Board Meetings

Board Meeting November 2010

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

Meeting began 3.00pm.
Present: Don Campbell, Agnes Dickson, Patricia Robertson, Helen Steven, Fergus Stewart.
In Attendance: Mark Lazzeri, Adam Pellant, Russell Robertson, Clive Ward (items 1 to 4.4), Tim Wright (item 5 onwards).
Apologies: Alastair MacAskill, Davy Robb, Stephen Smith, Jacqueline Yates.
1. Declaration of Interests: None.
2. Chair’s remarks: Tony Usher’s recent resignation from the board was noted, and thanks were recorded for the work and expertise he has brought to the Foundation over recent years.
3. Minutes of 14th October: Proposed Patricia, seconded Agnes.
4. Matters arising:
4.1 Surgery: Mark held surgery at Assynt Centre. Poor attendance again, but Mark attended Assynt Development Initiative management committee meeting on same evening, with useful feedback.
4.2 Communications: Suggested that we expand on some minuted items in the Assynt News to give further background information. Discussion of board meeting venue. Agreed to continue holding meetings in the Glencanisp office.
4.3 Timber Harvesting: The board warmly received report from Clive Ward on progress to date. Reported that Sorbus Rural Services have begun work harvesting as per agreement. Reported that skyline has been put up, and clearance of windblown timber from one of the agreed areas has nearly been completed. Firewood has been cut, and some woodchip has been produced and fed directly into hopper.
4.4 Site Rental Proposal: A preferred area has been identified opposite Lyne. A map was shown to the board and proposed details discussed, including planting of willow for short-rotation coppicing. The board agreed for Clive to progress investigations for this site with assistance from Mark as appropriate.
4.5 Hydro-energy Feasibility Study: Site visits were made last week, accompanied by Mark, and Melanie MacRae and Jon Priddy of Community Energy Scotland. The watercourse joining the River Inver near Little Assynt is thought to have good potential. More accurate site data is to be obtained to plan potential locations of penstocks and routes of delivery pipes. For the watercourse upstream of Loch Druim Suardalain, costings will be produced to ascertain whether one long scheme or 3 smaller schemes would be better. For the watercourse being investigated on Drumrunie, the depth of the watercourse in the surrounding landscape presents a technical difficulty making that scheme less favourable.
4.6 Boathouse Electricity: Meter not yet purchased.
4.8 Lodge: Prizedraw went well. Thanks to Agnes for her hard work in organising this. Geo-park committee meeting was held in the Lodge, with good feedback from those attending.
4.9 Deer Larder: A request has been made to use the AF deer larder for butchering carcases of privately-owned livestock (fully certificated, and killed at abattoir). The meat would be for the individuals’ own use. They have spoken with environmental health officials who would be happy with the arrangement.
Subject to obtaining Stephen’s thoughts on the matter as leading director of stalking subgroup, the board agreed to allow this as an initial one-off trial, with a charge to cover associated costs.
4.10 Log Building: Business plan to be prepared.
4.11 Staffing and contracts:
Temporary admin post applicants are to be interviewed soon. Agreed to take someone on a 6 month basis and seek salary funding to allow post to continue beyond then.
5. Finance: AF’s accountant Tim Wright spoke to the board. He recommended not repaying SIS loan early, due to cashflow uncertainties. The board agreed to seek to draw down the full remaining amount of the SIS loan facility.
9. Housing: Patricia is exploring possibilities for grant towards repair work needed on Ledbeg House. Report to be circulated re recent government housing meeting.
10. AGM: Don, Davy and Alastair to retire by rotation at AGM. Alastair, and potentially Davy, may stand for re-election. Don has recorded his decision not to stand for re-election. AGM documents are to be sent out by post over the weekend.
11. AOCB:
11.1 Don recorded his thanks to staff and fellow-directors over recent years. The board and staff recorded their thanks to Don for all his hard work over the length of his directorship and chairmanship.
11.2 The board agreed enthusiastically to offer to hold a Christmas dinner in the lodge for the local schoolchildren. (For the scheduled children’s Christmas party the venue was changed by the Lochinver teachers.
AF staff and directors Christmas dinner was also cancelled – to be rescheduled by the entertainments committee.)
11.3 Agreed to offer venison joint to the Community Care Assynt raffle.

Meeting finished 5.30pm
Next meeting: TBA, after AGM