BRIDGWATER-MARSA TWINNING ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING TUESDAY 22ND MARCH
HELD AT 31, CAMDEN ROAD BRIDGWATER TA6 3HB
Present -Mike Grabner, Steve Gill, Steve Morgan, Barbara and Gordon Taylor, Joseph Abela, Helmi Holder-Wolf, Ken Richards and Pat Morgan.
Apologies-Tricia Brown, Di Grabner, Graham and Kay Granter, Lorna Walker, James Morgan and Bill Monteith (President)
Chairman’s report-SG had very little to report as a quiet year due to ill health and County council commitments.
Secretary’s report- JA took a group to Malta in July which had a few problems with the airline which PM wrote to but were unable to help. JA was very happy that the event had publicised our association .PM showed the gifts that had been brought back by JA from Marsa Cultural Society and Pembroke council who they had visited. Everyone has now seen the Banner promoting the association.PM had had an email from Marsa Mayor Mr Francis Debono who is planning an Art Exhibition at the end of April at the Waterfront in Marsa /Valetta. He had tried to contact a local Artist in Street Michael Cooper to ask permission to display some of his work that Francis had bought on a visit here. PM wrote to the studio and had an immediate positive response and was able to let Francis know (there had been a problem with email) this is to celebrate 5 years of the Twinning. Dominic Spencer and his wife Claudette made a flying visit where we had an informal evening where we all met here and much talking and exchange of information was enjoyed.DS told us that his Mayor still wants to plant a tree here. SG suggested that a suitable tree would be a Tamarix ( a Salt Cedar )as it is a Mediterranean tree that does well in Englad.He has one in his garden and in fact JA had a house in Malta that was named after the tree. It was suggested that a suitable place to plant the tree would be Marsa Way-SG will contact Sedgemoor District Council to find out if possible. BT suggested we will need a plaque to commemorate the occasion as 5 th year of twinning, several ideas were put forward and PM will investigate.
PM reported that the website is having “hits” of about 1,000 a month.
Treasures report-SM thanked Bridgwater Town Council for the Core Grant of £300 as with severe budgetary problems that councils are facing did not expect to receive it. The accounts had been audited and we have a balance of £1,311-67p all had a copy.
Membership secretary report- Tricia Brown unable to attend as she and Colin are celebrating their Silver Wedding tonight -we all sent congratulations to them. TB had sent PM an updated members list and asked to promote Wembdon Ladies Annual Charity Quiz to be held at the Parish centre on Saturday 16th April at 7pm.Money raised for Bridgwater Hospital League of Friends. Unfortunately Pat and Steve will be in Malta and 3 other members are involved in the event
Membership fees-SG proposed no charge again this year 2nd by SM and review next year
SG then asked KR if he would chair meeting for election of Committee members for 2011-2012 which he accepted.
Chairman-SM suggested that perhaps this post became yearly like the President ( the currant Mayor )- SG has been very busy but as he was a founder member and the Association is close to his heart that we need to continue but SG felt that it would encourage different thoughts and ideas. SG agreed that he would continue for a year proposed by SM and 2nd by MG who pointed out if this was to happen there will need to be a codicil to our Constitution which should make it more transparent.
Vice Chair- JA was proposed by SG and 2nd by all and JA agreed.
Secretary-PM was proposed by SG and 2nd by MG all agreed
Treasurer- SM was proposed by MG and 2nd by JA
Membership Secretary- as TB was not present we will leave open.
Any Other Business-We need more positive press coverage and wondered if Emma Britton from BBC Somerset would help us as she is going on holiday to Gozo in Autumn. She asked PM for information. SG feels we need more members. SG and MG feel that we need to try and get documentation to help us get funding from the EU.MG had accessed it all before but we need alot of help to fill it in as we are normal citizens and much of the information needed will need to be filled in by the council. KR suggests we speak to Mayor.SG has been trying to contact Carolyn in Somerset County Council who is lead on Twinning but she has been off sick but he has another contact- he will persue.BT suggested we may get some help from our MEP- SG will contact him. JA has a contact re accessing funding so will send to SG but it will cost £70- MG suggests we do not pay money if available free. MG wonders who gets benefit from money it needs to be the wider population not just the Association and feels we need the Town Clerk Alan Hurford to help us. A general discussion about how to access information to help get any funding SG to find out.
KR says council has funding available for children as SM had mentioned our Scouts had been in contact with Marsa Scouts .1st Bridgwater are thinking about a visit in 2012 so SM suggests we could help in some way.SM will see Scout Leader who has an interest in Twinning -Mark Catania when we visit in April.KR thinks as Wembdon not in Bridgwater Town funding would not come from Town Council. But some councils do have money (I spoke to my son and Sedgemoor Council does have funding available)
JA suggests we need positive publicity.MG suggested as 5 years ago we signed with Malta to see if Mercury can put in piece in Times Past section.PM will contact them.
Further discussion about tree –a plaque will be needed but has to be heavy enough so could not be hurt by vandals- Suggestions were, stone, marble, metal. We also need to know how much we are prepared to pay for this. We also need dates from Francis in Marsa as he wants to plant tree himself PM will email the council.
Meeting concluded with arrangements for next meeting.
Wednesday 27th April at 7.30 pm
2 Walter Barnett House