Maria Bailey elected as new president of the Bideford and District Chamber of Commerce.

THE Bideford and District Chamber of Commerce has elected a brand new president to take over for the next year.

Maria Bailey will be supported in her new role by two vice presidents, Maurice Pearce and Graham Blight.

Four further chamber members were elected to the executive committee: Tonia Quance, on behalf of The Businesses of Bideford; Trevor Hill, on behalf of M.O.R.E; Judith Gentry; and Jane Maynard.

Ed Meardon will continue his role as treasurer and Kim Pickett has taken up the role of honourary secretary.

Maria, who owns Maria Bailey Planning, said: “Over the last six months the Chamber executive has been focussed on pulling together its plan for the next five years, where it wants to go and what it wants to achieve.

“First, I think it’s important that the Chamber of Commerce truly represents the Bideford Bay area, and does not focus exclusively on the town of Bideford.

“We will be looking at new initiatives as well as carrying on the work done in the past 12 months to increase the number of visitors into the Bideford bay area, and increase footfall of residents and visitors into town on a year round basis.”

Maria said she intended to play to the strengths of her executive team to get quicker results.

“All of the executive either work full time or have a portfolio career, so I realise that not everyone can get involved in everything,” she said.

“By matching the skills of executive members to our priority list means that we can get quicker results.”

The Chamber is actively seeking new members from the Bideford Bay area.

The membership fee for 2014/15 is £25. Membership forms are available from the Treasurer Ed Meardon, through RT Marke & Co on 01237 472332.

Maria added: “If the Chamber is to be truly influential it needs more of its members to be ‘do-ers’, to take on a project however small.”

Maria can be contacted either by phone on 07930 479629 or by email mbaileyplanning@btinternet.com.