Minutes of Board Meeting
Opened 19:35 on 30/5/23
Present: Scott Watson SW, Stephen Dobbin SD, David Stevenson DS, Deborah Ferris DF, Doug Laidlaw DL, Jensen Newton JN, Dianne Smith DSm, Jan Wilkie JW, Thomas Stevenson TSLS.
Apologies: David Williamson DW
Last Meeting Minutes
Business Opening Hours
Last meeting’s minutes proposed by DL, DS seconded
SW presented at recent Community Energy Scotland seminar on the importance of using local data in carbon audit process.
Cumbrae’s Community Climate Action Plan is in final stages of review at Scottish Government level.
NAC Planning Committee met recently and unanimously rejected the proposed solar farm near the top of the island.
SW recently attended All Energy and D-Carbonise events in Glasgow as well as CNI project meetings in Glasgow.
Aquatera, one of the 3rd sectors partners in the CNI project have recently been on the island conducting business surveys to help identify skill gaps appropriate to net-zero readiness.
SW & JW reported on the enquiry from Deirdre Oakley from NAC regarding the possibility of starting a Community Larder on the island. She had spoken to the Cumbrae Forum who were not in a position to take on the storage and recommended the Garrison or CCDC.
DS put in: we don’t have the storage room for an undertaking like that, end of story.
DSm agreed. We don’t have the staff or the expertise to handle food.
SW advised that in general they are built up in larger communities and it would be an exceptionally difficult undertaking on Cumbrae.
JW also mentioned that while it is not a food bank, it is similar enough that it has certain stigma associated with it, especially in a very small social circle like Millport.
JN asked what kind of food would we be dealing with here?
JW answered that that is sort of the problem – everything.
In that case, JN said, this would require an insane amount of management to achieve acceptable health and safety hygiene standards which we do not have the manpower to pull off. However, he went on, it can’t hurt to look into it and talk with people who already have these sort of projects functional.
The Board have concerns but would be happy to talk to some organisers to gain more information.
JW updated the Board on her Teams Meeting with Calum Couston (Regeneration Officer with NAC), regarding the project. What Calum asks for from the Board is any points, beyond what is listed, to be raised and any questions there may be. The listed points from Calum included:
-Long term lease from NAC.
-No mains water supply or power.
-Action from NAC: explore costs of mains water before inclusion in Island Pit Stops Project
-Long term lease from NAC.
-Explore cost of replacing entire portacabin unit, other improvements may not be cost effective/possible.
-Addition of cycle rack/hoops outside.
-Addition of recycling bins and greater number of general waste bins.
-Explore cost of solar panels
-Long term lease from NAC.
-Information signage, including screen to update ferry times.
-Bike rack, if possible within new promenade.
JN put in that solar panels as a power supply could be possible.
DS brought up that we’re [CCDC] already in debt with the toilets, repairs due to vandalism, etc. We should ask if we can hand the lease back to NAC if we can – even if the toilets were repaired to the highest standard they would need to be manned and the entry costs don’t even cover their own expenses what with being constantly broken into.
JW replied that she can ask CMAL for their plans & NAC too.
DS continued: the toilet buildings themselves are in dire need of serious modernisation and that is not an expense that this funding would begin to cover.
JW brought up the proposal from Mr. Couston’s email, the Ferry Information Sign to potentially be erected at the Croc Rock toilet.
JN opined that perhaps it was a bright idea in theory, but in practice is just another thing to get vandalised. Furthermore, the information would already be available on the Ferry app and on the Calmac website anyway, not to mention that people generally completely ignore both of them regardless, so it seems something of a pointless expense.
DS seconds this notion.
JW added two additional questions: one raised by Stevie Muir at our AGM – the question of installing further CCTV cameras at the toilets – and also with the blockage issues at Croc Rock, Graeme Smith believes we need a bigger cistern again. JW asked if she should add these to the application.
In response to CCTV cameras at other blocks – yes from JN & DS with the proviso that the cameras be extremely high up and probably armoured.
DL put in that it would be a deterrent possibly, but without someone to regularly review the footage for timescales of breakages it goes nowhere to tracking who is doing damage.
The Board was unanimously in favour of Graeme’s recommendation to enlarge the cisterns.
JW asked what the Board’s feelings are in relation to the installation of barriers at each end of the MH site as a precaution against unauthorised access. If we are looking at barriers which lock; say after the time of the last ferry which isn’t until 10.15pm at this time of year on a Friday, this would need to be done manually. It would however have to be possible to open them in an emergency, to allow motorhomes to drive off the site.
