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Kelso Chamber of Trade faces threat of being dissolved

Michael Ballantyne, managing director of M and J Ballantyne Ltd. of Kelso put 40 staff members through a health and safety course on the same day.

Michael Ballantyne, managing director of M and J Ballantyne Ltd. of Kelso put 40 staff members through a health and safety course on the same day.

A lack of members putting themselves forward as potential office-bearers could well see the demise of Kelso Chamber of Trade in the near future.

In a letter to Kelso Community Council, which held its February session on Tuesday night, current chamber chairman Michael Ballantyne outlined the seriousness of the situation.

Mr Ballantyne said the major cause of concern was the lack of members prepared to stand for the positions of chairman, vice-chairman and secretary/treasurer.

“Unfortunately, we have had to tentatively set a date for an extraordinary general meeting on Monday, March 10, at which time, should there be no candidates for the various positions, the chamber of trade will be dissolved,” Mr Ballantyne informed councillors.

And he continued: “I am sure the councillors will be very disappointed with this, as we are.”

Mr Ballantyne added that, should the chamber be wound up, any funds it holds will be dispersed to the Charity Begins at Home organisation.

However, Mr Ballantyne also conveyed the hope that the chamber’s predicament might be publicised to the wider business community via the community council in an effort to help attract candidates willing to fill the positions.

“None of the roles are very onerous,” added Mr Ballantyne.

The chamber boasts over 100 members and provides a forum for companies to raise any concerns they may have.

It also supports various local initiatives, including Christmas street lighting and floral decorations.

Asked for his response to news that the town’s traders organisation faced the threat of being wound up, Provost John Bassett was disappointed.

“The Chamber of Trade is, and has, been of great benefit to the town and it would be a great shame and a real loss if had to be dissolved.”

The Chamber of Trade’s annual general meeting will take place on Monday, March 3 in the Dickson Room at the Cross Keys Hotel.

 

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