01687 462242

Knoydart Community Hall, 6pm

Attending: Davie Newton, Lachie Robinson, Jo Firminger, Corinna Calder, Richard Williams (zoom)

Also Attending: Craig Dunn, Liz Tibbets, Drew McNaughton, Jim Brown, Benjamin Nunn, Reagan Nunn

Attending Via Zoom: Grant Holroyd, Louise Costello, Sara Donaldson, Ben and Jenny Ruddle, Fiona Lennie

Apologies: Sam Gardener, Andrew Bauldry, John Cocker

Declarations of Interest: JF- Grazing (land management), DN & JF- Pub Lease

Minutes of Previous Meetings inc. single item agenda meetings.

Matters arising: Actions from Last Meeting: Discussed progress. Action Point Document Available.

Knoydart Climate Action Group Update– No Formal Update. HIE Fund unsuccessful. Next steps- Admin provision contingency plan. Need to look at how to proceed. Robo-limpets have arrived which are temperature monitoring kits.

Land Management Update- No written update.

  • Grazing leases at Long Beach. Jim recommends that KF pay for fencing update. New leases for tenants and rents reflect the costs of fencing. Draft leases have been passed to John Lesham.

AP- DN- Recommendation from Jim to be shared with the board.

  • Deer management have been donated a new stalking pony.

Sara Donald arrives via zoom.

  • Lagan Burn track. Hoping to get deeds of servitude agreed once remedial works have been completed on track.

AP- JB & LR- Decision to talk to arrange a meeting with track users.

  • Budget complete for year. Shows break even with the Blackhills’ funding, covering staff costs. Have incorporated wage increases for team.

AP- All Board- To agree wage increase before next payroll- (21t Aug deadline)

  • Potential for devolved tenure regarding cultivated land around Blackhills’. Louise and David Costello are interested in taking on old croft land around Doune. They will put forward a proposal.

AP- LR & JB to investigate the process and costs of croft formation.

  • Jim has been looking at options for IT support, a role that Craig provided in the office.

AP- JF- To discuss the role with J.P and formalise the position.

  • P&L Accounts- 4K profit for combined deer management and Blackhills’.

accounts.

Ranger Service Update- No formal update. Radio show walking in via Kinloch Hourn next week.

Knoydart Trading Update-

  • Venison Online and had orders dispatched. We have received valuable feedback and repeat orders. Trial to Ardnamurchan next week.
  • Have been producing marketing/ Social Media Videos.
  • Competition has been launched to win a venison box.
  • The newsletter for Friends of Knoydart includes an offer for venison.
  • There are some equipment problems.
  • Game dealers fell through – there have been some challenges over excess venison. Possible chilled storage container solution if finances work out.
  • The shop has been remarkably busy & Terra is doing Post Office training.
  • Accommodation has volunteers, occupancy is up over this time last year.
  • Finances- KT moved into profit- year to date £3.5K. Expecting a year end profit of £30K, £10K of which should go to bunkhouse renovations. Possible year end donation to KF of £20K.

Ben and Jenny Join via zoom.

Items for decision

  • Finding the common ground accord – KFT- Agreed
  • AGM next steps- 22nd September is date set. Next obligation is this Friday 18th August- writing to ordinary members to invite nominations for directors.

AP- DN & LR to write/ send out letters.

Ballot Papers to be issued on 8th September. AGM of all three companies on the same day.

  • Cash Flow- Issues coming up. To be added to a later agenda. AP- DN & JF To find out cash flow requirements.
  • Peninsula Irwell Insurance- HR Insurance £265 per month incl insurance. Renewal for insurance is different from HR. Deadline of 40 days from date of letter for renewal. AP- JF to find out split of costs. DecisionAgreement to continue as it is with insurance for now.
  • Dubh – A-Frame. Final cost estimates £17K. Decision- All agree to action it.

AP- DN to inform David Costello.

  • KR rental for area around genny shed and old bike shed- Was agreed in principle at last meeting. Need to affix a number to it. Decision- agree to rental requirement.

AP- JF- To get cost proposal together for the board.

Fiona Lennie Joins Via Zoom

  • Operations Management going forwards– Discussion around interim vs permanent role and one or multiple people. Agree to advertise for one person on Monday and have a clear idea of how further replacements will go.

