Board Meetings

Board Meeting 14th May 2009

Minute of meeting of Directors of Assynt Foundation held in the office at Glencanisp on Thursday 14 May 2009

Present Don Campbell (Chair), Tony Usher, Patricia Robertson, Alastair Macaskill, Fergus Stewart, Stephen Smith

In Attendance Mark Lazzeri (DM), Adam Pellant (PO), Alex Dickson, George Farlow, Sharon Bartram, Brenda Gibson

1. Apologies None

2. Minute of 2nd April 09 Proposed Alastair, seconded Patricia

3. Matters arising
Glencanisp Road (Glebe section): Letter to be sent soon to the Church of Scotland with our concerns and photos of damage. Photos have been taken of further recent damage to the road.
Walled Garden: Garden group met – agreed to employ a local person to clear up the top section of the garden.
It had been agreed stone rather than wooden structure for raised beds would be preferable as longer-lasting.

4. Redevelopment Project
We now have building warrant. Lead contractor tender invitations should have gone out last week but delayed. They should now go out next week. Updated timescale will be sent to us soon by design team.
Clerk of Works: Suggested that we budget for employment of Clerk of Works for 5 hours per week. Noted that the Clerk of Works should have insurance/indemnity.
Grants: Second instalments of BLF and HIE grants, and first instalment of ERDF grant, should all be received shortly.
Highland Council: We will contact HC further once tender returns are received (early June).

Bank Account: Change of signatories has delayed the completion of the lottery’s change of bank details form (required in line with grant being paid into new redevelopment bank account).
It was resolved that RBS be requested to continue to act as bankers of the company with the revised list of signatories.

5. Stalking
Trainee Placement: Mark and Alastair interviewed North Highland College students interested in a trainee stalker/estate worker placement, on 8th May. Their first choice candidate has accepted a placement with us and begins with us w/c 18th May. He is booked to attend events at Knoydart and Reay Forest with Mark.

It is noted that Stephen is now lead director of Stalking subgroup. Mark will line manage stalking staff, with Stephen and Don being further points of contact for them.

6. Ledmore Forest
Report has been completed by Assynt Research and Consultancy, and will be made available for community to read, including online through the AF website. Accompanying DVD will be mailed to all Assynt households.
Questionnaire result as follows: 58.3% of responses in favour of AF seeking to purchase Ledmore Forest under the National Forest Land Scheme. 58.3% thought this should be done in order to create crofts and 52% thought this should be done in order to create affordable housing.
The Forestry Commission have asked for a decision urgently on whether AF intend to progress towards a public ballot.
All agreed to notify Forestry Commission that AF are interested in the registration of interest in purchasing Ledmore Forest.
(A public ballot is expected not to be possible before September due to other elections occurring.)

7. Development manager’s report: All covered above.

8. Project Officer’s report
Most covered in item 4.
Thanks to Don and Pat a grant application is to be made towards affordable housing.

9. New Directors
9.1 Claire and Robbie have stood down as directors. The board recorded its huge thanks to Claire and Robbie for their tireless work for the Foundation over many years. Their wealth of skills, experience, and hard work will be sorely missed on the board.
9.2 There is one available space for an ‘Appointed Director’ on the board. This position is intended specifically for appointing a director as a representative of an organisation. Agreed to write to Assynt Community Council to invite them to provide a representative to fill this position of Appointed Director on the AF board.
9.3 There are 2 available spaces for co-opted directors on the board.
We are looking for a couple of people with skills and enthusiasm to co-opt to the board.

10. Finance
10.1 Tony presented May’s budget summary.
10.2 Discussion of vehicle maintenance. Action: A list of work required is to be prepared.

11. Newsletter
Fergus offered to write an article on recent visit from Glasgow School of Art and plans for future partnership.
Adam to co-ordinate getting articles to Patricia F-S.

12. AOCB
12.1 Tony requested office staff to write list detailing their areas of responsibility.
12.2 Fergus gave an account of ideas from recent discussion with Bill Brown of Glasgow School of Art. One idea is an interpretation project involving listening posts giving information on particular places. Fergus will attend next meeting of the Assynt Interpretation Group.
12.3 A question from floor about Ledmore Forest research project, suggesting that file size of the project report should be smaller.

Next meeting Thursday 11th June.