Minutes of Board Meetings & Newsletters

Minutes of Board Meeting 16th October 2013

Present: Meta Maltman (Chm); Pat Wardell; Sue Clark; Morag McIlwraith; Laura Kiltie (DGC); Cllr Graham Nicol.

Apologies: John Plumridge; Anne Gille; Norman McGuire; Josie Taylor

Minutes of Previous Meeting: These were approved as correct.

Post of Vice-Chairman:

Directors noted with regret that Jayne Mee had resigned as Vice-Chairman. Since a number of Directors had given their apologies, the matter of electing another Vice-Chairman was left to a future meeting. Jayne had kindly said that she would still be willing to help out at events.

Matters Arising not covered by other Agenda items:

In the absence of Karen Brownlie, Laura Kiltie would find out if any action had been taken regarding the Trust’s request for Environmental Health to inspect the kitchen in the Centre to ensure that it met current health and hygiene regulations.

The Chairman summarised her unsuccessful efforts to establish contact with Ewan Green or any other Economic Development officer. Simon Fieldhouse was trying to follow this up and Cllr. Graham Nicol said that he too would look into the matter. The Board were concerned that time was being lost in trying to establish the foundations of a business plan. Simon had attended the most recent meeting of the Biosphere Group, from which it appeared that a decision had already been made that the Biosphere officers, when they were appointed in 2014, would be located in Forestry Commission premises at Kirroughtree. There had been some suggestion that it might be possible to have a ‘hot desk’ facility at Glentrool. The Chairman said that Cllr. Geddes was not happy with this and had been in contact with Simon Fieldhouse to ask who had been responsible for making what had apparently now become a final decision on the choice of location.

Treasurer’s Report:

In the absence of the Treasurer, this regular item was deferred until the next meeting.

Autumn Craft Fair Arrangements:

Iona Dunbar joined the meeting to outline progress with arrangements for the Craft Fair on Sunday, 27th October. She reported that 22 craft workers had booked tables for a fee of £10 per unit. The number of tables available in the Community Centre would probably be enough to meet everyone’s needs. Some exhibitors could provide tables of their own and Laura Kiltie said that it would be possible to borrow more from Newton Stewart Community Centre if necessary. Meta and Pat Wardell volunteered to help with the teas and coffees and Morag would join them after she returned from church on the 27th. Jayne Mee, Laurie Plumridge and Judith Swithenbank were identified as other possible helpers. Pat thought that her grand-daughters would be willing to help man the two sales tables where the craft workers concerned were not able to come in person. Pat and Meta would help Iona to set up the rooms in advance of the Fair. Stall holders would be given access to the Community Centre from 1130 on the day of the event.

Pricing Policy:

Laura Kiltie circulated details of hall charges currently used by Dumfries & Galloway Council, and by Management Committees of the Newton Stewart and the South Machars Community Centres. After discussion, it was agreed that Glentrool should adopt the South Machars Centre rates. These charges, higher than the community rates charged by Glentrool and Bargrennan Trust at present, would apply to organisations and individuals based outside the Trust’s operating area. (effectively Bargrennan Parish). Residents’ groups would continue to pay the current basic rate of £5 per hour for community activities. Laura would produce a flier advertising the new non-residents’ rates in the hope of attracting bookings from some of the groups that would need to find alternative premises after the closure of Newton Stewart Community Centre.

Footpath to Bargrennan:

A new source of funding for footpaths had become available. Michael Swithenbank, who had dealt with this matter when he was a member of the Board, was willing to resume discussions with the Forestry Commission if Directors would like him to do so. It was agreed that the Board would be happy for Michael to pick this project up where he had left off.

Any Other Business:

Compost bins: Morag reported that the compost areas created by the Forestry Commission on the opposite side of the Straiton Road from the village were now hopelessly overfilled. Directors agreed that too much heavy garden refuse had been dumped in the area and that it would take decades for it to break down. An approach would be made to the Foresty Commission to see if any remedial work could be carried out.

Date of Next Meeting:

7.00pm on Wednesday, 13th November.

Current Board Members

Meta Maltman [email protected]

Norman McGuire [email protected]

Morag McIlwraith [email protected]

Pat Wardell     01671840217

Anne Gille [email protected]

Josie Taylor [email protected]

John Plumridge [email protected]

Sue Clark [email protected]

Minutes of Board Meeting 15th September 2013

Present:

Simon Fieldhouse, development officer for the BIOSPHERE. Jayne Mee, Sue Clark, Norman McGuire, John Plumridge, Pat Wardell, Meta Maltman, Laura Kiltie, Ann Gille.

