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Board Meetings

Board Meeting 8 May 08

Minutes of Board Meeting of Assynt Foundation on 8th May, 2008

Present: Don Campbell, Tony Usher, Fergus Stewart, Claire Ford, Davy Robb, Patricia Robertson, Claire Belshaw, Robbie Mackenzie
In Attendance: Adam Pellant, Mark Lazzeri, David Mackay, Roy Macleod, Iain Matheson, Alex Dickson
Apologies: Colin MacDonald, Stephen Smith
Minutes from April Meeting: Change WHDMG to WSDMG. Prop. Davy R. 2nd. Claire B.
Matters Arising.
Walled Garden. £6000 has been asked for. Waiting for it to arrive.
Project Scotland no longer exists so looking for different funding, but still for 2 workers.
Policies. Child Protection Policy is to be changed as suggested and is then approved. Arts and Access Policies are both approved.
Director’s Declarations. Still 2 or 3 to be completed. Those who have not completed them or returned them must do so as a matter of urgency!!
Trials Biking
Brought forward to accommodate those members of the public present for this discussion.
Trials bikers have areas for use which have been agreed by the Board and justified to SNH for biking.
Bikes have been using other areas of the Estate without permission.
The situation in Scotland is that motorised vehicles are not allowed on footpaths (except for estate vehicles on estate business) without the Landowners seeking permission from the local council.
Bikes must be fully roadworthy, with road fund licence, MOT, insurance, etc. Insurance must be checked out by the individuals themselves, but AF also needs to check their position. Children can not ride on roads, therefore can not ride on public footpaths. Same rules apply as to roads.
The areas Duncan originally identified are actually on Badnaban Common Grazings so the Trials Biking Club need to confirm with the Grazings Committee that this is alright.
We need to have biking areas identified from legal point of view and also because of damage and nuisance that it can cause.
Club to send in proposal for us to look at. Following further discussion, we may then approach HC to see if we can get permission from them to allow footpaths to be used on certain days.

P.O.Report
No cheque from an estate which is to give us a donation, yet.
Arts council have asked for certain further information. Lodge use for Arts programme is to be put at 20%. Rest as Adam circulated.
We will find out in late May if our bid to the Robertson Trust has been successful or not.
Adam is possibly, to have a joint meeting with Leader and SRDP in Inverness.
Loans. Get sorted out what the loan situation actually is. Mark?
Energy Efficiency Loans. They want costings and quotes along with energy saving report. Adam to sort this out ASAP
Architects. Quote from another architect due any day. We are not happy with existing architect’s ability to carry through the project, but may need to offer them the chance to reprice based on reduced project costs. Mark to check legal situation.
When architect decided on, he/she can contact John Sutherland about fire regs., etc.
Chain Saw Courses. Davy to chase funding and then we need to go ahead and arrange dates for the courses.
Notice Boards to be purchased imminently.
Once minutes have been approved they are to be put into the Assynt News.

D.M. Report
SNH have still not given us the £2,000 promised after the meeting to discuss the Estate Plan.
Mark still to re-write the renewables chapter and re-do the deer figures.
Application to LMC put on hold.
Land Management. West Sutherland Fisheries advice is that it would be better to improve the habitat than to create a hatchery. Fish ladder to be looked into.
Alistair Rutherford from Country Sports Tourism Group is to set up Assynt Trout Fishing web site. This will have mutual benefits where we can advertise fishing with ghillies, etc.
Approx. Deer figures as follows: Drumrunie-75 Stags, 140 Hinds and Calves. Glencanisp-380 Stags, 780 Hinds and calves. Sinclair Coghill is to evaluate the deer population along with Graeme Taylor, also from the DCS. The proposed cull as follows: Drumrunie-35 stags, 50 hinds and calves. Glencanisp-60 stags, 120 hinds and calves.
Joseph has confirmed that he is to leave when he has finished his NC. Jamie wants to stay on with the AF and do his HNC. Thomas Carter is going to do his HNC and wants to work here, so is to be offered a trial period. There is also a 16 year old Skillseeker who is keen to come here and he is to do his pre-NC, then NC and HNC.
We also need to advertise locally again to see if anyone is interested. We need to find out what other estates do about payment when students on placements are at college.
Gardening. Ted has increased his hourly rate to £12. This was agreed by the Board.
The Lodge is booked for a wedding party at the end of May and a possible team building let is also up-coming. Dorothea has priced matching crockery, glasses, etc for these events at £380. It was agreed that A.Biz would be asked to pay for these for the Lodge.
Interpretation Group want someone from AF to join the sub-group to take this project forward. As Bill Ritchie is already involved with this group, he is to be asked to take this on on behalf of the AF.
BBC want to film deer stalking as part of a series of programmes, called Britannia, about a 16th century traveller.
Assynt.Biz to transfer £30 thousand to AF rather than just having the money sitting in their account.

Housing Surgery to be held on the 21st May at the Drop-in.

Triathlon/Fun Day AF doing safety cover on Loch Assynt. Assynt Leisure to approach Coastguard. The two Claires and Davy to organize the Fun Day. Patricia to do the teas again.

Finance Keep on NOT spending if at all possible!!

A.O.C.B.
Alec Dickson had a question related to a letter from SNH, but as we had not received the letter, this could not be discussed. He also asked that regarding the keeping of pigs in the future, we need to be much clearer about whose pigs they are and what is to happen to them, etc.

Claire Ford is to run courses in the Lodge at some time in the future.

Mark is to sort out when he can hold surgeries, where people can talk to him, either 1-to 1 or in groups.