03-04-14 Network Carradale Ltd
AGM Minutes 20th March 2014
Network Carradale Ltd
Minutes of AGM held in Carradale Village Hall On Thursday 20th March 2014 at 7.30pm
1. Present: A Walker (Chair), S Harris (Treasurer), A Bennett, A Milstead, J Galbraith, J Durnan, D Macalister Hall, C Trott, M Trott, and 7 members
Apologies:A Currie (Company Secretary), M Richardson, M Walker
2. Minutes of AGM held on 21st March 2013
The minutes were duly adopted.
3. Chair’s Report
The Chair gave a brief summary of the activities undertaken by Network Carradale Limited and said that the meeting would include reports on them. He explained that Network Carradale Ltd is a community business, a charitable company which is, of course, non-profit making but does not want to make a loss. The advantage of charitable status is that any profits made are tax free, hence the registration. He mentioned a criticism at the first AGM meeting three years ago, which was that nothing had happened in Carradale for 20 years. The Chair thought that criticism has now been confounded. Bikes and Buggies has opened, the Tearoom has been renovated and leased to a new tenant and progress has been made in the harbour. A Milstead and J Galbraith would report on the harbour and bikes and buggies. The ongoing project is the slip for which we now have planning permission. A feasibility study is progressing which may result in a community fuel station. S Harris will give a report on the accounts. We were lucky to obtain a grant for £10,000 which allowed us to appoint engineers and architects for the slip. A Bennett will give a report on the tearoom. The new tenant has had a lease for a year and wishes to extend the tenancy for another 12 months. The draft lease has been prepared and will be with the tenant shortly. Network Carradale and the community owe a great debt of thanks to individuals who have worked so hard; to directors Jim Galbraith, Sue Harris, Alan Milstead, Alasdair Bennett and to the minutes secretary Catriona Trott for taking minutes which can be sent to the auditor and are required to be kept.
4. Presentation of Draft Accounts to 31 January 2013 and to January 2014
The Treasurer explained that a full copy of the accounts can be obtained by application to C Trott, (minutes secretary). The Treasurer read from an extract, (circulated at the meeting), to give a brief summary of the main figures in the draft annual accounts to 31 January 2014. She reiterated that at this meeting two sets of accounts are proposed for adoption, accounts to January 2013 and accounts to January 2014. She proposed the resolution that the accounting period end of year be changed from 31st of January to the 31st of December. There were no dissenters to the proposal at the meeting. It is extremely difficult to compare the 2012 accounts, the 2013 accounts and the 2014 accounts. There was an exceptional amount of funding in 2013. The figures were £59,383 this included money for Bikes and Buggies, two grants from Awards for All and one from the Wind Farm Trust. It made 2013 look exceptionally good. The Treasurer clarified the difference between restricted funds and unrestricted funds. Restricted funds are the grants which have to be spent on specific items. For 2014 there were only funds of £13,000 pounds, (restricted funds). £10,000 from Investing in Ideas for the slip and £3,000 for the tearoom. The Treasurer proceeded to describe what was achieved in the year to January 2014. Bikes and Buggies trading income 2.2 thousand. Nothing the year before, (trading had not started). Harbour projects 1.1 thousand, again nothing the year before for the same reason. Tearoom 5.7 thousand as opposed to £2,500 the previous year. Gains have been made from the tearoom because the rent is now realistic and there is a gain for money back for electricity etc. Volunteers kindly opened the tearoom over the Easter period before the beginning of the tearoom tenancy. Eleanor Bennett, Anne Currie and Helen worked hard and brought in a good amount of income. Overall the result has been that there is money in the bank to 2014. The Treasurer concluded her report, saying that she had done as much of a comparison as was possible at this stage and asked the meeting to adopt both sets of accounts – for 2013 and 2014. There being no questions the Chair asked for proposer and seconder to adopt both sets of accounts. Proposed Alan Milstead, seconded Alasdair Bennett.
The Chair thanked the Treasurer. Next year the AGM will be held in April. This will be better for the auditor since the busy period dealing with tax returns etc. will be over. The accounts up to December 2014 will be proposed for adoption at that meeting.
The Chair invited Alasdair Bennett to give his report.
Alasdair reported that matters had calmed down since last AGM when the tearoom was in the middle of a refurbishment programme to the value of £17,400. Thanks to Awards for All, the Campbeltown Courier and the public's very generous donations. Thanks to everyone who gave their time so it could be officially opened on the 29th March 2013. Eleanor and Helen volunteered their time until the 20th of April when the lease started and put £1,455 into the Tearoom accounts. The tenant has agreed to extend his lease to April 2015. which will bring in £1,790 The tearoom is a significant community and tourist asset which will be very important for the future of NCL. A reminder that the Bikes and Buggies and Tearoom work party are to tidy up the site and to plant flowers in order to look good for the coming season. Alasdair invited questions. There were none.