Apologies & Welcome

Morag McIlwraith, Josie Taylor

Galloway & S. Ayrshire Biosphere (Simon Fieldhouse) www.gallowayandsouthernayrshirebiosphere.org.uk

  • Simon Fieldhouse gave the committee a background to and history of the Biosphere.
  • A "Biosphere" is a special status awarded by UNESCO. They are created to fulfil 3 main purposes – Conservation , Learning& Research and Sustainable Development
  • .He explained the core Area is based around the Silver flow, Merrick and Cairnsmore spreading out to South Ayrshire and the Galloway coast.
  • He talked about staffing and partnerships with the likes of Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission, East Ayrshire Woodland Trust…
  • He talked about the need for community involvement
  • Meta showed him draft of possible areas for involvement around the village especially use of the school building.
  • They are looking for satellite offices throughout the region but are 6 months away from setting up. They would look at us favourably along with other contenders.
  • Sue asked about funding – Simon was unsure of amount as it is under review. There is some but not a lot.
  • Laura - asked about "timescale" before the start of office use because of the councils financial involvement in the building and that the "clock was ticking".
  • Meta – the need to start moving on a business plan
  • Laura –the need for a business plan in the next month. Biosphere would form stage two rather than stage one.
  • Simon – the offices would need to be ready and fit for purpose plus and affordable rent.
  • Meta asked what we need to do to progress.
  • Simon – need to chat with the business gateway section about our plans and how to develop opportunities on our doorstep.
  • Laura – reminded us that we have a SWOT analysis from a previous team to consider. It perhaps only needed a little revision to be viable.
  • Meta and Simon discussed the legalities of change of use for the building.
  • Simon said he would take away our enthusiasm and willingness to develop. He left at 7.45
  • The discussion continued on impressions on Biosphere prospects.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

  • Discussions on distribution and display. Hard copies arranged for those without e mail facilities.

Matters Arising not covered by Agenda

  • Dancing Class book the hall on an occasional rather that on a weekly basis, as and when required.
  • The Christmas dinner was discussed. The caterer said the cost would be £14 per head providing a reasonable number of people were interested. They needed a deposit in advance so people would have to buy a ticket in advance with money up front.
  • Morag suggested that a Raffle would help with raising funds.
  • Pat and Morag are going to see who is interested in attending the Christmas dinner and Jane will circulate details on E mail.
  • The pub is happy with the deep fat fryer and will pay.

Autumn Craft Fair plans

  • Iona has arranged a Craft Fair with 19 definite stalls and possibly more at £10 per table. The date is set for 27th October from 1pm to 4pm.
  • We need to check availability of tables.
  • It was decided to offer carry out tea coffee and biscuit/ tray bake from the "staffroom" to leave space for stall holders in the "dinning hall" and "classroom" at a cost of £1.50. Pat Jane Meta and possibly Morag and Sue (if here) would man the tearoom.
  • Local advertising needed.
  • Although there is still bric-a-brac in school we would not have a stall.

Financial Situation

  • There is £3,533.12 in the bank. £357 in cash.
  • Outgoings - Helen is continuing to clean the school 2 hours per week. Norman is going to look into the broadband contract and see if it can be terminated as it is not being used. Norman will check the boiler settings as Meta found the heating on during the warm weather.
  • Meta asked Laura if other halls had to pay for grass cutting. We were being charged £1,500 for grounds maintenance. Laura will query this with the council.

Pricing policy (a sub-committee?)

  • Our pricing policy was reviewed .charges needed to be affordable yet realistic.
  • Laura will acquire a copy of the council pricing rates to allow us to bring our pricing policy into line . Community rates are to remain as they are and an increase to be made in the commercial rate and charges for refreshments. Further review when Laura feeds back council charges.
  • With the Community Centre in Newton Stewart closing we could possibly pick up bookings from regular users. With that in mind it was suggested we advertise our facilities. Charges for Hall and Kitchen £16 per hour. Both Halls £25 per hour. Negotiable rates for regular use with the possibility of an annual membership rate. Laura suggested we consider double use bookings – parents having to drive youngsters out to guides or similar will probably prefer to wait .They could be offered an alternative activity.

Allocation of tasks

  • John Plumridge taking minutes. Sue Clark typing minutes.

