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Board Meetings

Board Meeting 14th June 07

Minute of meeting of Assynt Foundation held in the office at Glencanisp on Thursday 14 June 2007 at 7.00pm

Present: Claire Belshaw (Chair), Robbie Mackenzie, Don Campbell, Marianne Hutchison, Claire Ford, Davy Robb, Ted Matheson, Peter Hardwick

In attendance: Mark Lazzeri (Development Manager), Adam Pellant (Project/Marketing Officer), Ed Von Gohren (from 7.30pm).

1. Apologies: Ailsa Spindler, Agnes Dickson, Pat Robertson, Patricia Filmer-Sankey, Bill Ritchie (A.Biz chair)

2. Minute of meeting 26th April 2007: Proposed Don Campbell; seconded Ted Matheson.

3. Matters arising
3.1 Cooker: Thanks to Pat and Russell and Dorothea for picking up the new lodge cooker. This is now fitted in and working.
3.2 JMT workgroup: Their plan of bridge-building was called off due to bad weather. The poles for the bridge are still present.
3.3 Kayaks: The kayaks have arrived and some have been tested. The safety boat is inflated. Its engine needs ten hours’ running in. Thanks to Don.
3.4 CKD Galbraith: We will only hear more about this if Inveruplan comes onto the open market.
3.5 Biking: Duncan is busy starting up his club.
3.6 Tubeg: Mick has agreed to complete the funding application. A suggestion was made to invite AF members up to lodge to discuss land management issues. Agreed.
3.7 Woodcock: CB had written to Assynt Field Club. It is agreed by a majority that we continue accepting some requests for shooting woodcock, while monitoring numbers during this, but that we do not actively advertise woodcock shooting.

4. Development Manager’s Report
4.1 Affordable Housing:
There is to be a subgroup meeting soon, date to be arranged. Peter, Claire and Mark met with Ronnie Macrae recently. Ronnie has produced a draft tender document for the full feasibility study for affordable housing at the site along the Glencanisp road.
4.2 Renewables:
It is suggested that the Draft Community Investment Plan (as requested by HICEC as an indication of what the community might wish to do with the profit from wind turbines) could be put in the Assynt News, as a starting point to stimulate further ideas and input.
The Village Hall has been booked by AF through the day, on 3rd July. An open day planned from 12.00 onwards, to give information in advance of the public meeting.
4.3 GCA Lodge Bid:
We are hopefully about 8 weeks away from planning application being decided upon by HC, if they do not come back with an array of questions.
Agreed to request architect to submit plans to HC, as formal request for planning permission for public use of lodge. This will cost around £3000. The architect will then effectively become project manager of the work, liaising with AF board in deciding who to contract for the work. The board are very keen that as much local employment and local training as possible be incorporated into the project.
4.4 SNH / Bushcraft group:
Concern has been raised by SNH over some mess left by a bushcraft group within the SSSI on Drumrunie Estate, including damage to trees in exclosures. We will write to the group responsible. It is suggested that we encourage them to use Glencanisp Estate rather than Drumrunie for their planned ventures next year, and that they are asked to leave minimal traces of their presence.
4.5 Elphin School:
Still nothing received in writing. We have asked councillor George Farlow to investigate this.
4.6 Scottish Water compulsory purchase: We’ve not heard anything yet.
4.7 Ledbeg House (Paper A):
All agreed to follow Mark’s recommendation to let for social need. An inspection has just been conducted, and the state of the house is worse than expected, with particular concerns over old lead wiring. As such we have concerns that it may not currently be fit for safe habitation. Action: Mark to contact local contractor(s) and ask to look at the house and give idea of work required and estimate of cost. Dirs. to provide DM with contact details of local builder and electrician to give estimates.
Possibility of grants to pay for improving condition of Ledbeg House. Action: Peter to investigate this.
4.8 ‘Boathouse’ (the old building near lodge previously being earmarked as a laundry) (Paper B):
Proposed by Mark that this be used for flexible bunkhouse accommodation. Agreed. Roof will need repairs as it is leaking. Otherwise it’s in good condition.
Proposed that an additional laundry could be situated next to the planned building to house woodchip boiler, as part of the GCA lodge upgrade bid. In line with this, the old kennels could then be restored as kennels.
4.9 Artist (ie. writer/artist etc.) in residence (Paper C):
Proposed that we establish one room in the bunkhouse-to-be for use for such things as this. Agreed. Arrangements re charge for this, whether residences are offered in exchange for work such as community projects, could be arranged on a case by case basis. Action: Mark to ask Mandy for further details.
4.10 Fergus’ pottery proposal (Paper D):
From previous discussions it is thought that this will fit in with proposed Arts Project without any conflict. Agreed to Fergus’ proposal, including housing a kiln in the old kennel adjacent to the courtyard, and a three year extension of his current lease.

5. Project / Marketing Officer’s Report
5.1 Agreed that points in report concerning lodge bookings and marketing to be treated as Assynt.Biz matters only. Agreed that DM and P/MO reports to AF Board would also go to A.Biz board. These same reports with specific A.Biz additions would be used as DM and P/MO reports to A. Biz. These “Additions” if relevant to AF would then be circulated as separate document. Claire B gets copies of A.Biz stuff already so will act as “safety net”.
5.2 Trout Tourism Project:
We are still waiting to hear back from CSTG Scotland with a costing, hopefully to include part-funding for an admin position for a hub person for the project.
5.3 Newsletter:
Ledbeg House to be left out in light of recent inspection. We can use Assynt News to advertise Ledbeg being up for rent, when it’s ready.
5.4 Issue of linen press in lodge: Board decided to treat this as an Assynt.Biz matter.

6 Finance
6.1 Norway Seminar: Further invoice to be submitted to CLU, for the Norway seminar.
6.2: Agreed as per Mark’s suggestion that in future all purchases from Fishselling Co. put on AF account will require an order number so Mark knows what’s being bought in advance. Also agreed to begin using log books in AF vehicles.
6.3 SCARF grant: ACC had agreed to pursue this on our behalf, but Peter has come to agreement with them for him to pursue it. SCARF have no objection with this grant being put back until July. Action: Peter to contact ACC.


7.1 Painting around Glencanisp: The board express their thanks to Steven and John for the painting: A great job!
7.2 House prices: Mention of house for sale in Raffin, as an example of current continuing house price rise.
7.3 ACC: The ACC have requested reports from AF. Mentioned that our minutes are in public domain anyway and posted on our website. Agreed that we can send these direct to the ACC once approved. We also aim to have an AF representative present at ACC meetings more often when able.
7.4 JMT: Another draft of the agreement will come next week. Due to too much time spent travelling, Mick has stood down from the AF board, as a trial until the AGM, and will continue to work for us from Stornoway in the meantime.

Meeting closed: 9:00 pm.