6. Heritage Centre
The Chair thanked Alasdair. A Walker then gave the report on the Heritage Centre. The top part of the Heritage Centre has been lost to Bikes and Buggies. The whole place has been inventoried by Christine Ritchie who has done a wonderful job. The plan is to re-allocate the space available and to introduce some more material about the village. This should expand the Centre's appeal. It is a good start. The material has all been photographed. With A Bennett's expertise a new design will be created. The ramp is awkward, the net and balustrade are blocking access, the question is how to make best use of space. The lighting is poor. It is an ongoing project. Next year we hope to have a revamped Heritage Centre. There have been donations of over £500 which the public have put into the box which J Galbraith made and installed on the wall of the Heritage Centre. The box has been of great benefit.
The harbour is the biggest project. Alan Milstead was invited to report.
7. Harbour Report
???Costs were covered over the year. There was a concern that there seems to be a view amongst yachties that there is no need to pay. The envelope scheme in place since July has helped. There is a surplus in the season of £250. Thanks to Marine Harvest for laying out the moorings then lifting them for the winter.???
2. Car Park
????Argyll and Bute Council has an Asset transfer policy. It is an involved process but we are working through it. We are Pathfinders which is not necessarily a bad thing but it is frustrating, the rules are not very clear.
?We have had the car park valued. We don’t expect to pay for it, but it will help get grants to fund the transfer. Money will be needed toward legal fees.
3. Slip???There is money coming from FLAG, Marine Harvest, (who bought Meridian Salmon), and East Kintyre Wind Farm Trust. Planning permission was granted on the 19th of March 2014. The last piece is Marine Scotland consents, which should come through at the end of the month. There is new legislation to do with the high and low water mark. Planning permission is similar to Argyll and Bute planning permission.
The company is taking out a lease as we don’t own the ground – terms are agreed. This will lapse when CHEL take over ownership. A cash flow loan from Argyll and Bute Council for the amount of the FLAG grant that has been applied for to pay contractors and then the cash flow loan can be repaid.
CHG, have incorporated as CHEL so that we can hold a separate VAT registration from NCL for whom registering is unhelpful. Marcus Adams has appplied for VAT registration as secretary of CHEL. CHEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCL and a number of CHEL directors, (about half), are not directors of NCL. Construction will start towards the end of April and finish in June. There will be a Grand Opening on 2 August – HARBOUR DAY – The RNLI will launch their inshore lifeboat. They are quite pleased that they will be able to launch so easily from the slip. Before construction begins the builders will mark out the position on the rocks and potential users will be invited to view and comment. We will need to charge for using the slip. It will belong to NCL and will need insurance and maintenance.???????
Finally “Thank you” to the Harbour Group who have put in a lot of work, no blood spilt but sweat and some tears of joy when we get a result.
In its current format the Harbour group has been going for about three years. We have a Master plan endorsed by the village, we have moorings, we will soon have a slip and there is more coming.
Marcus Adams said that the big question is whether CHEL gets VAT registration. FLAG will not pay VAT. S Harris asked if the envelope scheme would be used. A Milstead confirmed that it would. There are two or three groups which are potential users. The fish farm will pay annually, the fishermen will pay on a regular basis and local people may require a season ticket. Holidaymakers might also use it for a set fee to launch and retrieve. There will be no charge to yachtsmen.
The Chair thanked Alan Milstead for the many hours of hard work he has put into the project, to Malcolm Trott and Rhona Elder for the application to FLAG which was done very professionally. Thanks to Marcus Adams, to all the harbour group. AM was talking to the Scottish Land Fund. They don't feel that the group would be likely to get further help because it is a “high capacity group.”
AW thanked R. Elder and A Milstead, C Trott and M Trott for their hospitality in hosting meetings.
8. Carradale Bikes & Buggies
J Galbraith began by saying that Network Carradale were well informed about the history of Bikes and Buggies. 13 Trek bikes were bought, quite a few hires were missed out on because people requested a Tagalong bike. One has now been bought. They had to be careful with funds. Beamer and TGA manufactured buggies were represented on “Top Gear”. The group tried out 4 before purchasing the two buggies. A trailer was bought which is in case of breakdowns and to transport buggies to where they are needed. There have been a number of other purchases; firstly the conversion of the Heritage Centre, helmets, high viz jackets, bike locks, pumps, repair kits, insurance for the bikes, insurance for the buggies, laptop computer, workshop tool, spares, drawing of maps, (thanks to A lan and Marlene Walker for that). Marketing design brochures and distribution, flyers and the creation of the website, (thanks to M Trott). Bikes and Buggies were very fortunate to recruit Ian Brodie. He is a major asset. Formal thanks to him were recorded. Thanks were recorded to the steering group for their hard work and commitment for the coming year. Jim indicated copies of Trip Advisor comments which specifically mention Ian as friendly, helpful, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Bikes and Buggies opened on the 29th March 2013. Weather conditions were “Baltic”, it was just after a 5 day power cut. The project was very fortunate in the amount of publicity. John Knock publicised the project. He is involved in TGA publicity and had many contacts. A TGA buggy had been bought by then. He contacted Reporting Scotland and suggested that a piece be run about Bikes and Buggies. It was filmed and put out twice on one day on prime time TV. The sun shone and it was a wonderful advert for Carradale. The “hook” had been the Top Gear programme which led the BBC to follow up. BBC Reporting Scotland did a radio interview and Landward featured Bikes and Buggies. Thanks to Marcus Adams for helping tee it up. The programme was about the Kintyre Way and Marcus helped involve Bikes and Buggies in the programme.
