Minutes for Community Directors Meeting
Monday 13th March 2023
Knoydart Community Hall, 6pm
In person – Anna Wilson, Jane Hollowood, Craig Dunn, Lachie Robinson, Davie Newton
On zoom – Richard Williams
On zoom – Corinna Calder, Jo Firminger, Judy Bailey, Fiona Lennie, Helen Evemy, Phillip Evemy, Sara Donald
In person – Ben Ruddle, Jenny Ruddle, Janey De Nordwall, Tom Dalziel
Declarations of Interest – Jane and Davie for Old Forge – Item 15
Minutes of Previous Meetings inc. single item meetings
- Single Item Meeting for Approving Accounts – 22nd December 22
- Single Item Meeting for Tree Nursery and Farm Consultations Feedback – 7th February 23
- Community Directors Meeting – 13th February 23
Actions from Last Meeting-
JH – All completed except for actions that will be covered in this meeting.
Priority List- on action list to update for next meeting.
ACTION – AW
- Knoydart Climate Action Group Update
LR – Gave overview.
As Per Update Word Doc. Also creating press materials to help in promotion of plan E.g. window stickers for people/ businesses that have committed to the community climate action plan.
- Deer Management Update
AW – Read out update from Jim Brown: Carrying on with Inverie Woods night shooting and Black Hills out of season culling as well as admin and maintenance tasks. Also started on rhody sweep as part of additional NRF funding. Black Hills fencing completed for end of year claim.
- Ranger Service – No Update this month.
- Knoydart Trading Update
DN – The shop interviews have taken place but no formal outcome yet. There will be a meeting about booking systems. There are more people in directors mailing list. New Trading Director Janey De Nordwall resigned from KT board after she felt she had done as much as she could within the present Foundation structure. Director’s training organised for Saturday 18th March.
Items for decision
- Approve Budget
- Look at monthly variance report
DN – We have so far had more of a loss than forecasted.
CD – No, we have had approx. 1k less of a loss than forecasted.
LR – So, looking at these figures we have both spent more and made more in this month
CD – Yes that’s accurate
JH – A dashboard would be useful as you’ve suggested yourself, can we have those each month.
CD – Yes, that’s possible.
JH – Could we have a current overview of accounts.
DN – Agree, those figures would be a good starting point plus a variance on past few years to give context. If we could get an idea of a trajectory of the accounts by seeing the numbers for the last five years.
CD – The current trajectory is going down.
DN – The forecast we are looking at is still the one, where the Knoydart Trading donation of £40,000 is included. What happens if the Trading company does not manage to make enough to donate that amount. My memory is that they will be paying it on a monthly basis but it may be after the second quarter. Budget depends on 40K from Trading. Concerned that is not guaranteed therefore hard to agree a budget as 4K and 44K loss is very different. Trading transferring money on a quarterly basis therefore no money coming KT to KF in the first quarter (£500 per month).
Discussion over term budget vs forecast. Agreed that it doesn’t matter what term is used as long as people understand.
LR – Are you suggesting we will have difficulty approving the budget before Trading agree.
DN – I have difficulty with this. Trading approved donations historically on year end basis after reviewing the years profit. The Trading board want evidence of an increase of profitability before committing to increase in donation to KF. Nowhere has been identified to make any savings. I am uncomfortable to agree to a forecast that says we will have a £40,000 loss.
JH – How did the budgeting work in the past?
CD – There was some kind of budget, looking at previous years.
In order for us to break even we need the KT company to give us money. I would rather the Trading company was self generating but technically that is why the Trading company exists
DN – Knoydart Trading was also originally set up to defer risk as well as make money for the Foundation. Previously the budgets were worked out on the previous years trading. We’ve missed a year and need to catch up but makes it a bit scarier to approve something that doesn’t exist.
CD – The difference is actually about £10,000. Due to extra expense that had to be spent in previous year that won’t happen again.
DN – There should always be a plan for where there might be an extraordinary expense.
CD – We could ask heads of departments where to cut costs. But we need to also concentrate on revenue generation. One year KT didn’t make a donation because of investment which is why making budgets ‘before money exists’. Knoydart Trading had two extraordinary expenses in previous year. 60K increase in end of year figures assumed by these figures.
Discussion around cost savings vs revenue generation
LR – The only thing resulting from this discussion, is there contingency.
CD – We have reserves in our bank account.
DN – Is there a need for build of reserves at the Trading company. We need to remember that KF is making 44K loss annually. Need to work out why that’s the case.
CD – To put into context, the figures for previous years were:
2018 – 43K loss
2019 – 40K loss
2020/21 – In Profit due to grant
2022 – £2,190 loss. This was with no donation from Knoydart Trading.
Reagan proposed that Knoydart Foundation takes money from reserves to cover losses and then
Knoydart Trading makes donations to KF once they have made enough money. The money is then
and it is put back into KF reserves. To be discussed at next meeting.
- Millburn Consultation
- Decision announced for Reed Canary Grass Project
JH – We received a positive response to the RCG proposal and, based on those responses, have agreed that the field trial will go ahead. It will be over a slightly smaller area of land than was at first requested and a lease will be paid in line with The Farm and Tree Nursery.
ACTION – CD – send out consultation responses to community.
