You can bank on Viv fighting to Keep Lloyds in town centre

Vivienne Abbott is the new chairman of Ottery Chamber of Commerce

Vivienne Abbott is the new chairman of Ottery Chamber of Commerce - Credit: Archant

The new chairman of Ottery Chamber of Commerce will be fighting to keep at least one bank in the town centre, which she says has much to offer.

Viv Abbott (pictured) returned to the role at the end of September - and is full of enthusiasm for the ‘unique’ town, with some exciting plans in the pipeline. It is the third time she has held the post.

As the owner of Abbotts DIY store in Jesu Street, Viv has 36 years’ experience of trading in Ottery and is also vice president of the British Independent Retail Association.

Creating a Christmas to remember and addressing issues with parking and traffic are top priority for Viv, who has taken over from John Campion.

Kathie Carr has taken on the role of vice chairman.

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Viv revealed there is a special Christmas surprise in store that is being kept under wraps for the time-being.

She said: “John’s done a brilliant job and had so much energy and enthusiasm for it and the patience that goes with it. He will still continue to play a big part in the chamber, as will former vice chair Phil Henderson.

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“Christmas will be quite a big occasion – we will have carol singers and are hoping to bring new things to it.

“We want people to come in and see what Ottery has to offer and have fun.

“We are extremely lucky with the diverse range of cafés and pubs, products and services on offer to the community. It is not always realised.

“Ottery is quite unique. We have got so much to offer and shout about.

“It is so sad that we are losing our banks – I will be looking to see if Lloyds is prepared to stay.

“One would hope that the banking industry would leave us at least one bank in the town. It is not good for the commercial heart of any town to not have any.

“I am sure that if everybody knew that Lloyds was going to be there for at least 10 years, it would be inundated with customers.

“You cannot do everything over the internet – there is a social side in coming into a shop and talking to someone and getting help and advice.”

Viv said she has already met with highways officers with regards to ongoing parking and traffic issues in the town, but added that people in Ottery are actually very lucky with the amount of parking that is available.

She added: “The most important part for any high street is to have vehicles passing through and seeing it so they are encouraged to stop.”

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