Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Long live the Chamber!

BY THE time you read this column the future of Axminster Chamber of Commerce will be known.       

It would be a great shame if this once highly influential organisation in the business life of Axminster was allowed to die, especially as it is about to celebrate its 70th anniversary.
As a former acting chairman, I have always been a big advocate of small towns, especially the inland ones, having a vibrant traders’ group.  

When I first started out as a reporter, the Axminster Chamber of Commerce and Industry was one of the most respected organisations in town.

It’s had a bit of a rocky ride in recent years but I’ve always felt that it is important that the chamber survives and we should applaud all those who have worked so hard to keep it going.

The resumed EGM was taking place last evening when it is more than likely that a new committee will be voted in and former chairman and chamber stalwart, Shane Morgan, will be back in the hot seat that he has occupied with such enthusiasm in the past.

IT is pleasing to see that the Axminster Hospital Action Group and the various NHS bodies responsible for the future of Axminster Hospital are now working together to find a solution.

Whilst it begs the question about why this did not happen when the possible closure of beds was first mooted, and before the NHS allocated £75,000 of money they don’t have to reverse a High Court decision to keep the beds open, the only way forward to such disputes is by reasoned negotiation.

It was even more heartwarming to hear that there is clearly no shortage in nurses looking for a job in this area. Open days at Axminster and Seaton hospitals attracted dozens of potential candidates.

The fact remains, however, that the decision to permanently close the remaining ten beds in Axminster is still very much under consideration.

We can only hope that the bridges built in the past few weeks to resolve the situation amicably  produces dividends.                              


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