AGM of the Berkhamsted and District Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday 12 April 2016, 7.30pm

The Clock Room, Berkhamsted Town Hall

Present: Pete Elsworth (Chair); Felicity Webb (Secretary); Shaun Brownsmith (Treasurer); Pat Daley; Simon Double; Mikaela Morgan; Ian Reay; Alex Thackray, Aimee Stack, members also attended

Apologies: John Gerry, Richard Thompson

Minutes for AGM 2017 and Matters Arising: Approved

New Constitution: Chairman read out the new constitution which has slightly changed. Unanimous vote to approve by Committee and members. To be published on website.

Treasurer’s Report

Increase YoY. Membership has increased. Successful breakfasts meetings.

Member’s Forum

Beautiful Ceremonies asked Committee how much BDCC will commit to events etc. in the local area. Chairman confirmed a variety of local businesses/events receive support from the BDCC. E.g. Festival of Light. Sean confirmed money will also be used to benefit Chamber events. E.g. Awards Gala 2019. Chamber agreed they’re happy to support a good idea and welcome requests/suggestions to be submitted.

Penella asked about whether BDCC would host a presentation about GDPR coming in to force on 25th May 2018. Sean & Pete confirmed that this can be arranged and will look to host it at the Town Hall. More to follow.

Hannah suggested whether BDCC would initiate a corporate grants programme for small businesses or charities who need funds to invest in training or equipment. Pete/Simon to speak with Cindy from Dacorum Council about promoting their grants schemes and promoting them via the BDCC.  Committee agreed to discuss it further during May’s committee meeting.

Alex Thackray provided an overview of the BDCC social media networks available for members to join and encouraged members to participate in the conversations with other members online.

Alex is happy for members to suggest courses that could be organised/ran by the BDCC and proposed a more suitable evening time for future courses.

Election of officers and executive committee

Chair: Pete

Secretary: Felicity

Treasurer: Shaun

Members: Ian, John, Mikaela, Pat, Simon, Richard, Alex and Aimee – all elected en masse, as no nominations had been received.

Business of the Year Award

Alex Thackray was thanked for his efforts in setting up and managing the Business of the Year award.  Alex detailed the concept/benefits of the award and capturing the input in to the local community.

5 entries / 4 judges.

Winner – D-Lab was handed their award, prize money and free membership for 2018/19

Runner Up – ADF Consultancy was handed their prize and free membership for 2018/19


  • Pete promoted the Rayden Gala on 6th June at The Gatsby (Contact Pete or Jackie Steadman for tickets)
  • Pat promoted 20s night in aid of Pepper Foundation on 10th May at The Gatsby
  • Simon promoted Windsor races on 2nd July


Meeting closed at 8.05pm.


Last year I said that we needed to make the Chamber more visible to the local community and this year we have been putting this aim into action. The result has been an increase in membership, and we have some 100 members. This has also had the effect of extending our geographical exposure, as we have members now in Hemel Hempstead, Tring, Watford, Hatfield and Denham. However, our name is the Berkhamsted and District Chamber of Commerce.

Breakfast Meetings

Our two committee members Simon Double and Mikaela Morgan, have worked very hard in making our breakfast meetings a success at the Berkhamsted Cricket Club. We host 6 meetings a year, with entertaining and knowledgeable speakers, including presentations from Young Enterprise Groups.  We get a number of visitors to these events, many of who join the Chamber, but all of whom enjoy the relaxed atmosphere encouraged by Simon and Mikaela, perhaps augmented by the early morning champagne. We run the breakfasts 6 times a year and will continue to do so. Our next meeting is Wednesday May 2nd, with the usual early start of 7.15 AM.

Social Media

Our new secretary Felicity Webb has taken over our social media networks and is alongside our website guru Alex Thackray, working on increasing our Facebook presence. In so doing we have reached out to a number of new prospective and interested businesses for membership and are becoming part of the growing social media business groups. I should also point out that our new website, run by Indigo Tree who host us, is also creating a number of enquiries. Can I ask you to use the website, and also give us comments on improvements which you believe, that we can do to enhance this service.

Young Enterprise

This year we have sponsored the Young Enterprise stalls at the Festival of Light, and three of our members, myself, John Gerry and Jackie Steadman act as Business Advisors to Young Enterprise Groups. As I stated previously we have asked groups to do a presentation at our breakfast meetings. This proved to be successful this year, with some very positive feedback from yourselves and Berkhamsted School, so it will be repeated next year.

Other Events

These events are to promote interaction between members, either on a friendship or business basis or both. Last year we had a great evening at Windsor races, organised by Simon Double and were surprised at the take up, having to arrange a 48 seater coach. This is being repeated on July 2nd. There was an entertaining wine tasting and game organised by John Gerry at the Berkeley Wine Bar in Lower King’s Road. I disgraced myself by coming last. Patricia Daley organised Pop ups at D Lab, Epicure and Indigo Tree, we are looking at running a couple more in the Autumn. There was a barbecue held at The George Inn, and this year we will be holding it at another of our members The Bull. We also helped to publicise member’s events through our Newsletter. I am always looking for articles for the newsletter about yourselves and your business, so please send them, particularly if you have a new venture, moved, new employees or have a charitable event which you would like members to attend.

Community Events

As I have already said we sponsored Young Enterprise at the Festival of Light and do have a representative on the Committee, John Gerry. This year we are involved in the Events Committee. This is an initiative backed by Berkhamsted Town Council, to create a web site that will give details of all the major events taking place annually In Berkhamsted. It will also allow the public to buy tickets from a central point, which currently will be the new Library. The concept is to improve the marketing and publicity of such events and hopefully encourage more people to visit Berkhamsted and increase expenditure in our local businesses. If you wish to know more I will be giving a presentation at the Town Meeting on Thursday 26th April at the Old Town Hall at 7.30PM.


Alex Thackray ran a course on social media for beginners. He has been asked to do a slightly more advance course, but we would like to know if you would attend this, and whether it would be better at lunchtime or early evening. There will be a small charge of £5, to cover the room fee.

Governance and Constitution

We have updated our governance and constitution and the new format is being proposed at the AGM.


The Chamber is becoming stronger, in membership, in activities and is financially strong. If anyone has any ideas to improve our position or something for all to enjoy, please let me know E Mail


Peter Elsworth – Chairman