- Minute Taker role for Knoydart Foundation and Knoydart Trading
- Finalise details of role and discuss what info is sent out alongside minutes.
AW gave overview of current process. Discussion about timelines. Agreed that minutes should go to the chairs first and then forwarded around the board for review. Audio recording agreed.
- Proposal for Bike Shelter at Doune Track end.
- 4 x photos submitted for a 2.4m x 1.8m Pent bike shed clad in larch at Doune track end.
BEN RUDDLE – Who will be able to use it.
ALL – Agreed that it was for Doune residents and visitors to Doune and that there were no identified issues with the proposal.
BOARD – APPROVED
- Accommodation Project Officer report
SD- Gave overview.
RW – On the procurement, are you clear in how to argue the case for it?
SD – Yes, Rebecca put together a case on Isle of Eigg and shared their process.
BEN RUDDLE – Question over the likely timescale of workers accommodation
SD – Could be waiting another month for grant letter to come through.
DN – We need to know whether it’s paid on proof of payment. So we can organise cash flow and whether we need to dip into reserves.
JH – Have we heard if there was any more info regarding the plot as security for the loan?
SD – Not yet, they know we are waiting on more information.
DN – how will you juggle the work onsite in regards to hours.
SD – I don’t think it will be an issue. By the time construction starts should be okay. Case for change in procurement procedure due to remote rural location & better value to do it in another way than dictated by Scot Gov. Project must be delivered by 31.3.24 to be in line with funding. Estimate for project starting is beginning Jun 23. Need to clarify if funding is upfront or with proof of purchase which will affect cash flow and reserves.
- Operations Manager report- CD
CD – Gave overview: Been busy with KR. Been with locogen to do energy surveys. Financial statements and transfers ESP. Care funding request. Work around recent outage. IT support needed. EGM questions needed research and accounts. Processes in place. Housing Plan- carried out landlord registration. Short term lets- Bunkhouse / Wee Hooses. The Legislation states hostels don’t need it as only permanent stay not tourist hostel.
ACTION – CD – Clarify legislation requirements around Bunkhouse.
Items for discussion
- Plot as security for Millburn Cottage Design & Consents funding
See Sara section above
- Housing Maintenance list- now much clearer
- Update on Housing Maintenance list and comment on website Arthur
ACTION – ALL – Read document on housing and address at next meeting.
ACTION – AW – Add to Agenda for next meeting
CD – Shares updated Housing Maintenance list.
This document covers both the short and medium term issues.
Short term eg leaky taps are alone are estimated at £33,600 which alone is more than the available budget.
The medium term issues include getting EPC ratings up. For this area there is a estimated short fall of £385,000.
The document proposes a plan of action. CD shares a draft document which the Community Housing Trust have produced in reply to CD request for suggestions for funding to upgrade Rangers/Foremans/Stalkers houses.
Community Housing Trust did a survey of all Foundation properties at end of 2021 which is where the estimated figures came from. There is likely to be an extra 10% on top of these by now.
ACTION – CD – send another form of spreadsheet to Jane and Lachie as couldn’t access it
CD- Document contains a plan to avoid getting into this situation again to meet targets for net zero 2040. The foundation has 3x mortgages at the moment only 1-2k on two and the 3rd has approx. 70K remaining.
Communities housing trust looked at mortgaging proportion of refurb work for each property based on affordable rent for each property. So upping the rent pays the mortgage. CHT can provide mortgage. Could take a big mortgage on one property and divide money to maintain and upgrade multiple properties
Milburn isn’t included in these figures.
DN – Why is there the same number of costs for the different properties?
CD – I’ve asked the questions to Community Housing Trust and awaiting their reply. We ultimately will have a large shortfall of money.
- Gigha Doc in relation to Knoydart Foundation Constitution
- Zero tolerance of bullying and harassment policy
LR- Document very thorough and asks if we would be allowed to adopt it for our use.
DN- Good summary. Is it just an outline for employee/board/community member JH-who decides what constitutes breach of policy and how it is implemented.
DN-Concern over visitors and what sanction can be taken against them eg barring from bunkhouse.
Clarification needed over decision making process
ALL- Agree that there would need to be a process to follow if it were to be considered by the membership in the future.
ACTION – CD – Ask Gigha for their process document
Items for information only
- Deeds of Servitude for access to behind the Old Forge
- Sign document
SG & LR sign. REAGAN NUNN witnessed.
- CD – The Blackhills Project has large amount of money going out that comes back 14 days later. 82K of reserves going to KFT. Limit 10K per day so doing it over 9 days.
DN – We did that with the pub.
- CD – KF are being Audited on the weeks of 17th and 24th April for last years books- No availability of Louise and Reagan for these weeks and limited availability for Craig
- CD – Trampoline in the Community Garden; would like it to dig it into the ground to reduce chance of it getting blown away and make it safer.
ACTION – CD – send email around Community Garden group
- CD – Process of director engagement before changing lawyers
ACTION – AW – Add to Agenda as AOB for next meeting
- JH – Kirsten and Drew Harris Deeds of Servitude
CD – Should be done by Wednesday
ACTION – CD to update
- JH – Dave Mathews Deed of Servitude for Car Park
CD – In progress
Date next meeting Tue 11th April 2023