BRIDGWATER/MARSA TWINNING ASSOCIATION
ANUALL GENERAL MEETING
Thursday 18th October 2007 19.30hrs
Penrose School, Albert Street, Bridgwater
(By kind permission of Head Teacher Mrs S Neale)
Present. Marion Maddison, Mike Grabner, Steve Morgan, Joseph Abela, Colin Brown, Dave Perrin, Tricia Brown, Ivana Hodgkinson, Steve Gill, Pat Morgan, Philip Smeed.
Apologies. Joan Gill, Di Grabner, From Wembdon Scouts James Morgan and Lorna Walker, From Penrose school Sue Neale and MP Ian Liddell-Grainger.
SG welcomed all present and presented us with a letter with a reflection on the past years activities which include the links between Penrose school and their friends in Malta becoming stronger, also the link between the 1st Marsa Scout Group and 1st Bridgwater Wembdon Scout Group are also growing with visits made by members of the Association who have been to Malta on holiday. There is hope that St Georges School will twin with a primary in Marsa. Also that public awareness is increasing. His vision of the next year is that he will hope to see a senior school link as Haygrove has shown an interest, to see links made between youth and other organisation. To see also if a structure of business exchanges could be possible. Steve would also like to visit schools, create competitions and give talks to help the children of Bridgwater have knowledge of Marsa. To have our twinning recognised by having our twin name on town signs. We need to keep a high profile by using local press and radio to improve recognition.
Address by association President. Our Mayor Cllr Philip Smeed expressed his pride and pleasure to be president to the association. He praised us for our structure and the way we have done things. He felt that we had generated good publicity for ourselves and had advertised the Maltese night well and queried that if we plan to hold something similar in the future that it may be a good idea to link up with the other twinning associations in the town to produce it and maybe choose a theme such as food from the different countries but to sell tickets in advance and not rely on sales at the door. He was asked about the support that might be available from the Sedgmoor District Council –he explained there was a district twinning between Sedgmoor and an area in Germany, and in the past there used to be annual meetings of the 27 or so groups to exchange ideas etc but they had not happened for some time.
Like many groups that he is involved with they all need some younger blood to keep the momentum going including us.
We then discussed with him as he has been involved with the German Twinning for many years ideas ways of involving young people, there would be money available from the town council £20 per child for an exchange but if it involved home hospitality the association must take responsibility for the town and monitor it closely.
He explained that the German link have a scholarship with a certain amount of money that enables a 2 week work experience (which looks very good on their CV) the young person from Germany is home hosted, the last one worked in a school. A suggestion was? A work experience reporter from Marsa to come across to do articles on the Town. PM and SM will investigate when on holiday. Mr Smeed also warned us that there could be many rules and regulations re sporting exchanges. A very interesting and informative discussion that he was thanked for.
Mr Smeed has spoken to the head of St Johns Ambulance who are in the process of? Planning to build a county HQ in Bridgwater and made him aware of our existence.
Update from Vice Chair and Press Secretary PM.
Over the year there has been much support from the Mercury sometimes with some reminding and there have been pictures and articles that I have provided and will continue to with more information after trip to Malta soon. Local Radio has been very supportive especially Quay West who kindly promoted the Maltese night very well. More people in the town are aware that we exist because of it; we also were lucky to be offered a place at Wembdon Village Day where we promoted the association. Will send account of AGM to Mercury.
Update from Secretary. PM
After discussion it was decided to write to the Mayor of Marsa Mr Francis Debono to see how we (here and in Marsa) can move the Association forward and to find out how the people of Marsa and the council feel about it and their ideas.
Up date from Treasurer. DP
The main expenses this year had been the Maltese Night that had been enjoyed by those that attended but had made a loss. TB felt that it was no fault as much hard work had been carried out .It was discussed that there had been other events on the same night and we should have sold tickets first. The other expense was hospitality when our guests came. DP feels that we need more fund raising events.
We have a balance of £526.73p in the bank and £19.32p cash.
Due to illness the accounts will be presented to the Town Council for the grant soon.
Up date from Membership Secretary TB
Last year 14 signed up members, 2 corporate.
Subscriptions are due now. It was proposed by TB and seconded by SM to remain the same as last year £10 corporate, £5 adult and children under 16 free.
Election of committee members 2007/2008.
Chairman-Steve Gill proposed by TB seconded by SM
Vice Chair-vacant but if necessary PM will stand in.
Secretary/Press Secretary-Pat Morgan proposed by SG seconded by DP
Treasurer- Dave Perrin proposed by MG seconded by SM
Membership Secretary-Tricia Brown proposed by MM seconded by SG
Action Plan for forthcoming year.
1.To get children in schools aware of twinning. Letters went out to 2 classes in St Georges School and scout parents about AGM To visit and explain in the classrooms.
? Scouts to do Patrol events, PM and SM to discuss with Marsa Scout Leaders, also to find out school holidays in Marsa.
2.Promote idea to industry? Jual as has had a large order from Malta.
3.To talk to council? SDC re road signs with Marsa added.
4.Culteral/civic society-letter has been sent to the secretary in Bridgwater with the address in Marsa.It is progressing trying to find common ground Mr Smeed informs us.
5.? Archaeology society may be a possibility.
6.CB suggested that if Scouts/Schools have an activity we should as an Association support them.
7.We need to find out how the council of Marsa intend to promote the Twinning to the people of the town and how they hope to take it forward and develop it. (To be included in the letter)
8.Try and find out how other towns in Malta manage their twinning.
Any other business.
What plans for Christmas celebrations? TB and CB Kindly offered their hospitality again this year at their home and The Mayor offered a post Christmas gathering at the Mayors Parlour dates yet to be arranged.
Next meeting November 15th 20.00hrs
30,Wembdon Hill, Bridgwater, TA6 7PX