BRINGING pride back to Lurgan is one of the aims of the new Chamber of Commerce, following their Annual General Meeting this week.
Despite a low turn out, outgoing Chamber President Charles Gardiner was upbeat, reflecting on a large number of achievements over the past year.
He said intensive lobbying had resulted in a number of great results by the Chamber including a better working relationship with other organisations such as those dealing with the Public Realm works.
Mr Gardiner said there was still a lot to do and that while communication is better, and there is greater cooperation with all the political parties, some relationships were not completely solved yet, particularly with some officials.
“Before we were fighting the system, now the system is there to help us,” said Mr Gardiner.
“No is not an option,” said Mr Gardiner.
The railway crossing and the Millennium Way are still two major problems for the Chamber to work on.
And the issue of vacant shops in the town was also being addressed. Mr Gardiner said they had been working on a project to paint buildings which are laying empty and this will have a dramatic effect on the town’s image.
Mr Gardiner also suggested more people from the night economy in Lurgan get involved with the Chamber as it is hoped Lurgan could get Purple Flag status which would be a major boost and set Lurgan up as a top night spot in the province.
During a debate, chamber member David Calvert said his major problem was parking and traffic restrictions.
He complained about the lack of parking spaces and the fact that there was only one hour allowed for parking in the town centre. “This is not enough. One hour is madness,” he said and urged the Chamber to make it a priority issue.
Local business woman Marie Cafolla called for action on buses in the centre of town and suggested a bus terminal.
Another member called for the return of the Master McGrath festival.
Incoming President Simon Dowey said the Chamber needed more meetings which were of practical help to members such as those advising on credit card machines.
The new Chamber of Commerce is now: Honorary President: Simon Dowey; Honorary Vice President Charles Gardiner; Honorary Treasurer Billy Davis; Steering Committee: Jackie Anthony, Tanya Funston, Julie McCrory, John Joe Forker, Simon Dowey, Charles Gardiner.