AGM 2018 and Public Meeting
Wednesday April 11th at 7.30pm in Craignish Village Hall
Board - Tim Barlow, Jan Brown, Rory Day, Phil Dickinson, Merlyn Edwards, Iain Saunders, Paul Smyth
Members – Caroline Younger, Colin Davidson, Lynn Pickett, Mary Smyth, Eleanor Barlow, Jo Lesley, Tom McCardle, Clive Brown, Kathy Potter-Irwin, Alastair Potter-Irwin
Apologies for Absence– Rodger Hallett, Jane Hallett, Sylvia Lawson, Will Craig, Ania Zwozdiak, Di Oliver, Faith Shannon
3. Minutes of the AGM held on 12.04.17– These were taken as read, proposed Jan Brown, seconded Iain Saunders, carried.
4. Matters Arising- none
5. Chair’s Report– The chairs report is on the following pages including an update from Cromach. Note the contained thanks to Jan Brown and Paul Smyth
6. Secretary’s Report- The Directors/secretaries report is on the following pages
7. Treasurer’s Report & Adoption of the Accounts– A summary of the accounts was presented by Paul Smyth and adoption of the account Proposed by Colin Davidson, seconded by Jan Brown, carried.
8. Appointment of auditors– proposed continuation of auditors R A Clement Oban, proposed Paul Smyth, Seconded Jan Brown, carried.
9. Election of Directors.
Current Board: Tim Barlow (Chair), Jan Brown, Rory Day, Phil Dickinson (Secretary), Merlyn Edwards, Iain Saunders, Paul Smyth (Treasurer). Paul Smyth and Jan Brown both stood down after many years service and the meeting recorded great appreciation of their service.
Election of new directors. Wil Craig is willing to join the board and was proposed by Phil Dickinson, seconded by Tim Barlow, carried.
The board is now Tim Barlow (Chair), Wil Craig, Rory Day, Phil Dickinson (Secretary), Merlyn Edwards, Iain Saunders – it was proposed to elect these directors by Jan Brown, seconded Paul Smyth, carried.
10. A.O.B. - None
11. Open Discussion
Jo Lesley raised the topic and a wide discussion ensued on C3’s housing remit and the potential for Community Land Trusts.
Tom related his discussions with the council and informed the meeting of different options. Tom is also willing to look at a draft model and to work with the board on increasing our knowledge in this area.
Colin related his experience and knowledge of housing associations.
Iain astutely noted the difference between a suggestion with a volunteer and just a suggestion.
Jo and Tom articulated that this is more about enabling ‘self build’ and that brings a particular growth and dynamic to a community.
Mary also noted and brought into the discussion the desirability of sheltered housing within the community.
Tom was invited to the next board meeting to continue the discussion.
Meeting closed 20.30
C3 AGM 2018 Chair’s Report
I want to begin by thanking my fellow-directors for all their hard work and valuable contributions to the work of C3 over this last year. In particular, I want to thank Jan and Paul who are standing down from the Board after many years of faithful service.C3 is only one of many areas in which they have served this community. C3 has always felt to be in safe hands with their experience, knowledge and wisdom. I do think the next few months will be like a child riding a bike for the first time without stabilisers! Thank you, Jan & Paul. We hope you will come to our rescue when we fall off!
I want to focus now on giving you an up to date report on the Community & School Play Area. First, I want to say I am sorry there is not more evidence of progress on the ground since our animated discussion at last year’s AGM. Let me explain why that is and what has happened since that meeting.
During the year we have purchased the strip of land which separated the plot from the access path on Ardlarach Road.
We have agreed a detailed design for the play area.
We have obtained Planning Permission for the change of use.
We have commissioned and secured funding for a round-house outdoor classroom.
We have been through the tendering process and have three quotations for executing the whole scheme.
We have been, and still are after 11 months, in negotiations with Argyll & Bute Council.
As a community we are incredibly indebted to David Graham, our landscape architect, who has been working tirelessly, and voluntarily, on the detailed design of the play area. David also took full responsibility for the planning application and the tendering process.
