CCDC AGM Minutes - Held 10th March 2022
Board Members present: Deborah Ferris (DF), David Williamson (DW), David Stevenson (DS), Doug Laidlaw (DL), Stephen Dobbin (SD)
Chaired by SD
Minutes by Jan Wilkie (JW)
Adoption of AGM Minutes 2019
Chairperson’s report & financials
Garrison House repairs
Meeting began at 6:30pm
SD welcomed all
Minutes from AGM 2019, proposed by S. Muir, seconded by S. Dobbin
SD read the chairperson’s report and presented the financials for all groups. Financials proposed by S. Dobbin, seconded by S. McIntyre
SD reminded those present that a special resolution was introduced in 2019, in relation to director numbers, in that the maximum number to serve on the Board was reduced from 9 to 7 and the minimum serving to be five directors. SD proposed on 10th March 2022, a special resolution to amend the Articles of Association to remove the 6-year service limit for Directors and amend the rules on directors retiring annually. Ensuring there is always the agreed, minimum number of directors standing. if the maximum number of directors is reached, then the longest standing shall retire.
DS explained that he felt he could not step down in the previous year as the Board would not have been quorate and there were the additional challenges presented by Covid-19.
General discussion took place regarding the problem of recruiting directors to the board.
G. Wallace asked whether the Board had addressed fully this problem.
EJ Newton commented, having herself been a board member, it is a massive undertaking
S. Hagan suggested putting out more advertising.
SD responded by saying that at CCDC’s Emergency Meeting held in March 2020 – though there was a great response and a lot attended, no-one came forward to join the Board.
EJ. Newton said that we need to encourage more 18 – 26-year-olds to take ownership of their community.
S. Muir stated in reply that young people, if they are not being paid to become a director, then they are not interested.
SD asked those present if they thought meetings held on Zoom would be more appealing, as due to Covid that is still how most of our meetings take place?
EJ Newton felt that, as a teacher, she did not recommend that as a way forward.
S. Hagan agreed and went on to suggest that CCDC advertise in an issue of Croc Talk, as some people on the island do not know which group is which on Cumbrae.
S. Watson added that all organisations, not just CCDC, are having the same problem, trying to get people onto boards/committees.
SD invited those members present to vote on this special resolution to amend the Articles of Association regarding director standing limits as proposed. The motion was proposed and carried unanimously.
SD then informed those in attendance that Jensen Newton had put himself forward to join the Board of CCDC. The proposal was first and seconded and Jensen was welcomed at CCDC’s newest director.
SD then referred to a point raised at our last AGM in 2019, when B. Hailstones had raised the matter that as per the A of A, we should have a secretary in post. SD confirmed having discussed this with DTAS and their own lawyers – Burness Paul, that this was no longer a legal requirement.
S Muir asked when there was consultation re the West Lodge as there are sitting tenants in place?
SD explained that within our Business Plan it was proposed to look at a possible change of use for the West Lodge but that nothing formerly had been put in place.
S Muir explained that he was happy for the Radio station to relocate but internet and access to bathroom facilities would be required.
SD thanked S Muir for his query.
DW commented that the Board of CCDC were looking at various plans in relation to Garrison House going forward, and discussions were ongoing with NAC.
G. Wallace asked if there would be discussion re. West Lodge as office space is needed now – more so after Covid.
SD explained that discussions were ongoing at present re space available and the opportunity to develop an income stream.
SD then invited DW to speak to the members in relation to Garrison House repairs.
An application for funding was made to Historic Environment Scotland from their Building Repair Grant Fund in December 2020. The application was for the maximum 40% of the total cost for which we could apply.
As part of this process, we went out to tender – contacting five companies, for the appointment of a team of Accredited Architects and as a result of that process, ZM Architecture were appointed.
We have had a site visit from HES’ District Surveyor and one of their Fund Managers and this visit went very well. We currently await the District Surveyors Report to allow us to hopefully, progress to the next stage of the funding process.
CCDC, as part of their commitment to securing the future of Garrison House for generations to come, have secured a loan towards the building repair costs. We are also delighted to announce that this week, we have secured £30k of funding from Greening Community Assets towards the cost of new windows.
Sourcing of further funding continues in these challenging times, as so much funding has, understandably, been diverted to support and aid recovery in relation to Covid-19.
CCDC’s intention, once work commences at Garrison House, is to send out an open invitation to locals and visitors alike, to come along to Garrison House and speak with those involved in the project and see what is planned and how the process will be carried forward.
Members had a brief discussion regarding sourcing a contractor for new windows and SD made those present aware that HES will now allow the installation of slim, double-glazed units to be installed at Garrison House.