How did we do? March and April were very cold. It was a very bad start because of the weather. There were 25 hires - £203 and 1 hire for a buggy £5. In May the weather was very poor with 16 bike hires £193 and £50 for the buggies. June 27 hires. Bikes £289, buggies £56. In July 40 hires, bikes £77, buggies £177 and August similar number of hires, £379 bikes, £243 for the buggies. September nothing for the bikes and £40 for the buggies the two were getting closer. Bikes £1,141, buggies £571 and Ian Brodie brought in £235 with his repairs, £2,247 in total. All equipment was returned, we have not lost anything. There have been no issues with the bikes, very little damage, just punctures. There have been compliments on the quality of the bikes. People are aware of the Trek make. There has been 100% reliability on the buggies. No one ran out of power. The trailer has been used to deliver them. There is a Campbeltown hotel booking for the 11th to the 14th of April. There was wear on the Tramper seat. This was due to people adjusting it to themselves. This would not happen on an individual's buggy. Full marks to Beamer who replaced the seat cover and modified the seat adjustment mechanism which raises the rider position free of charge. Ken Semple is providing an MOT inspection for the buggies. The season opens on the 5.4.14. until the end of August. There are one or two things left to do. The school room is to be renovated. This will become the tourist information centre. The work put into it has been almost entirely voluntary. The slates have been replaced The interior has been boarded and plastered. Dave Washington gave his time free. The floor has been done, dug out and waterproof membrane then concrete laid. There are some minor leaks to the roof. Dave Washington will be asked to come and plaster the walls and then a wooden floor will be put down. The building will then be opened as a tourist centre. However there is very little money so Jim asked for volunteers. In conclusion Jim invited questions. AW asked if the punctures were sustained while out and about. Ian Brodie said that they were slow punctures due to thorns from hedge cutting. No wheels were buckled.
JG said that the Campbeltown Tourist Office came to Bikes and Buggies. They tried out the buggies and bikes and had a free lunch at the Network Centre. A lot of business comes from Campbeltown. The centre there is always being asked about bike hire. We may take two bikes down to Campbeltown to see what happens. They will have to be stored in the tourist office. 15% of the hire charge will go to Campbeltown.
Johnny Durnan will do a flyer on the Carradale Goat about the opening.
9. Fuel Station
JGalbraith reported that this project started off with Village SOS and Eric Dudley. It did not prove to be viable. All costings have now been obtained for above ground storage. Tesco, Sainsbury's etc. all have very robust above ground storage. It would be mounted on a skid unit and delivered on site to an area at Semple's. It would be a 24/7 card operated station with CCTV. The only question is viability. There is capital available for start up. Start up costs would be in excess of £130, 000 plus VAT fuel costs. When the project planning started there was a 10 pence margin with County Garage Campbeltown which, when diesel or petrol was bought would cover costs. To cover insurance etc. we would have to sell at the same price or lower. There might possibly be community support for that. Things have now changed. County Garage prices have come right down. The margin is now 7 or 5 pence, it is very tight. There is a lot more work to do. There are no issues with planning permission. Is it a viable project?
AW thanked JG for his contribution.
10. Retirement and Re-election of Directors
The Chair explained the Memorandum and Articles regarding the terms relating to the retiral and re-election of directors. As a result AW and AB gave notice of retiral but expressed the wish that they were willing to be re elected to the board. D Macalister Hall and M Richardson retired and were not seeking re-election. Members voted in favour. Formal thanks were recorded for the long involvement of D Macalister Hall in the Company. He and Stuart Irvine had kept the Company going for years, and to M Richardson for her work over the last few years. She is now involved in a great deal of work at Carradale Golf Club. There are at present no intimations that anyone is willing to be elected as a director.
11. Election of New Directors
AW explained that any member of the company who wishes to be considered to be a director can apply. The board are authorised to appoint directors. There are now 8 directors. Directors receive no remuneration.
12.Appointment of Independent Examiner
Efric McNeil of Dunlop & Co Chartered Accountants Glasgow & Campbeltown who had audited and signed off the accounts for the years to 31 January 2013 and 31 January 2014 was unanimously reappointed as Independent Examiner.
Ian Brodie asked about the possibility of a 24/7 cash machine. People have asked about this for booking purposes at Bikes and Buggies and in future, the slip. There is only the Post Office which has restricted opening hours. AW said that it would have to be a bank. It is proposed to suggest the possibility to RBS who have a bank in the village. Bikes and Buggies accepts payment via Paypal.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 20.25 hours. The Chair thanked all present for their attendance and contributions.
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