Crisis point as Bourton-on-the-Water Chamber of Commerce chairman steps back

Picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water

Picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water

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Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE future of Bourton-on-the-Water’s Chamber of Commerce is in doubt as members struggle to find a replacement chairman.

An extraordinary general meeting has been called to be held on Monday to discuss the future of the village’s business group.

A general lack of support and the resignation of current chairman Phil Ralph means the meeting has been called to talk in depth about what businesses in the parish can do for the wider community and to discuss plans surrounding an incoming chairman.

“At the moment no-one is willing to take over as chairman but everyone is keen to help in other ways,” said Mr Ralph.

“We might decide what we need is some sort of body, but maybe something like Bourton Business. We could drop the chamber name altogether.”

Mr Ralph owns the newsagents on Bourton’s High Street and said although he is desperate to keep the chamber alive, he is finding it hard to juggle the responsibilities of being chairman and owning a business.

“We will make a decision on April 28,” continued Mr Ralph. “Bourton is a great place to live and work but maybe we need to modernise our business group. The old Chamber of Commerce name is a bit old fashioned.”

At Bourton Parish Council’s last meeting, councillors said various parts of the village lived and died with the Chamber and were dependent on its existence.

As well as looking after the village’s hanging baskets, Bourton Chamber of Commerce is responsible for organising the hugely popular Christmas lights and tree.

Tourism is a massive boost for the community as well and the business group includes running bourtoninfo.com as part of its remit.

Anyone interested in applying to be the new chairman of Bourton’s Chamber of Commerce should go to the EGM on Monday, April 28, at 6pm at the Victoria Hall.

All members of the public are welcome to attend.

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