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Board minutes – 11th November 2015


1. Present

Stephen Dobbin; Christine McCulloch; Fergus Boyle, Davy Stevenson, Graeme Schreiber, Bob Campbell, Kelly Norton and CEO, Michael Bertram.

2. Apologies – David Hepburn, Alan Hill.

CEO advised that we had a received the resignation of Mr David Hepburn from the CCDC Board.

The Chairman stated that we had reluctantly accepted Mr Hepburn’s resignation and that he had written to him to express our collective gratitude for his service. 

3. Agenda confirmed   

  • Present

  • Apologies

  • Minutes of last meeting

  • Matter arising

  • Financial report

  • CEO report

  • AOCB

  • DONM

Minutes of last meeting

Proposed – Davy Stevenson.

Seconded – Bob Campbell.


4. Matters arising

4.1 CEO advised that he wished to bring up the matter of the need to set-up a HRM/Remuneration Committee. 


Chairperson advised that the CEO could advise the board at that juncture.


CEO took the Board through the structures and purpose of a HRM/Remuneration Committee. 


Discussion took place around how this committee would function, and the personnel required to serve.


CEO advised that his suggestion would be that in the interim that it would be served with the following Directors:

  • The Chairperson;

  • Company Secretary; and

  • The CEO.

  • In the event, that the motion involves either of the above then; the Vice-Chair would deputise in this incident.

Further discussion took place around how this committee would function, and the need to have policies in place.


 Resolution 1: CEO to develop and present the necessary policies and procedures at the next board meeting, for approvals.


5. Annual General Meeting


CEO advised that in discussion with the Chair and the Company Secretary we had chosen the date of the 17th of November 2015. This would be held in the DA Hall and would be 17h30 for 18h00 start.


Discussion took place around the functions of the Directors at the AGM, and CEO advised that Director Kelly Norton held the function of managing this on behalf of the Board.


Further discussion took place around the need to communicate our achievements and the best methods to illustrate these achievements.


It was agreed that the CEO would conduct a PowerPoint presentation and that we would hand out a prospectus sheet of our achievements.


CEO advised that in discussion with Director Bob Campbell, he had offered to assist with setting up the PowerPoint with screen, projector and also we have a microphone and amplifier available as well. 


Resolution 2: It was agreed that Kelly Norton and Bob Campbell will manage the procedures for the Company AGM; with the CEO.  

Chair also advised that we need to ensure that all members who attend are fully paid up to date; and if we have applications for Directorships, that they are registered on the Millport voters roll.



Discussion took place around the whether we should offered refreshments and/or drinks for the members.


Resolution 3: It was agreed that we would offer tea/coffee on arrival.  


6. Finances – CEO advised that as the Chairperson was on annual leave in September that we would approve those finances, and October collectively.  

Resolution 4: It was agreed to adopt the September 2015 financials at the November Board Meeting.

Chairperson produced the monthly account sheets and these were discussed and agreed upon.

Resolution 5: It was agreed to adopt the September and October 2015 financials.


6. CEO Report  

The CEO stated that main issues this month were the Millport Moorings Association and working with North Ayrshire Council on the Cumbrae Economic Development Plan; and several funding applications, which would be covered in the CEO report. 

The Chairperson advised the CEO to proceed with the items which required discussion in the CEO’s report.


6.1 Millport Economic Regeneration Action Plan (MERAP).


CEO advised the Board Directors that he had received council’s 2025 Economic Development Plan for the island; and that this had been circulated for the Board’s interest and attention.  


CEO stated that as discussed in his report; CCDC would have a key role to perform in the proposed development plan.   


Discussion took place around the whether we should be taking a more visible role, and concerns raised about the speed and support offered by council. 


The Chairperson advised the Board that he shared their concerns, and that the CEO in his next meeting must raise our collective concerns that we are not handed unfunded mandates for future development plans for the island.


CEO further advised the Board that North Ayrshire Council wanted to form a ‘project steering committee’ to continue the work towards finalising a robust plan for the island.


