At the December meeting the members were pleased to hear that a number of businesses had decided to join the Chamber since the last meeting.
Membership has now nearly doubled since the summer and businesses recognise the benefits of membership - networking with other businesses; business support and advice; free training opportunities; preferential advertising; co-ordinated town activities; advance notice of events; page on www.llangollen.org website; representing your views to help make Llangollen a successful town.County Cllr Stuart Davies was invited to attend the meeting to bring members up to date on a number of County Council issues. He explained that reductions in the amount of money the County receives from the Welsh Government together with other factors would result in savings of between 6% and 8% having to be made over the next few years.
The County Council would be considering efficiency savings in many areas to offset reductions in services but the size of the reductions would inevitably mean a significant impact on some non-statutory services.However, in acknowledging that Llangollen has insufficient parking spaces in the town, especially in the summer months and when major events are being held, the County is investigating options to double the existing number of spaces over the next two years.
This will include plans to reduce some of the recycling facilities and removing the existing garages in Market Street car park; making more use of the car park at Ysgol Dinas Bran; extending car park provision at the Pavilion; utilising the car parks at the proposed new Health Centre; and investigating the site at Wenffrwd as a Park & Ride facility. It is likely that a consultation exercise will be carried out prior to any of these projects.
Following complaints about 'A' boards blocking pavements across the County, not just in Llangollen, there is to be a protocol established so that everyone will know what will and what will not be permitted. As a result of some unhelpful and speedy reaction in removing advertising signs for the Food Festival without warning a meeting was held with the County's Street Scene Coordinator for the Dee Valley. This proved very useful and agreement has now been reached about locations where such signs can be located in future.The signs will also be used in future for the International Eisteddfod, Fringe Festival, Food Festival and Christmas Festival.
Cllr Davies also informed the meeting that the County Council has prepared a Town Plan for Llangollen/Llantysilio and is available for inspection on the County Council's website. Any future major projects for the town will be included in the Town Plan.
A formal letter objecting to the proposal to close the HSBC bank in Llangollen has been sent to the Group Chief Executive of HSBC as many members will be very much inconvenienced and subject to security concerns as a result of the closure. The Chair has held a meeting with Barclays Bank who say they are happy to assist any business in transferring accounts to their branch. Business accounts would be fee free for 6 months and Community accounts would be operated on a free basis as long as they were in credit.
The website is in the final stages of being re-written and the Events Diary is available to anyone wanting to advertise their events in Llangollen.
Some issues which hopefully will attract more visitors to the town - two members recently attended the Denbighshire Tourism Forum and said that good progress is being made to produce a Denbighshire Destination Plan which is anticipated to receive formal approval by the County Council in March.
Also an article is to be placed in Country Walking magazine next year after representatives spent two days here walking in the area. Contact is to be made with the Radio 4 programme on Rambling and the Times Travel Supplement in order to persuade them to do a programme/article based on Llangollen.It is anticipated that the long awaited arrival of trains in Corwen will take place in March next year with a passenger service operational by Easter.
* The next meeting of the Chamber will be on Monday 6th January 2014 at 7.00pm in the Hand Hotel. At that meeting the priorities for the Chamber for 2014 will be discussed.