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The Chew Valley business world is approaching an important day in the area’s history when the seventy-plus members of the local Chamber of Commerce meet to make not one, but two vital decisions.

First they must debate and vote on a proposal to form their own independent Chamber. Since its creation two years ago it has been attached to its parent Chamber, Norton Radstock.

Second, if the vote goes in favour of independence, which area should the Chew Valley Chamber join ? There are two candidates - Bristol and Bath - and both have their pros and cons. Bristol appears the more expensive option but may provide wider business opportunities. On the other hand membership of the Bath area may have more relevance to local companies.

The issue is certain to provoke a lively debate and Chairman Jim King is hoping there will be a good turn out of members at the Annual General Meeting in November to give the issues a thorough airing.

“It’s been very encouraging to see the steady growth in the membership of the Chew Valley Chamber over the last couple of years, and it bears out what we all know about the lively commercial area in which we live. Many people now believe we have reached the size when we should become independent. There’s no doubt that would allow us to better convey the views and opinions of businesses in the area. But there are many other factors to be taken into account, and we will not rush into a hasty decision,” said Mr King.

“The AGM will be the perfect opportunity for everyone to have their say, both about the question of independence, and if that is carried, then about the issue of whether we be allied to Bristol or Bath,” he added.

The all important AGM is due to take place on Wednesday November 22nd at the Queens Arms in Chew Magna, starting at 6.30pm.

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