Ripon group faces uncertain future

A meeting to discuss the future of Ripon's Chamber of Trade will be held at the Old Deanery on June 7 at 6.30pm.
A meeting to discuss the future of Ripon's Chamber of Trade will be held at the Old Deanery on June 7 at 6.30pm.

A long-established voice of Ripon's business community could be gone for good without enough support from residents.

Ripon's Chamber of Trade is appealing for new committee members to avoid their next meeting being their last.

A statement from the Chamber's former secretary, Stephen Craggs, reads: "At the AGM in April, the board of your Chamber of Trade stood down to make way for new people with new ideas. This was as a result of a piece of research undertaken last June where many people thought that the Chamber committee needed a shake-up.

"We are fortunate that a very small core of volunteers have become involved with projects such as Yorkshire Day and Christmas late night opening but there is so much potential for a strong business organisation in Ripon to do so much more.

"It could create a Business Improvement District to bring investment into the city, it could occupy the vacuum left by the absence of a City Development Manager and work with our tourist attractions and local councils to boost spending.

"To do this in a coordinated way needs a small team - no more than six, to sit in the middle and help organise it, otherwise people will duplicate efforts and waste their time.

"The 'old guard' will help set it up if asked, but will otherwise stand back and let new blood take over. I have carried on secretarial duties in the absence of anyone else coming forwards, but must stand down now I have been elected onto Ripon City Council, because the Chamber is a non-political organisation."

A meeting to discuss the future of Ripon's Chamber of Trade will be held at the Old Deanery on June 7 at 6.30pm.