Business leader reflects on year

Another successful year for Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Members of Honiton’s business community have celebrated another successful year.

Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry enjoyed a busy 2011, which saw it fight off plans to introduce parking metres in High Street, lobby for better rail links and introduce monthly breakfast meetings for members.

Chairman Colin Wright addressed fellow chamber members at their annual meeting last week.

Speaking at Allhallows Museum, he said: “This year, the chamber has worked closely with many organisations and has been represented on more committees than ever before.

“We have fought hand-in-hand with Honiton Town Council to stop the erection of parking metres in High Street.

“It did raise its head again and the situation has gone away now.

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“We appear to have won our case at the moment.”

Charter Day also proved a triumph and helped to “increase footfall in the town to the benefit of chamber members, shopkeepers and market traders”.

The Christmas carol service at St Paul’s Church also drew in the crowds - attracting more than 500 people.

Mr Wright added: “This was the most successful evening and we propose to repeat the event again this year, possibly combining it with a couple of other events,”

Over the last year, the chamber has been working with the town council to get better rail services in the area.

Mr Wright and the town mayor, Councillor Vernon Whitlock, met with Honiton and Tiverton MP Neil Parish and representatives from South West Trains to discuss the rail service from Honiton to Exeter.

The chamber is working with representatives from South West Rail on improving rail links.

Mr Wright said: “We are currently working with them to dual the whole track from Axminster to Exeter and possibly from Salisbury in the future.

“This would enable us to tap into the holiday trade travelling to Torbay, and advertise visiting Honiton on market days for a real rural experience.”

Monthly breakfast meetings, held at different venues in the town, have proved very popular and increased networking opportunities for chamber members.

Mr Wright concluded the meeting by thanking all the committee members and the town council for their hard work.