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Board Meetings

Board Meeting October 2009

Minutes of meeting of Directors of Assynt Foundation held in the office at Glencanisp on Thursday 8th October 2009

Present: Don Campbell (Chair), Patricia Robertson, Alastair MacAskill, Davy Robb, Fergus Stewart.

In Attendance: Mark Lazzeri (DM), Adam Pellant (PO).

1. Apologies: Tony Usher, Stephen Smith

2. Minute of 30th July 09 Proposed Patricia, seconded Davy.

3. Matters arising
Elphin School: Investigations of possible uses that would cover costs of a lease from Highland Council are ongoing.
Walled Garden: Davy has had some info from a walled garden project in Knoydart regarding possible funding streams.
Local person disadvantaged in the employment market is being employed a few hours a week in garden.
Ledmore Forest: Local people’s dissatisfaction was noted regarding the use of only the edited electoral role for the ballot. Mark put a notice in Assynt News regarding the ballot.

4. Redevelopment Project
4.1 Works have begun and are going well.
4.2 Agreed that clerk of works may not be required.
4.3 Agreed purchase of laptop for marketing can go ahead.
4.4 The board recorded their thanks to Dorothea, Mark, Russell, Tony, John-Alex and others for their invaluable work emptying the lodge.
4.5 Consideration will need to be made soon as to what sort of building is created for wood chip storage, and where exactly to position it.
4.6 Tractor/digger will need to be moved from near Lodge. Board agreed to speak to owner regarding their removal.
5. Development Manager’s Report
5.1 Pigs: Some pigs were put back on Tubeg. Board agreed to discuss their removal with the owner, and if wanting to return them in future, to come back with a proposal.
5.2 Stalking: Cull is going well. Tenant hasn’t made progress hoped for. SNH & DCS informed of and happy with progress and asked to approve proposals.
5.3 Living Landscapes Meeting: Meeting held today with representatives of Scottish Wildlife Trust, John Muir Trust, CCWT and AF, and land agent representing Eisg Brachaidh and parts of the Vesteys’ Estates. The suggestion is to set up a group open to all landowners from Coigach to Kylesku, in order to co-ordinate projects over the whole area, covering a large enough area to ease fundraising for such joint projects. An initial objective is to create a communal tree nursery, towards the aim of an integrated forest network. Other local landowners will be invited to participate in this group.
6. Project Officer’s Report
6.1 Social Enterprise Course: Course was attended and useful information gained.
7. Finance
Management grant from John Muir Trust has now been received along with recent Woodland Grant Scheme payments.
8. AGM
Consideration was made of holding AGM on same date as Rural Design’s housing meeting, but this would not be possible as housing meeting is planned to be earlier than AGM will be.
AGM will be held in village hall. Agreed to aim for late November.

9. Newsletter
Agreed to ask Sharon regarding further availability to put newsletter together.

10. AOCB
10.1 Alastair gave a summary of the recent Community Land Seminar on Harris, attended by Alastair and Adam. The main proposals resulting from the conference were:
- that the Scottish government is urged to make community acquisition of publicly-owned land easier, and that in such cases land should be given to the community group at little or no cost.
- that the Scottish government is urged to re-create a Scottish land fund using public money.
- and that the Scottish government is urged to retain the Community Land Unit of HIE, preferably with administrative control of such a new Scottish land fund.
Consideration was also made of setting up a new group to represent community land ownership groups.
10.2 Fergus will email log building pictures to board, in advance of a planned design meeting to firm up multi-purpose log building plans.

Meeting closed 9.50pm.
Next meeting Thursday 12th November.