Minutes of Board Meeting
of LLTNP Community Partnership
Held on 23 October 2014,
Celia Burn (Chair)
Kate Sankey (Vice Chair)
Elizabeth Bain (Treasurer)
Owen McKee (Director)
Alan Smailes (Director)
Iain MacInnes (Director)
Allyson Blue (Director)
Joyce Russell (Director)
Ronnie MacDonald (Director)
Marie Harvey (CP Support Officer)
Tom Wallace (CP Development Officer)
Jo Wright (NP Sustainable Development Officer)
Lee Haxton (Cairngorms National Park Authority)
Peter Galliard (Director)
Carol Hemfrey (Director)
Sheila Winstone (Director)
Fiona Jackson (Skills Partnership – Business Development Coordinator)
Gordon Donaldson (Co-opted Director)
Fran Crumley (Skills Partnership – Project Assistant)
Isra Lochhead (Skills Partnership – Project Officer)
Celia Burn in the Chair. The meeting started at 1:30pm:Agenda Item / Narrative
- Introduction and Apologies
Celia welcomed all the Boardalong to the meetingincluding special guest Lee Haxton. Celia acknowledged all apologies received.
Lee introduced himself and shared details about his department’s role at the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Lee explained that he and his team are focussed on community engagement and development work, similar to the role of the Community Partnership. Lee is visiting the LLTNP today as part of learning more about how the CP engages with communities and he will be putting together suggestions and recommendations to take along to the next Cairngorms Executive Board meeting. Celia suggested to the Board that it would be useful to arrange a further meeting with Lee’s team at a later date.
Celia gave an overview of CP activity since the last Board meeting in July, featuring feedback from the Local Rural Parliament event coordinated by the CP back in September. Celia expressed that this had been a successful event with a healthy turnout with most communities represented. Celia and Kate confirmed they had both received invites along with other community members from the park along to the Scottish Rural Parliament later in November.
Celia advised the Board that the CP Strategic Paper previously circulated will be asking Directors later in the meeting to consider and approve a set of proposals. Celia welcomed onboard Isra Lochhead recently appointed through open recruitment as the new Project Officer for the Skills Partnership up until the end of December.
Allyson queried her title to say that she thought thatas an elected member from the National Park her title should be Director and not Co-opted Director. Celia confirmed she was correct, apologised for the error and asked that all correspondence be amended to reflect her correct title.
- Approval of minutes of Board Meeting, 17th July 14
2.2 Matters arising from minutes. Updates were given on actions as follows.
Action3.1 Minutes of Board Meeting 100414 - For the remaining Board meetings for 2014/15 the Board unanimously agreed to change the 11.30am starting time back to the usual time of 2.30pm – These details were noted by Iain as incorrect and advised that it was agreed for meetings not to overlap lunch, and during Winter for them to be brought forward from 2:30pm to 1:30pm. Action: Next meeting scheduled for 1:30pm.
Action 3.1 Minutes of Board Meeting 170714 – Marie to clarify with SIS the associated admin fees for setting up the account –Marie advised that the fee of £300 had been settled and all Directors Identification paperwork submitted with the application had all been destroyed andno copies were held by the CP.
Action 4.3 Marie to arrange next Gathering sub-group meeting for August. Marie confirmed the sub group met on the 22nd August. The board requested that minutes of all future sub group meetings be circulated to allow Directors to keep up to date on activities.
The status of actions was noted as complete. Celia asked the board if they agreed that all items of the last meeting were true. The Board agreed.
The minutes were accepted and Proposed: Joyce Seconded: Kate
- Q2 Report
Tom advised that part of the focus of the paper has been looking at developing CP membership services ranging from training, legal services and developing relationships between CDT’s and CC’s. Tom added that he will be keen to discuss member’s needs with them at this year’s Gathering.
Tom provided an overview of activity for the Apprentice Scheme and Skills Partnership (SP)projects, adding that the latter of the two has seen the SP team working hard engaging with stakeholders, businesses and young people to develop a range of key events. Tom expressed the newest challenge is to secure further funding for the SP project now that relationships are in fruition and stakeholders are very keen to engage beyond the end of this year when LEADER funding runs out. Tom added that there is evidence for the SP and CP to continue with the support in the development of skills and that the CP are looking at resources to fund this; Tom gave some examples of the ideas for projects that the CP are developing in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders. Tom added that additional work is required to design courses that aren’t currently available for people living in rural areas, and to engage with those that have fallen out of the labour market because of this.
