in your local grocery store, the staff are within their rights to choose not to accept it.

‘Likewise for all other banknotes – it’s a matter of discretion.’

If you have further information regarding this spate of fake banknotes in Cranleigh, please email, as well as informing Surrey Police.

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Rosemary French’s speech as incoming President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce

The following is the speech given by Rosemary French OBE, new President of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, at our annual dinner on Tuesday evening.

I am delighted to be working with Martin and the rest of the committee to continue to strengthen Cranleigh & District Chamber of Commerce.

Our aim is simply to ensure that Cranleigh remains one of the best places to live and work, not only in Waverley but also in Surrey. We want to add value to our businesses whatever their size or stage of growth.

To some extent the position of President is an honorary position. It is the whole committee that pulls together to take on different responsibilities. We work as a team and it is delivering results. So what have we planned for this year?


Our networking breakfasts are always popular. This year we are varying this to be breakfasts, lunches and even pub networking events in the evening. Our members told us that the timing of breakfasts did not suit everyone so we hope to reach more members at these different times.

In fact our first lunch is on Monday 14th May at Elmbridge Village. They will be offering us a drink, a hot carvery, dessert, cheese and even coffee in their fabulous restaurant. All for only £15. We will also hear about the history of Elmbridge which was one of, if not the first retirement village in the UK. We hope to see you there. Just book on the website.


As I said we always want to add value to members and we are delighted that two of our committee members, Julie Alexanderson and John Wright are developing short subsidised training courses for members. Wherever possible we will use members to delver the training.

We are still working on costs but we do have a super venue at Santafir on the Guildford Road. If you have any ideas for training topics do let us know. Watch out for more information.

Waverley BIG Awards

We are working as Waverley Joint Chambers of Commerce to deliver a larger BIG Awards competition led by committee member Christine Martin. It is very much a case of bigger, better and more sparkly with the Waverley BIG Awards. This time there will be eight award categories so plenty of opportunity to enter.

The launch is on 4th June, the applications need to be in by the end of August and the Gala dinner will be held on Friday 19th October at Lythe Hill Hotel. More to follow.


We have also been working with the other Chambers to explore a proposal to develop Business Improvement Districts across Waverley. These have proved very successful across the UK in regenerating High Streets in particular but not exclusively. It is up to businesses themselves to decide what areas should be included. It is early days but an open meeting for any business to attend is being held on the 12th June in Farnham. More details on the website or speak to me.


Firstly on the 28th April we are resurrecting the Spring into Cranleigh Saturday, with an Italian market in Stocklund Square, and our members Moooh Ice Cream and the Tiger Lily Vintage bus in Fountain Square. And there will be other attractions.

There is a significant change to our Xmas event this year. We have dropped our switch on night in November in favour of a Living Xmas Advent Calendar. We have picked this up from the Henley Living Advent programme which lengthens the opportunities for local retailers.

This will start with an all day xmas lights switch on and street market event on Saturday 1st December.

Then every day, there will be a calendar of very small events every day which can be sponsored and held at a retail or other premise such as the Arts Centre, Rowlys, Elmbridge Village or churches.

We are still making up the calendar but it will include a best decorated House competition, the St Nicholas Xmas trees event, the Santa Dash, Carol singing, Santa on his sleigh, maybe a xmas play and so on. We welcome any new ideas and anyone who would like to join the Xmas committee.

100 Club

And of course I need to mention the 100 Club. It is the 100 club which helps pay for the refurbishment, replacement and installation every year xmas lights and decorations. The Chamber also contributes from our funds but we are very grateful for those who elect to become 100 Club members. Thank you!

Partnership Working

Finally, Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce will continue to work in partnership and collaboration. With Cranleigh in Bloom, with the Parish Council, Waverley Council and Surrey County Council, with the Lions, with the Rotary, with the Arts Centre and with Smart Cranleigh on health and well being.

Being a village, Cranleigh does not have access to much funding. However, together we can continue to attract businesses and see them grow, retain our status as a popular weekend destination, as a friendly place to work, as the most florally attractive in the South East, full of interesting events and offering a warm welcome to our new residents.

Thank you.

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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.

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Venue for long-term hire

Cranleigh Parish Council is advertising the Cranleigh Youth Centre building for a long-term hire.

The Youth Centre comprises of a recently modernised sports hall with sprung floor, high level heating and large storage cupboard accessed from the Sports Hall.

There is a well equipped fully fitted open plan kitchen and meeting area.

This also benefits from a large separate office which would be used as an office or for storage to serve the kitchen.

Find out more:

Long Term Hire Poster April 2018

Please contact the Parish Clerk Beverley Bell on 01483 272311 or email to find out more and arrange a viewing.

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The Waverley Business Update

The latest business update from Waverley Borough Council is now available to read here.

In this edition:

-Brightwells Farnham regeneration starts

-We want to hear from you

-Working together to improve Waverley

-English tourism week

-New Waverley business spotlight

-Courses and events coming soon

-Work smart in 2018

-What next?

Sign up for their monthly email at

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 17th April 2018 at Cranleigh Golf & Country Club, Barhatch Lane, Cranleigh, GU6 7NG.

2018 Chamber AGM Agenda Tuesday 17 April (002)

2018 Cranleigh Chamber AGM 2017 Minutes (002)

Any other business and nominations for officers should be notified to no later than midday on 13th April 2018, using the following form:

2018 Chamber Officer and Committee Nomination Form 2018 (002)

Apologies for absence: Please notify the Secretary by email to

The AGM will be followed at 7.30pm by our annual dinner to which partners and non-members are welcome.

The two course dinner will cost £20 per person, or £35 for two tickets, or £100 for a table of six.

Our headline speaker for dinner is the extraordinary London Marathon ever-present Chris Finill.

To have run every London Marathon since 1981 is an achievement worthy of praise, but to have accomplished that feat under three hours on every occasion (bar one) marks Chris Finill out as a special runner indeed.

Growing up living on the same road in Harrow where Sir Roger Bannister spent his early years, and then attending the same primary school, Finill’s running prowess was perhaps inevitable from a young age.

A British champion at 100km and for running 24 hours, he represented England at the Commonwealth Games Ultradistance Championships in Keswick, Cumbria, in 2009.

Chris also ran across the United States from New York to California in the autumn of 2011, in a mind-boggling 79 days and 22 hours.

He joins us to share some stories from the London Marathon, ultra running adventures and his profession, where he is the Bursar at Duke of Kent School.

Tickets are available to book at

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