Minutes of Garstang And New Koforidua Linking Association (GANKLA) AGM 20th April 2010
The Chairperson Bruce Crowther welcomed members to the meeting. He especially welcomed Richard Whyman who took part in the first visit to Ghana in 2001. Bruce asked members to introduce themselves and say what they expected to get out of the link.
Present: Bruce Crowther (Chairperson), Richard Watts (Secretary), Will Nightingale (Treasurer), Anya Cross, Margaret Sherdley, Graham Hulme, Robin Graham, David Marle, Alex Briault, Catriona West, Ruth Bruce, Richard Whyman.
2. Apologies for absences
Tom Bamber, Diana Cornthwaite, Liz Porter, Anne Charnley, Cathryn Wilkinson, Mark Leather, Tony Banks, Susan Newsham, Geoff Markland, Chris Barlow.
3. Matters arising and approval of minutes from last AGM
No matters were raised and the minutes from the last AGM were accepted.
4. Election of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
Bruce announced that the positions of Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer were up for election. No body stood for the positions of Chairperson and Secretary and both Bruce and Richard Watts said they were happy to continue in these capacities. Will Nightingale announced that due to a forthcoming visit to India he would step down as Treasurer. Graham Hulme agreed to take up the post.
5. Membership and payment of subscriptions 2010/11
Bruce read out the membership list and collected some subscriptions. He welcomed Richard Whyman of ‘Market Place News’ in Garstang which gives potentially 20 organisations as members. It was hoped that all subscriptions would be paid by or at this AGM enabling them to be paid into the GANKLA account in one batch. Bruce urged all those individuals or members representing organisations to pay the subscriptions as soon as possible. All cheques should be made payable to ‘GANKLA’ and sent to Bruce at: 1, Beechmount, High Street, Garstang PR3 1EB.
The membership list is given below:
Added in last year
1. St. Francis CE Primary School
2. St Mary and St Andrew's CE Primary School
3. Nick Padwick
Lost in last year
1. Garstang District Partnership
Organisations (£30 annual subscription)
1. Fairtrade Town Steering Group
2. Garstang Oxfam Group - Graham Hulme
3. Garstang Community Primary School - Diana Cornthwaite
4. St.Thomas's CE Primary School - David Marle
5. St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s Primary School - Cathryn Wilkinson
6. Myerscough College - Margaret Sherdley
7. Mustard Seed and Methodist Church - Will Nightingale
8. Garstang High School - Geoff Markland
9. Chamber of Trade – Sue Ritchie
10. Garstang Quaker Meeting – Bill Hewitt
11. Garstang Rural District Guides - Susan Newsham
12. Garstang Castle Scouts - Liz Porter
13. Garstang Running Club – Mike Clark
14. Garstang Travel – Nicole Eaves
15. Coffee Pot – Avis
16. Edge Hill University – Mark Leather (Not paid last year)
17. St. Wilfrid’s CE Primary School, Ribchester – Fiona Kinder
18. St. Francis CE Primary School – Anya Cross
19. St Mary and St Andrew's CE Primary School – Anne Charnley
20. Market Place News – Richard Whyman
21. FlydeCap – Barrie and Brenda Parker
Individuals (£10 annual subscription)
1. Bruce Crowther (Chair)
2. Richard Watts (Secretary)
3. Graham Hulme (Treasurer)
4. Chris Barlow
5. Alex Briault
6. Ian Pye
7. Mark Leather
8. Nick Padwick
1. Ben Crowther
2. Gwyneth Bough
3. Nuruddin Boateng
4. Tom Bamber
5. Grant Newlands
6. Robin Graham
7. Peter Lane
8. Gillian Lamb
9. Richard Mounfield
10. Kaley Green
11. James Settle
6. Treasurer's report
Will presented the accounts (see attachment). The available fund is £396.59. Members asked how much does it cost to bring a Ghanaian member to the UK. Bruce replied that the flight is about £600, but that the total cost is a lot higher due to other costs, such as a visa. The available funds will increase with subscriptions, but it was agreed that there is a need to further fundraise.
7. The globe, flags and ceremonial book
Bruce informed members that the wooden ‘Unity Globe’ and ceremonial Partnership Agreement were housed in the Discovery Centre, but this has now moved to the new Tourist Information Centre. There is no longer a full display explaining what these items are for. Bruce put forward the idea that the items could be circulated around GANKLA members so especially the children in the schools could appreciate them and use them in their learning. Members agreed that this is a good idea. Anya pointed out that the ceremonial Partnership Agreement is an art form in itself. Catriona pointed out that perhaps libraries could use them as well. Will added that businesses could share them, such as ‘The Mustard Seed’ and ‘Market Place News’.
There was concern expressed that the ceremonial Partnership Agreement could become damaged. Will suggested copying it and Anya added that she would get a colour photocopy to pass around with the original. The legal document for the Partnership Agreement is available to view and/or download from our website but Bruce would keep the original.
A provisional circulation list was formulated for the next 12 months. Those organisations wanting the items, but not on the list would have priority the following year. It was agreed that the recipient would be responsible for the items and that each organisation must liaise with the others over the transfer of the items.
