2:00pm Thursday 7th June 2012
THE group set up to make Chippenham a better place has attracted so many members it is planning to delegate.
Cherish Chippenham, comprising independent traders, business owners, councillors and the public, was formed at a town meeting in the Neeld Hall on March 5.
It now hopes to return to its roots in the same venue at 12.30pm on Tuesday to divide its members into smaller groups.
Chair Melody Thompson, who owns recruitment company 24/7 Staffing, said the group has now identified ten different areas that need to be worked on, and will ask members to pick the interest group they would like to join.
A project leader will then return the smaller group’s ideas into the main Cherish Chippenham group meetings.
Mrs Thompson said: “We are quite concerned that the group is getting too big.
“It’s wonderful that so many people are coming along and wanting to have their say on how to make the town better, but we’re risking that people aren’t going to have the opportunity to speak.”
Cherish Chippenham members have identified ten project areas of interest, including project management, young people and events, as well as making the town centre safer and more accessible.
Mrs Thompson said: “We will lay out ten tables in the Neeld Hall, and ask people to join the table they are most interested in.
“We also really need people to understand that all of these things are not going to happen overnight.
“We’ve had some real successes already, and a lot of backing from the owners of Emery Gate and Borough Parade, but the fact is we don’t have much money in the pot at the moment to bring everything to life immediately.”
One of the first jobs for the group is to become a community interest company, and then to hire a town centre manager with £40,000 donated by some of the members of the group.
“We don’t want to be a talking shop – we are doers,” said Mrs Thompson.
“We’ve got a fantastic number of people interested in what we do, but now we need some structure to forge ahead with our plans.”
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