Discussion took place on the future economic development plans for the island and CCDC’s role.

Further discussion around the need for ‘The Taste of Cumbrae’ operation and agreed that the CEO and Director Graeme Schreiber would work on proposals to develop this themes of the Isle and report back to the main board. 


Resolution 6: It was agreed to adopt the ‘The Taste of Cumbrae’ proposal for the old Stables buildings, subject to council support.  

Discussion took place on the future economic development plans for the island and 2016 Scottish initiatives around “the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design”.  

It was agreed that this was the perfect time and opportunities would be much more improved if we develop the Taste of Cumbrae offering around these themes.


6.2 Garrison Café


CEO advised the Board Directors that there are two challenging conditions which necessitated the Garrison House board of directors to take the decision to reduce winter trading hours.


The first one, is that the Café is trading very close to the VAT limits; and GHCL has reviewed the trading situation and current staffing situation and we will operate with the Catering Manager and two part-time staff over the winter months. The second issue is that we make good money in the summer months and then lose it all again in the winter.


Discussion took place on the future of the café, and whether we should not ‘bite the bullet’ and break through the VAT threshold.


The Chairperson added that in the food industry we cannot recoup hardly any of the VAT, so we would quickly move from a positive cash flow into a negative one, unless we could guarantee that we add another £20 to £25,000 in sales.


Discussion took place on the role of the café, as a community enterprise.


CEO advised that the Garrison House board of directors and looked at our own trading concerns, what the other island cafes were operating during the winter, and we felt that trading Monday-Friday would best serve the community. 


The Chairperson added historically we have had situations when we operated on weekend and only take £20.00 in sales; which has happened often, and therefore we don’t even cover the staff wages.


Further discussion around the need to ensure that the café operated profitability and made a positive contribution to the overall upkeep of the Garrison House.


CEO added that he had been approached by two local operators to lease out the café space and fixtures and fittings to them.  CEO advised that he had taken this issue to the Garrison House board of directors; who wanted to refer this issue to the CCDC Board.


Discussion took place on the role of the café, as a community enterprise; and if we could look at a private enterprise. 


The Chairperson advised that the CEO would need permission to open up dialogue with these interested parties; and no doubt there would be many others interested once they knew of our thinking. 


Further discussion around whether we should limit the inquirers to islanders, or whether we could open this up to other business owners further afield.


Resolution 7: It was agreed that the CEO could open discussions and show the full financials to interested parties.


Discussion around whether we should get a formal business broker into to value the business as a ‘going concern’.


CEO advised that he had dealing with DA Hall Business Agents (who specialise in trading appraisals and business valuations) and that they could perform this function, but they would charge of their services.


The Chairperson advised the CEO that he should get some costs, and present to the Board.


6.3 Community Pharmacy


CEO advised that at the last CCDC Board meeting that we were now in a position to apply for a pharmacy licence. 

The CEO and Director David Hepburn met with the rest of the organising committee to asses two issues which were raided at the last meeting; namely the costs of shop-fitting and the appointment of a Superintendent Pharmacist.  

The CEO had approached a professional recruitment company, and also the Scottish University with pharmacy degrees, and he hoped to hear back in the next week from both. Once we have the costs involved, the CEO will round robin with the Board, as we need to have the application prepared by the first week of December, for submission.

Discussion took place around the fees involved in head-hunting a professional and whether we could still source a friendly pharmacist without paying fees.


Resolution 8: It was agreed that the CEO would continue to source a Superintendent Pharmacist.  


Further discussion took place around the costs and involvement of a professional shop-fitting company.


CEO advised that he would ensure that we had full costings from a professional shop-fitting company; and that he would circulate these to the Board as soon as humanly practicable.


CEO added that the space configuration was ideal, and that we would need minimum alterations to provide a first class service, retail and private consultation rooms.

Resolution 9: It was agreed that the CEO would work with a obtain costs from a professional shop-fitting company for the Board’s consideration.


6.4 Grant applications


CEO advised that he would take the Board though the items, which did not require discussion and merely were for ‘noting’ at this stage.