To provide good drainage, the design specification requires the removal of a lot of clay-rich sub-soil and then a build up with rock, membrane and new sandy soil. Because of the slope, the design includes a long wall of gabions along the bottom of the plot to maximise the play area. It also includes a 3m high ball-stop fence on three sides. It provides a hard-surfaced area with all-ability access and seating.
Three companies tendered for the work and we were all shocked by the estimates which ranged from £120k to £160k. We have just over £30k in the bank. After the initial shock, we have had a useful reassessment of how the area will be used and how we might reduce costs.
The head teacher has reported a deterioration in the children’s behaviour which she attributes to them being ‘confined’ at play times. So we feel there is an urgency in getting the children on to the plot. It has also become apparent that ‘Sports’ will still take place with Kilninver School at the Kilmelford Village Hall. Both schools spend Friday there and combine Sports with Forestry School and Gaelic lessons. This suggests that the end result may be more of a nature park than a running track!
The board has recently decided to carry out a first phase of works, probably costing no more than £10k, which would make the site safe and secure and would mean it could be used fairly quickly. This will also give us a better idea of how the children use the area.
It is clear that the teachers like to take the children outside for other lessons such as maths and French. So we are confident that the proposed classroom/roundhouse will be a great asset. In the meantime, Jan Brown is seeking funding for Phase 2 and the completion of the scheme. We are so grateful to her.
After 11 months of emails and meetings we still do not have a formal agreement with Argyll & Bute Council. Indeed, you may have heard that we received one email which seemed to be the Council rejecting the whole scheme! After contacting the Chief Executive and our MP to protest, we were offered a further meeting with an Education Department Manager. It became apparent that the Council could not entertain the idea of any extra expenditure - even £200 for public liability insurance! C3 has now agreed to work with the Parent Council to cover any extra costs involved (otherwise it would be taken off the school budget) and to provide maintenance for the site. We are now hopeful that the Council will draw up a reciprocal agreement that will allow us access across council land from Ardlarach Road and allow the school exclusive use of the plot during school hours. It is disappointing that the Council has found it so hard to work collaboratively with our community.
It has not been an easy journey but we are now feeling much more hopeful and positive. We want to be wise and good stewards of the resources which the community has so generously made available.
C3 exists to serve the community. We do not meet to think up ways whereby we can justify our existence. We want to enable and facilitate ideas and projects that come from the community and will benefit the community. Last year I reminded us of the purposes for which we exist. One of those is the provision of recreational facilities. We go back to 2008 when the School Parent Council first approached C3 with the idea of purchasing extra land for the school. Another part of our vision statement is the protection of the environment. It was at this meeting last year that the issue of Japanese Knotweed was raised. Phil, our Secretary will report on progress made in that area. Staying with the environmental theme, we were approached by Cromach (Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitats) for help with the purchase of diving equipment. I’ll ask Rory who is a member of the group to tell us more.
These are all great examples of the kind of partnerships which make us feel C3 still has a valuable role and for which we need your ideas and support.
Tim invited Rory to give an update on Cromach
CROMACH: Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitats: 2017/18 round-up
One of CROMACH’s main ambitions is to conduct a survey of Loch Craignish with a view to identifying all key at-risk marine and coastal species and lobbying for protection
We have unearthed a 1990 survey of Loch Craignish University Marine Biological Station Millport for the Nature Conservancy Council. We will use parts of this as a benchmark.
Due to generous personal donations and help from C3 two CROMACH members received PADI training and we purchased drysuits and survey equipment.
We are in discussions with a Survey Ship to help with the deeper sections at the mouth of the Loch.
We now have 55 members and 120 followers on our Facebook page
We organised a screening of “Atlantic” at the Village Hall in October - 90 people attended
Marine Conservation is to be the Craignish Primary School Hot Topic for this Summer
Great Egg Case Hunt in tandem with the Beach Clean with help from the Shark Trust
Beach Trail outings
CROMACH has collaborated closely with other marine conservation groups: we worked with Friends of the Sound of Jura to respond to the proposed Dounie fish farm. We are also working with COAST in Arran, Flora & Fauna International and the Coastal Communities Network and others.
