Board Meetings

Board meeting 11 March 2010

Minutes of Meeting of Directors of Assynt Foundation held in the Glencanisp office
on Thursday 11th March 2010

Meeting began 7.00pm.
Present: Don Campbell, Patricia Robertson, Alastair MacAskill, Helen Steven, Agnes Dickson, Mandy Haggith.
In Attendance: Mark Lazzeri (DM), Adam Pellant (PO).
1. Chairman's remarks:
Don asked that directors try to respond to emails copying in staff where appropriate, and asked that any demands for staff time be put through Tony as staff line manager.
2. Declarations of Interests:
Helen and Mandy both declared an interest in Lodge pricing policy, as potential hirers of the lodge.
3. Apologies: Tony Usher, Jacqui Yates, Fergus Stewart, Stephen Smith.
4. Minutes of 11th February: Proposed Helen, seconded Alastair. All approved.
5. Matters arising:
5.1 Ledmore Forest: Awaiting further word.
5.2 Living Landscapes Project:
5.3 Sub-groups: Draft list still to be sent round for discussion.
5.4 New Directors: Training for new directors is to be arranged. May be able to arrange this through CWA. Action: Patricia may get a chance to help organise this.
5.5 South Side of Loch Assynt Regeneration Project / Pigs: There has been a good level of interest in a community stock club to own and manage pigs. There could be options for members of a stock club to contribute time/labour in lieu of money. May warrant a separate sub-group.
5.6 Bothy: Still to be addressed. John-Alex may have time to do some repairs.
5.7 Top Left Corner: Information on TLC, CICs and asset locking was circulated. The board accepted TLC's offer to asset lock itself to AF and donate a share of profits to AF, and recorded its thanks to TLC.
6. Redevelopment:
6.1 General works: Some continuing difficulties, with main contractor suggesting goods of different specification/quality from that desired or that stated in Bill of Quantities, and delays in main contractor ordering goods from our preferred suppliers of some important items. Deer larder extension is ordered and on its way. Painters are in and the colours are looking good. First floor of lodge should be ready to carpet in around 10 days. We are around 10 days behind schedule due to main contractor's delay in ordering some goods, but we hope to make this time back.
The board agreed unanimously to pay Mark for the overtime he has worked in Clerk of Works type duties. (This will be 100% funded through the redevelopment grants.)
6.2 Woodchip shed: As part of cost saving measures during early discussions with the main contractor and the design team, the original plan for a 12m x 18m woodchip store and outside handling area was removed from the project and replaced with a provisional sum for a much smaller woodchip store. A quotation for a 12m x 18m woodchip store has recently been received, alongside a request that the board reconsiders the proposal for such a store and processing area. The quotation received was significantly higher than the sum set aside for a smaller woodchip store. The board agreed that we cannot afford a larger woodchip store.
6.3 Woodchip Supply: Alastair has spoken to someone who works for FCS. Mark has spoken to someone about hiring lorry with crane. It may be possible to hire a mobile chipper and chip timber on site at Benmore FCS plantation, putting straight into bags then transporting to woodchip store at Glencanisp.
It is important quotes for woodchip are compared on a like-for-like basis.
7. Community and Arts Lodge Use: Pricing policy for community, social enterprise, and arts use of the lodge could not be discussed because without Mandy and Helen who declared an interest, there would not be a quorum of directors.
Mention was made of the Norman MacCaig centenary this year, and discussion of rooms in the lodge being dedicated to MacCaig and others. There was also discussion of possible themed weeks in the lodge, and the proposed Assynt Arts Forum art competition.
The board were absolutely delighted with the beautiful tiles gifted by David Grant which he had painted himself. Don will send letter of thanks.
8. Estate Plan: Thanks to everyone involved in the review. Agreed to make initial comments on the draft spreadsheet of actions for the next period by email.
9. Affordable Housing: Draft feasibility study has been submitted to AF by Rural Design. The main option detailed is for a group of 4 blocks of terraced housing, built in 2 or more phases. Recommendations within the study include that a CAR license is applied for from SEPA for drainage outfall into the Culag river system, and that a right for AF to maintain the access road must be obtained.
10. Staff Report:
10.1 Forest Plan: SRDP Forest Plan SoI assessment is amber. We may be able to get £15,000 to produce a strategic forest plan, which in turn would enable us to seek SRDP grants for woodland creation.
10.2 Walled Garden: John-Alex has now erected deer-proof fencing around the part of the wall that was lowered. John-Alex may also be able to work on raised bed construction, paid through health and happiness grant, enabling us then to apply for a further installment of the grant.
10.3 Communications/Newsletter: Newsletter has been emailed and is about to be posted. Thanks to Helen for putting something in the Assynt News about the estate plan review meeting. Another public meeting is to be planned.
11. Finance: Action: Adam to circulate updated accounts spreadsheets.
12. AOCB:
12.1 Local Food Day: Local Food Day on Saturday 20th March. Don volunteered to attend this on behalf of AF.
12.2 Pony trekking proposal: A person has been in touch about a possible pony trekking proposal. The board agreed they would hope to be able to support such a venture.
12.3 Access is required where tractor is still located at Glencanisp. Agreed to ask owner to remove by end of March.
Meeting finished 9.30pm.
Next meeting 15th April.