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Knoydart Foundation Meeting Minutes (Draft) Tues 11th April 2023
Knoydart Community Hall, 6pm
Attending: Jane Hollowood, Anna Wilson, Davie Newton, Sam Gardener, Reagan Nunn, Rhona Miller, Jim Brown, Finlay Greig
Also Attending Zoom: Craig Dunn, Fiona Lennie, Jacqui Wallace, Steph Harris, Lachie Robinson, Jo Firminger, John Cocker, Corinna Calder, Sara Donald
Apologies
Richard Williams, Andrew Baldrey
Declarations of Interest
Sam Gardner, Craig Dunn for Farm
Minutes of Previous Meetings inc. single item agenda meetings

  • March meeting minutes- Approved
  • Reed Canary Grass Proposal meeting minutes- Small amendment (one word) from Lachie- Approved
    Matters arising
    Actions from Last Meeting.
    JH- Housing maintenance visit declined by tennants. Legal requirement for written notice as appropriate and then legally allowed to go in. JH wants to be sure are we meeting legal requirements
    AP: CD to check legal requirements for meeting maintenance requirements.
    JH- Drew and Kirsten Deed of servitude where at- very close (CD).
    LR- Hasn’t got digital collaboration document draft ready yet.
    LR/ SG: completed AP regarding HR
    Updates
  1. Knoydart Climate Action Group – No Update
  2. Deer Management Update
    JB sent blackhills update. Slightly behind on hind cull. Finances look good and well booked for next season. DN- is there a hole in funding. JB- We have to provide 10% from our own resources which is approx. £8,000. Natural capital funding is aiming to fill that gap. Ideally look for funding to pay someone to develop it and take it forward. Peatland action hoped to have going but funding officer stepped down. Hopefully have that work going next year and that’s carbon credits to access. Maintaining Blackhills post NRF funding next year- need to think about that a bit more.
    Still have reliance on volunteers. Accommodation is an issue and £50/ week living allowance plus venison allowance.
  3. Ranger Service Update.
    Comparison 2022- 2023 financial looking up. See Ranger Report.
    QN on pay and holiday pay.
    QN over if KF happy to continue paying for maintenance of 2 x defibrillators
    Would like to recruit additional ranger 2 days per week. Needs green light.
    AP -CD- Advertising for additional ranger 2 day per week.
    JH Suggested that it should be a rolling position rather than permanent and should be advertised locally only. All in agreement
    Discussion around helicopter landing site at campsite. Some concern over restriction of a wild camping area. Proposed for a sign that informs that a helicopter may land but does not put restrictions in place.
    AP- Coast Guards To bring a proposal to board regarding the circle and area beyond. It needs to include a map with the landing circle area. John Cocker to feed back to Coast Guards
    FG and JB leave
  4. Knoydart Trading Update
    Most items doing better than budgeted but variance report not a reliable source as very early in year.
    Bunkhouse renovation plan created by Ben and Jenny – as yet to be agreed
    Village hall and trading discussion regarding band accommodation
    Shop and profit vs stock held
    Bunkhouse bookings in accounts and disparities in cost centres & check front changes delay
    LR- was there any discussion around donations to KF. DN- no but in his head thought that it would be quarterly and start in the second quarter
    Items for decision
  5. Leases for three projects at Millburn
  • Tree Nursery, Farm and Canary Reed Grass
  • Tree Nursery, Farm and CERESIS
    LR- CERESIS site changed from dog leg to oblong. Map in lease is wrong but topped area doesn’t go behind wee hooses so this is understood.
    FG returns
    Discussion around different sized areas and same rental price.
    AP- CD: No access provisions for KR and KF regarding undergrounding cable. Need to allow for this/ acknowledge in lease.
    Discussion around rental increases. Proposal that a discussion is allowed for rent increase after 3 years.
    AP- CD To accommodate the boundary of CERESIS and Tree Nursery needs to start further back from the road to allow provision of cable laying near road.
    LR- Suggestion of set rental price up to an acre and then amend from there- agreed.
    Agreed that leases don’t need to come back after these changes and that they are agreed once these changes have been put in place.
  1. Circulation of Minutes and Agenda
  • Discuss what info is sent out alongside minutes
    AW- Proposes that all document are sent in draft form along with agenda to community before the meeting so that people have necessary info. Also have cut off time of week before the meeting to submit supporting documents. Any sensitive documents would be marked by proposer to ensure that they weren’t sent round if not appropriate. – All Agreed
    LR- will add sensitive document into digital data sharing file policy
    DN- concern over management accounts and perhaps these are also marked as sensitive
  1. Seaview Croft Boundaries- Kira H & Dave S
    CD- asks does everyone understand that this is the creation of a croft as one doesn’t currently exist there
    LR- suggests that crofting commission website is not up to date
    AP- LR to find Seaview Croft on the croft register to prove it is already a croft
    LR Explains that it’s a crofting register and not the registering of a new croft
    JH Believes this to be an existing croft but boundaries need to be updated on Crofting register
    Board all in agreement with proposal and do not need further confirmation.
