Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 17th January 2019 @ Village Hall

1.    Present

Angus McDonald, Lynn Harris, John McGregor, Chris Bruce, Joyce Usher, Ian Christison, Lysanne Watt, Jonathon Ellis, Danny Dickson


Toni Shand

2.   Chairman’s Address

Angus welcomed the new committee members - Danny, Lysanne and Jon. Angus advised that he had also been in contact with other interested parties in the community as possible ‘friends’ of OCA and/or professionals with relevant skills who may be happy to be co-opted on to the Committee for specific projects. Angus will follow up these connections when relevant.

3.    OCA Domain Name/Website, etc

Lynn proposed that we should set up a new OCA website which would be created, maintained and updated by the OCA committee, rather than an external source. This should include a dedicated email address for all correspondence to and from OCA - particularly to avoid emails gettinglost/missed in personal email boxes. The committee agreed this was a good idea. Lynn and Chris to liaise on this to take forward. Chris to approach Gordon and Nathan Simpson, who currently manage the Oldhamstocks Village Hall (OVH) Website to get some background info and discuss possible amalgamation and/or transfer of information. Chris mentioned that he may have a contact who could help with website design and hosting, as well as help with securing the appropriate Domain Name etc. Chris and Lynn to update Committee at next meeting, if not before. Lynn and Angus took Contact details from new Committee members. Lynn to update Committee contact list and send to all. Lynn mentioned that the existing community email list and database appeared to be somewhat out of date - as several emails were returned when the NYD gathering info was sent out. Being mindful of GDPR rules, it was agreed that we should communicate with the whole community as soon as possible by a combination of email and delivered hard copies to ensure that we have up-to-date info as soon as possible. Lynn and Angus to work up a proposal for executing this asap. OCA Friends and Consultants - it was agreed that we should start to build a list of professionals and interested parties who maybe able to help the Committee on certain projects both now and in the future. Angus already has some names and will work on getting a list together. Joe Zawinski was mentioned, as someone with experience around the setting up of Trusts. Toni Shand has already been approached, and in her capacity as a lawyer is happy to help with legal matters, Trust info etc.

4. New/Updated Constitution

It was agreed by all that we need to update the existing constitution as a matter of urgency, as in its current form it is no longer fit for purpose nor gives the necessary clarity or information which is required by OSCR. In particular, our move to Trust/Trustee status requires a much more detailed and far reaching document. The Committee were provided with copies of the existing Constitution, a draft/proposed alternative constitution provided by Gilly Baird and a copy of the Cockburnspath Community Association Constitution. It was agreed that the best way to take this forward was to create a sub-committee, consisting of Joyce, Danny, Gilly and Toni, with assistance from a STRIVE representative, Yvonne Stoddart. The Co’path constitution and the SCIO template were thought to be good starting points and it was hoped that Yvonne would be able to guide us through the process so that our new Constitution met fully with OSCR guidelines. Lynn distributed hard copies of the OSCR Trustee forms, which should be completed by all Committee members and handed in to Angus as soon as possible.

5. Funding

Chris provided the Committee with hard copies of Community Benefits coming to Oldhamstocks Parish from wind farms. The committee discussed in detail and Chris gave a comprehensive background to all the figures. In short, it is likely that OCA committee will have an income of approx £94.7k per annum to administer on behalf of the community. Of that £94.7k, £45.5k is certain at this time and signed agreements are in place. The remaining £49.2k relates to agreements NOT yet fully signed off. Some of the monies come direct to OCA and other funds need to be applied for from ELCC - details on info sheet. Chris highlighted that the Kinegar/East Neuk fund was currently administered by Foundation Scotland and was therefore subject to a 10% ‘handling fee’ by them. John McG made a suggestion that it might be worth thinking about investing some of the monies to create something along the lines of a ‘Norway Fund’, to help ensure that the money works harder and creates long term benefits and financial security for the community. Chris explained that certain windfarm funds had conditions attached which prohibit this use of the monies. However, the overall idea of an investment fund was thought to be worthwhile investigating. John McG to take this forward and update Committee at next meeting. Chris explained that so far ELCC had distributed windfarm monies as follows to the 4 communities it represents, as follows:

Oldhamstocks      £118,000

Innerwick               £130,000

Stenton                       £300,000* 

Spott                       £111,000

*(mainly for new village hall)

