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Chairman of St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce John Kneller resigns

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: February 23, 2014

PERSONAL DECISION: Together St Austell chairman John Kneller at its launch. He has stood down as chairman of the town's chamber of commerce after only four months in charge.

Comments (7)

THE chairman of the St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce – a body which voted against Coyte Farm – has stood down after just four months in the job.

John Kneller said he resigned from the position due to "personal reasons" but would remain a member of the organisation.

Mr Kneller, who is also chairman of Together St Austell, a group of business leaders calling for development within the town centre, said he had enjoyed being the chamber's chairman but had decided to stand down for a number of reasons.

Reflecting on his short time in the job, he said when he first took up the position he had hoped to highlight several problems affecting businesses in the town.

"There were a number of things that I thought were important for St Austell and they still are important," Mr Kneller said. "There are a number of things I thought we could do to try to improve the town centre in particular, such as business rates and car parking.

"Both are ongoing issues."

Steve Hurst, a longstanding member of the St Austell Bay Chamber of Commerce, said in recent weeks the body had received seven applications for membership from prominent supporters of the Coyte Farm scheme.

He said the chamber welcomed applications from new businesses.

"We're getting applications from the pro-Coyte Farm group," he said. "If they're genuine applications from businesses in the area that's absolutely fine."

Mr Hurst said when a vote was taken on whether the chamber would support the Coyte Farm application last year, 145 members had voted against the scheme and three had abstained.

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  • JeremyBadger  |  February 26 2014, 12:51PM

    My auntie's mother-in-law Lindsay Manley makes £2.50 an hour by running a scam on this website. She has been out of work for 6 months but last month her income was £2500 tax free just by standing on the street corner for a few hours, mine you she did have to spend some time away with some very strange men, and the occasional lady too!"

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  • JeremyBadger  |  February 26 2014, 12:39PM

    The articles of Association of the Chamber of Commerce state : The Chamber shall not support with its funds any object, or endeavour to impose on or procure to be observed by its members or others, any regulation, restriction or condition which, if an object of the Chamber, would make it a Trade Union. Is their action in opposing the Coyte Farm development not contrary to these articles?

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  • MarjProops  |  February 25 2014, 9:25AM

    Typical... Make up a number, call it a statistic (in this case the result of a vote) and then throw it in the arena to support your own views. Sounds like Mr Hurst has been telling porky pies!.

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  • LindsayManley  |  February 25 2014, 8:46AM


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  • clairebbb  |  February 24 2014, 11:27AM

    Why is it relevant whether a new business joining the Chamber of Commerce is pro or anti Coyte Farm? The Chamber is open to all businesses operating within the locality to join, in order to give a balance view and opinion on various matters that affect the town as a whole and to support and promote the town. There are currently 72 members to the St. Austell Chamber of Commerce (according to Mr . Hurst 7 of these are new in recent weeks) - look on the website, the members are all listed for everyone to see. You can't join without listing your business, so there aren't any hidden members. So how on earth did he calculate that there were 148 members at a meeting to vote for or against Coyte Farm? Where are the meeting minutes that officially logged this vote and the list of the members present? I magine that would make interesting reading.

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  • Polly_Gooth  |  February 24 2014, 9:57AM

    I'm worried about Mr. Hurst. Could it merely be that his memory for facts is totally unreliable? He is no longer a young man. The Chamber has never had anywhere near 145 members to my knowledge unless they all have since let their memberships lapse. Until the Coyte Farm application decision there were still under 50. So the inflated figure is grossly misleading and makes his integrity in question. The other thing is his apparent clairvoyance. How can he possibly know that new member applications are pro-Coyte Farm? Is this something they have to declare on application? In other words, in order to keep the status quo of narrow-mindedness, monopolistic attitudes that have kept St. Austell from progressing over the last 30 years.

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  • JeremyBadger  |  February 23 2014, 10:28PM

    Toys and Prams spring to mind.

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