Oldhamstocks Community Association

Meeting held in the Hall on Thursday 1st September 2016:


Present: Neil Richerby, Chair, Barbara Richerby, Jacqui Riddell, Lizanne Longmuir, John Hanvidge, Kaleena Hanvidge, Lauryn Simpson, Nathan Simpson, Gordon Simpson, Sharon Simpson, David Legge, Donna Conroy, Dougie McCreath.

Apologies: Lorna Bairden, Janice Hanvidge, Mary Legge, Angus MacDonald.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Correspondence: letters giving questionnaire results and denouncing the note purporting to be from Gillie Baird had been delivered to the community in mid-July. It was noted that no information had been given so far to any committee member present concerning the perpetrator of the note, and agreed that Barbara should notify Gillie of this. BR

Treasurer's Report: Gordon reported that funds held amount to £13567.64, of which £3565.38 is not ring-fenced. Some £300 profit was raised from the very enjoyable Italian Night.

Wind Turbines: Neil reported that he had signed the agreement concerning distribution of funds to the community (to be split 50/50 between Oldhamstocks and Cockburnspath with Cove) from Ferneylea and Hoprigshiels windfarms. Income from the 2 Ferneylea turbines should begin in Feb 2017.

We agreed to Gordon's suggestion of opening a separate bank account for windfarm income, and that account signatories on the present account should be updated at this point. GS

Neil commented that there is some confusion over precisely what Oldhamstocks' entitlements are (to date and in the future) to funding from all the local windfarms, and we agreed to Neil's suggestion to ask Chris Bruce if there could be clarification from the Community Council on what is a complicated scenario. We hope to have answers to questions concerning amounts, timing of release of income (including any backdated amounts or funds that may have been temporarily assigned to other community projects and which are still due to the Oldhamstocks 'pot'), application or award procedure, etc. CB

Fire Risk Assessment: Gordon confirmed that this had been carried out and that all immediate requirements (at minor expense) had been met prior to the Flower Show, thus complying with insurance for the Panners' “sleep-over”. The assessment deemed that a fire alarm is not required. Quotes have been requested for emergency lighting. Other recommendations included smoke seals for doors, and a self-closing mechanism for the kitchen door – these can be dealt with in due course.

Grass-cutting on the Green etc: Chris had asked for this subject to be brought up. There is a wish for the grass to be cut more regularly and dissatisfaction over the large amount of cut grass currently being left lying on the Green following grass-cutting. (A tidying up exercise had to be carried out before the Flower Show – this was kindly done by Gordon.) We agreed that we should approach East Lothian Council about this – to ask if they can improve methods or even if perhaps we can have funding to arrange this ourselves. Sharon agreed to liaise with Chris over contacting ELC. SS CB

Panners' accommodation: The Panners had enjoyed their “sleep-over” in the hall at Flower Show weekend, and Neil passed on their request, made through Sheila Ainslie, that this might be repeated in the future. As far as the committee is concerned this would be OK but we agreed that Gordon should check this for Fire Risk and insurance purposes. We also suggested that perhaps a small charge (for heat and light) should be made. GS

Visit to Whitsome Hall: this had been a very interesting exercise, and there were positive and negative comments from those attending. The positives included being able to appreciate the size/proportions of the main hall, the provision of a smaller meeting room, the very flexible heating system, and some well thought out details; the negatives mostly concerned expense which was considered excessive, especially in view of the not particularly inspiring level of fittings and décor. The Whitsome committee had been very kind to lend us two of their files of information on the project which can give us some valuable insight into how the project progressed. This makes it very evident that we have a huge amount of work ahead!

We concluded that we do not want a replica of this hall but, at Sharon's suggestion, agreed that it might be useful to have a quote from Fleming Homes (Duns) for a building equivalent to the Whitsome hall. Sharon will ask Fleming Homes to makea proposal/quote asap and request 5 copies for sharing round the committee before the next meeting. Neil will email Sharon a copy of the criteria given to other architects. SS NR

Architects' proposals:  copies of the proposals received so far were handed out, to be shared around the committee so that all have a chance to read carefully before the next meeting. All

AOB: Land acquisition – Neil mentioned an idea of Dunglass Estate perhaps being able to gift land for the hall and off-setting the value against death duties but advice acquired subsequent to the meeting suggests that this is in fact not possible. We agreed that, following the result of the questionnaire, it would be good to approach Simon Usher again, before we go too much further, to ask for his current view on the possibility of having more land, whether gifted, leased or sold, in order to have a larger footprint for the hall and to be able to consider moving it slightly further east. We agreed that we would like Chris to speak on our behalf. CB

Sharon notified us of the Scotia event in Cockburnspath on 22nd October, and of various regular activities in Co'path Hall.

Gordon kindly said he would take Flower Show rubbish bags to the tip.

Next meeting: Thursday 6th October at 7.30pm

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