Minutes of the committee meeting held in The Mullions Hotel Breakfast Room.
Wednesday 27th November 2019. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.
Welcome, introductions and apologies for absence
PRESENT: David Atkins (chairman) DA, Tom Winn (vice chairman) TW, Marina Richards (treasurer) MR, Jacqui Knight (secretary) JK, Peter Fry PF, Barbara Fry BF, Claire Axten Cl.A, Trevor Skinner TS, Francis Knight FK, Catherine Atkins Ca.A, Paul Badman PB, Sally Wood SW, Kay Strain KS
APOLOGIES: Gabbie Butler
Minutes of the meeting held on 25th September: DA checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and signed them as a true record
Matters Arising not on Agenda: No matters arising
Reminder of what I said at the AGM:
To be inclusive
To be respectful
To be loyal
To inject energy
To enjoy myself
Looking for “smarter” working to both ease the burden on committee members and those organising events.
Avoid duplication of efforts and so avoid surprises.
Look for members to own events but not necessarily do everything – recent excellent examples such as Cheese & Wine, Bric-a-Brac, Quiz and Christmas Cracker.
We must remember that we are Street Twinning Association and whilst respecting many choose Isny or Gravenchon others choose both and we must be careful not to create “two camps”.
Went on visit to Isny and made one brief and one longer speech in German – room for improvement – more later
Approach from Isny Town Band to make a visit – not with “normal” twinning visit; end of July or September; over a weekend from Fri to Mon; travel by coach; perform with local band(s) in a concert?; up to 40 but not looking for family hosting; spoken with Stuart Baker (Street Drum & Trumpet Corps) in first instance; they will respond in next few weeks; if positive would encourage involvement of Glastonbury and City of Wells bands and if not positive I will approach those bands.
Committee Discussion: Sept possibly cheaper than July for accommodation. Suggestions of local Youth Hotels, Premier Inn and Travel Lodge were made. Street Members could get involved with helping at the concert and possibly selling tickets.
Helped at Bric-a-Brac and Quiz – more later.
Sent a card of condolence to Avril Berry and family from the Association and represented Association with others at Bill Berry’s funeral.
Post Xmas Dinner – visited the Street Inn, King Alfred and the Pipers. Tentative dates of 15th and 29th January available; menus very similar with Pipers a little more expensive; make a selection from menu to keep things simple; suggest a main and a dessert – pre-order main
Committee Discussion: The Pipers has good service and good food. Street Inn has changed hands recently and no one had any reviews. King Alfred is good but limited space. The committee favoured The Pipers as a venue and the 15th January was a popular date. An email will go out shortly as this event is open to all members. It won’t be a fundraiser it will be a social event.
JK read out a letter received by David Brunt.
Just a few lines to say thank you for the gift which you gave me on my retirement from the position of your chairman. I did not really expect anything after only two years in the position, it was a very kind gesture and extremely generous. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I do not know what I will use the vouchers for but I will probably wait until the spring and visit a large garden centre.
Thank you also for your support and friendship I have experienced over the years. I will probably miss the monthly meetings but I will relieve any withdrawal symptoms by continuing to support and help the association in any way I can. You have only to ask.
Once again, thank you for everything.
Treasurer’s Report: Please see financial report at the end of the minutes.
Current account balance £5,472.61
Deposit account balance £8,048.87
MR stated that 36 members have paid membership so far.
At the moment the signatories for cheque payments are Marina, David Brunt and Claire Axten. DA requested that Marina enquire about the signatories being changed to MR, DA and JK.
Membership & Member’s Welfare:
JK reported that we are expected to have 69 members including 6 children once membership payments have all been received.
A reminder to members that have not yet paid, membership is due by December 23rd £15 per adult, free to children under 18. Payment details are at the bottom of all minutes.
