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No new leader for business forum

PUBLISHED: 10:47 26 January 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 08 July 2010

Traders in Swaffham have literally lost their voice after the town's business and retail forum put itself on hold due to lack of a new leader.

An extraordinary meeting of the Swaffham Business and Retail Forum was held on Thursday night to attempt to find a new chairman for the group, which represents independent traders in the town.

TRADERS in Swaffham have lost their voice after the town's business and retail forum put itself on hold because no one will come forward to lead it.

An extraordinary meeting of the Swaffham Business and Retail Forum was held on Thursday night to try to find a new chairman for the group, which represents independent traders in the town.

But no one could be found and the group has been put into "suspended animation" and an appeal launched for fresh leaders of the group. If another chairman cannot be found by June 1, the group will fold, acting secretary Marion Hancock said.

"Members are very reluctant to say it is the end of the forum," said. "They feel that the traders do need a voice, especially with the current economic climate. We are just not getting enough interest from people who want to be active members.

"They have decided to put the forum into a state of suspended animation and leaving it until June to see if anyone will come forward to become chairman.

"Otherwise it will fold."

Steve Hudson, right, had been the acting chair-man for the last year - a role he initially only took on under the agreement it would be for three months, he said.

But he no longer has a shop in the town and has other commitments, so resigned.

The group has had its successes, with a Christmas festival organised last year, which left a £500 surplus handed out to three charities, Guide Dogs for the Blind, the East Anglian Air Ambulance and the Brain Tumour Trust.

The group is there for businesses to have a voice to the town council. There are still about eight or nine members.

If anyone thinks they can help the forum, contact Marion Hancock on 01760 724470 or email littlebethany@tiscali.co.uk.

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