CEO added that we have several applications in the pipeline. 


  • Scottish Community Alliance - We successfully applied to Scottish Community Alliance for funding to learn trip to Port Patrick Harbour, who raised over £100,000 in three weeks and converted into a community benefit society. 

The grant value is £500-00.


  • Resource Efficient Scotland (RES) - We successfully applied to RES for an additional energy audit for the remaining buildings in the Garrison Grounds.


Mr. Gerry Murphy of GSM (UK) Associates - Chartered Engineers & Energy Consultants; visited the Garrison on the 2nd November.

This work is still to be costed by RES.


  • Town Centres Communities Capital Fund.


Application submitted for £25,000 to develop an ‘early years learning activity centre’ on the space adjacent to the community gardens.  

Awaiting feedback on their decision.


  • Coast Communities Fund


Application submitted for £147,000 to develop the old NHS wash-house into a state of the art new toilet/shower facility. Council have assisted in preparing the costings and facility plan. Awaiting feedback.


  • Garrison Pond.


CEO advised that we had made a successful application to Village SOS (third sector organisation closely aligned to the Big Lotto) for technical assistance to develop a ‘business plan’ for the regeneration of the pond and adjacent area.


CEO added that CCDC has now secured the professional services of Village SOS subsidiary organisation ‘Rocket Science’ (which is a network of professionals wiling to assist third sector organisations).


CEO continued that Rocket Science had now secured the services of Mr Kevin Brown (a Chartered Surveyor with Bide Developments Limited, East Ayrshire) to assist with this project.


Mr Brown visited the site and spent a full day unpacking the issues around the pond as a standalone project, with representatives from CCDC and IoCCI.


and is also keen to help with the overall master plan for the grounds. He will assist us to develop a bankable business plan for the re-development of the pond and jaconet area, and he is also a serving member of Ayrshire Scottish Leader program, so he understands the key components of a successful business plan (better than most). 


6.6 Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) 


CEO advised that he would be holding a meeting on Thursday, 12th of November, with North Ayrshire Council (NAC) to unpack several issue son the delivery and implementation of this project.


Discussion took place around the need for a full time officer for this project work.


CEO advised that he would confirm this with North Ayrshire Council, but it was his current understanding that this would be a full time appointment.


The Chairperson added that he wanted the CEO to convey to Council; that CCDC wanted to be seen and treat as a full and equal partner in this project.


6.7 Coastal Community Fund 


6.7.1 Millport Sailing project


CEO advised that he would current situation with this project was that we still in discussions with Council on several key issues on this project.


CEO added that on behalf of CCDC he had already expressed concerns that we were seeing project creep; and hence why he had called for a meeting this week, to try and get the project back on track.


Director Bob Campbell added that we had secured the leased over the weighbridge station, and yet we could not get the water stand-pipe reconnected. He added that we believed that maybe council was waiting for the final Millport and Cumbrae Economic Action Plan consultation process before they embarked on the making further decisions (about the project in question).


Discussion took place around the need for the (full time) council officer for this project work being string to ensure that the money was not wasted or spent on one of two property owners’ buildings.


Director Bob Campbell further added that we will hold another Millport Moorings Committee once we have received further information from Council.    


6.7.2 Coastal Community Fund - Redevelopment of the old washhouse.


CEO advised that that at this stage we had no further feedback on application, and he hoped that he could report back some positivity in the December CEO report.


6. 8 Health and Safety 


CEO advised that there were no issues to report; as everything had been dealt with internally. He thanked Director Bob Campbell for his continued work in this respect.


7. AOCB 

7.1 Bio Mass

The Chairperson asked that if the CEO could follow up with Gibson and Gould (heating engineers) and ensure that everything was on track for the RHI input tariffs.

CEO advised that there were problems, we were now registered on the government RHI system, and that Mr Jim Faulds (of Gibson and Gould) had agreed to take us through the first month’s applications and documentation.


8. DONM – TBC.  

Meeting closed 19h25.

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