Minutes of  Annual General Meeting
14th. November 2012 – Talla nan Ros

Present: Directors- Jim Ballantyne, Amanda Calvert, Andy Dunn (Chair), Iain Dyce, Donnie Grant, Sulekha Millar, Ian Moffett, Dave Stewart, Ailsa Schofield

Members: D.Adamson, L.Ballantyne, L.Brazier, L.Cruikshank, J. Dunn, V.Emmett, B.Kinnaird, I.Malcolm, ?McCarthy, J.Moffett, J.Patchett, P.Schofield, J.Smith

Apologies: A. Cruikshank, T. Davey, L. Dyce, E. Emmett, J. Grant, C. McCarthy

1. Welcome – Chairman Andy Dunn welcomed everyone to the 6th. AGM of KCDC and outlined the evening’s agenda.

2. Minutes of previous AGM of 22nd November 2011 were accepted as accurate.
Proposed by J.Dunn; Seconded by D. Webster

3. Matters Arising – There were no matters arising.

4. Directors Reports

Footpaths  (A.Dunn)

AD reported that work on the footpaths was continuing. COAT would undertake the difficult work on the north side of Creag Bheag. Community Service had worked on the Jubilee Path and Kingussie High School had also worked on the path. Although no date yet set Community Service would also work to put steps on the slope up from Strathlynn Bridge which was already being used as a shortcut. Directors had looked at the proposal for additional lighting on the path at the bridge but had thought it inappropriate in the woodland setting.

AD reported that KCDC would contribute to the Little Town of Festivals intiative by arranging a “walking day” on the 18th of May 2013.  From the floor V. Emmett confirmed that a brochure should soon appear at outlets in Kingussie promoting all the events with a festival in every month of the year. The festival will start with shinty in January and will include cycling arranged around the time of the bikeathon.

AD reported that signs would be going up in the town to advertise the three levels available.

Biodiversity (I. Dyce)

ID reported that KCDC has now taken possession of the Gynack woodland from the bridge at the Cross to just below golf course car park on both sides of the river. The only cost to KCDC was legal expenses for Davall who gave over the land as a planning gain. However, the legal expenses were covered by a grant from the Forestry Commission. On their part KCDC are also grateful to Fraser Nicol who gave time and effort for their legal matters free of charge.

ID further reported that sycamore seedlings and saplings were removed from the area but any regrowth from stumps and bracken would need further control. There would also need to be some tidying up of branches especially near paths but keeoing as much of the dead wood as possible to encourage biodiversity. KHS pupils had also helped with the cutting back of snowberry in the wood. ID noted that there had been favourable comments about the regeneration of wildflowers in the wood following some of this work.

ID and AC (Amanda Calvert) gave information about an all day event to promote small scale coppicing of the hazels on Wednesday 21st November 2012  starting at 10.30am with Donald McPhillimy. Ther will be atalk in the morning session. Lunch will be provided  with a practical session following in the afternoon. Anyone wishing to attend should give their name to Amanda.

In response to points from the floor the following was noted:
 the need to be vigilant about ash die-back and needle blight in Scots Pine and larch
 the need to take care with fungi and lichen during coppicing

Website (D. Stewart)

DS reported that the website is regularly updated with information such as meeting minutes and events. DS invited contributions to the website in the form of photos and links to other sites. In response to the floor it was agreed that a link to Laggan Forest Trust would be a good idea.

Finance (S. Millar)

SM explained layout of financial statement. Large apparent outlay was due to paying back PPL funding money and consultancy fees linked to hydro scheme. Basic costs are generally covered by membership fees and subscriptions but KCDC faces larger outlays in the future due to a new accountancy system increasing costs. AD then explained the new OSCR requirements for accountancy.

 the proposal to retain Peter Munro & Co as accountants was proposed by L. Brazier and seconded by L. Cruikshank

AD explained that three directors posts would become vacant and asked for people to consider proposals for the posts or to be co-opted.
Annual Subscription – AD reported that the directors wished to keep the membership fees at £2 to encourage more people to remain members or to join. However, KCDC would then need to emphasise a reliance on donations.

