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Board minutes – 11th September 2017




  1. Agenda confirmed

  2. Present

  3. Apologies

  4. Matters arising

  5. Financials

  6. CEO report

  7. AOCB

  8. DONM


1/. Agenda


The Vice-Chair (SW) confirmed the agenda as correct. The Chair (SD) had informed the CEO that he was running late and to proceed in his absence.


CEO advised that he had some items to add onto the AOCB section of the agenda, these being:  

  • Camper Vans.

  • Ferry User Group

  • Festival Feedback

  • Cumbrae Economic Forum.


2/. Present


Scott Watson (acting Chair); Darren McLachlan, David Williamson, Douglas Kerr, Robert Pringle, Deborah Ferris, Dougie Laidlaw and CEO, Michael Bertram.


3/. Apologies

Stephen Dobbin (Chair) was running late.

Bryony McKenzie, Alan Hill, James Taberner and Davie Stevenson sent their apologies.


4. Matters arising


July’s minutes were approved by Scott Watson and seconded by Douglas Kerr.


4.1 Public Toilets – “shop with charitable aims" concept.


CEO advised that following on from the last Board meeting and Angie McCullum’s suggestion (see proposal attached) several questions were raised by Directors.

CEO had therefore summarized the current position of the management and maintenance of the public toilets which is:-  

  • CCDC have managed these assets for five months, so this a ‘half year’ picture only.

  • We now have a clear understanding now of operating and maintenance costs. Total Costs spent so far amount to £ 15,644.91.00 and Revenue is £21,011.32.   

  • North Ayrshire Council have released £15,000.00 towards the costs, and reimbursed       £ 985.00 towards repairs to the slip toilet floor.

  • We received a further grant from Kelburn Wind farm of £ 3,500.00.

  • The Elderly Forum have also sponsored Crocodile Rock toilets and provided £1,250-00 in sponsorship funds.

  • Collection Tins, Labels & Delivery totalled £ 303.90 and revenue so far is £ 276.32.

  • CCDC are still operating on an occupational license and the Pierhead toilets we have only on a monthly lease.

  • North Ayrshire Council prefer CCDC forms a trading company to manage these assets.


General discussion took place around the associated costs and the proposal for a shop with charitable aims to cover the ongoing costs of the running of the public toilets.


Resolution 1 – The Board will not be pursuing the concept of a shop to assist in the running of the public toilets.




Resolution 2 – The Board did think that there were some very good suggestions raised and wanted to thanks Angle McCullum for her efforts and ideas.  



Further discussion took place around the associated costs and how to come up with an alternative plan to cover these costs.


General discussion took place over the concept of Cumbrae Lottery and the CEO was charged with finding out more about the running of such a venture and report back at the next CCDC board meeting.  


DW felt that CCDC must try to keep open the town’s public toilets as these were the lifeblood for visitors and also felt that local business and tourism could do more to financially support this venture.


General discussion took place over the ability of many businesses to make a weekly contribution to the running of these toilets.


17h30 - The Chair (SD) entered proceedings and took over the management of the meeting.



Resolution 3 – The Board asked that the CEO set-up a meeting with Cumbrae Tourism to see if Tourism could facilitate business making a regular contribution to the up keep of these toilets.


CEO asked the Board to review the recommendation for which toilets we should keep open and which we could effectively close during winter to save on costs.


General discussion took place over visitors traffic flows over winter and if we decided to close the slip toilets, could we ensure that the Cumbrae Sports Centre and Field Studies Centre allow walkers and cyclists to use their facilities.


The Chair suggested that if this was not possible then we keep one toilet, preferably the disabled toilet open throughout winter at the slip.


Resolution 4 – The Board resolved that we close Garrison grounds, West Bay, Fintry Bay and the Slip toilets for winter.


It was further resolved that winter be determined as the end of the October school holidays and the opening would be February mid-term break.


SW added that he wished to advise that the CEO prepare a press release to ensure that everyone fully appreciated the costs involved and the decision to close for winter was taken purely on the grounds of minimizing the running costs.  



5/. Financials


Chair presented the August’s financials and took the Board through the salient points.


The financial statements were subsequently approved and were proposed by Scott Watson and seconded by Darren McLachlan.



Resolution 5 – August’s financials were formally adopted.


6/. CEO Report


CEO advised that he was conscious of time constraints, and he would move quickly through the most important items requiring discussion. 

The Chair advised the CEO to proceed with the CEO report.

6.1 Garrison House Estates Management Plan.


CEO outlined that now all CCDC and Garrison House Directors had an opportunity to review the draft Estates Management Plan report. CEO added that he had included his email and feedback comments to CARS Manager Elaine Troup in their board packs.


CEO summarized that the GHCL board preferences were to:  


• Examine in more detail how we can re-organize the interior layout to accommodation for both commercial opportunities and also better deal with community requests for space.
• Determined that the main focus should be on creating a modern multi-functional community hall capable of being expanded over time into a leisure/sports facility.

• Explore how we can create more off road parking.