Armistice Day

  • Meta wondered if the community ought to celebrate Armistice Day as the memorial was relocated to the cemetery at Bargrennan from inside the church. It was left to individual remembrance. Meta is going to put lay a wee cross and Norman will also commemorate the day. You may wish to make your own remembrance.

Any other business

  • Christmas tree – we will have one but will be discussed at a later date.

Date of next meeting

16th October 2013 at 7pm.

 

Minutes of Board Meeting 28 August 2013

 Present: Meta Maltman (Chm); Jayne Mee (ViceChm); Norman McGuire (Treas); Pat Wardell; John Plumridge; Sue Clark; Anne Gille; Morag McIlwraith; Karen Brownlie (DGC); Laura Kiltie (DGC); Cllr Graham Nicol. 

Apologies: Josie Taylor

Minutes of Previous Meeting: This was the first meeting of the newly elected Board. The Chairman would contact Sandy Skelton to ask if he had minutes of the Extraordinary General Meeting at which the present Board had been elected/re-elected.

Overview of the last two years:

Karen Brownlie summarised what had happened since the community had rejected the project to convert the school building into a combined community centre and bunkhouse. She explained that the Council had to make economies and was having to dispose of buildings that could not pay their way. The Council could no longer make premises available on payment of a modest levy, but only on the basis of tenants being responsible for the full operating costs. The Council would continue to be responsible for the basic structural security of the building and large equipment such as heating systems. Insurance for contents, public liability etc. would be the responsibility of tenants. The Trust already carried public liability and contents insurance and had recently renewed the Public Performance Licence.

Karen handed over figures for the operating costs of Glentrool School building in 2011/12 and 2012/13. She recommended that the Board should let itself settle in before looking at the budget in depth.

Events & Activities in the Pipeline:

There were bookings for a dancing class on 29th August, a Forestry Commission Bat Night on 31st August and a Scottish Power windfarm consultation event on 10th September from 1500-1900. Local craft workers were considering the possibility of an Autumn Fair, rather than the Christmas Fair of previous years. Iona Dunbar had offered to co-ordinate this. The Board agreed to consider reviving the tradition of a community Christmas Dinner. Pat and Morag would investigate costs and find out if enough people were interested. Payment would be taken in advance of the event. It was probable that the organisers of the Herds’ Dance would again want to book the school for that event in January 2014. Pat would contact Ian McFadzean. The Music Club intended to continue meeting on alternate weeks and it seemed likely that other community social/games evenings would re-start. Having two or more of these in different rooms on the same evening would help to maximise use of the building and minimise heating costs.

Possibilities for the Future:

John Plumridge said that Galloway Harriers might want to use the building on occasional Sunday afternoons.

Cllr. Graham Nicol was helping to investigate what chance there might be of using a room or rooms as an operating base for the Biosphere officers when they came into post and perhaps combining this with some sort of interpretative displays concerning the ecology and history of the area and its Dark Skies Park status. Cllr Nicol had brought along leaflets about the Biosphere, which he distributed, and said he that one of the Council’s environment staff, Simon Fieldhouse, hoped to come to the next Board meeting to discuss the matter in more detail. Barry Donnan was keen to have material concerning Robert Bruce featured in any displays, including the mural/cutout relief that had previously been in the Stroan Bridge visitor centre.

The lack of retail display space in the refurbished Stroan Bridge centre might create an opportunity for a retail unit within the school building. If the visitor centre was to remain a purely seasonal operation, there could be scope for the Trust or provide café facilities during the winter months, even if only at weekends. Contact would be made with Galloway Lodge and also with Cream of Galloway, given their general tourism interest and Forestry Visitor Centre connections.

Some previous ideas should be reviewed, such as the use of the school building by Scout groups for weekend stays. This would mean applying for change of use planning permission, but Planning thought that it would be straightforward to submit a revised version of the 2012 planning application, omitting the bunkhouse element.

Any Other Business:

Filing Cabinet: Karen thought that the Council might have a spare filing cabinet that could be used to keep Trust records in the school office, which has a security lock. A central storage area would save Directors having to keep bulky papers and other materials at home.

Wind Farm Community Benefit: Cllr Nicol said that plans for the two windfarms near Glenvernoch had now been dropped. It remained to be seen whether there might be funds forthcoming from the project that Scottish Power would discuss on 10th September.

Bargrennan Hall: This was still on the market with no purchaser in prospect.

Cleaning: Meta had asked Helen to continue with her routine of cleaning the building for two hours a week until the Board had discussed the matter. Directors agreed that with several bookings in the pipeline, Helen should be asked to keep going with her present work.

