Craignish Community Company
Minutes of the AGM on 12.04.17
Present: Tim Barlow, Jan Brown, Rory Day, Phil Dickinson, Liz MacInally, Paul Mills, Iain Saunders, Paul Smyth plus 10 members of the community.
Apologies for absence: Bob Carss, Merlyn Edwards, Faith Mackilligin, Ju Randall, Sarah Whittle.
Minutes of the AGM held on 13.04.16 These were taken as read. Their adoption was proposed by Iain Saunders and seconded by Liz MacInally.
Matters Arising: There were no matters arising.
I want to begin by saying that it has been a privilege to chair the C3 board this year and to thank my fellow directors for working so well together and making it such an easy task.
However, we all know that the one person who makes it all work so smoothly is our Secretary, Jan Brown, who is standing down after 9 years in the post. We are so grateful to her for all she has done and relieved that she is willing to continue as a director, with her particular expertise in fund-raising. I also want to thank Liz Maclnally and Paul Mills who are standing down as directors. Liz has served two terms on the board and was its last chair. Paul has been advocate for the First Responders and responsible for H & S issues.
The Secretary's report will provide a summary of all our activities and discussions this year backed up by the Treasurer's report. Let me make some more general reflections.
Like any institution, it is important for us to regularly ask questions about our vision and purpose - even to ask whether there is still any need for us to exist. But now that we own property in the form of the new recreation area and have a legal responsibility to maintain it that last question is settled for the moment.
We are very aware that as a board we could be more representative of the community but we do find it difficult to recruit new directors. Maybe that's because the role of C3 is misunderstood. We know we could and should do more to communicate with the community. It is perhaps good to remind ourselves of the Objects listed in our Memorandum of Association:
3:1 To promote for the public benefit, rural regeneration..... by all or any of the following means:
the relief of poverty
the provision of housing
the provision of recreational facilities
the protection of the environment ·
3:2 To advance the education of the Community about its environment, culture and history 3:3 To promote.. and support other projects of a similar charitable nature for the benefit of the community.
But what do we mean by "community"? We rejoice in our sense of community yet our community is so diverse and disparate. C3 exists solely to serve 'the community', to be an enabling body, facilitating, empowering and even financing projects for the benefit of 'the community'. The new play area adjacent to the school is a great example of that working out and I can't wait to see it finished. A need is identified by members of and organisations within the community and C3, because of its charitable status and legal constitution is seen to be the organisation that can make it happen.
We can look enviously at other communities in Scotland. Some have invested in wind generated electricity and now have large revenue streams. Others have created affordable and sheltered housing schemes and provided care services for older people. Some have created employment and training opportunities for the unemployed. But what is right for our community? This is why we need a conversation with members of our community and I look forward to our open session later in the meeting.
At the last AGM Sandy Mackilligin stood down from the Board and Iain Saunders was elected on to it.
Thanks to local fundraising efforts and donations from individuals and trusts, during the summer the community was able to buy ‘Rosemary’s plot’ from the owning group. Since then the site has been used by Argyll & Bute Council while the new Pre-School is being built.
The project was awarded Ross and Liddell’s ‘Galaxy Hot Chocolate Award’ of £500 and this was presented to C3 outside the school in March.
In March, The General Trustees of the Church of Scotland gave C3 six months to raise its stated value of £170,000 for the four unserviced plots at the southern end of the Glebe. C3 had a meeting with Eric McNally the Scottish Land Fund advisor and while the project would technically qualify for a Scottish Land Fund grant it was felt that it would be difficult to establish a convincing level of need for more affordable rented housing in the community. C3 told the Church of Scotland that it would not be pursuing the project.
First Responders Scheme.
The First Responders urgently needs new volunteers if it is to be able to give 24 hour coverage. Already some shifts are not able to be covered. At the present time the Ambulance Service does not have enough staff to be able to deliver monthly training.
