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Board Meetings

Board Meeting May 2012

Minutes of Assynt Foundation Board Meeting
10 May 2012
Glencanisp Office, Lochinver


Present: Patricia Robertson, Andy Summers, John Cullen, Helen Steven, Jane Tulloch, Russell Robertson
In attendance: Drew McFarlane-Slack, Gordon Sleight

1. Apologies: Fergus Stewart, Stephen Smith

Meeting began 4.35pm

Drew McFarlane-Slack gave a short presentation in respect of his role as Highland Regional Manager of Scottish Land and Estates, with a view to Assynt Foundation becoming a member. SL&E have been lobbying on behalf of landowners for over 100 years, and currently one-third of the land mass of Scotland has membership. They are in process of setting up small groups in outlying areas in support of those members and it is felt by SL&E that membership for AF would bring active benefits. [...]
Action: Jane to complete membership forms and submit.

Note: Clive Sheppard and Ian Evans arrived at 5pm.
Bill Badger arrived 5.10pm.

Gordon Sleight then addressed Directors in respect of Bronze and other age roundhouses and pre-clearance archeological sites which have recently been identified around the Cnocnaeach area. Historic Assynt proposes to develop visitor and walker trails in conjunction with the Assynt Festival, the Assynt Interpretation Group and the Assynt Tourism Group. This would comprise guided and non-guided trails of varying length and complexity, with simple maps and guidelines, some printed literature and route suggestions. It is proposed this be funded by the Festival. AF directors were unanimous in their support for this project, and Gordon was given the go ahead to proceed with plans.

5.45: Meeting proper began.

2. Declarations of interest: None

3. Minutes of last meeting: (as amended) Helen proposed, Pat seconded. Minutes approved.

4. Matters Arising

Sheep at Ledbeg: Most have been moved – still 2 or 3 left. Board decision was previously taken that they must go, so this should be actioned. However, there may have been an agreement with the Vesteys in the past, and if AF is approached to continue agreement we must decide whether to continue agreement, and if so, charge rent. Also whether we would want a formalised agreement.
Action: Pat to follow up and speak to Roddy Watt and John Ross.

Council Tax: Jane has had no luck convincing Highland Council to discount AF to 0% rate. George Farlow is willing to help in this matter.
Action: Jane to speak to George.

Peat cutting: ongoing.
Action: policy to be agreed – next meeting

Ledbeg house: ongoing
Action: Bill to get key from Stephen

Forest plan: ongoing

New Directors: to be discussed at the Directors Day.

Directors day: Date decided: 5 June 10am-4pm , Elphin. Helen to facilitate. [Was postponed after minutes approved. AP]

Marketing manager report:
Marketing: ongoing. Website will be live by end May. PR day in June with Kate McKinlay.
IACS: Jane to fill out, Drew to assist.
Bees: Request from Paul Adrian to allow bees behind walled garden – away from noise/people. Permission from board granted.

Estate report:
Woodchip boiler: It is felt that the price for maintenance and repair given by one contractor is too high. John is seeking alternative quotes [...].
Action: Adam to go back to CES and request assistance.
Chainsaw Course: John requested permission to go on 5-day course. Board agreed. Board also advised John to do advanced first aid training at the first available opportunity.
Glen path: there have been unauthorised vehicles going up the path. John to restrict access from the gate onwards.

Hydro Report:
Russell updated Board on ongoing hydro progress. Timetable will depend on funding but will take 12 months to do EIA.
Community member, Ian Evans, was present due to his interest in the hydro scheme and discussions were undertaken in respect of site decisions, feasibility studies, board decisions, public meetings etc. It was agreed that a public meeting would take place when appropriate to give the community an opportunity to express opinions, with local information to be taken into consideration at that time.

AOCB: Andy reported that Norrie Russell from Forsinard came to advise on reinstating the bog at Clar Loch Mor. He was impressed with how well the dams were working (installed by JMT volunteers in 2010) and was enthusiastic about the potential to expand the project and put in more dams.
Action: Andy to speak to CALL about this.

Request that sub-groups report at every Board meeting as a fixed item.

Date of next meeting: 14 June 2012.

All non-directors left at 8.45pm.
Directors held in-camera meeting thereafter. Minutes available.