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Board Minutes – 29 November 2018




  1. Present

  2. Apologies

  3. Adoption of Board minutes.

  4. CCDC Matters Arising

4.1 Current accountancy matters and end of year accounts

4.2 Meeting with Community Council on Town Hall etc

4.4 Toilets - winter closure   

4.5 AGM date and proposal for new Directors

4.6 Directors nonattendance of Board meetings

  1. Presentation of Financial reports.

  2. CEO report

  3. AOCB




The Chair confirmed the agenda and that the meeting was quorate. 


1. Present


Deborah Ferris [Chair], Bryony McLachlan [Vice-Chair], Davie Stevenson, David Williamson, Rena McIntyre, Douglas Laidlaw, Stewart Kennedy and CEO, Michael Bertram.


2. Apologies


James Taberner and Robert Pringle sent apologises.  


3. Adoption of Board Minutes.

October and September Board minutes had been round robined by the CEO and approved by the Chair and Davie Stevenson.


4. Matters arising


4.1 Current accountancy matters and end of year accounts

Will be dealt with under section 5.


4.2 Meeting with Community Council on Town Hall etc

CEO explained that a very useful meeting was held between CCDC, Friends of the Town Hall and CCDC and then we held a follow up with Council; on the future of the Town Hall.


Discussion took place from those members present at the meeting and general feeling was that it was positive meeting and Cumbrae represented a united front on this matter to Council.


CEO added that Friends of the Town Hall would be appointing their consultants early in the New Year, as they had indicated that sufficient funds had now been raised for this work to commence.


CEO further stated that Yvonne Baulk [head of the ‘Place’ directorate] would call a follow up meeting early in January 2019.


4.4 Toilets - winter closure   

CEO presented a separate memorandum on the subject, outing the costs incurred so far.


CCDC took the decision last winter to operate a skeleton service with support from Cumbrae Sports Centre and Field Studies Centre who opened their facilities to visitor and walkers etc.


Contractor cleaned the toilets on a twice weekly basis, unless we received any reports or concerns [which there were none]. We did receive concerns raised by the contractor to re-open the slip ways toilets for Christmas and New Year.


CCDC we also took the decision if the mid-February school holidays were busy due to warm weather – the cleaning contractor agreed to work longer hours and we then managed that period (only four days) and provided extra cover.


CEO added that we issued a PR statement via the wee paper on which toilets were opened and closed.


CEO asked that we keep open Crocodile Rock and Pierhead for traders operating in these locations. Many of whom, do not have internal toilets for visitors. 


CEO sought permission to close the following: Slipway, West Bay and Fintry Bay and the Garrison Grounds.


Resolution 1 – the CCDC Board were in agreement to close certain toilets to minimise costs over winter.


4.5 AGM date and Proposal for New Directors

CEO advised that we need to hold an AGM within a minimum of 15 months from the date of the last AGM.


SK asked that we seek new Board members who can fully commit to serving their community.


Discussion took place over the best way to be inclusive and open with special regards to being fully transparent in appointing new Board members.


RM asked if she could develop an advert for everyone’s approvals.


Further discussion took place around this suggestion and it was agreed that RM would circulate her ideas.


4.6 Directors nonattendance of Board meetings

CEO advised that he had been approached to add this onto the agenda.


SK asked that we deal with Board members nonattendance. 


Discussion took place over the best way to be encourage members to be more active.


CEO advised that it is the Chair’s role to inform members who cannot attend to stand down and seek replacements.


5. Presentation of Financial reports.

CEO handed out full copy of annual financials to the Chair and outlined that they were a thorough and comprehensive audit of the past 12 month’s accounts.


Discussion took place around the delays experienced this past few months in getting the consolidated reports back to the CCDC Board.


CEO explained that we had a few issues around how the accounts were dealt with in prior years, mainly around depreciation and the net effect any changes may have resulted in penalties.


CEO added the main issues to be resolved were around the length of time we could depreciate the bio-mass boiler and it was agreed with HMRC that this could be reduced to 20 years [from 5 years] which had a positive effect on the cash flows.


CEO asked if the Board were in agreement to allow the Chair to sign off on the accounts.


Resolution 2 – the CCDC Board were in agreement to allow the Chair to sign off on the accounts.


6. CEO report



  1. Public Toilets and Portaloo Toilets


CEO explained that the GHCL Board took a decision to try and service the needs better for camper and camper vans, by installing permanent connections to the portaloos.