    Jim Brown returns and confirms that the croft is in existence but the new boundaries have to be registered.
    JH requested KF letter headed paper/digital template to send the supporting letter – AP Reagan
    Reports
  2. Accommodation Project Officer Report- See SD Report
    Discussion around plot of security for loan.
    FG leaves
    SD- Suggests plot would be a future building plot but not for a few years as will be tied up with funding.
    Board agree that the unassigned area of Milburn, the plot to the west of Millburn cottage would be the plot used as security.
    Sara- Update on Highland Council vs Scottish Government funding money and putting things out to tender and the more accurate costings so will put a bill of quantities together for workers accommodation by John Strachan (pre-contract services).
    Sara looking for agreement to pay £4,700 (to put the bill of quantities together). Board in agreement.
  3. Operations Manager report- See Report
    Items for discussion
  4. Budget
  • Look at monthly variance report, monthly cashflow forecast and core costs
    Variance has issues as very early on in the year and differences with last year due to covid.
    Transportation line 17,300% variance.
    Bottom line= net loss 26K in first 2 months compared to 4K that was proposed. AP need to be very aware of this.
    CD- Workers accommodation expense should be coming back in. Also Blackhills money out 8K that cropped up that didn’t know was coming. 24K can be accounted for quickly.
    DN- ranger camping inc 685% may not be realistic. Comparing with Covid months. Concerns over mistakes in cost center information. Highlights why automatic accounting can be confusing &. can create issues for budget management.
  1. Plot as security for Millburn Cottage Design & Consents funding
  • Look at different plots and discuss loan requirements. Plot agreed as above.
  1. Housing Maintenance list
  • Update on Housing Maintenance list and discuss Property Maintenance & Refurbishment Plan.
    JH- asks if money from Westfield sale is still available and designated for property maintenance?
    CD- Uncertain if it’s still available or which account it’s in but assumes it’s still in Reserves.
    DN- It was designated against housing projects not necessarily housing maintenance.
    Discussion around the Property Maintenance and Refurbishment Plan (PMRP). Agreement that there should be community consultation before any discussion to sell properties. Concern over people’s ability to get mortgages on properties in poor state of repair but this may be possible through the communities housing trust. Concern over longevity of new houses vs older properties. Need identified to dig down into costs presented in excel file and that they need to be more focused. Need to be sure that the rural housing burden would work. Need to know who would have the 2nd opportunity to buy the houses if the tenants didn’t take the first.
    JH- suggests getting valuations on two properties to see if remortgaging is an option for the KF to generate revenue for housing refurbishment.
    LR- Need to be proactive post revaluation or will be outdated.
    DN- Would like more details about remortgaging.
    AP- CD- Speak to Triodos to find out if remortgaging is a possibility. Ask if remortgage the houses coming to end of their mortgage and how much could be supported with current income.
    LR- Can we look further into the other revenue generation elements of the PMRP?
    Proposed revenue generation options from the PMRP are listed as: ‘Commercial Rents’, ‘Storage and Workspace’, ‘Huts’, ‘Housing on Rented Land’, ‘Crofts’, and ‘Consultation’. Uncertainty as to the revenue generation potential of forming new crofts, but interest in finding out more about the concept in general.
    AP- LR to investigate forming new crofts.
    Community housings plan lays out details that have not yet been agreed to improve housing and increase rents. Look at this plan for a staged plan of action.
    AP- CD to circulate relevant parts of the community housing plan report.
    AP-CD to consult the community about additional revenue generation now rather than waiting.
  1. Feedback from Director Training Day on 18th March 23 – out of time and moved on.
  2. Delegation of Authority Document Feedback- leave to next meeting as ran out of time.
    Items for information only
  3. Checkfront update to be completed 9 May.
  • New online booking system for Knoydart Trading- as above
  1. Process of director engagement before changing lawyers- agree by email later.
  2. Correction to Meeting of February 13th 23 minutes- as above
    AOB
    4G masts- 98 responses 100% opposition. (Since ended at 103) Plan for position statement from community council but concern over careful wording. Frank A has offered to try and word it. Request for a statement from community council saying that we will oppose these masts and that the community doesn’t want it. Say that as a land owner we will not facilitate visits from contractors. They want to visit 18th-20th to visit Kilchoan Estate. Ben Ruddle advises that he has a request for rental of E-Bikes from Contractors for their next visit (Which he has since refused)
    KF as landowner- disengage in this & suggest that there is a letter from the Chair. – AP Steph/ JH/
    Tom D offered to represent the community council.
    Finlay G has been engaged in it.
    KF directors agree that following community consultation they will not assist contractors in visiting community land for 4G mast sites.
    Playpark- Jenny- requests community consultation for playpark- approved by CD. Questions around liability and insurance. SD suggest that some can be avoided with appropriate signs. CD – disclaimers don’t negate liability. It was suggested that, following Consultation, KFT are approached for a risk assessment. AP – CD to send out community consultation
    Next meeting- 9th May 6pm