BRIDGWATER/MARSA TWINNING ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday 8th November 2006 18:00 hours
The Cross Rifles, 1 Bath Road, Bridgwater, TA6 4PH
Present: Dave Perrin, Steve Gill, Marion Maddison, Pat Morgan, Steve Morgan, Tricia Brown, Colin Brown, Joseph Abela, Mike Grabner.
In attendance: Kirrin Rossiter
Apologies: Cllr. Mr Pat Parker (Town Mayor), Cllr. P Smeed, Sue Nolan, Di Grabner, Joan Gill.
Welcome by the Chair: SG thanked all attending and summarised the Association’s activities as a hard but successful year. He also outlined the overall objectives for the forthcoming year.
Summary of the Association’s activities 2005/06: SG and MG reminded the members that we have achieved some significant milestones, especially the reciprocal visit by Bridgwater Town Council to Marsa last month to sign the Maltese copy of the town twinning agreement.
PM gave a detailed account of her, SM’s and IH’s presence and involvement in this event and the hospitality accorded to the visitors. The signing was witnessed by the British High Commissioner to Malta and our Mayor unveiled a commemorative plaque and planted a palm tree. Friendship gifts were exchanged and Cllr P Parker declared the intention of naming one of the roads in the new development in Bridgwater after Marsa. The visitors also met the local Scout troupe and attended social events laid on by their host.
Extensive discussions around the receipt of a letter, posted on the Association’s website, and our response/actions ensued and it was agreed that MG would a) formulate a draft response and circulate to all members for comment, b) forward a copy of sender’s letter to Alan Hurford (Bridgwater Town Council) for their reference and c) ask our webmaster to post the approved reply on our web site. MG
Update from the Vice Chair/Press Secretary: PM expanded on the details of the trip to Marsa for the twinning signing and her useful discussions with Cllr Smeed on how the Association could broaden its contact network (St. John’ Ambulance, Westover Green Community School, web links to Somerset County Council, and its youth division lead Dylon Hughes. SG to make contact). SG
PM’s contact with the local press was fruitful and she has submitted further articles and photos from last month’s trip to Bridgwater Mercury. Contact with the local radio stations have so far had no apparent response.
Update from the Secretary: MG alluded to his responses earlier in the meeting and asked KR of his opinions with regard to the involvement of young people in Association activities. KR thought there may be a potential for him and his friends to participate through sporting activities such as football matches.
Update from the Treasurer: DP declared the Association accounts as £1238.64p credit and £17.37p cash. No financial activities had taken place since the last meeting.
Update from the Membership Secretary: MM stated that she had a response from one lady who sent her apologies. She also heard from someone connected with Vernon Osborne, who is involved in a Friendship link between Bradford upon Avon and St. Andrews in Malta. They will receive a party from Malta next July and hold a football match and? Other events. She proposed that we should link with this group and invite them to a social evening in Bridgwater. All agreed and MM to obtain more detail and provide information on our Association to them. MM
The Bridgwater Scout group expressed their interest in becoming members and membership forms will be sent to them pending amendments to fee changes. MM
Membership Fee Rates: DP asked for the fees to be raised and MM reminded all that we will need adequate financial strength to host visitors from Marsa. Agreement was reached that the membership fees for 2006/07 should remain at their current level and payment of fees are now due. Please forward to Marion Maddison. Thank you.
Election of Committee Members: TB proposed that no changes in the Association committee structure should take place and all agreed. On affirmation from the existing members to continue with their responsibilities, TB proposed the re-election of the current committee in-situ and JA seconded her proposal. No objections or abstentions were noted. Therefore the committee remains unaltered for the forthcoming year.
Initiatives and action plan for the forthcoming year: Discussions took place around planning the social calendar with a strong focus on an evening before Christmas and another Maltese Evening. A date and venue was agreed for the former (16.12.2006 19:30 hours at the Watergate Hotel/Bridgwater) and all members are warmly welcome. SG to arrange. SG
No decision re: a Maltese Evening has been reached but potential venue(s), structure and fundraising were explored. Advertising would be a must and include use of our website. SM stressed the need to focus on traditional Maltese entertainment and sale of tickets for the event. DP has all the necessary resources to organise a bar and MM asked that the people from Bradford upon Avon should be invited. A date in February 2007 may be the most opportune time to hold it. SM proposed the sponsoring of 2 Bridgwater youths on a trip to Malta and for the Association to allocate £1000 to part-fund. It could include a competition or some other way of an Association profile raising format. MG thought this had many possibilities and it would require a thorough and careful ‘work-up’ to ensure its success. JA proposed a linkage through the prayer group and Jenny Parker may be a good point of contact. SM suggested staging a Rock night at the Bridgwater Arts Centre to raise funds and DP felt to be in a sound position to advise by drawing on his professional experience in hiring groups. JA suggested an exchange visit between town choirs as a way of fostering and widening the twinning circle. All these proposals received positive responses and each one needs to be carefully explored.
Any other business: None
Date/time/venue of next meeting:
Wednesday 3rd January 2007 18:30 hour The Cross Rifles 1 Bath Road, Bridgwater
DP confirmed with the Landlord of the Cross Rifles that the Association could continue to hold their meetings at their public house