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Minutes of Board Meeting held at Highgate Hall 24 May 2010
Directors: Dinah McDonald Chair
Pearl Brown Treasurer
David McKenzie Secretary
Apologies: David Eaglesham
Cllr Bruce Marshall
Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last Trust meeting held on 12 April 2010 were proposed by Ron Cruickshank, seconded by Jeanette Sloss and adopted.
Business of the Trust
Ø There is a need to update the website – David will work with Mike McDonald to fix.
Update on membership
Ø David McKenzie has a 2008 membership list which he will update with the 2009 AGM membership forms and circulate to the Board for them to amend with local knowledge. It may be possible to also update by phone calls, etc. The updated list will need to be completed prior to the AGM.
Ø The possibility of offering life membership was discussed, and will be considered again prior to the AGM. The constitution will need to be amended for this to happen.
Ø Pearl advised that the balances on hand were:
o Account 1 - £9,190.22
o Account 2 - £1,560.28
Ø The balance in account 1 reflects monies received from various sources for the Blairmore / Gairletter path and not yet paid out. The final AECOM invoice for the Anaerobic Digestion project has been settled.
Dinah commented that this had been a very successful year for the Trust. So far the following grants had been awarded:
· National Park £800 for admin
· National Park, SNH, LEADER £10,400 for Blairmore / Gairletter path
· Big Lottery £2,200 for community shop study
· Argyll Estates £4,000 for Argyll Mausoleum initial work
· Heritage Lottery Fund £37,800 for first round Argyll Mausoleum
· Archaeological Challenge £750 for Argyll Mausoleum
· Community Energy Scotland £12,000 for Anaerobic Digestion study
· Community Energy Scotland ⅛ of £100,000 for Community Partnership
Community Partnership Goes Green
This program, sponsored by Community Energy Scotland, involves lending energy monitors to households for a short period so that they can determine their energy usage patterns and take actions to reduce energy consumption. A central point in the community will be needed where these monitors can be handed out and returned. Options for this point include:
Blairmore Gallery - Ron to check
Surgery - David to check
Decision will be made at next meeting.
Paths and Access
Ø Dinah had inspected the Eachaig loop on 28 March and noted repairs needed. This will be brought to the attention of SNH.
Ø Dinah had also identified two areas where inappropriate ‘no access’ signs had been erected – these have been brought to the attention of the Council access officer.
Ø The work to complete the Blairmore / Gairletter path is almost complete. Funds from SNH are in the trust account and funds from LEADER and the National Park were in process. A £500 contribution from the Trust will also be required.
Ø Cllr Bruce Marshall had asked if the Trust could undertake a new paths project – namely the construction of a footpath on the South side of Loch Eck. This was discussed and it was agreed that a project of this size was inappropriate for the Trust. Provision of pavements for safety purposes should be managed by the Council.
A Board Meeting of Argyll Mausoleum Ltd had been held on May 7. David McKenzie reported on each of five work streams:
1. Legal Documents – all completed
a. A brief was being prepared for artefact removal / renovation. This would be sent to 3 companies specialising in this area so that estimates could be requested and a contract awarded. The brief would be sent to Board members for comment.
3. Fund raising / financials:
a. An application has been submitted to LEADER for match funding for the first round work to cover initial archaeology and professional advisors.
b. OSCR has confirmed that charitable status has been awarded to Argyll Mausoleum Ltd.
c. The Archaeological Challenge Fund has awarded £750 towards the costs of initial archaeological investigation.
4. Marketing Plan / Visitor Centre:
a. The Board of Argyll Mausoleum Ltd had discussed three options for a visitor centre – further work was required on costs and suitability of sites. Once options had been fleshed out, a decision would be arrived at by the Board. Part of the decision process would be community consultation.
5. Mausoleum repairs:
a. The first round grant from HLF enables a start to be made in appointing professional advisers / architects. Two different types of skills will be needed – an accredited conservation architect and also an architect with a track record in sensitively designed visitor facilities. Strong recommendations have been made not to try and manage two contracts for architects, so a tender document will be prepared requesting a bid from one company with both skills, although this may be via a sub-contract. The draft tender document will be circulated for comments.
Ø David McKenzie reported that the consultants AECOM had presented the results of the Anaerobic Digestion feasibility study to a community meeting which was held on Thursday 15 April at Highgate Hall. Around 60 people attended.
Ø As anticipated, the AECOM report concluded that there is insufficient feedstock to make an anaerobic digestion scheme for the shore communities feasible. However, Jim Hart from AECOM, who presented the results of the study at the community meeting, also introduced the idea of a district heating system, powered by local biomass / wood chips, which might be a way to build a waste water collection system in tandem with the district heating system. This would need a further feasibility study, building on the work done by AECOM. At the community meeting, the vote was about 50 / 50 as to whether a second feasibility study should be considered.
Ø David presented the Board with additional data about a district heating system:
o The planned Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which will be introduced by the UK Government in April 2011, is expected to result in a payment of about £2,000 per year for a detached 4 bedroom property. This payment is guaranteed for 15 years. An uplift to this payment, not yet established, will be paid if the household is part of a District Heating System (DHS).
o If around 400 houses in our community chose to participate in a DHS, revenues from the RHI could be in the region of £10M over 15 years. On top of this would the revenues from sale of heat. At face value, these figures could permit the construction of the necessary pipe work and central biomass furnace utilising a loan from a bank, which would be repaid by RHI payments.
Ø It was agreed to approach Community Energy Scotland (CES) to see if they would now commit to fund a further feasibility study to examine a DHS for the community. As before, if such a study were conducted, the results would be presented to the community before any decisions would be taken.
Post Office / Shop
Ø The Trust had submitted an application for a feasibility study for the community shop project to the Big Lottery Fund. This had been approved and an award of £2,200 had been committed.
Ø The Community Shop sub-group advised that the consultant who was to conduct the feasibility study had withdrawn. However, another consultant had been identified and it was agreed to proceed with the study.
Ø Nothing to report
Villages in Bloom
Ø Nothing to report
Ø Dinah reported that the BBQ had now been constructed.
Ø Pearl was to check on status of repairs to wall.
Ø Ron Cruickshank reported that it may not be possible to continue with the Loch’n’Glen newsletter due to increased paper costs. The possibility was raised that the annual membership subscription for the Trust should include annual dues for the newsletter. Ron advised that the next issue was not at risk; it was agreed to discuss further at the next meeting.
Ø David McKenzie advised that he had submitted a nomination form as a candidate to represent Ward 1 on the National Park Board. Dinah thought that this could be useful for the Trust, but stated that David, if elected, would possibly have to exclude himself from discussion on some topics if there was any conflict of interest.
Ø Dinah advised she had received a communication from the National Park re the ‘Our Park’ renewable energy initiative.
Ø David had been contacted by a travel company that was interested in advertising travel, hotels, etc to the membership. 5% of any sales achieved would be paid to the Trust. It was agreed not to pursue this offer.
Date of next meeting
The date of the next Trust Board meeting will be on Monday 28 June 2010 at 19:30 in Uig Hall.