AGM Minutes September 2017

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the United Reformed Church, Street on Friday 1st September 2017. Das Treffen begann um 7.30 pm.

VORHANDEN: Bernard Squire, Claire Axten, David Brunt, Marina Richards, Tom Winn, Paul Badman, Jacqui Ritter, Dianne Baker, Reg Alford, Sally Holz, Peter & Barbara Fry, Kay Strain
ENTSCHULDIGUNGEN: Katrina Dumontroty, Käfige Butler, Barbara Cowell

1. Bernard welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Checking of the Constitution
Claire proposed that no changes to the Constitution were necessary, this was seconded by Peter Fry.

3. Report of visit from Gravenchon Twinners
Claire read the report to the members present. A copy of the report can be found on the website. Next year’s visit date: Weds 30th May – Sunday 3rd June.

4. Report of visit to Isny Twinners
Peter read the report to the members present. A copy of the report can be found on the website.

5. Nominations for the committee for 2017/18
The following members will be part of the committee for next year: Claire Axten, David Brunt, Bernard Squire, Marina Richards, Paul Badman, Dianne Baker, Käfige Butler, Jacqui Ritter, Tom Winn, Peter Fry, Barbara Fry, Sally wood, Katrina Dumontroty, David Atkins.

6. Treasurers Report
Funds raised in this financial year 1.1.17 - 31.8.17:
Christmas Cracker - £136.20
Shopping Bags - £18.00
T-shirts - £65.50
Lotterie - £439.00
Grant from Clarks – £750.00
Expenditure:
Hire of Meeting Room - £247.50
Gravenchon Visit - £6744.00
Lotterie - £240.00

There is £3000 in the current account and £8000.00 in the reserve account.

7. Fund Raising
Merriman Park – Saturday 2nd September.
Christmas Cracker – Saturday 2nd December 11am – 4pm.
Christmas Party – Friday 8th December at the Meadway Hall, Compton Dundon. The Hall and the DJ have been booked. Ticket prices to be advised after the next meeting.

8. Lotterie
First Prize – 29 Hazel Russell Second Prize – 21 Kay Winn
Tom will send out invitations to join the 2018 Lottery to all members in October.

9. A.O.B.

a. Tree Watering Schedule:
 4th Sept Jacqui & Francis Knight
 11th Sept Tom Winn
 18th Sept Claire Axten
 25th Sept Dianne Baker
 2nd Oct Jacqui & Francis Knight
 9th Oct Tom Winn

b. Membership Fees are now due - £12 adults, no charge for children. Please pay a.s.a.p. Bank details below.

c. Bernard Squire, retiring Chairman – Claire, on behalf of the committee, thanked Bernard for all that he has done as Chairman and presented him with a Michael Cooper picture. Bernard thanked everyone and wished everyone luck for the future.

12. Termin der nächsten Sitzung
Wednesday 4th October at 7.30pm, John Webster Zimmer, Parish Zimmer.

2017 Twinning Reports (Gravenchon & Isny)

Visit from Notre Dame de Gravenchon - 12th April – 16th April 2017

We were pleased to welcome 56 friends from Gravenchon for this year’s visit, including a number of families with children. Since this was the 50th anniversary of twinning with Gravenchon we ensured that it was extra special.

The visitors arrived late on the Wednesday evening, after severe traffic holdups, but were soon welcomed into the houses of friends new and old.

On Thursday we all set off for a day in Longleat using two coaches. Everyone enjoyed the visit because there was so much to see and delight all ages. Highlights were the Safari, the train, das Boot, the house, the maze, the small animals and the lunch! Everyone seemed to enjoy the traditional sausage and mash, which was served promptly, during two sittings. Although it was a long day people had enjoyed themselves and went home with new memories.

Friday was a day with families and also a chance to relax. The evening saw the Dinner and Dance. A large party of volunteers helped to decorate the Meadway Hall at Compton Dundon, so that the gold 50th anniversary was to the fore. Previously a working party had prepared golden stones, decorations and super photo boards. With excellent catering from Kathleen Fewings, and dancing to TJ it was a wonderful evening.

We were delighted to present a Michael Cooper painting to Bernard and Grace to thank them for their leadership and to mark Bernard’s retirement from the position of Chair at the end of this 50th year. Speeches and gifts were exchanged. With our French partners, we gave a clock with views of Street celebrating the anniversary and each family had a small clock engraved on the front.

On Saturday everyone met in Merriman Park to plant a tree in commemoration of the 50th anniversary. Committee members have woked very hard through the summer to keep it watered and it is looking healthy.

