Oldhamstocks Community Association

Committee Meeting held in the Hall on 24th May 2018


Welcome: Neil welcomed everyone present.

Present: Neil Richerby, Chair, Barbara Richerby, Sharon Simpson, Gordon Simpson, Isla-May Edge, Lauryn Simpson, David Legge, Alison Mells, Janice Hanvidge, John Hanvidge, Chris Bruce, Alex Ainslie.

Apologies: Nikki Edge, Nathan Simpson, Kaleena Hanvidge, Miriam Mells, Nathanael Mells.

Minutes of the March meeting were amended and approved; Minutes of the April meeting were approved.

Treasurer's Report: the current balance is £14,451.73. Available funds stand at £4,200.73. The Curryoke evening made a profit of £413.94. The balance in the windfarm benefits accountis £30,238.11, following receipt of an extra c£4k as a result of a recalculation by the Ferneylea provider.

Alex asked about possible payment from East Neuk Windfarm. Chris replied that he had queried this with Foundation Scotland (the charitable body which acts as an agent for the windfarm owners, advising on and dealing with community benefits) – there is a figure, perhapsin excess of £50k, already set aside, but there is as yet no mechanism for disbursement, and it appears likely that funds may be disbursed across East Berwickshire. Chris will however continue to liaise and argue for a significant proportion of benefits to come to Oldhamstocks, being the nearest community to the turbines, and having a major project planned.

Community letter: copies of the draft letter, prepared by the subgroup, were handed round for all to read through and comment on, but first Neil explained about the mention of a proposed 'pause' prior to submission of a planning application. This has arisen as a result of a delegation of four residents and friends of OCA speaking at the most recent East Lammermuir Community Council (ELCC) meeting, expressing their unhappiness with the way the proposed development of the new village hall is proceeding, describing concern about costs and division in the community regarding the proposed design, lack of choice and consultation, and asking about ELCC's position regarding support of the project through allocation of windfarm benefits. After the delegation had left the meeting, ELCC had discussed the matter at length and, endeavouring to fulfill its role in bringing communities together and helping them to avoid this kind of division, agreed to seek professional advice and provide the Oldhamstocks community with support and a mediation process. Neil said that he had accepted the offer of assistance on OCA's behalf, and additional wording to this effect had been added to the community letter. Cris Thacker of ELCC has been in touch with both' parties', but as yet there are no details of when, how and with whom mediation would take place. It is hoped that this can be arranged and carried through successfully in the near future.

Neil also noted that one previously regular hall booking (Yoga) and the annual lunch-stop visit from a Vintage Car Rally group are now not taking place due to better facilities being available elsewhere in the area.

The committee then proceeded to review and discuss in some detail the draft community letter and, with some amendments discussed and wording agreed, approval was given to go ahead with printing (Lothian Printers estimated cost £93). We agreed that letters should be delivered in early June. (The updated Simpson & Brown display board is expected to be produced by around 4th June.)

SCIO update: Gordon said that he will soon have details of the one-tier system constitution template (commonly used by organisations such as OCA) – this for in-depth discussion at another meeting.

Social events:

Tea event on 17th June – planning meeting at 4.30pm on 31st May at Alison's (Janice, Sharon, Nikki, Alison; Barbara unavailable).

All-ability bike ride event, likely date in August – Chris and Gordon will liaise, also with Steve Findlay.

BorderLink Broadband: leaflets/emails have been delivered around the community by this Duns-based company, advertising the possibility of having superfast broadband; an initial site visit is being made to Ferneylea on 16th June; we agreed that Barbara should circulate details (as per the flier) to thecommunity, encouraging people to register an interest.

Phonebox etc: Sharon had heard from Ian Macfarlane at ELC concerning adoption of the phonebox, but he has no knowledge of the up-to-date position. Sharon has requested contact details of the appropriate BT person in order to further this directly. Outstanding issues brought by Sharon to ELC's attention are the matter of the rubbish in the field next to Mill Cottage, and the state of the bus shelter step. She will pursue these, and also ask about the “curfew hours” for large lorries coming through the village.

Next meeting: Thursday 21st June 2018. 

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