In 2018 we had 79 members. Sadly we have lost some long standing members due to health and various reasons but we have gained some new members. One of our members, Shirley Gunter, is doing a magnificent job at promoting Street Twinning with her U3A French group and has gained us a couple of new members. We are also aware of other members promoting twinning with their friends and family so thank you. JK has received emails from some potential new members and has sent out all the relevant information.
DA Spoke about the need to forge contacts with schools. This had been discussed at a previous meeting but unfortunately due to other commitments JK is now unable to take on the role of leading this. It is an important task with the need to find more members including families. The Committee were asked to think about helping with this.
If any member would like to be involved with this then please come along to January’s committee meeting when it will be discussed again.
There was a discussion about membership cards. They do act as a form of receipt for membership payments. It was agreed that MR will set up a receipt for membership and event payments which JK can then send to members by email or post to acknowledge payments and no longer use membership cards.
Member’s Welfare: Reg Alford was suddenly taken ill just before the Isny trip which meant he sadly couldn’t go. SW said that he is now out of hospital and back home taking it very gently. A Street Twinning card will be sent.
DA reported that William Berry’s funeral was very well attended with quite a few members from the twinning that went.
DA and JK have signed a copy of the new constitution that is now held by the secretary. It was thought that the new venue was very good; URC’s heating fans were very noisy. It was agreed that it was a lovely social event with many members staying at the end for tea, coffee and biscuits. In comparison the URC was £25 and the Community room was £30 to hire. The Mullions Breakfast room was suggested as it would be free. Unfortunately with a large pillar in the center of the room it was thought not ideal. With a vote of hands it was agreed that the community room is preferable for next year’s AGM.
Visit to Isny 2019: Please see the Isny Report at the end of the minutes.
The committee thanked BF, PF and Cl.A for their organisation. It is a great report and at the bottom there are tips for future organisers.
The Aprons and gifts went down very well, thank you to the sewing group who were Barbara Fry, Claire Axten, Hilary Mozley, Gabbie Butler and Julia Welch.
The feedback from the committee members that went was that the trip was brilliant and they were made to feel extremely welcome. The refreshments on the coach on arrival were gladly received. The dinner and entertainment was fantastic. In October it gets dark quickly and the weather was not great and it was felt that the trip was a day short. It is difficult to suit everyone and we have to consider cost to hosts or the association. It was felt that planning well in advance would help members to book time off work and will give us more opportunity to visit at different times of the year.
Visit to Gravenchon 2020:
The numbers for Gravenchon have dropped significantly this year. There are no smaller coaches that will travel to Europe at a cheaper cost. Adults have been quoted £150 and children £75. Based on our current number going and present costs there will be a small shortfall. There will be no extra cost to members, it was agreed by the committee that this shortfall will be absorbed by the association if no one else decides to join the trip. As long as Sharon can find hosts for late comers then there will be no problem with new people deciding to join the trip but there is a deadline of 6th Jan. If there are members or friends who are thinking about Gravenchon please contact JK before Jan 6th.
It was proposed by TS and seconded by FK and agreed by the committee to go ahead with the booking.
Gravenchon would love to receive something similar to the Isny aprons to use on their Christmas market stall next year. It was proposed by Cl.A that a group make aprons and bunting with N.D de Gravenchon and Street on them or something similar.
Would anyone else like to join this sewing group? Please let JK know before the January meeting. BF and Cl.A said they are not tricky to make and they won’t start making them until the New Year.
DA reminded everyone to always hand in receipts for any costs of fabric or expenditure so as members can be reimbursed. MR is happy to receive receipts by email if people are able to scan them.
JK will continue to liaise with Sharon about hosts etc. and members will be kept updated.
Visit from Isny 2020:
BF reported that they had a discussion about future dates when they were over in Isny. She has not heard anything more as yet. Cl.A stated that it would be good to look at dates for 2021 sooner rather than later and it was agreed that forward planning would be a great idea for both Gravenchon and Isny. DA will put it on the Agenda for January and he will look at producing a planner to work out visits
The same committee as before are happy to carry on but BF would like to give other members a chance to help with arrangements and so if any member would like to get more involved please do get in touch.