The Parish Council provided a Games Afternoon and Barbecue at the Victoria Club. In mixed teams there was healthy competition in skittles, football, rounders and team games. The evening ended with a barbecue and desserts all provided by members of the Parish Council. More speeches of thanks were made before a final disco.

Sunday morning was the time to say goodbye – until next year when we travel to France for the completion of the 50th celebrations. I hope you have all booked your place!

 

Visit to Isny August 25th to 30th 2017

The German twinning group has just returned from another successful visit to Isny. This time we have managed to increase the number and age range of those travelling and 25 of us were met by representatives of our hosts at Basel airport ( after a short period of confusion as we discovered there were exits into both France and Switzerland at the airport). Travelling Bristol to Basel proved a very good option for us as the flights were very good value and efficient and on time both ways. Basel is further from Isny than Munich airport, the more usual destination, but the generosity of our hosts turned this into an opportunity for us to see more of Germany and they made our long travelling days into part of our holiday.

After meeting us at the airport they had planned a route stopping at the magnificent Rhinefalls and then driving along the northern shoreline of Lake Constance. Of course as always they didn't want us to have rumbling stomachs and plied us with pretzel buns and drinks soon after meeting us, and with cakes and coffee later in the day served from the coach, ably assisted by the coach driver.

On arriving in Isny we were welcomed by the mayor at a short reception before dispersing with our host families. This year we took a wall hanging that had been made by members as our present to the town which was very well received.

Isny had chosen this weekend for our visit as it was the occasion when ' Isny Macht Blau', a traditional celebration of the former flax industry. A blue carpet strip runs through the town which was decorated and lit with blue inflatable designs and spotlights at night. There were numerous varied entertainments and stalls beginning with late night fireworks on the Friday. Some of us managed to stay up to see them despite our 4 am start that morning.

Saturday began with a guided visit of Isny and the day continued until midnight as we sampled a wide range of events and music.

Sunday was a welcome calmer day spent just with our host families who had organised a variety of trips for us e.g. boating on Lake Constance, hiking in the mountains to the sound of cowbells, tobogganing etc. Talking to our group later, everyone had spent a day that suited them and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Our fourth day was another very early start as we drove north to the walled medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We were given a guided tour of this old and interesting town before having lunch. After which, we had time to stroll through the town on our own, walk along the wall, try 'snowballs' (a local pastry consisting of plaited sweetened dough), drink coffee and visit the places that most interested us, before returning to the coach.

We should mention another highlight of this trip which was stopping for a toilet break en route and finding wonderful space age toilets with toilet seats that revolved and cleaned themselves after use. (see Claire for an action shot of a revolving seat) Another reason we shouldn't be leaving Europe; we have so much to learn!

After this long day out we were able to have a slower start for our last day which was spent locally. We began by visiting the Prefigerbibliothek, a old library in a small tower of the church. If anyone thought this would not be especially interesting for them, they changed their minds as soon as they had climbed up the narrow twisting stairs to the small turret room where we were shown amazing old and precious books by an excellent guide, including a 16th century atlas containing a map of Somerset. We were then treated to an excellent lunch outside in the sun by a lake before most people joined a visit to a local factory making hunting guns. A few others visited a nearby hat museum which was very interesting and which had many parallels with the development of our shoe industry.

Our final day finished with a dinner altogether with our hosts and with the Mayor and representatives from the other Isny twinning partnerships. Our hosts dressed in their traditional costumes of dirndls and leather trousers. After a very tasty meal we listened to short presentations from the French, Swiss and Polish twinning representatives about their experiences of twinning. This proved to be a very moving and fitting end to the evening as it reminded us in a timely way of the benefits of twinning.

The modern concept of town twinning was conceived after the Second World War in 1947 and was intended to foster friendship and understanding between different cultures and between former foes as an act of peace and reconciliation and to encourage trade and tourism.

It was particularly moving to hear of the first tentative approaches from Isny to France and Poland at a time when the scars of the war were still evident and to hear that they were welcomed with open arms. Once again it reminds us how hard people have fought for peace and unity in Europe since the Second World War and why we need to continue to foster our connections with Europe.

We were up early the following day for the long drive back to Basel. Our hosts had allowed for 3 hours sightseeing in Basel and our party used the time to do a variety of different things. Some visited the Art gallery, others headed down into the old town and to the banks of the Rhine and others just enjoyed coffee and cake and relaxing, but we all agreed that it was an added bonus. Our flight back to Bristol was speedy and we probably arrived quicker than our hosts who had a slow drive back to Isny due to heavy traffic.

This was another excellent exchange visit. It was longer than usual (6 days compared to 4 last time) and we were a bigger group with a much broader age range, the youngest being 9 and the oldest over 80. It was noticeable how helpful the guides and coach drivers were and the effort our hosts made to make us feel comfortable, particularly for the new twinners. We would like to put on record our sincere thanks to our hosts and to the town of Isny for their warm welcome and the generosity they showed toward us and we look forward to their return visit next year.

 

The Constitution

CONSTITUTION OF STREET TWINNING ASSOCIATION

Revised: September 2016

1 NAME

The name of the charitable association is Street Partnerschaftsverein.

2 THE PURPOSES OF THE ASSOCIATION ARE:

  1. To promote and foster friendship and understanding between the people of Street, Somerset, and the surrounding area and those of other European communities with which the Association has formed or may later form links.
  2. To encourage visits by individuals and groups to and from the linked towns and their surrounding areas and the development of personal contacts and by so doing broaden the mutual understanding of the social, cultural, educational, recreational, civic and commercial activities of the linked towns.
  3. To assist fund-raising activities to support the aims of the Association.
  4. To promote or support such other activities as may further the aims of the Association.

3 TRUSTEES

The association shall be managed by a committee of trustees who are appointed at the Annual General Meeting ( AGM ) of the association.

4 CARRYING OUT THE PURPOSES

In order to carry out the charitable purposes, the trustees have the power to:
  1. raise funds, and receive grants and donations
  2. apply funds to carry out the work of the association
  3. receive, hold and disburse money from members and others, on trust, in order to facilitate activities associated with planned visits
  4. co-operate with and support other charities with similar purposes
  5. do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes

5 MEMBERSHIP

The association shall have a membership subject to an annual subscription. Any person who supports the work of the association and is aged 18 or over can apply to the trustees to become a member. Once accepted by the trustees, membership lasts until 2 calendar months after the date of the next AGM, and is renewable. The trustees will keep an up-to-date membership list and a record of subscriptions paid. The trustees may remove a person’s membership if they believe it is in the best interests of the association or for non-payment of a subscription. The member has the right to be heard by the trustees before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend.

6 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING - AGM

  1. The AGM must be held in September every year, with 14 days notice given to all members telling them what is on the agenda. Minutes must be kept of the AGM.
  2. There must be at least 10 members present at the AGM.
  3. Every member has one vote.
  4. The trustees shall present the annual report and accounts.
  5. Any member may stand for election as a trustee.
  6. Members shall elect at least 10 trustees to serve for the next year. They will retire at the next AGM but may stand for re-election.

7 TRUSTEE MEETINGS

  1. Trustees must hold at least 10 meetings each year. At their first meeting after the AGM they will elect a Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Deputy Treasurer and Minutes Secretary. Trustees may act by majority decision.
  2. At least 4 trustees must be present at the meeting to be able to take decisions. Minutes shall be kept for every meeting.
  3. If trustees have a conflict of interest they must declare it and leave the meeting while this matter is being discussed or decided.
  4. During the year, the trustees may appoint up to 2 additional trustees. They will stand down at the next AGM.
  5. The trustees may make reasonable additional rules to help run the association. These rules must not conflict with this constitution or the law.

8 MONEY AND PROPERTY

  1. Money and property must only be used for the association’s purposes.
  2. Trustees must keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request.
  3. Trustees cannot receive any money or property from the association, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses.
  4. Money must be held in the association’s bank account. All cheques must be signed by 2 designated trustees.

9 SUBSCRIPTIONS

All members must pay an annual subscription, to be determined at the AGM. Payment must be received from existing members within 2 calendar months of the date of the AGM. New members must pay within 2 calendar months of the date of their becoming members, subject to a discount of 1/12 (one-twelfth) of the current annual amount for each full calendar month between the date of the last AGM and the date of their becoming members.

10 GENERAL MEETINGS

If the Trustees consider it is necessary to change the constitution, or wind up the association, they must call a General Meeting so that the membership can make the decision. Trustees must also call a General Meeting if they receive a written request from the majority of members. All members must be given 14 days notice and told the reason for the meeting. All decisions require a two thirds majority of those present.

Minutes must be kept.

  1. Winding up - any money or property remaining after payment of debts must be given to a charity with similar purposes to this one.
  2. Changes to the Constitution - can be made at AGMs or General Meetings. No change can be made that would make the organisation no longer a charitable association.
  3. General Meeting - called on written request from a majority of members. d) Trustees may also call a General Meeting to consult the membership

11 ADOPTION OF CONSTITUTION

This constitution was adopted on September 9th 2015 by the people whose signatures appear below. They are the first members of the association and will be the trustees until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date. At the 2017 AGM it was agreed to adopt this 2016 Constitution unchanged.