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Garstang Fairtrade Town

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Minutes of Garstang And New Koforidua Linking Association (GANKLA)  AGM 29th March 2007

Present: Bruce Crowther (Chair), Steve Lane (Secretary), Tom Bamber (Treasurer), Gillian Lamb (Councillor), Graham Hulme (GOG), Diana Cornthwaite (GCPS), David Marle (St.Thomas's School), John Allen (Mustard Seed & Methodist Church), Susan Newsham (Guides), Chris Barlow, Robin Graham, Alex Briault (FTSG), Grant Newlands, Bill Hewitt (Calder Bridge Meeting), Lyn Nickson(Chamber of Trade), Liz Porter (Scouts), Tony Coppin (Courier).

Apologies: Elaine Gisbourne (FTSG), Angela Kershaw (GDP), Eric & JudithTaylor (Calder Bridge Meeting), Geoff Markland (High School), Jean Mathew (Chamber of Trade), Richard Watts (Myerscough), Shoayb (Jamea Mosque), Gwyneth & Will Bough, Peter Lane, Andy & Cassie Greenacre, John Akin.

1. Election of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer
The following were elected:
Bruce Crowther – Chair
Steve Lane – Secretary
Grant Newlands – Treasurer

2. Payment of subscriptions
Bruce proposed that Honouree free membership should be automatically offered to any person who had visited New Koforidua. This was accepted. At present membership consists of 13 organisations, 11 individuals and 3 Honouree members (list of membership is attached with these Minutes). Subscriptions were collected. Could all unpaid subscriptions please be sent to Bruce by Tuesday 10th April. Cheques to be made payable to GANKLA.

3. Treasurers Report
Present balance stands at £88.88. The 2006/07 accounts are attached with these Minutes together with an estimated prediction for the next few months.

4. The Partnership Agreement
This was discussed in depth and amended accordingly. The resultant document is attached with the changes highlighted. We are still awaiting feedback from New Koforidua before the final wording can be approved. We hope to have the Agreement jointly signed during the weekend of June 2nd/3rd when Robin will be in New Koforidua. This date still needs to be confirmed with the NKGALA committee. It is hoped that the IT facilities in New Koforidua will be operational by then so the event can be held via video conferencing. We will have 2 books made containing the Values and Principles only, also for signing. These are for a ceremonial purpose and will take at least 6 – 8 weeks to prepare. It is unlikely that they will be ready in time for Robin to take to New Koforidua so they may need to be signed at another event later in the year. Dorothy Bicknell has very kindly offered her calligraphy services free of charge but it is estimated the binding of the books will cost £80. The group felt that we could not justify the use of GANKLA funds for this purpose and suggested attempting to get sponsorship to cover costs. Could all GANKLA members seek sponsorship, especially through any organisations represented and let Bruce know of any offers as soon as they are made. It was agreed that any shortfall would be made up by individual membership donations.

5. Strategic Plan
Graham and Alex offered to put together a 3-year GANKLA strategic plan which following consultation with New Koforidua will act as the strategic plan referred to in the Partnership Agreement that we agreed would be ready by September 2007. Graham and Alex will consult with Bruce and the project sub committees to establish future plans for each project.

6. Projects
The individual projects listed in the Partnership Agreement were briefly discussed and sub committees formed where necessary. All GANKLA members will be informed through regular updates of any progress made for each project. Following the distribution of these Minutes Bruce will contact the sub committees to initiate work and arrange meetings where appropriate.

a. IT Link– Comic Relief have set up an IT system in New Koforidua which will hopefully be operational in May. Since this system is radio controlled the phone landline to the school is still required. Robin will take the £90 required for this purpose when he visits New Koforidua and it is hoped that Ghana Telecom will fix the landline in June. We will again make an additional donation of £50 from GANKLA to NKGALA to cover the maintenance cost of any communication system used over the coming year.