Sara Donaldson question of what support will be available to staff in the interim period. Staff will need to come to the directors for support.

AP- All board to meet this week- 15/08/2023 after 6pm- To finalise job spec, put together advert and clarify process of sending it out. DecisionDirector to approve purchase orders until new operations manager. LR Mondays, DN Wednesdays, JF Fridays.

AP- Reagan Nunn to give directors access to Xero. – chair@knoydart.org for DN

AP- DN to monitor, reply to and forward emails from operations@knoydart.org email. LR to Line manage Reagan and Louise and check Bright HR portal. LR to agree Louise’s leaving date.

AP- LR & DN to draft message to community and internally regarding the plan, how it will happen and to ask for patience.

Reports

  • Accommodation Project Officer report – written report available.

Question if a carbon audit has been completed on the bunkhouse- Not in the last 15 years approx. Philip Evemy will have the latest one. KCAG may be able to help.

Concern raised over quantity of work that Knoydart Construction have on and taking on another project e.g., Milburn.

Discussion around flood risk.

Question over design risk. Stephen Fair would possibly act as principal designer. Agreement that it would be good to get it on the budget.

AP- Sara Donaldson to ask if Stephen would do the role also if there is an additional fee for doing so.

  • Operations Manager report – ‘Checkfront’ 2.0 has been completed. Operations Manual has been updated.

Items for discussion

  • VAT update – DN, LT, JF, Frank Atherly and Louise Costello had a meeting with auditors last week. KF should have been registered for VAT since the beginning of 2022. Plan to go back and register from that date. Expect £10K cost for the foundation. Discussion with KR making a small donation to KF approx. £5K. Do not have a figure yet for the 2023 VAT but there is a guesstimate that it could be approximately another £10K VAT for 2023. Then there will be fines on top of that. Tax planning and discussion with accountants of why KF is in this position are to go ahead. DN & JF meeting with accountants at the end of month to discuss services past and future. Accountant advised against a group registration for VAT.

Discussion around cash flow issues- Triodos and 30-day notice period for this. Draw down of reserves process is not clear, the amount has not been identified.

  • Knoydart Farm – Lease variance. Discussion around natural boundary and shed permissions. Farm request to lease the field to its natural boundaries as this will allow the ideal set up of infrastructure for the future, beyond the pilot trial period. DN said that the area should not be extended beyond 0.5 acre at this time. It is advised that the new area should be marked out within 0.5 acre and that lease variance should be brought to another meeting if further changes are required e.g., once funding for a poly tunnel is acquired.

AP- DN- To confirm with farm what constitutes a successful pilot trial. Review to be Feb 2024 AP- Farm to come back with plan of new boundary within 0.5-acre area.

  • Workshop and Storage space proposal – Document Available. Conflict at area west of KFT sawmill. The road from pier to skips was funded by KFT. KFT would be disappointed to lose stacking area, critical to work. Extension of office car park- pub to make good/ clear up. This is the natural area to cross the burn- Grant advised not blocking that area. Area at old sawmill- Tim stores stuff there currently.

AP- All Board to look at document. Open a register of interest/ advertise for need.

Items for information only:

AOB:

  • Jacqui Wallace has been in touch regarding rental of the display room for the Pub. Proposed increasing rental for display room to £100 PCM, which is in line with current rents of other commercial premises (however these have not had a rent review for a long time). Hopefully, this is an extension of a short-term solution, and that the pub will build office space of its own in time. Decision: Agreed in principle to be confirmed by email by Sam and Richard.

AP- LR to decide with Richard, Sam, Andrew, and Corinna if rental proposal is agreed. AP- board to consider best use of display room space once pub has its own office.

  • Should staff have representation on the board? Previously been knocked back as not good practice. KT has a buddy system. Could staff have a representative on the board (does not need to be the staff members). Agree that it is a promising idea.Some are concerned that board members should not represent a certain group. Care around representation.

AP- All board- to think about staff representation on the board.

  • Have not talked about management accounts- they landed before the meeting. Need to find time to discuss them DN continues to be concerned about them.

Next Meeting: 11.09.2023