April/May: St Francis School
June: St. Thomas’ School
July: Community Primary School
August: The Mustard Seed
September: St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s Primary School
October: The High School
November: St Mary’s and St Andrew's CE Primary School
December: Market Place News
January: Scouts and Guides
February: Myerscough College
March: St. Wilfrid’s School
Bruce mentioned that the GANKLA flags that are flown outside the Council Offices had suffered some wear but had been repaired at a cost of £10. They will undergo further repair when taken down for next winter. Bruce also invited those members who had not yet signed the ceremonial Partnership Agreement to do so either at the meeting or when it was circulated.
8. Review of on going projects
Agreed wording as written in the Partnership Agreement and/or agreed at the 2009 AGM appears in italics
Communication and satellite dish
We propose that by the end of the 2008/09 school year all 4 schools in Garstang will hold at least 1 video conference with schools in New Koforidua every academic year.
Bruce reported that this has largely been carried out despite the satellite dish in New Koforidua no longer being functional. He went on the say that maintenance of equipment to secure a quality link could be about £500 per year and that he would talk to Tom Allen of Trading Visions regarding this. St. Thomas,’ St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s Primary schools have raised £226.38 for this maintenance so far.
David Marle and Anya Cross will contact schools in order to seek fundraising support. Anya will also approach some churches, but Bruce pointed out that those churches need to join GANKLA first, and ideally could link up with their respective schools to become one member. For example, St. Thomas’ school and church (David Marle to look into this). Will agreed to approach Churches Together to see if they would be interested in membership. Richard Whyman pointed out that school fundraising could correspond with schools having the globe and ceremonial book.
We propose to hold an exchange (involving at least 1 person travelling each way) every two years.
Bruce pointed out that the last time a Ghanaian visited was in 2008, and that it looked unlikely that such a visit would happen this year.
Last year Anne explored the Global Schools Partnership Grant which can fund £6,000 towards an exchange visit (two staff and two children). Bruce pointed out the importance for all schools to register under the scheme. Anya and David will ask schools to do this and will let Bruce know what else is involved. Anya believed that a school exchange could be some way down the line.
Ian Pye had been keen to visit Ghana in conjunction with the National Farmers Union, possibly as an exchange between himself as a dairy farmer and a cocoa farmer in New Koforidua. However, Bruce has not heard recently from Ian regarding this idea.
It was agreed that a visit would be made next year and the following members were interested in taking part: Bruce, Robin, Catriona and Richard Watts. Anyone else interested should let Bruce know and start to think about fundraising for the visit. One Ghanaian would visit Garstang funded by GANKLA and Bruce will approach NKGALA requesting that they select a member for this visit. Bruce reminded members that we agreed to pay £50 extra towards carbon offsetting each flight, with the money going towards the cost of solar panels for the Community House.
Joint campaigning activities
We propose to hold a least one joint campaigning event each year.
Bruce informed members that this has been achieved with the Banana eating event in 2009. This year, under the Millennium goals campaign, the 17th – 19th September could be used for ‘Stand up take Action’ events. It was proposed that schools could carry out events on Friday 17th September, while on the 18th September everyone could take part in a Garstang event held in Cherastanc Square at 1.00pm. The event would take the form of making noise and perhaps dressing up (Catriona’s idea). David and Catriona offered to assist in this event. David suggested that Chris Barlow may lead it due to his association with a local band. Bruce would investigate the need for obtaining permission from Booths and the Town Council.
Traffic deaths in New Koforidua
In the past the main road splitting New Kofordua in two halves claimed lives, but due to the installation of traffic calming measures, the road is a lot safer and this project is deemed closed.
Complete by June 2008.
The chairperson was pleased to announce that the community house is open for visits and has been used. Members were very happy to hear this news and agreed a celebration is called for. Will offered to organise the celebration with Catriona assisting. Bruce pointed out that the celebration should not incur any costs to GANKLA but should be self funded by those taking part.
Some additions are needed to the house, and it is hoped that money raised from visitors would contribute to these improvements. The additions include the following:
1. Water bore hole and means to extract water (I would suggest we look at a roundabout pump or solar power pump but we must not use a diesel oil pump)
3. Furniture – beds, tables chairs etc (consider getting local artisans to make as much as possible using local wood – this will not only save costs but will be much better for the visitors)
4. Solar Panels to run lighting, fridge and anything else in the house.
5. Water collection facilities (to collect rain water to use for flushing toilet and washing etc)
6. The ceiling on the veranda needs to be completed.
7. Some kitchen equipment, such as the stove and some cooking utensils.
NKGALA will provide a list of what is needed for the house and how much it will cost.
Fair trading relationship between the two communities
We propose that by April 2009 a ‘fairly traded’ relationship will be in place for cotton bags to be sold in Garstang.
The cotton bags project is largely closed with a number still to be sold. Anyone interested in buying any bags should contact Sue Ritchie.
Small scale industries in New Koforidua
To establish small scale industries in New Koforidua for the extraction of orange/pineapple juice and/or the processing of cassava and black pepper.
