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AXMINSTER: Chamber ‘rebel’ gets meetings reinstated

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Axminster Chamber of Commerce member Tim Pritchard has 'rebelled' to get monthly members' meetings reinstated.
Mr Pritchard spoke during the chamber's quarterly members' meeting last week, saying members should have been consulted on the chamber's decision to sever its ties with Axminster Tourist Information (TIC).
The decision was taken by the chamber's executive committee and was announced last month.
Mr Pritchard said there was little or no point of being a member if you weren't consulted on such important matters.
He told chamber chairman Lisa Lyman: "You could have canvassed members. You are talking about growing but you are closing down members' influence."
The Sweet Shop owner, Angie Prior, echoed Mr Pritchard by telling the chairman: "I felt members should have been consulted on the TIC - it was such a big decision."
Mrs Lyman replied that it had been a hectic time for everyone involved, adding that a number of members had been sounded out, but not all.
Making another point, she said: "All members were e-mailed about the TIC before the press release was sent - but there was no comment then."
But she took the comments on board, and said: "We need to redefine what the executive committee can make decisions on."
When Mrs Lyman took over the chairmanship last autumn she introduced sweeping changes and restructured the chamber. One change was to reduce the frequency of members' meetings from monthly to quarterly.
Mr Pritchard said: "The monthly meetings were so important."
He was reminded, however, that monthly meetings in the past had not attracted a great number of members, with a fairly recent one having only two members in attendance. This was in stark contrast to the packed quarterly meeting, attended by around 40 members during which the debate occurred.
Looking around the room in Thomas Whitty House, former chamber chairman Shane Morgan said: "The number today is absolutely fantastic."
It was decided to reintroduce monthly meetings on a trial basis.

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