The Board went onto discuss the lack of employment opportunities for local people employed ongovernment/local agencyawarded contractsin rural areas. The Board members advised that this is often due to labour outsourced for specialist roles requiring specialist skills. Tom suggested that there could be a community benefit clause built into contracts to allow ‘x’ amount of trainees/local people to be employed on certain government/local agency projects. However Tom advised that due to the nature and size of the National Park, local agencies cannot always compete with larger projects elsewhere and it is therefore not always profitable for companies to do this. Celia added that often locals miss out on employment opportunities because of this, and gave a recent example from her own local community. To tie in with this Lee advised that there could be alternatives to benefit communities in other ways by awarding contracts based on social impact clauses (SIC’s), particularly with the ‘green argument’ by sourcing materials as close as possible.
Celia invited Tom to discuss the latest funding opportunities available for further CP project development. Looking at People andCommunities Fund, Tom explained that there could be funding available to allow someone to fulfil and take on the community capacity of the CAP process that Tom filled before his re-appointment as Development Manager. Tom explained that there could be funding available for a study to look at the issue of rural poverty (multiple deprivation) to include the impact of the cost of living and standard of life in rural areas. Jo backed this up by explaining that current research data available does not capture the full picture of large areas like the National Park, explaining that often small pockets of deprivation get swallowed up by areas surrounding them which are healthier; therefore this data has not been the best way to capture deprivation in the NP. Tom added that Rural Stirling Housing Association (RSHA) is keen to get involved. Tom added that RSHA are currently seeking CC & CDT representatives to help them take this forward in the Stirlingshire region. Celia asked how this would be covered in Argyll & Bute. The Board went on to discuss how rural poverty was measured and the obstacles that could be faced obtaining very personal information. Joyce confirmed that there is evidence of rural poverty in Breadalbane and explained that there had been a food bank set up in her community.Alan added that cost of transport is also an issue for rural communities and asked how, could thisbe tackled. Tom added that as a result of what communities have identified, that he is currently in discussion to deliver a joint project to look at the NP’s cycle infrastructure and asked the Board if they felt if this should be a private or community led project and to look for community representatives to take this forward. Celia added that there is potential to use the Communities Futures Goes Green (CFGG) funds that are still available whichcould be used to carry out a Feasibility Study. Elizabeth advised that if we are applying for additional funding to also include additional staff costs as well as core costswhich Trusts were more likely to pay out for. Tom confirmed that any funding applications will be definitely looking at paying staff costs, for up to 3 years.
Celia asked the Board if they agreed on taking forward the proposals for funding applications. The Board agreed: Proposed: Joyce Seconded: Kate
Kate added that she had signed up to a sustainable transport workshop at the Scottish Rural Parliament event and would feed back to the board on completion.
The Accounts up to the 30th September 2014 were previously circulated and
Presented to and accepted by the Board.
Elizabeth provided a review of the accounts.
Summary of Movements: Reflected under ‘Summary of Movements’ for this period Elizabeth explained the CP’s current financial position. Tom added that all CAP finances for this period had been accounted for. Marie asked for the ‘Big Lottery’entry to be amended to read ‘Heritage Lottery fund’.
Tom gave an update on the LEADER claims situation for this year andexplained that due to the delayed payment of Claims 1 to 2 which are currently being processed by LEADER, has meant that the CP have had to rely on the SLA drawdown to maintain the current obligation to staff salaries. Elizabeth suggested that all staff salaries continue to be paid from the Skills Partnership account as insufficient funds in the general account. The Board discussed how the CFGG funds could best be spent as an operational facility to cover salaries. Owen asked thatif the NP were responsible for these funds, the CP should write and ask them to release them from any restrictions. Celia asked the Board if they would like to continue with a NP wide green project, and advised that the CPwould need to assure the NP that the CP aim to commit to delivering this. Celia asked to convene a finance sub group to discuss taking this forward, and assured Iain that the Board would be kept informed of any decisions before the next Board meeting.
Celia advised that what was needed with the accounts are financial projections to help explain where money is being spent; Tom added that centralisation of the finances is currently under development so that additional information, on each project current and projected spend will be available to board members in addition to the quarterly accounts provided by the Treasurer.
Celia advised that as more funding applications are submitted the CP would need to have a more robust financial system in place.
Iain suggested the CP should send a letter of thanks and farewell to the outgoing NP CEO before she leaves in January. The Board agreed.
Action 4.1: Draft Letter for Chair’s approval.
