Board Meeting – February 2024

May 21, 2024

Kincardineshire Development Partnership

Board of Trustees Meeting – Thursday 29th February 2024 at 7pm

Microsoft Teams

 

Minutes

 

Present:

George Cruickshank – Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore Community Council

Bridget Scott – Bettridge Centre

Sandra Davison – Mearns & Coastal Healthy Living Network

Ian Hunter – Stonehaven & District Community Council

Andrew Newton – Stonehaven Tolbooth Association

Starkeeper Morton – The Haven

Peter Flockhart – TRAK

Eeva-Kaisa Arter – Catterline, Kinneff & Dunnottar Community Council (joined the meeting at 7.49pm)

 

Apologies:

Robyn Campbell – Crathes, Drumoak & Durris Community Council

 

In Attendance:

Mairi Eddie – KDP Development Worker

Margo Titmuss – KDP Windfarm & Funding Officer

 

  1. Welcome

The Chair, George Cruickshank, welcomed all those present to the first meeting of 2024.

Apologies were received from Robyn Campbell.

 

  1. Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes of the formal meeting of 16th November 2023 were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.  They were proposed by Sandra Davison and seconded by Bridget Scott.

 

  1. Matters Arising.

(3) Matters Arising – Reid Hutchison has approved the outstanding £2000 from the Rural Partnership Challenge Fund which was laid aside for visits to other projects. Need to agree where to visit.

(7) Community Transport Update – a meeting was held with Mearns Minibus Link but they were unable to take on more than they are already doing. The bus has now been allocated elsewhere. We would need to significantly build community capacity if we want to take a transport project forward.

 

  1. Finance Update

Finance report shared in advance, and the Treasurer is happy with current financial situation.

There were no comments on the accounts and they were accepted.

 

  1. KDP Development Officer Report

Mairi shared an update in advance.  Main points being:

  • Both Mairi and Margo are very busy.
  • Community Cafes – the funding from the Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund is coming to an end. There is a meeting on Friday with Bervie Café to discuss future plans.  They have good funds for going forward.  Christmas lunches were held at Auchenblae and Johnshaven cafes, and Mairi and Margo helped at both.  They were very positively received by the communities.  In an ideal world KDP would like to continue to offer support to the cafes once the CMH&W funding ends.
  • Community Planning
    • Mairi has continued to work closely with Edzell Woods, who recently started their edible trail installation. Through the Shared Prosperity Funding, there will be a sewerage feasibility study and planning work will commence for a community building.  A funding bid has been made to the Place Based Investment Fund for the Community building. Mairi is attending their AGM this Sunday.
    • Research project with academics from Glasgow Caledonian University on water/flooding issues is now complete, and a briefing paper has been written. There may be future work comes from this.  Climate adaptation is a potential project stream for the future.
    • On the back of the highly successful and worthwhile Food Forums, plans are afoot to explore a community food growing project.
  • Website – work has commenced on the website and we hope this will be up and running in two months. Mairi and Margo will have to commit time to populating the website with information.
  • Volunteer Recruitment Event – this has been scheduled for Thursday 25th April at the Fetteresso Church Hall in Stonehaven. 10-12 groups have already committed to take part, and we are now extending the offer to other smaller groups and organisations.
  • Funding – there has been a big increase in requests for funding advice, although this is something KDP is no longer funded to provide.
  • Emerging Issues – climate adaptation and place-based planning are areas being considered for the future. Sandra highlighted a local  group who are working in climate mitigation/adaptation, and undertaking a Climate Fresk – climatefresk.org.
  1. Future Funding including Cash Flow

One year remaining of the current Aberdeenshire Council Community Planning SLA.

Mairi has applied to the National Lottery Awards for All.  Unfortunately, much of the work we do may be viewed as the role of the Third Sector Interface (AVA), who receive Government funding, and therefore the Lottery may not fund these activities.  Therefore, the application concentrates on projects not normally covered by a TSI, and pushes KDP as a facilitator of connection within K&M:

  • Workshops – Climate Adaptation & Place Planning
  • Building Community Capacity
  • Support for our Networks

Core costs are proving very difficult to find funding for.  Need to apply for more projects and build core costs into these.

