The visitors from Timbuktu had a meeting with councillors to discuss the present situation in Timbuktu (still unsettled, with French peace keepers on the streets) and the projects that groups in Hay support in Timbuktu. They were also comparing the councils in Hay and Timbuktu, coming to the conclusion that Timbuktu council is more like Powys County Council in responsibility and powers. They are grateful that Hay has continued to support them through a difficult time - other twin towns seem to have lost touch with them, whereas Hay has maintained a constant line of communication.
One of the projects supported by Hay is building toilet blocks at schools, so that families have no excuse to keep their daughters at home, saying there are no facilities for them. Just doing that has improved girls' education in Timbuktu.
There was a suggestion that a week's taking from the Hay public toilets might be donated to this project, which would also create good publicity for Hay. (There have been a few problems with the toilets in Hay - the regular cleaners are great, but the weekend cleaners have been less good recently. Healthmatic are dealing with this, and also with the problem that some of the "validators" in the coin machines broke, despite the equipment being still quite new.)
There was also a suggestion that it might be a good idea for Hay councillors to visit Timbuktu, when the situation there is safer. The Mayor of Timbuktu would like to visit Hay, as well.
On April 1st next year, Hay will be celebrating 40 years of Independence, and ten years of twinning with Timbuktu through the Hay2Timbuktu group.
Some of the signs that were put up for the Timbuktu Trail around town need replacing, and councillors are going to contact Christina Wright, who painted them originally.
Thirteen people turned up for the defibrillator training course, which lasts about two hours, and is apparently very good. There is a defibrillator by the Clock Tower now.
The day after the course, Tim the Gardener collapsed in the car park, and there were people on the scene who knew exactly what to do because they had been to the course the previous evening! They certainly saved Tim's life. This has resulted in more enthusiasm for training, and another course will be arranged soon.
Tim spent ten days in hospital in Cardiff, but he is now back in Hay. I saw him yesterday, and though he says he has to take things slowly, he seems very well, considering. He's even been re-arranging his books at his shelves at Tinto House, bringing new stock down in his wheelbarrow.