NKGALA to explore this further. GANKLA will offer any advice and technological support that is available and appropriate until possible funding is available.
Annual survey in New Koforidua and Garstang
First survey in Garstang and New Koforidua in the summer of 2008 and repeat every two years following the exchange visit. Parents from the school’s pupils can be surveyed as well as the general public and we propose the first school survey is done in Garstang in July 2008.
This was carried out by the Fairtrade Steering Group in 2008 with a sample size of 200 people and the results are on the website. Ruth and Alex will see if the Fairtrade Group can carry out the same survey this year. Bruce will approach New Koforidua and ask if a survey is planned. Garstang schools should let Bruce know if they could become involved in the survey.
Projects between the schools in both communities
Working with Trading Visions to conduct lessons about "how to make chocolate drink from cocoa and the history of chocolate" that can be delivered to children in both communities via our video conferencing system.
This has been discussed with Trading Visions. Other possible resources/interested parties are the Eden Project and Ministry of Chocolate www.ministryofchocolate.com
Chris is considering conducting research into the impact of the link on the lives and attitudes of school children in both communities. This would be very useful research with regard to evaluating our link and specifically in relation to the Gold Star Community Awards when they are set up in England.
Chris has contacted the 3 primary schools about the possibility of sending reading books for use by the schools in New Koforidua and is awaiting responses. He still aims to do this before the Summer. The cost of sending a box of books is about £100 according to the Post Office. Chris has mentioned that schools might want to make a donation to the postage. We need to ensure that any books sent are appropriate to the needs of the schools in Ghana and this should be discussed with them before any books are sent.
To develop and implement landscape projects for New Koforidua.
Planned to have the project completed by the end of 2010. New Koforidua will set up a children’s ‘Womble Club’ for under 16 year olds to help collect litter and discourage children and adults in New Koforidua from persistent littering. They have recently formed a young persons club (for ages 16 - 30) and will reform a women’s club that will also work to improve the cleanliness and appearance of the village. It is hoped that some or all of these groups may be replicated in Garstang.
The Girl Guides ran a successful litter picking project and are thinking of something to send to the children of New Koforidua for their ‘Womble Club’. They will put something together along with some photos of their members getting involved.
Richard briefed the members about the poor state of drainage in New Koforidua and the severity of soil erosion. A plan for drainage channels in New Koforidua has been sent to NKGALA. Richard added that the implementation of the project on a small scale, such as diverting water around one or two houses, could begin once funds were available. It is expected that costs for this project will remain low and hopefully can be funded by income generated from the Community House. An estimate of the costs involved has been requested from NKGALA. £433.60 has been raised by St Francis’ school earmarked for this landscape project and Richard will keep Anya informed about project developments so that pupils can be informed how the money they raised is being spent.
Joint community activities between the two communities e.g. football matches
New Koforidua FC pledged to use Fairtrade footballs. Mike’s Sports World in Garstang will donate five Fairtrade footballs. Edge Hill University plan to send Physiotherapy students to New Koforidua to work with the football club in June/July 2009.
Mark’s intention was to send 2 students from the Sports Therapy programme and offer this by September 2009 to final year students but this was not carried out. Mike’s Sports World is still not selling Fairtrade footballs and it was suggested that we keep requesting that he does so and then take up his original offer of donating 5 balls when he does.
On-line university campus at New Koforidua.
Bruce reported that this rather ambitious idea is being suspended for two years due to Nuruddin, whose idea it largely was, moving to New Zealand.
Fair Trade Triangle
Between Garstang, New Koforidua and Media, the first Fair Trade Town in the USA. This is still going well with many joint activities including banana eating and the Big Brunch in 2009 and video linking for Garstang’s 10th anniversary event on Saturday 24th April 2010.
New Koforidua becoming Africa’s first Fair Trade Town
New Koforidua is ready to declare as the first Fair Trade Town in Africa but will delay the declaration until the 1,000th Fair Trade Town celebration which should occur in late 2010 or early 2011. Members greeted this news well and thought it an excellent event.
Other points agreed with NKGALA on 13/2/10
1. NKGALA will put up short notes on the website after all meetings when Bruce has given Samuel the instructions on how to do so.
2. NKGALA will ask Rita about the bags that she has bought and ask her when they can be sent?
3. To avoid large transfer costs (of at least £25 that GANKLA pays) GANKLA will keep the £433 earmarked for the Landscape Project and the £540 from the sale of bags to Rita and send it when it is needed as one large sum. There may be other money to send with it at a later date.
9. Any Other Business
Bruce is again running a World Cup sweepstake to raise funds for GANKLA. Teams cost £2 each and the winner will be given £20 prize money making £44 for GANKLA. Those selecting England or Ghana will be given a free bar of Divine Milk chocolate. Anyone wanting a team please see Bruce.
Bruce thanked members for attending and reminded them of Garstang’s 10th anniversary celebrations as the world’s first Fairtrade Town: Saturday 24th April, 2010.
Richard thanked Bruce for all his work in the last year, and finally thanked the Crofters Hotel for hosting the meeting.