Wednesday 27th January 2021. The meeting started at 7.30 pm.
Welcome 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, Francis Knight FK, Catherine Atkins CA, Sally Wood SW, and Simon Carswell.
APOLOGIES: Trevor Skinner, Gabbie Butler and Kay Strain.
Minutes of the meeting held on 25th November 2020: DA checked that everyone had read the minutes from the previous meeting and it was agreed that they are a true record. Signing of the minutes will take place at a later date.
Matters Arising not on Agenda: None
Chairman’s Report: The “Guidelines for event organisation” were circulated to committee members before the meeting. We will hopefully be able to put them to the test later in the year. Thank you to everyone who joined the zoom social on Wed 13th Jan. It was lovely to see people there that aren’t committee members and to share some lock down stories and connect with each other again.
Secretary’s Report: Nothing to report
Current account balance £6493.04
Deposit account balance £8058.72
Membership & Member’s Welfare: Sheila James had informed members of the committee that Trevor Skinner is unwell in hospital. SW informed the committee that Christine in Germany had contacted her to let us know that Jürgen is unwell. The committee send our best wishes to them all.
37 members have paid their membership so far and this includes a family with 2 under 18’s. This brings our total of membership to 39. This compares to 61 paid members last year plus 6 under 18’s.
The Well’s family are not re-joining twinning this year but they haven’t ruled out re-joining in the future. Doreen Nicolls has decided to step down from twinning after many, many years as a member. Susan Mackenzie has also decided to leave twinning, she had recently joined twinning and unfortunately never got to visit Gravenchon as she was due to visit for the first time in 2020, we wish them all well.
A discussion followed about membership payments and the views of the committee were;
Some members may have reduced income or other factors as to why they have not paid this year. There are still some outgoing costs but there is nothing happening for our members at the moment so why pay? It would be better to keep members rather than asking them to pay during these difficult times and then them deciding to leave. The Association values its members support and some members may wish to donate their membership fee to the association and pay again next year. Refunds were discussed. Payments could be carried over.
Cl.A proposed and TW agreed for JK to send out an email to all members to inform them of the decisions made by the committee;
All Members will be asked whether they would like to donate their membership payment this year to the association. Members who have paid can chose to donate or carry it forward to cover next year’s membership. Members who have not yet paid and do not wish to make a donation will still be seen as members and can wait until membership is due again in October 2021. There will be no refunds of membership already paid.
Update on visits 2021: Many members have emailed the twinning association giving their support to the decisions that have been made by Street, Gravenchon and Isny to postpone any trips and organisation until the current situation is clearer.
To ND de Gravenchon: DA has had discussions with Sharon and Dede and it was agreed to hold off deciding any dates for the moment. Discussions will continue. An update on France is that there has been a national curfew but schools are still open.
From Isny: They had February as a cut off time to make travel plans. The lockdown in Germany has been extended to mid-February and schools are closed. People are currently not allowed to travel from Germany for holidays.
BF will ask if Isny will still be looking at making a decision in February as we don’t want them to make the decision that they are happy to travel over but we have not yet contacted our members to see if they can host.
Future Fundraising and Events: It was agreed by all who took part in the zoom social evening that it was a very pleasant evening. It was suggested to advertise it more next time to try to encourage more non committee members to take part.
It was suggested that we hold another international zoom event as the Isny one had gone so well. DA has previously discussed this with Sharon in Gravenchon and it is work in progress to try and arrange this. Isny are keen for another zoom social to take place.
It was suggested that we organise something other than a zoom quiz and any ideas would be gratefully received.
We will look towards another zoom meeting in Feb or early March.
Website & Facebook: Nothing to report for Facebook.
JK stated that due to her request to email the monthly minutes to a family who recently left twinning, but who would like to stay in the loop, being declined last month by the committee it raised the question are we happy for the minutes to be on the Website for the general public to read? She expressed concern that there may be details that could be seen as inappropriate for public knowledge, especially member’s welfare. A discussion followed with the following thoughts;
With the minutes being on the Website anyone can access them, this enables supporters, such as the family JK mentioned, to see what’s happening each month i.e. fundraising events etc. without having to be sent the minutes by email. The minutes show intention for future visits enabling people to see when and where we are thinking of doing twinning exchanges. It is somewhere to look back at the minutes and forms a historical record. PF stated that at the moment he doesn’t include the financial figures and offered to redact any sensitive and personal information in the minutes before putting them on the Website. The minutes show that something is going on each month even through lockdown. If the minutes weren’t shown on the Website then it would be someone’s responsibility to update the Website each month which would be time consuming.
It was questioned whether or not the financial details should be included on the Website minutes. Views on this were;
It is a way of protection for the Association to be open about its finances.
The need for Street Twinning to have a Website was then discussed. Views on this were;
Not everyone has Facebook and if someone were to put Street and the word twinning into google or a similar search engine it would bring up our Website for anyone who is interested in Twinning. It gives transparency of the group and gives contact details and shows the group is still active.
It was agreed by a show of hands to continue with the Website and to continue putting the minutes onto it. To empower PF to edit the minutes when appropriate and put the financial statement of the AGM onto the Website and the monthly bank balances.
DA will propose a draft of a new statement for the front page of the Website.
Publicity: DA sent a press release to the Basis magazine for the February/May addition.
Lottery: TW will continue with the lottery until meetings resume as normal, then Kay Strain will take over. Response this year has been very good and thanks to everyone who has bought numbers. Last year 70 numbers were sold and this year 88, there are only 90 tiles so almost a full house!
It was agreed by the committee at this stage not to increase the prizes. It is a slow year for fundraising and it was agreed that the profit will be seen as fundraising for the association.
It was asked why people have not been informed of their numbers or received any kind of receipt. JK offered as membership secretary to send out individual receipts if TW gave her the information as she has all the members’ emails. She does not have emails for non-members though and MR asked if non-members win how does she pays them as she has no contact details for them. It was suggested that on the lottery form non-members could give the name of their contact within the twinning. TW assured the committee that payments do get to the right people as he knows who the contacts are.
It was agreed that when JK sends out the minutes in the email she will state that if people would like to know their lottery numbers or numbers for their friends and family, to please contact TW directly email@example.com.
It was suggested that in the future an email address would be helpful for anyone buying a lottery number. It was suggested that any changes wait until Kay takes it over.
Congratulations to the winners of the January lottery draw. During the zoom meeting winning numbers were drawn by Kay Winn and read out by TW.
1st Prize no.71 Ben Atkins
2nd Prize no.79 Shirley Gunter
3rd Prize no.17 Kay Winn
Chairman’s Closing Remarks: DA thanked everyone for attending the zoom meeting and special thanks to Simon Carswell who is one of the Street Parish Council contacts to Street Twinning.
Meeting Closed at 8.59pm
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 24th February at 7.30pm
To be held via Zoom.