General discussion took place around the need to speed up the process of finalising these plans.


6.2 Garrison House Water leaks

CEO advised that the building investigation has now commenced with conservation architect Mr. Peter Drummond.

CEO added that he has provided full files to Mr. Drummond that our in our possession; these included the complete snagging lists (from 2007/8) and all building drawings.

General discussion took place over the anticipated costs of these works.

CEO replied that it might be in excess of £60,000.

CEO further added that Mr. Drummond has also requested further CAD files from Lee Boyd architects (and their original contractors) which will include all details on the installed windows (from Hunter Clark own carpentry factory).

6.3 Festivals, Weddings and Events.

CEO added that as Vice-chair Scott Watson served on the Festivals Committee, the CEO had liaised with him and SW would take the Board through the salient points of the recent Millport Country Music Festival.

SW provided board with key findings from a post event survey as well as the extensive marketing campaign surrounding the festival and provided an overview of the main points as well as thoughts moving forward, both positive and constructive issues were discussed.

CEO advised that the Garrison House board were happy with the improved Country Music Festival and crowd control and littering was much improved.

6.4 Stormwater Defence System for Millport.


CEO advised that the following on from the last North Ayrshire Council workshop; Vice-chair Scott Watson, CEO, Chair of the Community Council, as well members from the Pier and Harbour users group met with Council at Cunninghame House in Irvine.


North Ayrshire Council agreed that their consultants would reexamine the highest parts of the breakwater defences to determine if they can accommodate the requirements to create a swallower profile in the waters inside the breakwaters (to minimise the height of waves within the new proposed space for a marina).


CEO added that a follow-up meeting was scheduled for the 2 October 2017.


6.5 Grant Applications.

CEO advised the Board that he had recently attended the DTA AGM where he attended a Lottery workshop and was informed that their grants from 2017/8 and been cut by 30%. Most to the delegates also confirmed how difficult the current ‘grant in aid’ climate had become over the past free years.


CEO added that he had approached several landscape gardeners to come with some designs for the new pond and cost these out, so that we could make a further funding application to complete the works. 


7/. AOCB

7.1 Camper Vans


CEO outlined that the Garrison House Directors were concerned in general with the numbers of vans now visiting the festivals and the impact that they were having to the overall island. For this reason they wished to send their concerns up to the main board (CCDC).


General discussion took place over the increase of numbers and the impact that they were having in parking along Marine Parade and Glasgow Street and in particular their waste. 

Further discussion took place over the need of controlling numbers and the best methods for doing this without putting off visitors to the island.

DW suggested that CCDC call a meeting with local interested parties and tourism and see how the Council and Police Scotland propose to manage this issue.


Resolution 6 – CEO to set-up meeting with Local Island groups, North Ayrshire Council and Police Scotland to deal with 2018 festivals.


7.2 Ferry User Group


DM highlighted that they had not met again since our last board meeting, but he felt that the ferry users group was tackling the issues relevant to the island and was enjoying serving on this committee.


General discussion took place over the frequency and timing of the current timetable.


DM explained that the staff (Calmac) actually operated a ‘good will’ system to enable afternoons to run at peak (250 maximum) as well as ‘call back system’ for the early Sunday morning ferry.


DM added to ensure that to ensure we had five staff members on duty of an evening so that we could operate a full passenger service (i.e. not limited only to 150 passengers, including vehicles) again relied on staff working extra hours.


General discussion took place what this actually meant (call back system).


DM added that basically it was staff working without overtime to ensure we could operate a peak times with full contingent of staff.



7.3 Festival Feedback


SW had already dealt with this AOCB earlier.




7.4 Cumbrae Economic Forum


DW advised the CCDC Board that he was an attending member of this new economic group, which currently was chaired by Mr. Rob Lucas (CEO if Field Studies Centre) and he wished to stand down. Nominations were sought and he was proposed and seconded to take up the challenge as the new chairperson.


DW added that he spoke at length with Karen Yeomans (Director of Economy & Communities - North Ayrshire Council) about the role and what was expected of him.


DW went on to add that he had been invited to the Arran Economic Forum meeting (14 Sept 2017) and he wished to include the CEO in that meeting.


Chair (SW) agreed that it would be beneficial for the CEO to join DW.


DW advised the CCDC Board that he had written to the main groups on the island and supplied a questionnaire from Arran Economic Group (AEG) on how we (Cumbrae) rated the island on economic matters and that he would consolidate these into a numbering system to present at the Arran Economic Forum meeting (on Thursday, 14 October).


DW also added that he and CEO would also attended a joint meeting with Bute, Arran and Cumbrae on developing the concept for an inter-island ferry contract. 


SW added that he and the CEO had skype calls with Bute and Arran over the initiative and that it had merit.


Questions were then raised about use of the pier.


DW added that at this stage we could only offer Keppel Pier and for that reason we would be joined by the General Manager of FSC, Ms. Alex McFee on Thursday.


8/. DONM

2nd October 2017.


Meeting closed 7.20 pm.

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...working for and with the people of the Island of Great Cumbrae

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