Packed meeting for Harrogate Chamber

Harrogate Christmas Market.  (121123M5g)
Harrogate Christmas Market. (121123M5g)

Businesswoman Sandra Doherty has been re-elected as President of Harrogate Chamber of Trade.

The owner of Alexa House will serve as president for a second year with Ian Bergel, David Horth, Christine Norton and Steve Phillip serving as vice-presidents.

In her President’s Report, delivered at the recent chamber meeting, Mrs Doherty said she had enjoyed a very busy year.

“I never realised just what it entailed when I took over from Simon Cotton,” she said.

She spoke on traffic and transport, saying the chamber could claim some success with the direct London trains, the 737 Airport Bus Service and the new BA flights to Heathrow. 

“We are optimistic about the plans for electrification of the Harrogate Line, which was clearly initiated by the chamber with excellent technical support given voluntarily by Mark Leving, the former MD of First Hull Trains.”

She did express regret in her report that there had been no success to date relieving traffic congestion on the main radial roads caused by what she described as inefficient traffic lights and ill-timed puffin crossings.

Mrs Doherty praised the chamber team for its success with the Christmas Market project. The chamber stepped in when the professional organiser pulled out and attracted a good number of traders and visitors, but, she said, it cost a lot to set up and promote the event for the first time. The chamber is now planning the next market on November 28 - December 1 and hopes to have a small suplus to spend on bolstering the Christmas lights fund.

Mrs Doherty finished by thanking retiring member and former president Mark Lancaster for all his hard work over his 13-year membership.

“He has done so much behind the scenes that many of you will never know about and worked tirelessly to promote us all,” she said.

“I have had to ring him for advice on occasion and he has always proved to know exactly how to handle my problem.”

In recognition of his work the chamber presented Mr Lancaster with a Certificate of Appreciation.

As well as the four vice-presidents, Neil Goodrum of McCormicks Solicitors was re-elected as Hon Legal Adviser, Michael Best of David Newton & Co as Hon Treasurer whilst Brian Dunsby continues as Chief Executive & Hon Secretary.

Guests at the meeting held at Cedar Court Hotel heard pesentations from Peter Dodd, commercial director of Welcome to Yorkshire and Peter Banks, managing director of Rudding Park.