Board Meetings

Board Meeting November 2013

Board Meeting of the Assynt Foundation
15 November 2013, Lochinver Village Hall Community Room, Lochinver

1. Present: Stewart Hill (chair), Clive Sheppard, Jeanette McCarthy, Nigel Goldie, Helen Steven, Andy Summers, Fergus Stewart
In attendance: Adam Pellant, Sarah Corkish, and three other members of the public.
2. Apologies: Brendan O’Hanrahan, Viv Halcrow (CALL project officer)
3. Declarations of Interest
4. Minutes of Last Meeting
Proposed: Nigel, Seconded: Jeanette. Minutes adopted.
5. Actions and Matters Arising
• Boundary question at Linneraineach – John has checked the area and no issues such as access. Agreed to change AF’s boundary with Land Register. Action: Adam to contact owners.
• Communications – Helen and Nigel have written a paper with ideas for improving communications with membership, community and wider public. To be circulated before next meeting when it will be on agenda.

6. Financial Report
Some delays with claiming grant for log building project. RBS loan to ease cashflow over log building project is now extended until end of December. Suggested contacting bank manager regarding further extension of the loan. Action: Nigel.
Discussion of options for potential asset sale to avoid future financial pressures. Agreed that the preferred option for sale is an area on Drumrunie outwith the SSSI and SAC designations, which would be intended for house sites. Brendan has been actioned with discussing with HC the inclusion of this area for housing development in the Local Plan. Action: Brendan, and Helen.
Agreed also that Ledbeg House may be sold if the preferred option is not practical.
Agreed also that rescheduling SIS loan / interest payment is worth pursuing.
Action: Sarah to circulate the list of interest in Ledbeg House and options for repair and use, in preparation for action once we are more certain that sale of Ledbeg House can be avoided.

7. Hydro
Stewart had circulated a report with costed comparison of progressing the Feith an Leothaid hydro scheme as either a joint venture or as a wholly AF-owned and -managed project. The two options were discussed. Agreed in favour of progressing as a joint venture.
Stewart and Nigel reported on meeting with the chairperson of potential partner in a joint venture, who are interested in majority ownership of the scheme. A draft Heads of Terms document has been circulated. This company are to meet with the District Network Operator SSE in early December and have asked AF for a letter of authorisation to speak on our behalf and to include the Feith an Leothaid scheme in a portfolio of potential new projects. Agreed.
Action: Adam to check whether membership consent at a General Meeting is required to progess the hydro scheme as a joint venture with joint ownership.

8. Forest Plan
Scoping Meeting took place on 5th November, with a good turnout and positive discussions. Thanks recorded to Andy and Adam.

9. HIE Meeting and Report
The first part of a report commissioned by HIE has been received, and a meeting with HIE occurred to discuss some matters arising. Part 2 of the report is now being worked up.
Action: Stewart to compile list of recommendations from part 1 of report, for consideration and action.

10. Log Building Project:
Nigel circulated paper following subgroup meeting, with proposal for lease of the studio building by a new subsidiary company, possibly to be set up as a Community Interest Company. Agreed this proposal be worked up in detail. A floor plan of pole barn will also be drawn out with suggestion for use of separate areas. Action: Nigel.

11. AOB
• CALL & HLF: CALL update report from Viv Halcrow was circulated. CALL’s HLF Landscape Partnership application for £3 million towards project costs of £4 million has been had stage 1 approval.
• Bog Restoration: Andy reported that £20,000 SNH grant has been approved for a bog restoration project, to be completed before end of March 14, which is 100% funding for the work excluding some AF staff time as in-kind match funding.
• Wood/Timber purchase request: Adam requested to purchase some wood/timber and was directed to ask the log building subgroup about this.

12. Date and place of next meeting Thursday 16th January, 5pm, Glencanisp.