‘We have so much to shout about’ - meet chamber’s new leading duo

David Cook and Sally Mynard are the new chairman and vice-chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce.

David Cook and Sally Mynard are the new chairman and vice-chairman of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce. Picture: Clarissa Place - Credit: Archant

“Sidmouth has a lot to shout about,” say the new duo leading the town’s chamber of commerce as they aim to bring more businesses together.

David Cook and Sally Mynard were appointed as chairman and vice-chairman respectively at the group’s annual general meeting at the start of the month.

The pair hope to showcase the work members do behind the scenes and bring more retailers, restaurateurs and pub owners to come and share their ideas.

Mr Cook, the former CEO of the Donkey Sanctuary, said: “It is the hotels, restaurants, pubs and shops we want to encourage people that come to the town to use.

“It would be good to have a couple of them (business owners) to give us a piece of their time.

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“People think it’s a massive time commitment – it’s not that massive.

“We could always do better and we want people’s ideas to everything we can in this changing world.

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“Town centres change all the time. We have a town where people want to come and visit. There is an opportunity for people who have shops in town to provide what these people want.

“When shops do shut something always comes along and takes its place and in many towns that doesn’t happen.

“Around East Devon there are chambers shutting down but we have a number of people who are really committed to it and want it to continue.”

Since the start of the year, the chamber has worked with the district and town councils on a number of issues and areas including town centre viability, residents parking, car parking and the neighbourhood plan.

Mrs Mynard, who runs Alpine Park Cottages, started attending the chamber’s monthly breakfasts as a way to meet new people and hopes to encourage more people to join the chamber and the committee. She will organise the town’s Late Night Shopping event on December 6, and has produced a survey to send to businesses to help add to the evening’s atmosphere.

She said: “If everybody works together then at the end of the day everyone will benefit.

“I was amazed at what they (the chamber) do behind the scenes.

“We have to embrace change. We cannot stand still the world is moving forward. We have so much to shout about in Sidmouth.”

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