Board Meetings

Board Meeting 9 September 2010

Minutes of Assynt Foundation Board Meeting on 09-09-2010 at Glencanisp Office

Present:-Don Campbell, Stephen Smith, Agnes Dickson, Patricia Robertson, Tony Usher, Helen Steven and Davy Robb(from 15.12)
In Attendance:-Mark Lazzeri and Clive Shepherd(from 15.12)
Apologies:- Alastair MacAskill, Jacqui Yates, Fergus Stuart
Declarations of Interest:-None
Minutes of August Meeting:-Proposed Agnes Dickson, Seconded Helen Steven
Ledmore nothing further to report
Wood Removal nothing further to report
Sola of Various Lochs, etc nothing further to report
Finance- New spread sheets were sent round Directors by Adam. General opinion was that they are good, logical and would possibly save money on accountancy. The very important point was made that Directors should be able to understand them.
Assynt Development Initiative-Clive stated that whatever is most pressing at the moment can be progressed. The Board and Clive agreed that the most pressing items at the present time are Housing and the Arts and Crafts Log Building. Also added to the list was Value- added Venison, not just for AF, but for local crofters, etc. Clive is also to look into the possibility of using local premises already in use, to help there as well and be more cost-effective for AF and the community. It was unanimously agreed that Value-added Venison was to be progressed more quickly and that in the longer term, an abattoir could be looked into, with, in principle, land being made available.
Log Building and Training Course-Davy, Clive and Adam had met to discuss this matter. Davy gave a presentation about this. It was made clear at the outset that this is an AF project and while other people and groups will have input, they will not own the project. It will be a simple building with composting toilet, drains joining into the system from the deer larder (where there is spare capacity), cold water supply, electric light and sockets and a log stove for heating. It will hopefully be on stilts, depending on the rock. Davy passed round proposals of building and possible users. He stated that there is already £82 ½ thousand available in grants of a total needed of approx. £100 thousand and that the rest is being looked for. The Board unanimously agreed, in principle, to the project and Davy was tasked with putting together and sending out tenders and with creating a business plan for the project.
Deer Fence-Mark is still waiting for a date to visit a similar project.
Tubeg Bothy-Leader funding to be applied for by Adam.
Forest Plan-Assynt/Coigach Living Landscape Project is preparing work on areas suitable for tree planting.
Communication- Helen has advertised in Assynt News that there will be a surgery with Directors and Mark to meet any members of the community who wish. It is to be held at the Assynt Centre on the 21st September from 4 to 5pm.
Walled Garden- still waiting for Adam to send round Dorothy’s plans.
Micro-hydro Electricity Generation-the grants are now through for the Feasibility Studies which have started.

There have been a number of problems with items in the Lodge needing repaired and/or replaced. Other work also needs done, e.g., shelves and airer in laundry, grass cutting, bins to collection point and back and so on. Mark, John Alec and Stuart have been doing what they can, but it is not always suitable for them to be around when these things need done. The Board agreed that we need to have a list of local people who can do various works as and when needed. Patricia agreed to speak with Dorothea about drawing up a list to have available.
It is not always clear when items have been damaged making it very difficult to claim back costs of repair from guests. The Board agreed that signed checklists are needed to be able to prove when damage/dirt happened. Patricia will speak to Dorothea about setting this up.

Tony Usher left the meeting at 16.30.

Due to lights and heating being left on when the Boathouse is empty, the Board agreed unanimously that a meter should be installed with a certain amount being provided by the AF each week and the rest by the occupants. Meters are available with card or coin operation. It was felt that coin would probably be best as money is more easily obtainable. Stephen will bring this matter up at next week’s stalking sub-group meeting.
Mark had sent some questions to Directors asking for opinions on behalf of JMT. Individual Directors are to respond directly to Mark, but the Board decided that they wish to keep the links with JMT, but on a more mature and equal basis than previously-a real partnership.

Deer Larder-drains are now connected.
BLF to be notified about wood store. meeting last Tuesday decided to increase Lodge rental prices for next year due in part to the VAT payment meaning that 20% will go directly to HM Customs & Excise and partly to keep in line with other similar properties. For information, the Low Season cost/week will increase from £2500 to £3000 (inc. VAT) and High Season cost/week from £3400 to £5000 (inc. VAT). Other rates are also available from Mark or Directors.
Golden Eagle Project – the board agreed to participate in this project which is aiming to install a video link to show live footage of nesting eagles.
The Open Day (27th Sept) plans are progressing well with Agnes, Helen and Jacqui in control. Agnes asked various Directors for specific help. YOU and Agnes know who you are and what you agreed to do!! Invitations have all been sent out.
The buffet will start at Mid-day with the opening at 1400hrs with speeches and so on.
The Fun Day (02nd Oct) will start at Mid-day. The Suileag Dash may start earlier. Again, those of you who have been asked to do specific things are not do them at your peril! Patricia said she would ask Niall if he is available to be at the Studio on the Saturday afternoon and also if some of the GSS can play something at the Ceilidh.
The HSCHT (Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust) have asked for nominations for their Board. AF Board agreed to nominate Patricia and she agreed to be nominated.
It was agreed unanimously that the AF deer larder is to be used only by AF and partner organisations and only with the prior agreement of the AF Board.
The Board asked Mark to approach the solicitor on several legal matters.
Next Meeting is on Thursday, 14th October, 2010 at 1500hrs or 3.00pm, if you prefer. Directors please let Agnes know the week before whether or not you will be able to attend and note the time.
Meeting closed at 1830.