Present:- IM, GS, AD, AB, JM, LC, BK
Apologies:- EL, KD, DS
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.
- AB stated that about 50 copies of the ‘hydro book’ have been sold, 32ish by Caberfeidh Horizons in their bookshop. We haven’t received the proceeds from Caberfeidh’s sales yet.
- IM broached the subject of letters of support requested by Am Fasgadh Regeneration Company (ARC) and Caberfeidh Horizons (CH).
- CH are looking for funding to buy the old police station to start a 2nd shop & convert the first floor into a flat for disadvantaged people. They urgently need to lodge their application with Scottish Land Fund (by 2nd August). The purchase would include the garages & ground to the rear. They would continue to run the shop across the road. They are good at getting funding, e.g. the R S McDonald Trust gave them, about 30 years ago) a grant of £30k which pays for staff, and the have just received another grant of a further £30k from this trust. Letter of support approved – IM to write.
- The money from their previous successful application to the KCDC Hydro Community Fund has not been handed over yet – they don’t need it until later this year. We need a PR photo of the handover when it happens.
- ARC, having previously agreed the purchase of the land from Highland Council for £1, now need to raise funds for the development. They also need to lodge their application with SLF by 2nd August. They have other funding promised. We discussed their request for a letter of support and we are a bit concerned about the politics involved. BK asked if we could support the application in principle, and we agreed that IM would write a suitable letter supporting the project in principle as regards development of the area & retention of the historic buildings.
- IM has asked Peter Munro Accountants if there are any tax implications in moving monies from the Hydro funds to KCDC to help with admin costs. They haven’t replied yet.
- LC said that Munros should be asked to itemize their invoices, as we feel we are paying over the odds. LC reckons he could do some of the work, e.g. VAT returns, himself and save on accountant’s fees.
- Bridge funding shortfall. LC has asked McGowans to separate the costs of the bridge v. the costs of finishing the approaches. He has also asked Jim Padgett to quote for installing lights.
- Ann Traill of VABS (who is one of the ‘independents’ on the Hydro grants committee) says that KCDC can give itself grants from the Hydro fund, and in fact she encourages it. We would need to change the Constitution.
- AD said that their work in lopping the bracken around the Circular Path has been successful.
- Jubilee Path – there have apparently been no internal applicants for the post of project manager so it will be advertised externally.
- BK - Cycling Report. Bikeathon was very successful and it will be run again next year in the same format. Approx. £3k was raised for KHS. The 5 year review of CFK is due later this year.
- LC – Finance Report. The main account holds £3,864 but this includes the transfer of £5k from Hydro & £2,984 belongs to cycling so we’re in the red. The Hydro fund stands at £17,411 which includes payments in of £2,986 from Scottish power & £365 from KGC. KGC have agreed to pay £1k towards the bridge.
- AB – Hydro Report. See appendix attached.
- Following damage/vandalism to the picnic bench by the Hydro, it is to be bolted down.
- The previous application to the Hydro fund from KHS re electric cars has not progressed.
Meeting ended 20.50.
Very poor since early May. For most of the time the water level has been too low to run the turbine. It has restarted after the occasional rainfall but the amount of income generated has been negligible. For example last Friday 6 kWh was generated – approx.. £1.50.
a. It has been suspected for some time that there was growth of organic material in the Coanda screen that was restricting output. The low water level allowed a section of the screen to be removed and the underside inspected by a couple of rather wet volunteers. There was significant growth as shown in the photo below. The screen was then pressure washed from both sides.
b. The settling chamber was inspected and a small amount of sediment swept out.
c. Improvements to the flow at the outlet chamber were made and the level is now at or below its design level. However we are awaiting a spate to shift some of the mound that has reappeared.
Some of the intake concrete has been badly eroded by the sediment load in the river. In particular the platform on the west side had been reduced to about 60% of its original thickness in places. A metal frame embedded in concrete has been mounted over the most vulnerable parts. The picture below shows the frame before the concrete was cast.
It remains to be seen whether this will be successful. It may be necessary in future to cast a thicker slab across the whole of the platform.
4. Future remedial work.
Most of the 6 Coanda screen sections have acceleration plates (the top part) that are bowed in the middle. This is a legacy of Hurricane Bertha and subsequent spates and is contributing to a reduction in output. A price of £1600 has been given by Dulas for a replacement strengthened screen section and around £200 for an acceleration plate. We are considering replacing the worst section next year and repairing it with a new, stronger acceleration plate (by Davie Cameron?).
It should be noted that screen section replacement was anticipated in the 2014 Business Plan (one every 5 years).
A group of about 15 veterinary students from Edinburgh University on an environmental summer school happened to be passing last week and were given a talk by JGS.
Donnie received a survey request on operating costs from Local Energy Scotland. I have filled some of the form in and will need to return it by the end of July.
About 50 copies have been sold so far.
Present:- IM, LC, AD, BK, JM, EL, AB, KD
IM opened the meeting by welcoming EL to his first directors’ meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved with one small adjustment.