DW handed back to SD who thanked DW and in turn invited DF to speak regarding our Motorhome Site and Public Toilets
DF thanked SD and continued.
Our Motorhome Site is proving to be a remarkable success and has helped achieve, to a great extent, the removal/relocating of motorhomes from our shore road and onto our new site.
The site has helped to generate additional income to the island as our motorhome users make use of our shops, cafes, and bars.
The Board has taken on, the feedback received from site users during 2021 and are looking at a 3-year plan of improvements and additions we can make to the site going forward when funds allow.
S. Hagan asked if there was any possibility of the expansion of the motorhome site?
SD replied that it could potentially be on the DA Hall footprint following decommissioning.
EJ Newton suggested working with the Resilience Team to provide toilet and shower facilities for both their team and motorhome site users going forward.
DW explained that the Board were looking at various options including the development of the old Clinic and the installation, perhaps as a temporary measure, of a portacabin type structure to provide such facilities.
EJ Newton added that the site was a great addition, and it was a pity that CalMac had put their prices up!
DF said the main thing was that the creation of our site had gone to plan, and we were getting motorhomes off the shore road.
DW added that if NAC introduce a by-law, preventing such vehicles parking on the shore road then it would encourage strongly, motorhome users coming onto our site.
DF then spoke to those present about the Public Toilet facilities on Cumbrae.
The installation of the entry pay doors and the addition of the contactless feature (thanks to MSG funding) at Croc Rock, is helping greatly towards the cleaning and maintenance costs of the public toilet blocks on Cumbrae.
The installation of a new Healthmatic door at the Bomb Shelter will be happening prior to the Easter break, primarily offering facilities for disabled users (Radar key installed) and baby change facilities for parents & carers.
In addition, coin pay and card reader facilities are being installed at Cumbrae Slip, also for Easter.
The Board continue to look at options to rectify the issues at Fintry – there being a blockage within the old cast iron pipework which we have not been able to clear, after several attempts and which feeds water to the block, via a natural spring up the hill on the land side at Fintry Bay. Replacement of the pipe from the tank up the hill and lifting of the road would be possible but in a long, dry summer, there would be no water so the toilets could not operate. The only guaranteed solution would be to connect to a mains water supply. This has been discussed in some detail with a Clydebank based company and a quote provided of £75,000 because of the distances we are talking.
CCDC will therefore have to look at any funding options which may be available, to support this work being conducted.
J Newton asked why access was not possible to Garrison House toilets last year?
JW explained that during Covid-19, for many weeks Garrison House was closed to all visitors and then when Covid guidelines allowed, the Café was able to operate when the rest of the building on the ground floor was closed to the public, as per NAC’s own guidelines. This meant that the toilet facilities were only in operation for Cafe customers.
J Newton thanked JW for the explanation.
Brief discussion about raising awareness of public toilets via advertising followed. EJ Newton proposed posters and leaflets in high-traffic areas such as CalMac office.
Meeting closed 7.40pm.
For information purposes only – due to time constraints the following was omitted from the AGM
Millport Holiday Apartments Ltd. Update:
MHAL has experienced a challenging period due to Covid-19, but we are hopeful that ‘stay-cation’ numbers are such in 2022, that income generated will be above average to aid the business recovery.
The concern is, as for many holiday let providers on Cumbrae and beyond, are the new Scottish Government Changes to Short-Term Let Licensing Legislation. A review of the plans to implement this is scheduled for the summer of 2023. The licenses will be issued through North Ayrshire Council however no license cost figures are available to date though, a figure of up to £2,000 per property, has been muted.
In the meantime, we continue to work on the maintenance and investing in our apartments.
At 8 Quayhead, we have treated and repainted the close and have carried out a treatment on the external walls at this address to combat the issues of salt ingress at the property, due to its proximity to the sea. The Board’s concern, naturally, is that the additional expenditure of the new licenses coming into place, will reduce the amount available to re-invest in our self-catering properties, in the future.
CCDC Employment and Mission Updates:
As a business, CCDC has come through Covid-19 and continues to build and strive towards the completion of the repairs required to secure the island’s Garrison House building for generations to come, as Millport’s hub of the community.
We want to continue to grow and offer employment on our island. – Lewis, our newest staff member to join our small team, is an example of that, CCDC having secured funding for a 3-year post at 16 hours per week.
We see exciting times ahead, as we safeguard Garrison House’s future, develop our Motorhome Site and work with NAC, Millport Harbour Users group and Martin Latimer of Blue Sea Consulting, in relation to the Ayrshire Growth Deal Marine Tourism Project and how best to manage this incredible opportunity to enhance on what Cumbrae already offers.