b. Community House  - NKGALA are expected to send through preliminary designs for the Community House. A lively discussion took place on this project. We would like to propose to New Koforidua that the house built is an environmentally friendly one; a straw bale house if at all possible. We will explore the possibility of this being a joint project to involve Myerscough College and Kwadaso College in Ghana. A sub committee was formed and it is hoped that they will be able to meet soon to continue work on this project.
Sub Committee members: Bruce Crowther, Richard Watts, Alex Briault, Chris Barlow, Tom Bamber & Grant Newlands.

c. Footbridge – Nana Sarpong is working with the Regional Director for highways in Ghana to take this forward. It is likely that our role in this project will be primarily fundraising although the schools have already started to use this project for educational purposes.
Sub Committee members: Bill Hewitt, Diana Cornthwaite and Grant Newlands.

d. Trading Link – New Koforidua have asked that a trading link be set up so that products from New Koforidua can be sold in Garstang. Has yet noone has responded to this offer. Bruce will await any responses and take things forward as appropriate.

e. Future visits / exchanges -
Sub Committee members: Bruce Crowther, Robin Graham, Gillian Lamb, Bill Hewitt, Tom Bamber, Grant Newlands & Liz Porter.

f. 1st Annual Survey – The Garstang Oxfam Group will take this forward keeping Bruce, Lyn and Robin in the loop.

g. School Projects – Chris is working with all 3 Primary schools in Garstang who are now using the New Koforidua teaching Pack produced by him. In September 2007 Chris will coordinate a meeting between all schools to share teaching ideas, approaches and resources and to consider ways in which learning opportunities can be developed. Robin is working on a project with St.Thomas’s School for the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s independence. An email group was formed for these purposes consisting of the following people who all wish to be kept informed: Chris Barlow, Robin Graham, Diana Cornthwaite, David Marle, Bill Hewitt, Liz Porter & Bruce Crowther.

h. Landscape Projects – This was an idea involving Myerscough College who were not represented at this meeting. We will await any further input from them.

i. Joint Activities – The only joint activity so far discussed has been to hold football matches during a future visit/exchange. This would involve input from Garstang FC who have been approached and we await their response.

j. Small Scale Industries in New Koforidua – We await further information from New Koforidua.

7. A.O.B.
• Link with Media, Pennsylvania, USA – Garstang Town Council has recently agreed to form a Sister City relationship with Media, the first Fair Trade Town in the USA. The people in Media are very keen to form a relationship with New Koforidua also to make a triangular relationship between the two communities. New Koforidua will be informed of this.

• Department for International Development (DfID) White Paper "Making Governance Work for the Poor" – As a result of some of the lobbying work done by BUILD (Building Understanding through International Links for Development) the white paper has clearly stated that:
 ".....the UK will double our investment in development education as we seek to give every child in the UK the chance to learn about this issues that shape our world
set up a scheme to help other groups - such as faith groups, local government, business and charitable organisations - build links with developing countries
expand opportunities for young people and Diaspora communities to volunteer in developing countries...."
BUILD have been having regular discussions with DFID and are now in the consultation period. See www.dfid.gov.uk/consultations/linking-scheme.asp.
Responses to the consultation need to be in by June 11th.

Could those involved in the Garstang/New Koforidua link have a look at this consultation document and feedback any views on the questions raised to Bruce who will pass onto BUILD.

DFID are keen that they receive some kind of a coordinated response, which BUILD want to give. This is a real opportunity to bring ideas together and to promote community based partnerships for mutual benefit, both in raising awareness of development issues and also in addressing some of the Millennium Development Goals.

Please share your responses with BUILD who will attempt to bring your responses together into a final document.
BUILD sees the document as containing a general response but also sectoral responses from e.g. youth, ethnic minority, health, local authority, faith, educational, community and other organisations

There will be funding available for community-based partnerships which are genuinely mutually beneficial and likely to be sustainable in the longer term. It will be immensely helpful to have the thoughts and ideas from people involved in both sides of our link.

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