Board Meetings

Board Meeting November 2015

Minutes of Board Meeting of Assynt Foundation
5pm, 19th November 2015, at Glencanisp Studio

Present: Stewart Hill, Nigel Goldie, Jeanette McCarthy, Helen Simpson, Vanessa Ling, Helen Steven, Brendan O’Hanrahan (from item 4.2).
In attendance: Ken Hamilton, John Venters, Jane Tulloch, Adam Pellant, Agnes Dickson, Alex Dickson.
Apologies: None.
1. Declarations of Interest – None.
2. Minutes of last meeting – Proposed Helen Simpson, seconded Jeanette. Minutes adopted.
3. Actions and matters arising
Payment procedures – Ken willing to become a signatory on bank accounts of AF and A.Biz, and then to be authorised to make payments by internet banking for both companies. Agreed to progress this. Action: Adam / Ken.
Leaflet printing – Ongoing. Action: Adam to forward most recent version for final proof-reading.
Website wedding pictures – Ongoing. Action: Jeanette to send images to Adam. Jane raised wider issue of whether to consider changing lodge website platform. No decision.
Noticeboard – Alex reported that there may be space on outside of Village Hall alongside other boards – Action: Alex to enquire and report back.
Ledbeg grazing lease – Ongoing. Action: Jeanette to meet with Curleys.
4. Finance report
Ken reported.
4.1 Expected Ledbeg House sale cash and HIE grant to come in at end of November.
[Brendan arrived.]
4.2 Creditors – CARES Loan repayment outstanding.
4.3 SIS Loan Repayment – Agreed that a proportion of SIS Loan be repaid following the sale of Ledbeg House, in order to reduce interest charges.
4.4 Five-year figures for Business Plan – Assumptions gone over. Query raised over potential need for a second stalker in future. Query over repairs/maintenance costs for lodge. Both issues to be discussed further as part of Business Plan development. Current figures are a baseline only. Agreed more grant towards ongoing costs can be applied for once Business Plan is created. From meeting held with Pete Cairns, wildlife photography looks like a promising new income stream.
5. Consultation for Business Plan
Drop-in / open day to be held in village hall 1st December. Directors to attend in two-hour slots probably. Action: Nigel circulate email/poll for who can attend when. Amanda hopes to get opinions on which key areas to focus on. Draft plan by mid-December. Amanda to attend January board meeting. Then AGM / conference.
Directors to put costs together for new projects they have suggested. Action: all relevant directors.
A de minimis state aid schedule will be included in the Business Plan.
6. Executive Officer
Advert – has been sent to local papers and P&J and Northern Times by Helen Simpson. Application deadline 11th December. Actions: Nigel to write background info text for application pack. Stewart send directors final version of job description.
7. Lodge Marketing & Admin Assistant
Advert – to go in local shops etc. Already in Assynt News. Action: Stewart send ad to John for Facebook and to Alex D for shop noticeboards.
Selection process – Jeanette, Stewart and Jane to be on interview panel on 10th December.
CALLP Partnership Agreement – Stewart and Nigel met with Rich Williams recently. For some appendices of the most recent version of the agreement, it is unclear whether they form part of the agreement or not, with many sections being left open pending more detail adding in future. Main section would need signing in advance of the imminent HLF application but other sections including those with more specific project details can be signed at time of an HLF stage 2 approval.
Agreed that AF must maintain high involvement in general decision-making as a member of the executive committee of CALLP, to ensure our interests are met. Once Executive Officer is in post s/he will help with this, to reduce director workload, but this will mean less time at income-generation work for the EO.
Agreed, with two abstentions, to sign Section A of the CALLP agreement, initialling each page of that section, and with an accompanying letter noting other sections are not yet agreed with and will require further discussion and changes, and in particular noting that the clause mentioning putting CALLP interests first at all times is felt not to be compatible with the requirement for directors of AF to put the interests and charitable objectives of AF first.
Woodland Projects – The Woodland Trust have expressed interested in leasing the land for which woodland expansion would occur, relating to projects for which they would act as banker, so they could more easily apply for SRDP grants directly, etc. We would probably not want to offer such leases to them, but there may be alternatives which all parties could be happy with. Noted that SRDP and HLF grants may constitute state aid towards an economic activity if we are to make commercial use of timber, which is intended to some extent on the woodland block at Glencanisp. (There is a 200 euro limit on the amount of state aid an organisation can receive in any three year period.)
Relating to commercial use of timber, it was stated with board agreement that no clear-felling of any woodland is intended to occur anywhere on AF estate.
9. Administrative matters
Conference/AGM – Conference will now be smaller than the event that had been planned for November, and will be focused more on local input into AF plans, rather than wider discussion of community ownership issues. Conference and AGM planned for Saturday 30th January. Action: Adam and Helen Simpson to progress asking members RSVP to confirm AGM attendance, in order to ensure a quorum.
Ledbeg House – Ongoing. Solicitors busy. Jeanette is liaising with our solicitor/estate agent and SIS. Action: Jeanette to keep pressing solicitors to progress things quickly.
10. AOCB
Board Papers – Vanessa asked that papers be sent out all at once and in good time in advance of meetings. Agreed to try.
Glebe – Agreed that ways forward in relation to Church of Scotland Glebe, including road upgrade for affordable housing, will feature in Business Plan.
Date of next meeting: 14th January, Glencanisp Studio.
Meeting finished 7.40pm.