Chris also advised that we would be able to apply for matched funding for some projects from other funding bodies/charities etc and we should bear this in mind when assessing future projects and associated costs. ELCC have so far given £50k to OCA. We believe approx £15k of this has been used to pay Simpson & Brown Architects as well as other professional fees relating to the proposed design for the new village hall. There is an additional £35k effectively earmarked for OCA/new village hall, which is currently sitting with ELCC. These funds relate directly to the existing design proposal for the Village Hall, which is currently under review by the Working Group. Chris advised that OCA should write formally to ELCC asap to advise of the change in Committee and the new Working Group, to ensure that the £35k can be allocated to a potentially amended hall design. Chris suggested we draw up a letter, which should be sent from John McG as Treasurer of OCA. Chris advised that ELCC had a twice yearly policy of taking applications for funds. We should find out the relevant dates and bear this in mind for future applications.

6. Working Group/New Hall Plans

A Working Group for the proposed new hall was set up in late 2018 to help break the deadlock regarding the design, costs and other aspects of the proposed new hall. This group, whilst being independent, do have a duty to report to the OCA committee with their proposals which should then be set out and deliberated with the whole community. We are awaiting communication from the WG regarding progress to date, including details of their remit. Angus is having an informal meeting on Fri 18/1/19 with Paul Scott, Chair of the WG at which he will encourage the WG to report back to OCA very shortly after their next meeting (late Jan). It was also agreed that we should ask a representative of the WG to make a presentation at the next OCA meeting in February. The committee agreed that we should encourage the WG to provide a detailed outline of their proposals as well as a timetable relating to final presentation to OCA committee.

7.    OCA Project Ideas

-    New Hall - awaiting info from WG before progressing to next stage

-    Superfast broadband - it was agreed that investigations should take place to assess the viability of providing enhanced broadband service to the community, especially for those working from home. Jon and John to take this forward and report back to Committee at next meeting

-    Community transport/minibus/school bus - again this was agreed as worthwhile to explore options, costs etc. Chris mentioned the idea of approaching Torness to sponsor an electric minibus. All Committee members to research and update Committee at next meeting.

-    Community Garden @ Dunglass - Joyce advised that due to other ongoing projects within Dunglass, she could not give any comment on this project for the time being. Joyce will update Committee as and when she can.

-    Road to A1/passing places - Angus advised that he was planning to speak with Cllr Norman Hampshire at his next Oldhamstocks surgery regarding this matter and to see what possible council help/funding might be available to assist with this potential project.

-    TV licence for over 75s - update at next meeting

-    Update village information boards - Lynn and Angus to liaise to move this forward

-    Bench around Millenium Tree - Lynn and Angus to work on sorting this out

-    New/upgraded benches - Lynn and Angus to liaise and take this forward

8.    OCA Bank Account

Angus has been in communication with Gordon regarding the handover to the new committee. Now that we have signed Trustee forms, Angus will get these to Gordon asap who will then write to the OCA Bank (Bank of Scotland, Dunbar) to have the new signatories acknowledged and all relevant changes made. Angus will also write to Gordon to ascertain if there are any outstanding bills to be paid which were incurred by the previous committee. If there are any, we should ask that Gordon and current signatories have these paid as soon as possible, and definitely before the handover takes place. It was agreed that the following should be signatories to the OCA Bank Account:

Angus, as Chair

John McG, as Treasurer

Danny, as 3rd signatory

9.   Foundation Scotland

This had been covered as part of the Windfarm Benefits discussion in Agenda point 5.

10.   Any Other Business

-    Defibrillator to be installed on outside of hall, for easier visibility and access. Angus to progress this. Angus also suggested that we might invite someone along to give us a talk on the use, etc of the defibrillator, perhaps as a whole community event.

-    Social Calendar for 2019 - it was agreed that we should put together ideas and plans for social events throughout the coming year, including fundraising events. All Committee members to bring suggestions to next meeting.

-    Newsletter - in view of the fact that we have a great need to keep the whole community informed, as well as requiring a major update to our records, it was decided that a newsletter would be a good way to encompass all the necessary tasks. Lynn offered to start work on this and come back at the next meeting with a draft of design, layout and content.

11.   Date of Next Committee Meeting

Thursday 28 February,  7.30 - 9 pm was decided for the next meeting.

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