Bric a brac market stall: Thurs 7th Nov. Thank you to TW for organising this event. We managed to sell most of the items and what’s left is being stored by BF who is happy to hold them until the next stall. Great support from Members and raised £160 which was on a par with other previous bric a brac stalls. It was agreed that we would do separate stalls to the Merriman Park group but would liaise with them so as we aren’t both selling on the same week. Cl.A will look at booking Thurs 9th April 2020 for our next stall which is in the Easter Holidays.
Quiz: Fri 8th Nov. Thank you to TS and Sheila for organising this event. It raised £95 on the door and £55 on the raffle. It was a brilliant evening and well attended but room for more. TW will look at booking the Victoria Club again possibly on 22nd May 2020. 3 bottles of wine at £1.35 each were used from stock as prizes.
Christmas Cracker: Sat 14th Dec. Thank you to FK for organising this event. Emails will go out shortly asking for volunteers and donations of bottles of wine. DA brought back 48 bottles of wine from France and there are 33 in stock. No more empty wine bottles are needed as Re-wrapping worked well at Merriman Park. Bottle wrapping will take place at FK’s house 7pm on Thurs 12th Dec. SW will go to the scrap store and get Christmas wrapping paper. DA will see if we can borrow a gazeebo with weights. MR will forward on the instructions to FK ref the pitch and will provide the insurance policy to display at all events, she also has the risk assessment if needed. The target is to raise £300.
Choir Event: Carried forward
Pizza Evening: Carried forward
Baltonsborough Show: Aug 2020: Carried forward
Website & Facebook: JK is keeping Facebook up to date. PF will look at removing the old constitution from the Website and also upload any visit reports.
DA spoke about a community support working group event which will be held on Sat 29th Feb at Crispin Hall. It will be similar to the Discover your Community event which we had a stall at back in Oct 2018. Local groups such as Diabetes UK, Health Connections, Salvation Army, Lions, Men Shed and We Hear You will be taking part. It will be set up at 9am and then open from 10-2pm. It was felt that it would be good for twinning to be part of such an event and to be seen as part of the community. The Knight family are happy to co-ordinate this and set it up and will need some volunteers to man the stall. DA will seek for an invite to take part and an email will be circulated to members once our invitation is confirmed.
A Policies Document for the Association:
This will explain what we do and the way we do things. Such things would be included such as maintenance of mailing list, risk assessments and polices, twinning gifts, level of reserves that the association has. Child subsidies for trips, dinners and twinning visits and at what age. Fund raising events including organisation and costs. At the moment these kinds of things are reliant on memory rather than stated in a document.
It would be great for sub committees to have info on how to organise things and what has been done in the past including companies used and costings. There is a blue folder which contains this information but it has not been put to use yet, sub committees will be shown this in future. PF said it would be a good thing to display on the Website so as members can have access to it. DA will put something in writing ready for January’s meeting.
Lottery: TW Pointed out that members pay for a December draw but we don’t have a December meeting to pull the lottery winners. It was agreed that the December winning numbers would be pulled at tonight’s meeting.
1st prize: no.58 David Atkins
2nd prize: no.43 kay Winn
3rd prize: no.47 Paul Badman
The numbers were then all put back in the bag.
1st prize: no.53 David Atkins
2nd prize: no.50 Lucy Nurse
3rd prize: no.15 Veronica Brunt
TW will get the lottery information ready to send out to all members reference next year’s lottery. He has received the certificate from Mendip with the registration of the Street Twinning Association Lottery approved from 1st Jan to Dec 2020.
AOB: JK would like to start using the Street Twinning email address instead of her own personal BT account. This would keep everything separate and prevent anything being missed. This was agreed by the committee. For any correspondence from now about twinning please could everyone send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and all correspondence to members will be sent from this email address from now on.
Meeting Closed at 9.45pm
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 22nd January 2020 at 7.30 pm
at The Mullions Hotel breakfast room.