Boat jumble and Car Boot Sale
Income from the annual Boat Jumble and Car Boot raised £1,045 towards C3’s running costs. Thanks are due to all those who helped on the day particularly the catering and car parking teams.
C3 has a registered interest in the piece of land in front of the Galley of Lorne. Following the withdrawal of their planning application by the current owners C3 offered to negotiate with them with a view to buying the land for the community. Once C3 had indicated that any negotiations would have to be based on the District Valuer’s current valuation of the land communication with the owners ceased.
Gigaplus Argyll’s scheme to bring high speed broadband to Craignish is progressing well. By September 24 masts had received approval and it was assumed that the first customers would be on line by Spring 2017. Contact Merlyn Edwards for details.
During the year the Youth Group decided to become independent of C3.
C3 is grateful to Ardfern Yacht Centre for its continued support for the Tern Raft. Although no terns have returned to Loch Craignish, a number of gulls nested on the raft in 2016.
During the year Iain Saunders has been exploring various options for renewable energy. This project is at an early stage.
Paul Smyth presented the accounts. These show a net profit of £91,000 with £47,000 in the bank.
A total of £92,000 was received for ‘Rosemary’s Plot’. £41,000 are restricted funds which are being held on behalf of ‘Rosemary’s Plot’, the First Responders and the Tern raft.
Appointment of auditors
Paul Smyth proposed that R.A. Clements should be reappointed as independent examiners of the accounts. Seconded by Paul Mills.
Election of Directors:
Before the election of directors, Tim thanked Liz MacInally and Paul Mills for the time that they had served on the C3 Board. Colin Davidson proposed that the existing Board members be elected en bloc. Seconded by Mary Smyth. Colin Davidson proposed that Phil Dickinson be elected to the Board. Seconded by Pippa Shanks.
There being no other business the AGM closed.
Public Meeting following the AGM.
Mary Smyth explained that the axing of the mobile library service means that there are a lot of surplus books which Lochgilphead Library would be willing to donate to a community run library. Mary suggested that C3 could take on the running of a community library, possibly in Hall 3 of the Village Hall once the Pre-School has moved.
In principle it was felt that this would be a good idea and the subject will be put on the agenda for the next meeting of C3. Prior to that meeting Mary would meet with a representative from C3 and the Village Hall to discuss the practicalities of the proposal.
Ali Macleod asked whether Japanese knotweed is still being controlled, as the plant is spreading along the shore. Following discussion it was agreed that Ali will investigate the problem and find out if anyone is dealing with it.
Tim started by asking suggestions for a new name for the plot. The only suggestion from those present was ‘Fiddlers’ Green’. It was also suggested that Christian Siva-Jothy might be asked to name it. It was agreed that suggestions should be sought from the community.
Tim then gave a presentation of an initial proposed design for the plot together with the rationale behind any decisions. His main points were:
There should only be one zone with the area being treated as a whole.
During school hours the site would be solely for the school.
Access would be via Ardlarach road. This would have a gate which the school would lock at the start of each day and unlock at the end of the day.
There would be ‘serious’ drainage put in and planting to screen the houses.
The following points were brought out in the discussion following Tim’s presentation.
The existing vehicular access from opposite the Village shop must not be lost. There could still be a fence but it should have a gate in it.
If C3 retained its right of access over the track this would impact on the owner of the adjoining plot.
The original plan was for a community space, but now too much consideration is being given to the requirements of the school.
Playtime is the only time that the school pupils would be on the site unsupervised. Any other times would be supervised so having members of the public on the site at the same time might not be a problem.
The proposed grassy area would turn to mud. An all-weather surface would be preferable and probably cheaper in the long run.
How the plot is used will evolve so any design should not be too prescriptive.
The newly elected Board will discuss all these points at a meeting at Tigh na Lochan at 5pm on Wednesday April 26th.
Registered Address: Craignish Village Hall, Ardfern, Lochgilphead, PA31 8QN.
Company No. SC270732. Scottish Charity No. SC035761