In response to points from the floor the following was noted:

 KCDC would give consideration to adopting a Gift Aid strategy
 KCDC would give consideration to a public “mail box” facility for membership forms
 membership stands at 140; junior members accepted but with age restriction
 membership is for a calendar year but people can join at any time

Hydro Project (D. Grant)

DG reported that 2013 will be the last chance to build the project as funding will run out thereafter. The past year has seen changes to the scheme to reduce costs: Archimedes screw to be replaced with a standard turbine which will provide similar output and income but have lower construction costs. Further savings achieved by aiming to connect to grid though Kingussie Golf Club, supplying own cable and digging own track. This will benefit golf club with electricity and KCDC with the Feed In Tariff. The total cost is in the region of £150,000 of which some has already been paid out on planning and SEPA permissions. Remaining costing is £128,000 – £130,000 with confirmed funding of £126,000 and unconfirmed funding of £12,250 with a potential further £12,000 though a community share issue if needed. KCDC is now in a position where funding is likely to cover costs but fixed tenders will be needed to confirm this and much depends on the developments at Pitmain. Although further funding needed work will have to start soon. When up and running the hydro project would give KCDC a profit of £10,000 p.a. to help run the company and benefit the community.

In response to points from the floor  the following was noted:

 the planning gain of £17,300 from Pitmain is confirmed even if they do not go ahead with their developments
 no need for members to lobby interested parties but any member interested in helping with the project is welcome to do so
 proposals under consideration may result in smaller schemes gaining increased FIT tarrifs

Railway Celebrations  (I. Moffett)

IM informed the meeting that Kingussie station opened on 9th September 1863 and that there would a 150th. anniversary celebration on 9th.September 2013. Planning for this is well underway and Scotrail is keen to be involved with station improvements. It is hoped the event will encompass Kingussie, Newtonmore and Dalwhinnie as all three stations opened at the same time. IM would like to receive any reminiscences or photos of the station for incorporation into the celebrations or an advertising brochure

5. Court House (I. Moffett/D.Adamson)

IM reported that Kingussie Business Forum (KBF) have been in detailed discussion with Highland Council regarding the refurbishment of Kingussie Court House. KCDC have been approached to engage in a joint venture with KBF to develop part funding for and to provide visitor services in the new building. Highland Council will also use the building and pay a substantial amount of the refurbishment costs but community involvement is necessary for this to happen. The evening was to agree a way forward with KBF.

DA as the KBF representative explained that the project had been mooted 18 months ago and that negotiations were now at a stage when funding would need to be put in place. The firm partnership offer from Highland Council requires a body to represent the community and KCDC is well suited to this for the funding and building management phase while KBF can complement this with business expertise in setting up and running visitor services in the new building. A sum of £135,000 would need to be raised to set up the project. Thereafter there would be a nominal lease cost of £1 p.a. and projected running costs of £18,000 which would be met through a retail outlet within the building. The Heritage Lottery Fund is a likely source of funding and details of a bid have been worked out. KBF now need to tell to the Council they want to take up the offer in a joint venture with KCDC.

A.Schofield raised concerns about competition between various community projects for similar funding and V. Emmett agreed. DA assured the meeting that there would be no conflict of interest. There followed a protracted and lively debate on the pros and cons of the likelihood of conflict in funding arrangements but a feeling emerged form the meeting that an urgent meeting of the interested parties should be arranged to discuss away forward. It was suggested from the floor that even if KCDC acted as a body to support KBF this would not preclude a meeting of interested parties taking place. The discussion concluded with the parties agreeing to meet as soon as possible and with KCDC agreeing to be involved with the proviso that all interested parties do get in a short time scale.


Bob Kinnaird from the floor speaking as representative of SportScotland suggested a possible project could be creating a cycle friendly village as part of the Cairngorm National Park drive to a friendly place for cycling.

Val Emmett from the floor referred to a community meeting regarding the new housing development and urged all to attend. A poster was displayed regarding this meeting.

The meeting concluded with AD thanking the attendees and also thanking Pitmain and Balavil for their cooperation in various projects. DG then thanked Andy who is retiring from KCDC for his chairmanship over the last year and solid support of KCDC over the six years of its existence.

The meeting closed at 21.15
Next meeting of KCDC: TBA