Financial Report (LC)
£6713 main account balance, of which c.£3k belongs to cycling club. £607 cheques still to be cashed.
Pitmain have paid the ‘fishing money’ over for the bridge - £1,020.
Subscriptions have been paid. LC asked if these monies were to continue to go into the bridge fund. Yes.
£14,299 in hydro fund, with some outstanding cheques, so £14k net. £3,390 has been received from SSE and £664 has been received from KGC.
Grants paid out - £350 to Badenoch Chorale & £500 to St Vincent’s.
£5k was moved to the main account to cover bridge.
£4k of the hydro fund is now separately accounted for as the Contingency Fund.
Main account is not sufficient to cover all professional expenses. It was agreed to move some more funds from the hydro account into the main account to cover professional fees which are, after all, incurred by the hydro scheme.
Still c.£5k short.
Peter Graham says that we can’t have a VAT refund on the bridge as our charity VAT status only applies to the hydro scheme. There is a possible loophole which would involve McGowan’s cooperation – HMRC give exemption to projects with disabled access and we could couch as ongoing footpaths development/changing access to disabled. We would need a VAT-less invoice from McGowan’s but they may not want to – LC to talk to them.
Tesco tokens – closes today & it looks as though (Aviemore Tesco only) we’re possibly in 2nd place. This rather depends on the results from the Fort William Tesco though. We will however get a minimum of £1k.
KGC may donate balance or will at least donate something.
Could possibly apply for a further grant from the hydro fund but this would have to be as a new project of making approach paths disabled-accessible, not for the bridge.
Graham Mabon of Pitmain has said he will organise a barrier at the road end of the bridge to stop people parking there (the rocks aren’t sufficient as they can be moved aside).
IM mentioned that the tennis club is going to do some work and have enquired as to whether they could apply for a grant. We are investigating costs in dealing with their path to DDA standard and will then discuss further with them.
Hydro Fund Grants
New applications for small grants:-
- STEM, via KHS have asked for £300 to purchase materials for electric car controls. They have already received some materials from other sources. We need more information – AB to go & see what they are doing & make a decision. STEM also suggested they could charge the cars from the hydro scheme shed, giving ‘free’ electricity to the community.
- Louise @ Drill Hall conversion asked for a grant to help with the cost of re-pointing part of the building (which is of historical significance). Not approved – doesn’t fit criteria.
- KHS have, they appear to think, applied for funds towards the Bikeathon which is to be a fundraiser for KHS & other local charities. Entry fees go to KHS, other local charities benefit from individual sponsorship. We have not received the application – BK will ask them to submit one.
- Donnie Grant has made an initial enquiry regarding help with setting up an initial meeting to look into the viability of establishing a health group for dementia care. This is only in the initial stages; there is no group yet, but he would like the hydro fund to pay the hire fee for Talla nan Ross for the initial meeting - £65. Approved. AD will submit an application.
Possible applications for large grants – bridge paths and tennis club path.
Hydro Book (IM)
Book has been published & distributed. If copies are bought via KCDC, KCDC gets all the money. If copies are bought from Caberfeidh Horizons bookshop, they get 30% of the proceeds.
AB has paid Ian Grover for the printing.
AB proposed that we get title & synopsis on a publisher’s website so book sellers know it exists.
AB said we ought to tell the KCDC members that book is available.
AB asked to whom we should give complementary copies – it was agreed that definitely Adrian Laycock & Ecowave because they helped a lot. Copies should go to all major funders.
IM offered congratulations to AB on the success of the project.
LC asked if we should get a plaque for the bridge. Normally it is a Peoples Postcode Lottery condition that they are mentioned in projects & they usually provide a plaque – we will contact them about this. Alternatively we could get one done ourselves listing all contributors.
Hydro Report (AB)
Nothing to report.
Following the distribution of this year’s newsletter, we now know there are 725 properties in Kingussie.
100 copies have gone to Caberfeidh Horizons as they are the local ‘tourist info office’. If/when they need further copies they should ask us so they are not using their own money/equipment.
Distribution of 2019 newsletter – we’ll all help.
IM mentioned that on Saturday 26th May @ 14.00, we are all invited to the official opening of the new dugout at the shinty pitch.
BK handed out copies of the new Cycling Around Kingussie leaflet which is being given to accommodation providers.
AD mentioned the Jubilee end of the Speyside Way which still needs to be upgraded. There is a meeting about it tomorrow.
KD asked if anyone new about forestry plans, specifically Pitmain’s. All forestry owners in Scotland are supposed to have drawn up management plans and sight of Pitmain’s would hopefully give us an idea of their plans for, e.g. Tom Baraidh.
Meeting ended @ 21.05.
Next meeting TBA.
