Minutes of Annual General Meeting on 11/11/13 at Talla Nan Ros


Directors: I.Moffett (Chair), D.Grant, I.Dyce. A. Schofield, D.Stewart, S.Millar, J.Ballantyne

Members: V.Dawson, P.Dawson, E.Emmett, D.Webster, A.Dunn, J.Dunn, B.McCarthy, C.McCarthy, M.Kelly, H.Schnell, J.Kinnaird, B.Kinnaird, T.Prescott, J.Pickering, L.Cruickshank, L.Ballantyne, M.Fraser, J.Fraser, O.Bray, J.Moffett, A.Bell

Apologies: A.Calvert, L.Dyce, B.Nield, S.Strang, G.Strang, G.Milligan, B.Milligan

Welcome: IM welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked to have the previous AGM’s minutes to be taken as read as they were published at the time and are freely available if anyone wished to consult them again. There were no objections to this.

Finance: IM explained the simpler format of the financial report and thanked Peter Munro for his past work in auditing the accounts. A fully audited set of accounts will be required for the hydro scheme when it is up and running in order to comply with funders. SM then went through the financial report making the following points:

Membership stands at 120 and brought in £500 in subscriptions and donations
There are two accounts: one for the hydro and one for day to day running costs
The hydro account stands at £63,907 but this is as yet money belonging to funders until the hydro project requires it
The day to day account appears to have large balance but this is due to hydro funding from Peoples Postcode Lottery and Highland Council which have since been transferred to the hydro account. When grants and expenses for events and expenses such as insurance and accountant fees are taken into consideration the account has a surplus for the year of £737.51 but this money is earmarked for tools to continue coppicing work in the woodland.

IM explained that PPL money had been granted in full but this needs to be maintained intact until the hydro project uses it.

IM also proposed that membership subscriptions be kept at £2 in order to encourage as many members as possible.

The financial report was proposed by L. Cruickshank and seconded by A. Bell

Election of Directors: IM asked for volunteers. There were two nominations : I. Dyce and L.Cruickshank. These nominations were proposed by A. Dunn and seconded by B. Kinnaird

Hydro Report: The hydro sub committee consists of D. Grant, L. Cruickshank and A. Bell each of whom submitted a report.

DG gave a general progress report and made the following points:

This is a final effort to have the hydro built in 2014. If it does not come to fruition next year it will not be built as the funding sources will not continue beyond 2014
There have been a number of setbacks over the last 12months particularly mainly due to Pitmain not commencing with either of its hydro schemes until the outcome of the Kincraig windfarm is known.
As KCDC is having to finance the project on its own rather than in conjunction with Pitmain schemes this has led to substantial cost increases for civil engineering work which would be unaffordable for the project as originally conceived.
However, most current funders have  extended the funding for one more year and another will hopefully do so. In addition DG has applied for a further £42,000 worth of grants but of the six applications DG hoped that at least one will be successful. DG also reported that thanks to grants from the Energy saving Trust and Highland Council connection of the scheme to supply electricity to the golf club will pay for itself once the hydro is built.
The current funding situation has encouraged the group to rework the plans on a more cost effective basis if estimates become firm quotes. Should there still be a relatively small shortfall other methods of funding will be considered such as a community shares issue.  This will give the project one last chance.
When up and running  the scheme should realise a FIT income of £10,000 p.a. at current levels although this may reduce if government changes the rules before it is built. This would be money for community use.

AB then gave a detailed presentation of the work on the hydro project including a pictorial illustration of how it will look and made the following points:

The project should realise income for the community, be environmentally friendly, be maintainable and enhance the woodland setting
Approvals have been obtained although the reworking of the plans require it to go through planning again
Costs savings have been achieved by simplifying the design, creating packages of work to be done locally and having ongoing dialogue with contractors
Next steps will be to agree the changes to the plans with the CNP  planning department, the civil engineer and SEPA. Obtain final tenders for civil engineering and place orders with a start envisaged for May 2014.

LC then outlined contingency funding plans and made the following points: