Minutes of the international relations




PRESENT: Councillors A Davies, R Deere, B Stubbs, M Emment-Lewis, W Ingram

Rob Chick (Town Twinning Association)

Cllr J Bunker (Tourist Association)

CLERK: Alison Leyshon

1. Apologies for absence

None Received.

2. Declarations of Interest

Councillor R Deere Item 3 Non-Pecuniary

Member of Town Twinning

3. To consider item Town Twinning Saint Sébastien Sur Loire Visit 2011 – Mr Rob Chick to attend the meeting to discuss this item with Councillors

An Agenda was tabled to help guide the meeting.

Members were advised that this was a chance for the Town Twinning and the Town Council to discuss their partnership. Mr Chick felt that the Town Council had distanced themselves from the Association in recent years. Members acknowledged that some difficulties had occurred.

Mr Chick advised that in the Charter of the Town Twinning Association, there are responsibilities and obligations which the Town Council agreed to adhere too.

Mr Chick advised that the Constitution of the Association sets out its aims and objectives.

Mr Chick advised Members that there were minutes from 2009 which set out a number of action points that the Town Council and Twinning Association Agreed to act upon.

(Cllr W Ingram arrived)

Members advised that the Town Twinning Association and the Town Council were two separate and distinct bodies. However, there is a partnership in existence between the two bodies. Members indicated that it was the Twinning Association’s responsibility to organise events. Mr Chick felt that the Town Council’s obligations were clearly set out in the Charter.

Members were advised that in a meeting on 7th April 2009 a Working Group was set up to incorporate the Town Twinning Association and the Town Council. However the minutes do not state whose responsibility it was to set up the Working Group. It was suggested by the Members, that the Working Group would be set up by the Town Twinning Association and they would invite Members of Porthcawl Town Council to join this group. However, Mr Chick advised Members that they have an elected committee to progress the business of the Association.

Mr Chick asked what the Working Group would be working on? He advised that the bones of any Group would be the Town Twinning Association Committee which already has an Agenda. Mr Chick questioned why a Working Group was needed when the Mayor, as President, and Cllr Wendy Ingram were the Town Council representatives at the Town Twinning Meetings. Mr Chick suggested that a Task and Finish Group for specific projects would be more appropriate.

It was suggested that the remit of any Working Group could be discussed through the Town Twinning Association Meetings and the Town Council representative on the Association would be sufficient for this purpose.

Members requested that Minutes of the Town Twinning Association would be sent directly to the Town Clerk so that they could be put on Town Council Agendas and this was agreed by Mr Chick. It transpired that minutes were currently distributed to the Council representative and the President.

Mr Chick handed out a Draft Itinerary for the visit of Members from Saint Sébastien Sur Loire (attached for information). Members were advised that the proposed date for the Formal Committee Meeting of Associations was 26th April at 17.00.

Members were advised that it would be appropriate for the Town Council to have representation at the Arrival and Reception on Saturday April 23rd at 18.30 and also Wednesday 27th April at the Soiree’D’adieu at 19.30. Members were asked to consider if they wish to have anything else on the programme?

Members were advised that an agreement has been made with Saint Sébastien Sur Loire that gifts are only exchanged on special anniversaries.

Mr Chick was advised that two years previous the Town Council had funded and organised a lot of the event. Mr Chick advised that this was not the case – the Town Council had indeed arranged and subsidised a social evening which took the place of an event which had already been planned by the Association and that those attending had paid for tickets. Members advised that they were asked to organise this event.

Mr Chick advised that the Town Twinning Association would be looking to perhaps have a financial contribution from the Town Council for the Soiree D’adieu. Members advised that Mr Chick would need to write formally to Full Council requesting a financial contribution towards the event. The Clerk clarified that to be put before Full Council on February 10th, a letter would need to be received on or before Wednesday 2nd February.

Members agree with Mr Chick that the Town Twinning Association would organise the Soiree D’adieu and the Town Council would only consider a financial contribution, subject to the agreement of Full Council. However Mr Chick did advise that if Members of the Town Council did have any ideas they were welcome to tell him and perhaps they could be incorporated into the event.

Mr Chick asked how many invitations would the Town Council expect free of charge for the Soiree? Members advised that the Mayor and Consort are usually invited. However, all other Members of the Town Council and their partners will be expected to provide a payment for their tickets to attend.

Members advised that if Town Twinning wished to use the Town Council Crest on invitations they must seek permission from Council to do so.

Mr Chick advised that French students were coming over to Porthcawl on 28th March – 1st April and would be attending Neath Port Talbot College. There was also a joint fund raising concert organised with Bridgend Town Twinning Association for the 9th April.

Mr Chick suggested that as several things were happening in the month of April, that this month could be advertised as ‘French Month.’ This could be used as a tool to promote Town Twinning. Members agreed to add this to the next Full Council Agenda for discussion. Members also advised that this is something that the Chamber of Trade may wish to be involved with and the Town Twinning should contact them to ask. Mr Chick stated that there would be over 100 visitors from Saint Sébastien Sur Loire during April and this had distinct benefits to the local economy, community engagement and overall raised the profile of Porthcawl.

Mr Chick advised that there several rugby matches organised during the Town Twinning Visit. He asked that Members show their support by attending the event. Mr Chick asked if the Town Council wish to be involved in the rugby match by maybe providing a trophy or providing some help towards this. Members advised that Mr Chick would need to write to the Town Council and ask formally for a contribution.

Members agreed that the ‘Finger Sign Post’ outside the office was not in a very good state. Members advised that it was quite expensive to get it replaced and could be quite a time consuming task. Members advised Mr Chick that they would look into replacing the finger post, however in the mean time they would ask the Handyman if he could produce a temporary sign to the existing post for the visit in April.

Resolved to recommend: Members to consider programme of events and report back to Town Twinning if they wish to have any extra events or wish to suggest amendments to the current itinerary

Resolved to recommend: For the Town Council to make enquiries with regards to replacing the ‘Finger Sign Post’ outside the office at 24 Victoria Avenue

Resolved to recommend: For the Town Council to consider an initiative to recognise April as French month

4. Clerk’s Report

Nothing to report

The meeting concluded at 6.55pm


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