CEO and Garrison House Chair met with Millport Festivals Committee to discuss planning and the issue of managing the emptying of the portaloos was raised.


CEO explained that he has applied for funding from NAC to buy a trash pump and associated pipe work, which will allow direct access to our drains. This will save us paying a contractor [event-a-loo] £380.00 to bring their bowser each time we needed emptying.   The grant sort was for £935.00. 


  1. Storm Damage – Repairs and Insurance


CEO explained that we had three [3] separate incidents in one week, so very challenging and slightly confusing to unpack.


  1. Tree fell, damaged a section of the DA Hall which included gutters, roof and exterior timber wall [16th September 2018].

  2. Marquee damaged by high winds [16th September 2018], and

  3. Second Tree fell and damaged the rear entrance section of the DA Hall, roof and doorway [18th September 2018].


CEO added that a decision was taken by Council that the timber trusses had been damaged and the DA Hall could not be opened for general public use [until further notice].


CEO added that he had lodged an insurance claim and our insurers instructed Harley Haddow Engineers to carry out a site inspection. 


CEO added that the inspection report outlined that the building was not damaged beyond repair and CEO was advised by Harley Haddow Engineers surveyor, Mr. Alistair Fulton that we could source local contractors to repair the DA Hall.


CEO explained that we had approached five [5] builders to submit estimates, however only two [2] were received and these were forward to insurers for their adjudication.


6.3 Historic Environmental Scotland (HES).


CEO advised that he had spoken with a Construction Legal Advisor, Mr. Stuart Macfarlane [who is an Advocate] and a draft letter was prepared for GHCL consideration. This letter served as a first communication to the companies involved in the original construction of the Garrison in 2008. 


GHCL Board approved the letter and a copy was sent off to Lee Boyd Architects for their insurance advisors informing them that we are seeking redress for the building faults in Garrison House.


CEO explained that we had received a positive reply that the architects have kept up their professional indemnity insurance and asked that Mr. Macfarlane deal direct with them on the matter [Lee Boyd Architects].  


Mr. Macfarlane advised the CEO that we would be best advised to provide a full copy of the professional report received from Mr Peter Drummond, which outlines the quantum of the claim in the region of £ 175,000. Mr. Macfarlane has since provided Lee Boyd Architects with a further letter and the professional repairs report provided by conservation architect, Mr. P. Drummond.


6.4 Staff Contracts


CEO explained at the last board meeting he was asked to work on preparing new staff contracts for all staff. CEO advised that these are now all completed and he has taken all staff through their new job descriptions and obtained buy-in for changes and additions.


CEO added that he has presented the newly signed contracts to the GHCL Board and they have been approved by the GHCL Board.

6.5 CCDC marquee - Events, Weddings and Festivals.


CEO explained that it was a good summer season and the warm weather had certainly helped and we hosted 32 events in the CCDC marquee.


CEO added that the GHCL Board had taken the decision for 2019, that we would move the marquee off the front elevation and back behind the Garrison. This would reduce risks from the heavy winds and also improve the visuals outlook for this Listed Building [as visitors approach from Kames Bay].


CEO stated that this plan required major excavation works with heavy equipment. The contractor estimated that we have to move over 800 tonnes of earth, rubble and metal.


CEO explained that we separated the metal and it was uplifted and will be collected from James Steele’s yard by the local scrap metal dealer. This was due to HSE concerns regarding some nasty jagged edges to the metal, if we stored it within the Garrison Grounds. 


CEO added that the SSE have agreed to move the existing power box, currently located in front of West Lodge to a position closer to the inner pathway. CEO stated that we will then have three phase power, providing three different metering points.


CEO explained that there were still some major works still to be completed which included sourcing 20 tonnes of top soil and turf, grass seed, moving the SSE box to a better position and moving the dog bin away from this general area.   


CEO stated that the GHCL Board would also like to see a couple of additional street lights as our current lights are 70 watt and new lighting levels can operate on 7 watt [similar to what has been put into the Westbourne Caravan park extension]. 


CEO added that we have received three new trees, adding that these are one [1] horse chestnut which was planted close to Drop-in Centre and two [2] new Rowan trees planted close to West Lodge, to add a bit of colour in that area.




No other matters were raised and the chair closed the meeting at 7.15pm.




Chair advised that we would need to meet early in January 2019 to prepare for the AGM.


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