Board Meetings

Board Meeting April 2013

Minutes of Board Meeting of Assynt Foundation
April 11th 2013 in Stoer Village Hall

Present; Helen Steven (Chair), Stewart Hill, Nigel Goldie, Jeanette McCarthy, Brendan O’Hanrahan.

In Attendance; Davy Robb, Sarah Corkish, John Cullen, Adam Pellant

The meeting began at 5.10 p.m.

Apologies; Clive Sheppard, Fergus Stewart, Andy Summers, Jane Tulloch

Declarations of interest: none

Minutes of March 22nd: With agreed amendments the minutes were approved, proposed by BO’H, seconded by JMcC.

Matters arising
• Ledbeg House. SC met with Surveyor. He said that there was a surprising lack of damp and that the roof was sound. Estimate given for complete renovation (excl. decoration) including skim and scalpings for the drive. He will give an insurance valuation (desk based).
• Crofts. BO’H held a meeting with local Elphin people. There is considerable interest from locals in developing land for crofting. The issue had been raised in 2005 but since then there has been no significant progress which is disappointing. BO’H explained the limitations and conflicting interests with regard to length of lease, other uses, and potential deer farm development.
• Lease of grazing. It was agreed to offer a lease for the grazing of 60 acres for one year with the stock taken off the land for two weeks per year. A letter to be sent out with an outline of the lease for further discussion with BO’H.
• Deer Farm. The VAS survey has been carried out and it is hoped to have proposals by the HIE meeting on 26th April

Leases of Property: Gardener’s Cottage, Studio, Boathouse
JMcC presented two draft leases for Gardener’s Cottage and the Studio. Considerable discussion followed as the Board was concerned to provide a fair lease which would do justice to all parties. Questions of insurance, security of tenure, reviews of the lease and raising the rent commensurate with the value of the property were all raised.
It was agreed to offer a 6 month rolling lease from May 1st for Gardener’s Cottage. JMcC and SH to discuss the details with tenants.
Agreed to review the lease of the Studio in discussion with tenant.
Agreed to offer the Boathouse to trainee stalker as a member of staff with a lease to cover running expenses. JMcC to draw up a lease.

Ratification of Directors
It has been agreed that a far greater overlap of directors between AF and Assynt.Biz should be brought into place, and that in future Assynt.Biz meetings will occur before or after AF meetings, to ensure monthly Biz meetings with a larger board to manage trading activities. As such, the following new Assynt.Biz directors were appointed by the AF board: Helen Steven, Nigel Goldie, Jeanette McCarthy, Brendan O’Hanrahan, Fergus Stewart.
The appointment of each was approved by the rest of the AF board.
The make-up of each board is now as follows:
Directors of Assynt Foundation: Helen Steven (Chair), Nigel Goldie, Stewart Hill, Jeanette McCarthy, Brendan O’Hanrahan, Clive Sheppard, Fergus Stewart, Andy Summers.
Directors of Assynt Biz: Helen Steven (Chair), Nigel Goldie, Stewart Hill, Jeanette McCarthy, BrendanO’Hanrahan, Davy Robb, Clive Sheppard, Fergus Stewart.

JC gave details of the heath fire at Ledbeg.
Agreed that the fire plan and equipment be tightened up. Task remitted to the Deer Management Group to refer to next meeting.
Thank you letters have been sent to all the many people who came along to help and a small thank you party was suggested.
SH proposed setting up a rolling fund to cover the cost of such eventualities in the future.

Lodge Report (SC)
The Esse oven needs to be repaired.
Earth Day on 22nd April will cover its costs and is looking good.
SC has been reviewing the weekly costs of hiring the Lodge and possible scope for saving on running costs.
Bookings are well up on last year
Need to promote Earth Day, Peak Experience and Wildlife course. There will be an Open Day on July 20th
Agreed to produce a leaflet of events.

Finances (AP)
AP presented the monthly budget.
There are some issues with future cash flow due to outstanding grant payments being receivable after related expenditure.
AP is meeting with agent to go over information regarding the Naked Acres scheme.
SC’s salary is now in the remit of Assynt Biz.
There is a shortfall of £6000 for the hire of the fire-fighting helicopter
Figures for stalking to be revised as per JC’s figures and the cost of work clothes needs to be absorbed in this year’s budget.

Log Buildings Project (NG)
NG briefly set out the urgent matters that required Board decisions to ensure the delayed log-building can be completed within timescale. He attended an advisory meeting with HC Planning and the architect assisting the proposed builder. One outcome was the rejection of the ‘tin cottage’ as a site for the arts building and a preference to resume the cleared site for it.
Due to pressure of time it was agreed that NG send a report to all Board members to seek approval for action.

Next Meeting; 9th May in Elphin Village Hall. Biz. 4.30 – 5.30; AF 5.30 – 7.00
AF open to the public, followed by an Open Meeting for question and answer

The meeting closed at 7.20p.m. and was followed by a lively Open Meeting with Stoer people.