Action 4.2: Allyson Blue to investigate re-profiling of CFGG funds in to wider CP budget with NPA colleagues
The accounts were accepted by the Board. Proposed: Iain Seconded: Celia
- Board Papers
The Gathering (and Heritage) paper were previously circulated for comment. Celia gave an overview of the programme explaining the morning element was to focus on the contents of the AGM and to seek membership approval on amendments to the CP Mem & Arts, and changes to the CP’s financial centralisationprocess. Elizabeth added that on approval she will notify OSCR and check on any associated fees. Allyson asked if the considerations for the Direct Debit card transaction levels meet the organisation’s needs. Elizabeth confirmed that these would be sufficient for now but could be reviewed once the CP have moved to online banking. Tom added that it is proposed that the D/D card will solely be in his name, and assured Directors that there will be a clear procurement process developed which will ensure that named staff are involved in any key decision making. Tom confirmed that the signatories will be based on the Lead Director allocated to that project.
The Board discussed the changes to Marie’s current job description which will now include the addition of handling the day to day running of the finances.The Board were assured that these changes were with Marie’s consent and would fit into her current contracted hours. Marie assured the Board that these changes would benefit the organisations administration systems efficiency over time. Tom confirmed that as part of the centralisation that additional archive space would be required but additional and lockable storage in the HQ had been identified.
Celia added that the Directors standing down this year will be Kate, Iain, Owen and Joyce (who will be leaving permanently). Although under discussion and not yet confirmed, Joyce added that her replacement (who has experience in sustainable development) may take up the Breadalbane Directors position if proposed by the community beforehand. Iain submitted his nomination to re-stand which will be annotated in the AGM minutes.
Celia advised the Board that the attached draft annual report would be complete with Annual Finances in time for the AGM, and asked Directors for any comments before going to print.
Marie briefed the Board for the remainder of the programme appealing for help on the day. Directors stepped forward and roles were handed out. Marie confirmed the catering arrangements and budget.Marie added that the village hall venue had been asked to cater for the event, but they felt that the catering brief was outside their resources and capacity; however they will be providing a selection of baking during the afternoon programme. Lee added that in a previous role he filled, he was involved putting together a large community event and invited a range of local producers to showcase their products in the ‘marketplace’ where delegates were offered the chance to get some tasters. Lee went on to say that by year three some of the producers began sponsoring the event by providing a “course” for all attendees (e.g. a soup, a fish course, a meat course, a dessert etc). This meant the producers received advertising and exposure out of the event. The local college also linked up and provided some of their trainee chefs. The Board agreed this would be a great idea and could form a theme for next year’s Gathering to tie in with 2015 being the ‘Year of Food and Drink’.
5.2 Strategic Plan (SP)
Draft copies of theCP Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020 and Board paper were previously circulated. Tom explained that this document and new title would replace the current Corporate Plan which comes to an end in March 2015. Tom asked the Board for their comments and explained that the contents laid out are there to give the CP a clear vision and mission; a clear set of strategic aims and to identify how it proposes to achieve these aims. Tom added that the planreflected what was discussed at the last Board away day in July and the final version will be available by the end of January before the next service level agreement is signed. Also, feedback from the Gathering workshops will be an opportunity for members to feed in their thoughts and views when they are asked about how they feel CP membership services are developed and delivered. Allyson applauded Tom and the CP team for the content of the plan. Lee suggested that it could also be useful to link the outcomes from the Strategic Plan with the outcomes from the Loch Lomond and the National Parks Partnership plan that could be potentially relevant to the Single outcome agreements. Jo added that she would be taking a brief to the NP Executive later in the yearto look at how the CP’S SP fits in with the National Parks SP. Jo added that this will be based on indicators of how the SLA will be delivered.
As there will be no more Board meetings between now and when the SLA will be signed off, the Board were asked to respond with their comments at this board meeting. The Board discussed the contents of the SP and Kate added that she thought it was a really good document, but advised that some of the terminology may need to be changed for the benefit of its readers. Kate recommended the Board go through the sections highlighted. Kate added that she felt the vision statement highlighted needed to include ‘the business community’. For the Mission statement all agreed to replace ‘innovative’ with ‘enterprising’. The Board continued to discuss the Mission statement but could not agree entirely. Tom added that the mission needed to easily sum up what the CP is and does. Celia advised that the final version/wording will be ready in time for the next board meeting. Tom provided some quotes for costs to have the SP printed professionally. The Board deliberated on whether this would be an unnecessary cost, however Celia and Tom both added that to keep costs down only a limited number would be printedwhilst a .pdf version would be available to download from the CP website. Tom added that the document would be a professional tool to support any funding applications.