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Board Meetings

Board Meeting October 2011

Minutes of Assynt Foundation Board Meeting
20 October 2011
Glencanisp Office, Lochinver

Present:
Patricia Robertson, Chair, Andy Summers, Director; Stephen Smith, Director; Fergus Stewart, Director; Helen Steven, Director; Bill Badger, Director;
Adam Pellant, Jane Tulloch, Dorothea Standlick
In attendance: Russell Robertson, Assynt.Biz; Neil Gerrard, HIE; Raymond More, Robertson Highland

Meeting began 5.10 p.m.
Due to the attendance of Neil Gerrard, it was agreed to discuss staffing issues even before early agenda items, in order for him to advise as appropriate.

Thea put forward some marketing ideas for the lodge during off season, including Xmas parties, a dinner dance, St Andrews night do, a prize draw, etc. Board agreed for Thea to go ahead and organise.

Lodge: Confirmed that community discounts are in place at 20% low season and 10% high season.


Neil Gerrard introduced Raymond More, from construction firm, Robertsons. It is hoped that Mr More will assist the AF board in business matters, in a mentoring capacity. Mr More has many years experience in business development, with tourism and renewables his special areas of interest. He confirmed that he was happy to commit some time to the Assynt Foundation.
It was confirmed, however, that Assynt Foundation is not obliged to use Robertsons for any construction works now or in the future. Procurement and competitive tendering rules apply, with transparency at all levels.
The board agreed it would be very helpful to have Mr More’s assistance, particularly in project management. The Chairperson thanked Mr More, and hopes to work with him for mutual benefit.

Sporting Subgroup Report:
• The SSG have met twice recently to discuss stalking staff issues, and John Cullen has now been offered the post of Head Stalker, with a job description and contract as of 1 November 2011.
• John and Stephen attended a Best Practice event in Balmoral.
• Ronnie Buchan cut his hand badly, requiring hospital treatment. Incident was recorded and dealt with appropriately.
• The minutes show that John Cullen was commended for his butchering and carcassing skills.

Andy Summers left at 7.05pm

Permission to clear out garages beneath office was asked, and granted.

It was suggested that the other subgroups also submit reports to Board meetings in future, and be emailed to all in advance of board meetings, to save time during meetings.

It was also suggested that a monthly treasurers/financial report be put first on the agenda in future as a matter of importance.

1. Apologies: Jacqui Yates

2. Declaration of interests: None

3. September Minutes: Proposed – Pat, Seconded – Helen. Minutes adopted.

4. Matters Arising:
Directors training: Poor showing. Bill only director to attend.
Lodge: ongoing
Affordable housing: ongoing
Logbuilding Project: Successful meeting with Cormac Seekings held. A brief report of this meeting will be submitted to the Board in due course. In the meantime, Jimmy Crooks from CCWT has been approached in respect of AF borrowing sawmill, and is open to discussion. AF hopes to build good working relationship with Culag Woods.
HIE Marketing Follow-up Meeting 31 October: As many as possible to attend please. Very important meeting.
Estate Plan: ongoing
Forest Plan: ongoing
Venison processing: Action: subgroup report required.
Car park signage: Action: Andy and Helen to liaise
Listening posts: Bill from GSA coming to record storied. Posts will be installed thereafter.
Walled Garden: waiting for Jenny to come back re price for fruit bushes. May use Culag Wood team to rebuild wall – possible training course/funding available.

5. Staffing Matters: As discussed, ongoing
Minuted that the board has agreed to offer Dorothea a contract with job description.
Action: Directors to meet again before next board meeting.

6. Hydro
At scoping and screening stage. Waiting for response from council, then screening on 2 identified sites.

7. Log Building – covered

8. Forest plan – covered

9. Woodcock – held over until next meeting.

AOCB: Bill Badger offered his help to Adam to fundraise on a wider basis.
Action: Bill and Adam to meet.
Music Project: Niall Robertson is not in a position to commit to a lease at this time. Possible options include collaborating with Made In Assynt on the lease.

Meeting closed 9pm.

Next meeting: 10 November, 5pm, Glencanisp.