Board Meetings

Board Meeting February 2013

Minutes of Assynt Foundation Board Meeting
13 February 2013
Glencanisp Lodge, Lochinver

Present: Helen Steven (Chair), Stewart Hill, Stephen Smith, Clive Sheppard, Fergus Stewart
In attendance: Jane Tulloch, Adam Pellant, Sarah Corkish, John Cullen, Davy Robb

Meeting began 4.05pm.

1. Apologies: Patricia Robertson, Andy Summers

2. Declarations of interest: none

3. Minutes of last meeting: amendments to be shown on distributed minutes
Stewart approved/Clive seconded. Minutes approved.

4. Action on matters arising:
• Log building: Big Lottery Fund want reassurances from AF before extending deadline – AF clarification requested. The pole barn will be completed first using existing old logs and timber on the estate, and to the contractor’s own design.
Action: Planning permission required. Confirmation that the Lottery will pay for this is also required.
• Sheep grazing request at Elphin: Letter sent to applicants as agreed at last meeting. Awaiting response.
• Ledbeg House: Valuation for sale given, including quotes for commercial fit-out. Decision to be made whether to sell or to develop. If selling, will require to seek approval from Scottish Govt. If developing, would need 100% grant funding.
Action: Ledbeg House steering group to be set up to look at options (Sarah, Davy, John)
Adam to start process of seeking approval for sale (whether going ahead with sale or not)
It is noted that one of the fundamental principles of the AF is NOT to sell land. However, at the time of estate purchase, the original intention was to sell Ledbeg House in order to assure funds for purchase, but this was not required.

5. Financial Report
Financial reporting: Directors have asked to have monthly reports in a different format. Adam and Stewart to discuss.
AF/Biz accountant has put forward a report on inter-company finances and governance and clarification is needed on this position before end of financial year. This requires more lengthy discussion.
Action: Inter-company Finance & Governance closed meeting to be held 27 March, 10am.

6. Staff and Subgroup Reports
- Recent Spike Camp was very successful, with two planned for next year.
- Hind cull almost finished, season coming to an end. Special thanks are given to Jeff Watts for all his assistance. Additional thanks from directors to John Cullen who did a remarkable job in the stalking season this year.
- Use of stalking funding budget may also be used as part of the employment of new ghillie, together with potential assistance from the Learning Centre for training. (See Item 7.)
- Price of hind stalking has increased for next year, from £150ph to £200.
- Plan to sell outboard and trailer. Action: John to put advertisement out.

- A need for more comprehensive catering options for guests has been identified. Jane and Sarah have proposed to take this on themselves. This will be over and above their existing hours, and will be paid for through guest fees. Food hygiene course already applied for.
Decision: Board agreement to Jane and Sarah’s proposal.
- A new tumble dryer is required in the laundry. Action: Sarah to investigate cost.

7. Trainee Ghillie and Accommodation
A local person has been interviewed and offered employment at 30 hours (annualised) per week for the period June-Feb as a trainee ghillie with the Assynt Foundation. AF will pay for his training, and his quad/Argo tickets.
Action: Clive and Jane to write letter of offer of employment.

8. Insurance Review
AF estate and property is thought to be substantially over-insured. Stewart Hill to meet Liz Chisolm from NFU in Dingwall on 7 March to discuss matters.

9. AGM Matters
AGM to be held 14 February 2013 in Village Hall. Nominees for new Directors are:
Nigel Goldie
Jeanette McCarthy
Brendan O’Hanrahan

10. Biz Report
Financial reporting and governance matters and the accounting position to be looked into in depth at meeting on 27 March.
Action: Biz board meeting required ASAP

11. AOCB

Stephen Smith is retiring from the Board at the AGM and sincere thanks are given to him by the Board and staff for his 6 years of hard work.

Pat Robertson is similarly retiring and sincere thanks also given to her for her hard work, in particular with the affordable housing project.

The issue of windblow timber needs to be addressed.
Action: Clive and Fergus to progress.

Council Tax: Stewart has offered to pursue the matter of whether AF, as a charity, should be granted an exemption from paying.

Meeting ended: 6.30pm

Date of next meeting: 22 March 2013