Tuesday, 15th May 2012
Chamber Breakfast Meeting
Thursday 26th April 7.45am
22 present with apologies from 7 members
Lucy Brockway-Smith Colchester Institute Apprenticeship schemes
PC Nick Williams Essex Police. Recent changes in policing
Launch of the Shoppers Guide
• Copies of the Shoppers Guide were distributed on tables.
• Please note, if any business would like more copies contact Brenda at George Yard Management Suite – there are
• An electronic version of the guide will be submitted onto the Chamber website as soon as possible.
• Braintree BID will fund the large copy of the map that will go into the map case along the High Street and at the train station. They will be made with an aluminum backing to survive all weather conditions.
Talk by Lucy Brockway-Smith : Apprenticeships
• The number of apprentices are increasing, covering Essex and Suffolk – this is beneficial to both businesses and individuals. There are approximately 600 people involved in apprenticeships in the district at the moment.
• Apprenticeships are open to those 16+.
• It is a valuable experience for young people, as they achieve a qualification in the subject they are learning.
• 1/2 year scheme – majority of businesses offer a position to the apprentice afterwards.
• Some may think it’s cheap labour as the wage starts at £2.60 ph for 16-18 year olds then minimum wage for 19+.
• Any business thinking about taking on an apprenticeship could put together a skills audit and provide a job description, then speak to the institute team, who then interview a selection of people, who they believe to be appropriate candidates.
• It’s preferred if learners aren’t pulled out of their position before the end of the process.
• Literature about apprenticeships is available from Colchester Institute.
Braintree BID Update
• BID Team have decided that the BID process will not continue any further – there will not be a ballot in September. If the BID were to proceed with the official declaration then it not to go ahead, it’d mean nobody else could set up a BID
for at least 2 years
• Business Showcase (26th July) will still go ahead. It will be a valuable experience for businesses and reasonably priced, therefore cheap publicity!
• BDC are thinking about doing the IT Conference themselves later on in the year – about how IT would be built into business in the future.
• There will not be a community market over the August bank holiday weekend.
• If anyone has any questions about the BID please contact Brenda.
Talk by PC Nick Williams : Changes in Essex Police
• District has been split into a number of different policing areas (Braintree South, North, Town and Bocking)
• Money has been spent on a new terminal where the control room can see where officers are and identify who is closest
to an incident.
• Focuses on neighborhood policing, anti-social behavior, problem solving, policing local events and night time economy.
• Community safety unit reduces anti-social behavior.
• Braintree Against Business and Retail Crime is an effective crime prevention initiative that businesses can join to work together in identifying persistent offenders. Mike from Specsavers voiced that he believes it’s a very effective scheme.
• Overall CCTV monitoring in the town is fairly poor but a number of businesses believe town CCTV is not something that should be given up on!
The Future of Braintree Chamber
• Brenda had a meeting a few weeks ago with 4 chambers – Braintree, Witham, Halstead and Coggeshall.
• Chamber’s used to be the main source of information whereas now things can be looked up on the internet quickly, and effectively. They remain an effective lobbying body.
• The question was asked, ‘what do members want from a chamber?’ and do they feel they get what they want/expect
from Braintree Chamber?
• Please note, ‘Essex Chamber’ is just another individual chamber and doesn’t represent all the ones in Essex.
The Chamber AGM will be held on Monday 25th June 2012 – 5.30pm George Yard Management Suite (as there is no charge for use)
Topic of discussion – debate about chamber and its future continued. Please note that if anyone is interested in taking over the position of Chair, Brenda will be happy to stand aside.
Thanks offered to Brambles in the Quadrant for providing a particularly good English breakfast!