Current Financial Situation: Norman would examine the record before the next meeting. Directors believe there is still around £4,000 in the bank account.

Winter Emergency Arrangements: Morag said that Scottish Power were supplying emergency packs of torches, blankets etc. and asked if she could store these in the school rather than in her own house. This was agreed. Karen confirmed that the school would still be regarded as an emergency centre for the community.

Meter Readings: Karen asked if readings from the electricity meter in the school could be sent to her on the last day of each month. Pat volunteered to take the readings and pass them to Meta so that they could be e-mailed to Karen.

Spare Keys: Tara had returned her set of keys. Keys were now held by Meta, Pat and Jane. Meta would keep the spare sets and try to identify all the keys on the larger bunches.

Faulty Street Lights: Pat reported that the street lighting had been on day and night for two days. Karen would report this.

Date of Next Meeting:

7.00pm on Wednesday, 18th September.

Board Members

As of August 2013 the board members are as follows:

 

Meta Maltman                 [email protected]

Jayne Mee                      [email protected]

Norman McGuire            [email protected]

Morag McIlwraith            [email protected]

Pat Wardell                          

Anne Gille                       [email protected]

Josie Taylor                    [email protected]

John Plumridge              [email protected]   

Sue Clark                       [email protected]

EGM Notice

We would like to give formal notice of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust. The meeting will be held on Tuesday August 13th at 7 pm.

As you may already know, the Trust held an AGM on Tuesday the 16th of July, for which the minutes will be available shortly. During this meeting it was decided that since several members of the Trust would like to form a board and continue the Trust, that another meeting should be held in 4 weeks time.

Therefore, the purpose of this EGM will be to elect a new board of directors. Four of the current five directors (Sandy, Beth, Tara and Buzz) will not be standing for re-election. This means that in order for the Trust to continue to operate, at least four new directors need to be elected. At the moment, those who have put their names forward as willing to stand are Anne Gille, Morag McIlwraith, Pat Wardell, Jayne Mee and Meta Maltman. If you would like to put your name forward to be a director, please let us know before the EGM if possible.

If fewer than five people are elected to the board at the meeting, the Trust will be unable to continue. In this case, we will propose a motion to wind up the Trust and members will vote on this.

Please note that in order to vote at the meeting you will need to be a member of the Trust. Any resident of Glentrool & Bargrennan can become a member and it costs you nothing; so if you are not currently a member but would like to become one, please contact one of us, and we will get you signed up.

If you know you will be unable to attend the EGM, but would like to have your say and/or vote, again please let us know. You can proxy your vote to another member if you wish and we can provide you with a form to do so.

 

LEASING THE SCHOOL HALL

On 1st November 2011, we (The community Trust/Residents) will be taking over the day to day running of the Old School Hall on the signing of a lease. This means that the facilities will be more easily available to us all. Obviously, we have to find the cash to pay the lease and so charges will still be levied but it is envisaged that this levy will be more flexible than in the past. So, if you fancy organising anything at the Hall or have any ideas regarding events which we may all benefit from, then please speak up. 

To celebrate this major change in our community, we would like to stage a party / music night on Friday 11th November from 7pm. There will be no charge, all are welcome/encouraged to come along, bring some food and drink and if you have a musical instrument (your voice!) please bring it along and join in or just come along and chat/listen.

We will be posting more details shortly.

NEW CONSTITUTION

 At last we have had approval from the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator OSCR) for the Articles of Association that will let us register Glentrool & Bargrennan Community Trust as a Company Limited by Guarantee with charitable status.  This has taken two months longer than OSCR say they normally take to deal with constitutions, despite the fact that they only asked us to make two minor changes to our draft.

More than 40 Bargrennan and Glentrool residents have said they wish to be members of the new Trust and we are now in the process of finding out how many members are interested in becoming Directors.  Once we’ve done this, by election if necessary. The Trust will be registered with Companies House and OSCR will then give us our Charity Number. 

Many thanks to all the people who have agreed to support the Trust by agreeing to become members and directors.

Once the Trust has been set up, Stewartry Council of Voluntary Service will arrange training for Directors.  This will cover basic financial management, record-keeping and documentation for Companies House and any other topics that the Directors feel they need.  Funding for this is already in place. 

A brief is now being prepared to help us identify a consultant who is qualified and willing to carry out a feasibility study for the proposals for use of the school building that were accepted at the Community Consultation on 28th October.  Grant applications to fund the feasibility study and other aspects of our plans for the future are also in preparation.