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Board Meetings

Board Meeting September 2012

Minutes of Assynt Foundation Board Meeting
6 September 2012 Glencanisp Office, Lochinver


Present: Helen Steven (Chair), Andy Summers, Stephen Smith, Patricia Robertson, Clive Sheppard, Fergus Stewart
In attendance: Russell Robertson, John Cullen, Jane Tulloch, Adam Pellant, Davy Robb

1. Apologies: none.

Meeting began 4.10pm.

Helen spoke to the Board following last week’s meeting with HIE.
In light of outcomes from the above meeting, the agenda has been changed slightly.

2. Declarations of interest: None

3. Minutes of last meeting: Clive proposed, Fergus seconded. Minutes adopted.

4. Matters arising:

• Bill Badger has now resigned his position on the Board. Bill is thanked for the work he did, particularly on ecotourism.
It is hoped to address the issue of new directors before the next AGM.
• CALL – next CALL meeting 21 September, CCWT office. It is proposed to discuss potential applications for the partnership fund at the forthcoming Directors Day.
• Fergus’ wood: ongoing.
• Forest Plan: Robin has been in the field for a few days recently and hopes to have the ground study work by autumn. It is noted that penalties have been devised for insufficient tree growth from woodland grants.
• Hydro: Following a statement in the Assynt News, a change of position is recorded in respect of a public meeting. This will still be held, but after a period of information gathering. In the meantime, the public will be kept informed of progress through statements and newsletters.
Action: Autumn newsletter to be prepared.

5. Financial report:
£5,000 has been received from Forestry Commission towards integrated woodland planning work. SRDP Forest Plan grant variation is being progressed.

6. (change to agenda, see below)

7. (Change to Agenda) HIE Meeting/Governance: Clarity between Assynt Foundation and Assynt.Biz is required. Who employs who, who pays bills, etc. HIE have offered a governance specialist to address the Board. A 3-year business plan is to be made. Accordingly, at the Directors meeting on 20th September - help and suggestions required, both for agenda and for the 3-year plan.
Action: HIE to organise Governance expert to talk.
Action: Ideas for business plan to be put forward – Clive as liaising director.
Assynt.Biz will be having a board meeting on 14 September at 2.30pm in Clive’s office. Feedback from this meeting will be given to AF re 3-year plan.

8. Lodge & Staff: A new housekeeper has been advertised for in the Ullapool and Assynt News. It is minuted that Dorothea has worked very hard in the last six years and made a valuable contribution to Glencanisp Lodge.

9. Marketing: The board have been disappointed with the service provided by marketing experts to the Foundation.
Action: Clive to write a letter of feedback to marketing providers.

It has been suggested that the jobs of Housekeeper/Lodge Manager and Administrator/Marketing Manager be split in to three: Housekeeper, Marketing & Events Manager and Administrator, with Marketing & Events Mgr having overall day-to-day management., and a new part-time administration post being created.
Action: Adam to seek funding for enhanced marketing post and for admin post.

Staff/Subgroup reports: Sporting subgroup not met since last report. Stephen attended Section 7 meeting.
Ecology Subgroup: Haven’t met since last report. Habitat survey to be digitised and talk given to directors in due course.

Assynt Festival: The Foundation is opening the Festival on Wednesday 3 October with a ‘Taste of Assynt’ Open Day at Glencanisp. There will be a number of activities including Fergus’ pot throwing and exhibition, venison barbecue, broch sculpture building, bonfire, falconry, ferret racing, log building, herbal first aid plus lots more.
Action: Jane to approach Gun Club for clay pigeon shooting (George Morrison).

Arts Building: Concerns over the slippage of the schedule in this project. It is necessary to pull back the schedule into the correct timeline due to funders’ requirements.
Arts building use: Assynt Leisure/Learning Centre have approached us with regard to potential partnership work and/or co-funding of projects.
Action: Meeting to be arranged to develop.
Action: All those who would use the arts building to be invited to meeting to discuss options for courses, workshops, residential etc.

10. Assynt.Biz Report
Hydro: Russell, Davy, Helen and Clive met wit the new CES area officer and North of Scotland manager on 5th September – a proposed visit to the Maldie Burn site at Kylestrome which was arranged by CES and RWE Npower, had to be postponed for health & safety reasons, so meeting held at Glencanisp office. Discussions took place regarding the LEADER application.
Action: Meeting of stakeholders to be arranged to clarify situation, those to be present including CES, SNH, planning, LAG board, LEADER, Neil Gerrard, Assynt.Biz.

11. AOCB:
• Local roofing contractor were advised that we cannot go ahead with roof repairs on Gardeners Cottage at this time. Action: Jane to write to assure them they will be used when works rescheduled.
• Directors’ Meeting: Confirmed to be held in the Lodge from 10am – 4pm on 20th September. Directors of AF and Biz only. Please bring a packed lunch.
• AGM: Decision made to hold off on arranging AGM until 3-year plan is made. Also, audit may take some time.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 11 October, 4pm, Glencanisp Office.
Meeting ended: 7.20pm.
A further ‘in camera’ meeting was held by directors.