Strachur Community Council
Minutes of Special Meeting
Held 19:00 on Thursday 16th May 2019
Strachur New Hall
Members present: Isabel McGladdery, Kirstie Reid, Iain Wilkie (Secretary).
Also in attendance: Ms Marion Boyd (Head Teacher, Strachur Primary School) and 16 members of the public (10 of whom represented local associations, organisations or businesses).
Apologies: Archie Reid, Ceci Alderton, John Fleming, Cllr Alan Reid.
There was one item on the agenda: Proposal for a twinning arrangement with Sournia, France.
1. Secretary’s opening remarks:
Iain opened the meeting with a general welcome.
2. Background information:
Iain provided background information on Sournia using PowerPoint slides and showed a video prepared by pupils of Sournia Primary School (dialogue in English).
3. Discussion (summary):
There was general support for the idea of developing some kind of relationship with Sournia. The dominant preference was to take a gradual approach, rather than aim for a formal twinning arrangement right away. It was suggested that, in the first instance, individual associations or organisations that have similar interests in Strachur and Sournia might start to communicate and, if that were a success, a full twinning arrangement might then emerge. Possible areas of common interest were discussed, including the two primary schools and "active retirement" (as represented by Strachur Hub and Le Club des Aînés de Sournia).
Other points raised included the following:
Strachur P1-P7 pupils receive French lessons. There was scope for the two primary school pupils to correspond, perhaps by means of a closed Facebook group.
More information was needed on associations and organisations in the Sournia area that could have Strachur equivalents. For example, did they have a Historical Society or walking/mountaineering group? Was there a local agricultural college?
Dunoon had hosted events associated with the European People's Festival. Perhaps local people involved in this could provide advice and help.
At the end of his life Charles Rennie Mackintosh lived in Port Vendres, near Perpignan (which is 23 miles from Sournia). Could this Scottish connection be exploited? [Enquiries made after the meeting revealed that CRM is "big news" in Port Vendres. There is a small CRM museum and garden run by an active association that organises exchanges with Glasgow and which includes several Scots living in the Perpignan area.]
There was general agreement that the best way forward would be for representatives of interested groups to form a committee that would report back to the Community Council.
a. There was general support for exploring further the possibility of developing a twinning arrangement with Sournia.
c. Once further information had been distributed, a committee of representatives of interested groups (and other interested individuals) would meet to discuss the way forward.
ACTION: Representatives of Strachur associations, organisations or businesses, and
other interested individuals
5. Iain thanked all present for attending and contributing to the discussion.
Secretary, Strachur Community Council