Minutes of KCDC Meeting 7th March 2018 @ St Giles
Apologies:- BK, EL
Guest:- Michelle, Chair of Kingussie Business Forum (KBF)
IM introduced Michelle, who had come to discuss the matter of a Kingussie website; the subject had been raised at the KCDC AGM. KCDC is keen to progress this; KBF members are unanimous in their support. Michelle has spoken to Karen Derrick of VABS who has experience in this. Michelle asked if KCDC would be interested in participating in a group of interested parties, e.g. golf club, shinty, etc. The current website fails at the moment due to lack of maintenance. It is also on a very old platform, easily hacked. We therefore really need a modern website, and Michelle knows someone who could set it up. She suggested, and KCDC agreed, that it should be called ‘visitkingussie’ to fit in with similar website, e.g. visitscotland, visitaviemore. AB asked if the same person would develop the website, but the answer was no – an experienced IT person would have to do that. LC suggested this should be put out to tender & AB said it shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone suitable as there are lots of them out there. Michelle said that it needs someone independent to run it as nobody in the Kingussie business community has time. The website needs to be flexible. Websites are now all about marketing, rather than just information. IM advised that KCDC would put some money in to get it going, but other people need to buy into it too. The A9 is going to be a ‘digital highway’ and there is already an app - we should be on it as more people download apps nowadays than visit websites. It was agreed that an open meeting should be held soon but a ballpark figure needs to be identified first. Michelle said she would have further discussions with KBF& VABS. She then left the meeting.
The minutes of the last meeting were approved with one amendment.
The minutes of the AGM were approved.
Appointment of Chair – IM confirmed that he is willing to stand for another year. Proposed GS, seconded AD.
Financial Report (LM)
Account balances: KCDC Main at £13132.08
Hydro account t £19702.06 ( recent inputs of £3390 from SSE FITS and KGC £773.20)
Recent professional services expenditure:
P Munro ( 2014-16) £1674
P Munro (2017) £951
PM Fee Protection £164
Legal expenses/land registry £638
Insurance (2017) £372
Insurance renewal (2018) £494 ( includes new bridge)
Director insurance £185.
LC noted his concern about the balance between running costs & income. Income from 60 members & some donations = c.£1000. A large cost is the professional fees & services charged by Peter Munro & Co, accountants. The idea was put forward that we could do the accounts ourselves, but it was agreed that we need the accountants for such things as VAT returns. LC will revisit Peter Graham re income v. outgoings. KCDC is not insolvent, as some of the Hydro fund is used to pay fees.
LC then asked for our views on whether we want to effect a Fee Protection Service as recommended by Peter Graham. It would cost £164 per annum and we decided we do not need this.
We also pay £185 per annum got directors’ liability insurance. We discussed what we are likely to be liable for as individuals and decided this cover should continue.
The ordinary insurance used to be about £100 per annum but is now £372 and, with the addition of the new bridge, would rise to about £500. This includes the insurance of the Hydro scheme. Kingussie Golf Club was prepared to include the new bridge on their insurance but the land is leased to KCDC not KGC & KGC don’t have an insurable interest. Perhaps the bridge could be passed to KGC once finished. AB said that insuring the Hydro scheme is a waste of money; we’re self-insuring & most things that could go wrong couldn’t be claimed for. Therefore we agreed to remove the Hydro but include the 2 bridges. There is still Public Liability on the Hydro which will cover everything that should be covered. We agreed to transfer the insurance from the Hydro bridge to the KGC bridge, which would save some money.
GS asked if there should be a separate bank account for the sinking fund, but LC said he could just keep the figures separate on his spreadsheet.
To help with the balance, some money could be transferred from the Hydro scheme to KCDC every year but this would need to be approved at an AGM.
It’s all still working, apart from when it froze.
The remote monitoring problem has been fixed.
The Hydro booklet in is final draft. Still needs a foreword, but maybe do without & just use a picture of Donnie.
The weather is holding up completion but the end is in sight. The civil engineer’s certificate is on its way. Total cost is £14,281 + VAT, of which we have £11000. IM to remind Pitmain re fishing monies. Tesco Bags of Help money will to come – minimum of £1000, but could possibly be £2200. KGC contribution is to finish off the all abilities access. We will have to borrow money from the Hydro fund to pay McGowans.
AD expressed concern about possible parking at the roadside. We will place boulders or fence posts.
Only one new application – Badenoch Chorale asking for £350 towards £500 cost of purchase of a film for a presentation. Approved.
Speyside Way funding approved for Inshriach to Ruthven section. It appears that the people responsible for the sections have decided that the section from Ruthven Barracks to Kingussie should just be along the side of the road. We unanimously thought this was absolutely ridiculous & that is a dangerous, narrow road to walk along. Even aside from the narrow road, the speed limit is 60mph.
AD is going to do an inventory of the paths re maintenance etc.
AB will modify the Paths Network map to include the new bridge.
Cycling – there was no report as BK did not attend the meeting. His short email report was noted.
KD is going to the GDPR meeting.
GS has an invoice for tree guards.
The Aspen Group is donating 10 aspens.
GS has planted loads of willow.
EL & GS have removed a great many sycamores near the Hydro.
LC – newsletter. Please send articles/info/suggestions to him. Are we going to get them printed same as last year – agreed as cost-effective. We agreed the paths map should be included.
Meeting ended @ 21.40. Next meeting TBA.