We responded both as a community group and individually to aquaculture planning applications at Dounie and the recent Marine Harvest expansion application in Loch Shuna
We have recently had constructive meetings with
Marine Scotland Compliance team, National and Oban/Campbeltown offices
SEA SEARCH – a volunteer diving body who can provide divers for survey and advise on structure
Bank Account now opened
Many thanks to C3 for handling funds for diving equipment while we did this
AGM will be in June
We plan to Conduct a Survey of Loch Craignish with local community participation
There will be more local engagement activities including
Spotting/stopping illegal dredging (we are preparing a guide, currently at the printers)
More educational and fun shore-based activities
Investigating sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and other coastal businesses by inviting expert speakers.
C3 - Directors Report 2017/18
At the last AGM, Paul Mills and Liz McNally stood down from the Board and Phil Dickinson was elected to it. Tim Barlow was elected Chair, Paul Smyth Treasurer and Phil Dickinson Secretary. In November Bob Carss also stepped down from board membership.
Community and School Play Park
After the purchase of the land previously known as ‘Rosemary’s Plot’, the council used it during the build of the pre-school facility. That completed during the year and a good deal of time has been spent this year liaising and getting agreement to the design. That is complete but negotiations with the council on access and other legal matters have been protracted. The planning permission has been submitted and tenders for the necessary works have been received and are being assessed. During the year the board decided to retain the right of access over the neighbouring land, which was in the process of changing hands.
The board has been active in communicating with the council to get this land designated as an Open Space Protection Area. The current consultation on Local Development Plan 2, is one in which C3 is actively engaged. C3 is monitoring the need for retaining our registered interest.
Ardfern First Responders is still covering 24/7 but membership is dropping. Looking forward it will be very hard to keep this cover going. More members of the community are needed to come forward and volunteer if this service is to continue. C3 is working with the leaders of the First Responders to determine what further help can be given.
No terns nested on the raft in 2017. In 2018 it will continue for the year but be reviewed along with other wildlife projects. Ardfern Marina continue to be a vital support to this.
This has met major problems due to AB Internet failing in May 2017. The directors of Gigaplus Argyll currently see no way forward and as of November 2017 intend to wind up Gigaplus. It is hoped, but there are great concerns , that the government’s R100 programme will connect all our remote communities. This is of particular relevance to properties at the South Western end of the Craignish peninsula.
Boat Jumble and Car Boot Sale
The 2017 Boat Jumble and Car Boot raised £1045 towards C3's running costs. Thanks are due to those who helped on the day, particularly the catering and car parking teams.
Over the last 12 months there have been 2.4k visitors to the site and 5,541 page views, this is down from last year. The good news is that visitors this year are spending longer on the site than last year and they are also venturing further into the other areas of the website from the homepage.
Expenditure: £150. Income: £300, so a small profit was made. Over the next 6 months Tiziana will endeavour to grow the number of visits, by increasing activity on Facebook and making the homepage more dynamic. She will also be trying again to get all local businesses on-board so they can advertise their events and special offers.
Cromach Dive Gear
C3 facilitated the purchase of dive gear for Cromach (Craignish Restoration of Marine and Coastal Habitats). This will be used to survey and report on our shoreline subsurface habitats.
Following concerns raised at the AGM, C3 (with generous backings and donations) has embarked on a project to control and hopefully eliminate Japanese Knotweed from the peninsula. Training in control techniques, a survey of sites plus seeking of permission and some initial treatment all occurred in 2017. This project will continue over a number of years. We are well geared up for a big push in 2018 however grant funding is an area that is more complex than had been initially thought.
The Waiting Place
C3 – particularly Jan Brown, has helped the Community Council with applications for funding for ‘The Waiting Place’ (aka the Bus Shelter). This is now close to construction.
Addition – Defib for Craobh
C3 is pursuing obtaining a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) for Craobh Haven. We have some allocated funds and are applying for a grant to the British Heart Foundation. We should know by the end of April if we have been successful with the grant. Installation of this will also be combined with our First Responders to provide greater confidence/awareness training on PAD use within the community.
Phil Dickinson, Secretary, 11/04/18
Financial Summary (Full Accounts will be posted on the C3 web site.)
Registered Address: Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern, Lochgilphead, PA31 8QN.
Company No. SC270732. Scottish Charity No. SC035761