Another option would be barriers with a keypad entry system and an emergency override but obviously the cost would be greater.
DL began discussion. Manual barriers are not worth the investment as if someone really wants to gain access, they will find a way. Barriers are more trouble than they’re worth.
DS followed up with the fact that we couldn’t even lock them at night, as would need access in and out. We would need automatic ones that would be a massive expense for an incredibly rare occurrence.
Board opinion: No point in barriers at present, review if further issues arise.
JN asked about where camping around the back of island falls in terms of bylaws & legality?
TSLS replied: it falls under Scottish public access laws and we can’t affect that.
JW reported to the Board on a recent visit: a mason from Limerich Ltd was on site 22nd May to open up a couple of stones to determine the condition & construction of the external wall and to provide a sample panel for the injection of pointing. ZM Technical Director David Millar was present along with Craig Frew of Frew Building Conservation and Iain Lamb of HES.
BUSINESS OPENING HOURS DISCUSSION
DL has raised a point for discussion following on from a conversation he had with Amanda Stewart. She had two visitors in her shop who said that they would not be back to the island because everything was shut. – JW believes this was a Tuesday. DL wondered if there was anything CCDC could do.
JW stated she could attempt to facilitate a meeting within the Garrison after the summer season to bring businesses together to try and work together for the good of the island but would such a meeting be well attended?
DS asked what was meant by this. We can’t force a private business to be open at any given time.
JN also put in: we’re doing this based on two people’s complaints?
DF clarified: it’s not about asking the businesses to jump through hoops, it’s more about transparency with opening hours and putting word around the island.
SD agreed it’s not about forcing people – the Arran Business Club have managed to get their members to agree to set general opening hours across the board. The issue is with island businesses who open and shut sort of at random.
Wider discussion held on CCDC attempting to aid in presenting a clearer picture on which businesses open when so that there’s information for visitors available readily.
DF will speak to the Tourist Information group about organising some inter-shopkeeper collaboration.
As the post was not shared online re the calendar, the posters were taken down.
SD volunteered to look at the Calendar again and see what he could work out.
In the interim JW has looked at noticeboards for within the Garrison to let people know where we are but wondered if a more portable installation would be more beneficial and would give flexibility and save wall mounting? This could be updated with posts shared on social media too.
SD spoke on ageing island population – how many of them will have access to social media? We need physical advertisements. Speak to the Largs & Millport paper.
TSLS reported based on past contact with the paper it would cost around £70 for a piece in the Largs & Millport.
SD mentioned that for a flyer it would need volunteers to hand them out, and if sent by Royal Mail then it would be in the range of hundreds of pounds.
SD also brought up issues with range and accessibility.
DS brought up discussion on whether we plan to advertise simply to Millport residents or the wider country. Discussion went on in this vein and was carried forward into the next item.
JW brought up, with the works to be carried out here at GH, should we be reaching out to our community and beyond about what will be happening here, if someone is available to share information on our Facebook Page and website? As part of the fund awards received through Scottish Government etc., we must be active in sharing information with our community. NAC have offered to help with any training re promoting CCDC etc., on social media which we could take advantage of if anyone feels they could become involved?
DSm – Speak to the Cumbrae Forum website people, to be included in that
CCDC generally need to be more proactive with social media, shake off old preconceptions of the company.
Board agreed to think about getting the company out into social media but made no concrete plans yet.
Alex Harvie has asked JW if we as an organization can give details of which organisations we are sourcing funding from, to allow them to be a bit more specific around funding notes at meetings. Does the Board wish this or is there any need to be providing such information to our Community Council? To date, when funding is awarded or an application is ongoing, JW shares such information with CCC but not when we are at the application stage. Do the Board wish to provide information to the CCC at the moment?
DS said that he sees no reason that we should be sharing information before we have applied, especially as many of these come with confidentiality at the application stage.
JW to continue as she does, informing CCC on funding applications in progress and completed.
DF brought up that along the edge of Garrison Grounds Wall there is greenery growing up into the wall.
DS explained that that is technically a local council issue and we will need to speak to NAC.
DF also noted the deterioration of the bird deterrence spikes on the lampposts outside GH.
DS also identified that as a problem to be brought to NAC, but went on to say that it was unfortunately also sort of our fault – the birds nest in the chimneys of GH. The chimneys need to be capped but that is quite a job.
SD asked if it was possible to get that done with GH repairs funding?
JW will enquire.
CCDC business ends at 21:02.