THE ROLE OF OUR COUNCIL

The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce is governed by its Council.

Council members are elected by the general membership of the Chamber of Commerce. Members are elected for a three year term of office before having to either stand down or seek re-election. The function of the Council is to promote the Chamber and become recognised as the leading business forum within the area of North & Western Lancashire and represent the membership through the work of the Chamber’s various committees and forums.

Members of the Council are not there to oversee the strategic direction and management of the Chamber, but they have a duty to represent the views of our members to local and national government and other key agencies.

Over and above those responsibilities of the Chamber Council, determined by the Articles of Association the following functions have been established; Policy, Representation and Ambassadorial.

Policy

The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce will aim to champion its members as a strong and collective voice of business in the regional, national and international arena. It will act as a catalyst for innovative approaches to influencing and developing regional policy.

Local, regional and national legislative issues are continually emerging. The Council helps monitor upcoming legislative issues that may have an impact on Chamber members and the general business community.

When issues are identified that may have an impact on Chamber members, the Council will oversee an supporting process that determines whether the Chamber will take a public position on an issue. The advocacy process ensures that Chamber members have an opportunity to voice their opinions before the Chamber takes action.

The council will be actively encouraged to participate in the formulation of policy and establish key policy priorities on an annual basis. At the six monthly Council meetings, members will gain an insight to the issues at hand through:

  1. Presentations (internal/external sources)
  2. Pre-briefing and issues papers
  3. Progress, activity and monitoring reports.
  4. Conducting an annual policy survey to establish key priorities policy areas.
  5. Establishing policy focus groups (task and finish)

Council Members will receive regular briefing papers on key topics. Each briefing paper will include research data, anecdotal evidence from members, the official policy position of North & Western Lancashire Chamber’s position, and quotes for media use.

Where Individual expertise exists, Council Members may be nominated to manage a key priority area and to act as the face of North & Western Lancashire Chamber. The CEO and DCE will support them in this role

Representation

The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce representation group will be made up of volunteers who have agreed to represent members’ interests on one or more external committees.

The majority of these external committees relate to the services delivered by the eight local authorities that operate in North and Western Lancashire. The effective delivery of these services such as education, transport, police, fire, economic development, environmental services, leisure, and libraries, as well as their regulatory functions such as planning, are of major importance to the Chamber and its members. Chamber members also have a vital role to play by raising standards and improving the quality of public services. Local authorities are major customers of local businesses in the purchase of goods and services.

The Chamber already works closely with all local authorities in North and Western Lancashire. However these links could be greatly strengthened by increasing Chamber representation on Local Strategic Partnerships and relevant working groups. This would not only increase each Partnership’s accountability to the private sector but also help in raising the standards and performance of each Partnership.

Two Chamber members already represent the private sector on the Preston Local Strategic Partnership. We would propose that this representation is extended to other Partnerships in North and Western Lancashire.

The Chamber is also frequently requested to provide representation on committees and working groups convened by other organisations Lancashire Police Authority and Lancashire Economic Partnership. At present representation on these groups is undertaken by Chamber staff by may include Chamber members where specific levels of expertise is required

Ambassadorial

The Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors are a group of dedicated Council volunteers. These members act as a liaison between the Chamber and businesses that are Chamber members.

Their mission is to welcome, nurture, and recruit new Chamber members, act as goodwill representatives at various Chamber functions, and aid in the support of members.

When the opportunity arises they will also recruit new chamber members. They represent the Chamber at all sponsored functions and work to develop an on-going retention program.

Ambassador Council members are expected to attend membership functions (i.e. Business after hours and ribbon cuttings) and serve as public relations representatives of the Chamber. Each member receives an official Chamber Ambassadors name badge which should be worn to all Chamber functions.

Chamber members who choose to become Ambassadors should plan on two to five hours per month (not all during business hours). It is up to each Ambassador to determine if their schedule allows participation.

Chamber Ambassadors support the work of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber by:

  • Visiting new members to encourage involvement in the many programs offered by the Chamber.
  • Visiting existing members to ensure that the Chamber is meeting their needs.
  • Acting as host to introduce others.
  • Greeting everyone at social functions, making others feel welcome.
  • Participating in ribbon cuttings and grand openings for Chamber member businesses.
  • Representing the Chamber in a professional manner