MINUTES OF OCA COMMITTEE MEETING - Thursday 28th February 2019
1. Present & Apologies
Angus MacDonald, John McGregor, Lynn Harris, Chris Bruce, Lysanne Watt, Jonathon Ellis,
Joyce Usher, Ian Christison,
Danny Dickson, Alex Ainslie, Paula Oliver, Paul Scott
Tom Black - Foundation Scotland
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
These were approved by the committee without amendment or comment.
3. Presentation by Tom Black of Foundation Scotland
Tom introduced himself to the group and gave some background on the Foresight Kinegar
Community Benefit Fund which FS administer.
The Fund has been running since March 2018 and was set up based on £10k per Mwatt. It
will be split 50/50 between Oldhamstocks and Cockburnspath. Approximately £25k per
annum will become available for OCA to use for community benefit projects.
Tom briefly outlined the various ways in which the monies can and cannot be used, as well as
the various methods of applying for funds, such as Open Grants.
Foundation Scotland currently take a 12% fee from distributed monies for administration of
the Foresight Kinegar Fund. However, there may be scope to reduce this in future years if the
level of administration re OCA is reduced.
Tom advised that there was a Toolkit available for Local Communities to help set up grant
making systems. Tom also advised that FS favoured a 2-tier SCIO format for community groups.
It was agreed that we should initiate a subcommittee from within OCA, which would work to
setup funding/investment structures to efficiently manage windfarm monies. This group was
agreed as Chris, John, Jon and Lynn. This sub-com should meet up with Tom as soon as
possible to move forward with this objective.
4. Presentation from Working Group
Paul Scott, Paula Oliver and Alex Ainslie from the Working Group attended the meeting to
give the Committee an update on the work done to date to take the new Village Hall project forward.
Alex presented a summary of work progressing at Abbey St Bathans. Whilst at a very
early stage, and with only an outline design in place, the community have agreed a provisional
budget of c.£350,000 for the project. It is also understood that they plan to use community
Windfarm benefits they receive from Community Windpower to fund a mortgage.
Paul advised that the Working Group now had 6 members. So far, the WG had set out its
terms of reference, as well as producing a document setting out the process by which any
additional hall option(s) will be generated. The group will build on the work previously
completed and will seek to engage with the whole community to validate village hall
requirements and fill in any gaps which become apparent, prior to generating any
appropriate additional option(s) for the community to review. The WG are keen to ensure any
consultation is not seen as a duplication of an exercise undertaken by the previous
committee, hence, they will look to make it clear what additional information this will provide
and that they will welcome comments from all, whatever their feelings about the existing proposed design.
Paula gave an update regarding financing options, as currently known, including the
possibility of raising a mortgage, supported by Chris who provided the funding source details
for Windfarm Community Benefits (there may also be other funding sources available to augment these).
As regards effective and comprehensive communication with the community, Paul raised the
concern that the WG are missing a forum to communicate to the community and get
feedback. The group want to be as open and transparent as possible. Lynn informed Paul
that the new OCA website will shortly be up and running, and there would be a dedicated
section for the WG. The OCA also offered the WG a regular section in the upcoming
newsletter which was gratefully accepted.
Lynn asked the committee to confirm their approval to spend approx. £250 for training to set
up and administer a new OCA website. This was given. Lynn suggested that it would be useful
and sensible for one other committee member to be part of the training. Jonathon offered
to be the second trainee. Lynn to contact Philip @ Sustaining Dunbar to set up training as soon as possible.
Lynn distributed a very outline draft for the first OCA newsletter and suggested that this
should aim to be distributed to the Community by the end of March. It was agreed that we
should produce and distribute the newsletter once per quarter - Spring (March), Summer (June), Autumn (September) and Winter (December).
Lynn advised that the design and layout of the newsletter would be part of the training undertaken with Sustaining Dunbar.
Copies of the draft were given to all Committee members for consideration and additional contribution. The Working Group agreed that they would write the update regarding the new Village Hall.
Final draft to be available for approval at the March committee meeting. Printing and
distribution to be carried out asap, ideally by end March.
Discussion took place following Danny, Lynn and Angus’ update on the meeting with Yvonne
Stoddart of Strive (the organisation which is funded to support voluntary bodies in East Lothian).
Although Yvonne had suggested that a single tier SCIO would be the most appropriate
for OCA, there was some concern and evidence that a 2-tier system was actually the best
option. For example, the Co’path CA works based on 2-tier and their Constitution reflected this.
It was agreed that Angus and Danny would Contact Yvonne again to chase her up for the
information which she had promised.
It was also agreed that we should move forward with agreeing the new draft Constitution for
the SCIO as soon as possible, with a view to holding an EGM very soon after to get wider
Community discussion and approval.
8. Social Calendar
Some ideas for social events during 2019 were put forward briefly towards the end of the
meeting. Lynn asked for all committee members to add their own ideas to this. The aim is to
make some final decision at the next meeting, which could be included in the Spring
9. Project Ideas
John and Jon are gathering information regarding Superfast fibre broadband provision
for the community and will report further at the next meeting.
Angus is working on getting the defibrillator installed outside the hall.
Lynn and Angus have secured costs for a bench and paving around the Millennium tree.
Angus to discuss with local residents potentially affected and
report back at next meeting. It was also thought that we may need planning permission for his - Lynn to investigate.
Lynn had secured costs from Mick Clubb to upgrade and repair the existing benches. Mick’s
quote of £40 per bench was accepted. Lynn advised that this work would be done in late
Spring, after lambing season was over.
10. OCA Bank Accounts
There is an outstanding invoice for Chubb which should be paid ASAP. John to action.
It was agreed that we should change the cheque signatories as follows - Angus, John, Ian and Joyce.
Quite a few bank statements appeared to be missing for the Sustainable Funds a/c. These
should be chased up via Gordon. John/Lynn to action.
11. Any Other Business
A request had been received for some of the ‘Panners to sleep overnight in the hall after
the Flower Show. We should check this out with our insurance company and fire
service regulations. There was an element of concern amongst the committee, despite that
this facility had been allowed in previous years.
A final decision to be made at the next meeting based on consultation and comments from
insurers and fire service.
12. Date of Next Meeting
Next meeting to be held on Wednesday 27 March at 7.00pm.