Bridget provided an updated Cash Flow/Projection.  It is evident that if no further funding is found, by March 2025 there will be in the region of £8064 remaining in the KDP bank account, and that it is essential that other sources of funding must be found if KDP is to continue as is.

It is unlikely that one big funder will be found and that it will be essential to look at multiple small funds.

It was suggested that an informal meeting with the other rural partnerships is organised to compare how they are finding funding, in case we are missing opportunities.

Sandra requested a separate Trustee only meeting to discuss the situation.

Action – Bridget to schedule meeting.

  1. Windfarm Update

Meikle Carewe – The panel met on Wednesday, 22nd November.    There were 33 applications, although 2 were withdrawn prior to the meeting.

It was a challenging meeting as a total of £80,989.10 was requested, and there was only £37,676.93 available for allocation.  The panel awarded funding to 21 groups, and there was an underspend of £1,077.63 held for the next round.

As the meeting agenda couldn’t be completed in the timescale available, an additional online meeting was held on 24th January to discuss amendments to the criteria, and also to share new guidelines for panel members.  These guidelines will be used with all three KDP administered Community Funds.

St John’s Hill – Opened 1st January until 31st March 2024.

Hillhead of Auquhirie – Opens 1st June until 30th September 2024.

Windfarm Administration – At the last Board meeting, we discussed producing an online application form to simplify the application process and ensure that applicants include all necessary documentation.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to move this forward due to lack of time.  I hope to look at this soon.

Tullo – George has not heard anything further from Tullo & Twinshiels, despite sending 3 emails to the Administrator to find out whether there is a governance meeting scheduled for March.  This is a concern.

It was agreed that KDP should write again to Eneco explaining that no progress has been made since the last letter, and that KDP is being contacted regularly by groups having difficulty contacting MAP, and querying the decision making process.

Action – Bridget to write a letter detailing our concerns.

  1. New Membership Requests

Membership applications were received from: Stonehaven Amateur Swimming Club, St James Episcopal Church, Stonehaven Business Association and Mearns Academy Parents & Carers.  All were approved.

Margo advised that all but 9 current members had updated their information, however the outstanding groups were failing to respond to repeated requests.  It was agreed by the Trustees that one final message should be sent allowing 28 days for a response, if not, they would be removed from the membership database.

Action – Margo to write a letter and share with members.

  1. KDP Procedure Review

George thanked Starkeeper, Andrew and Sandra for their perseverance and dedication to get the KDP policies and procedures updated.  There were 14 policies; 11 of which required changes, 2 will be reviewed after legislation changes this year, and the HSE policy is to be accepted as it stands.

The Trustees agreed to accept the new policies.

They will be added to the new website once it is live and included in the Trustees Welcome Pack.

It was agreed that the Welcome Pack requires updating, and that a subgroup of Trustees should take this on.

Action – Margo to share existing Welcome Pack with all Trustees.

  1. Staff

Mairi and Margo left the meeting at 8.45pm to allow the Trustees to discuss the Agenda item – Staff.

The board discussed the subject of a pay rise for the staff, and it was agreed that, despite the current financial situation, a raise of 6% would be approved, to be effective as of 1st April.

Peter Flockhart suggested paying a one-off bonus of £250 as a way of expressing our appreciation of Mairi & Margo’s outstanding efforts this year. This was agreed.

It was also agreed that appraisals should be arranged by Bridget and George.

  1. AOCB

It was agreed that the KDP AGM should take place in June.  Mairi and Margo offered to arrange the AGM, along the lines of last year, including speakers.  It will be a daytime event, and at a venue outwith Stonehaven.  The Trustees were in agreement.

  1. Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 2nd May and will be hosted at Skateraw Hall, Newtonhill.

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