President's Message December 2017
These three things important are!
As we approach the shortest day of the year in the midst of snow and ice, our thoughts go out to those who find themselves without a roof over their head, a warm bed to sleep in or access to a hot meal and the company of friends and family. I know there are lots of local initiatives undertaking incredible work to provide food, clothing and shelter to this vulnerable group and the St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce members were very pleased to make a donation of £1,500 to Centre 33 which will hopefully assist them provide a warm meal and a temporary place of shelter to those in need during this particularly cold snap.
Before we know it, we will be on the other side of the holidays and forging ahead in to 2018 and there are three important matters that I wanted to bring to the attention of readers.
Firstly, January will see the launch of the Strategic Local Plan consultation by the Council and the St Albans and District Chamber of Commerce will be actively encouraging our members to play a positive role in contributing to this process. It is critical that the whole community engage with this consultation to ensure that our city and district remains a great place to live and work as well as being a hub for sport, recreation, entertainment and leisure activities. Moreover, it is imperative that the future strategic direction of local planning focuses on job creation, sustainable economic growth and the provision of housing and Public Services which meet the needs of our entire community and we look forward to working with all local stakeholders to provide considered input to the consultation process. Keep an eye on the Chamber website for updates throughout January and February.
Secondly, on Wednesday 10 January, the Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Business Breakfast Meeting at the Centurion Club featuring key note speaker Neil Hayes who is the Executive Director at the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Neil will outline the LEP’s strategic priorities and programmes to date and what the LEP and its partners are seeking to achieve in the future and in turn what opportunities this presents to our local businesses. This event is open to members and non-members alike and you can book your place by going to the chamber website at www.stalbans-chamber.co.uk.
Finally, in March 2018, the Chamber of Commerce will be electing a new President and Vice-President and a few of our directors will be stepping down having provided outstanding service on a voluntary basis for a considerable number of years. We are very keen to recruit new directors to fill these posts to ensure that our board remains diverse and continues to represent our entire business community across all key segments and sectors. As a reminder, these are voluntary roles and chamber directors receive no payment for their time. If you are interested in putting yourself forward as a new director, please do get in touch with Lisa Bates our Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 12 January to express your interest to ensure inclusion in the forthcoming selection process.
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a wonderful and safe festive season and a happy and fulfilling new year.