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Philip Evans


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AXMINSTER: Chamber may fold in January

Tuesday, 02 December 2014

Axminster Chamber of Commerce could fold as early as January next year, the month in which it will turn 70 years old.
Despite a well-attended meeting on Tuesday November 25th, nobody came forward to express an interest in becoming chairman when the incumbent, Lisa Lyman, steps down.
It was agreed that the chamber would not be able to operate without a chairman, so an Extraordinary General Meeting has been called for Tuesday January 27th.
Unless a candidate has come forward by then, the chamber will either suspend operations for a year or close down altogether.
It was last month that Mrs Lyman and her deputy, Chris Tipping, handed in their notices.
They did so because not enough members have come forward to offer active support for a set of projects. Mrs Lyman, who is the proprietor of Apple Tree Galleries, took over as chamber chairman in September 2013 and orchestrated an unprecedented shake-up.
Having worked for a chamber of commerce in the United States, she declared it was time to either expand or fold altogether.
Her ‘revolution’ included a restructure of the chamber and the introduction of six teams - each with its own leader and specific area of responsibility.
Mrs Lyman also opened up membership to non-business people and severed the chamber’s ties with the tourist information centre.
All members will be notified about the EGM, and a venue will be decided when it is known how many intend to attend.

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