As the 2020 AGM has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are unable to pass and publish the minutes from the year before.
The Laurencekirk Development Trust SC 435274 Minute of Annual General Meeting, Financial Year 1st November 2016- 31st October 2017, held on Wednesday 14th March 2018 in Mearns Academy at 7.30 pm.
1. Jim Stuart, chairman, welcomed the attendees.
2. Attendance: 23 members were present.
3. Apologies were submitted by Sandra Davison, Sylvia Cartwright, Kenny Gray, Margaret Irvine, Marion Robson and Sarah Leigh.
4. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 8th March 2017 were approved and adopted being proposed by Alastair Donald and seconded by Colleen Henderson.
5. Matters Arising From The Minutes: None.
6. Chairman’s Annual Report was delivered by Jim Stuart.
7. Treasurer’s report: Ann Lewendon presented the financial reports for the year to 31st October, 2017 and an interim report on the current year to date with full explanations. She noted that although the Trust operates on a tiny budget there is a need to fund raise to cover the costs which include those for maintaining the websites (Laurencekirkab30.co.uk and the Laurencekirk Development Trust Site. Membership of the Development Trust Association Scotland also benefits the community by accessing a range of professional advisers. The statement was adopted, proposed by Jim Stuart and seconded by Mike Robson.
8. Appointment of Directors.
At this time Jim Stuart retired having completed three years on the board; Mike Robson retired due to other commitments. In addition Alastair Donald, Anne Maryse Churchill and Toby Burrell also stood down before submitting themselves for re-election.
The following candidates presented themselves for election to the five available seats on the board: Jim Stuart, Alastair Donald, Anne-Maryse Churchill, Toby Burrell and Euan Ramsay. Their appointments were unanimously accepted by acclaim.
9. Appointment of accountants.
Currently registered as a “micro-entity” by HMRC in respect of financial reports, the Trust is currently exempt from this requirement.
Implications for Laurencekirk of the different options for a graded junction on the A90.
The chairman asked the members present to consider how the new infrastructure would impact the traffic flow through the town and to engage with Transport Scotland and their agents when the public engagement is held.
11. The meetings was closed at 8.30pm.
12. Provisional deadlines for the next AGM will be between the 21st February and 5th April 2019.
The Laurencekirk Development Trust SC 435274 Minute of Annual General Meeting, Financial Year 1st November 2015-31st October 2016, held on Wednesday 8th March 2017 in Mearns Academy ay 7.30pm.
1. Jim Stuart, chairman, welcomed the attendees.
2. Attendance : Thirty eight including 34 members were present.
3. Apologies were submitted by Rosemary and Peter Reilly, Pat Mulcahy and Margaret Irvine.
4. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday 9th March 2016 were approved, nominated by Lawrie Milne and seconded by Ann Lewendon.
5. Chairman’s report was delivered by Jim Stuart. “This time last year we had two Capital Asset Transfer Applications (CAT) in place; one for the old Mearns Academy and the other for the adjacent playing fields. We aspired to develop more community facilities by providing a new town hall with catering and other facilities plus retail and commercial outlets to generate income for sustainability. Regretfully, Aberdeenshire Council were unwilling to support this project and opted to demolish the academy and sell the land.
There was limited success with the CAT for the playing field which was retained by the Council. Much of this was due to the petition launched by the Trust which attracted 600 e-mails being sent directly to specific Councillors. It is hoped the Council will now make good use of the facility.
We received funding from Aberdeenshire Council and Awards for All for a “Charrette” planning exercise. Although this did not secure the former academy the information gathered and the Shaping Laurencekirk document gives the community a sense of direction for future development.
Currently there is a live survey underway to determine the priorities from a number of previous public engagements. It is hoped that this will identify the present wishes of the community, particularly with regard to the future of the St Laurence Hall, the old Community Centre and the need for a new community facility to address the future short falls of the present Community Campus.
We look forward to taking forward the proposals with the confidence that we have the support of the local community.
A fresh approach for a safe pedestrian and cycle way to the Garvock Hill, avoiding the A90 dual carriageway, is now underway as part of a cycle route proposed by local minister, Ronnie Gall.
The Trust is supporting the efforts of a group of local footballers to improve the facilities at the Memorial Park. We are pleased to report that representatives have joined our management committee.
We are continuing to work with the Howe o’ The Mearns Heritage Club in their efforts to secure the Burgh Buildings as a community facility.
We continue to monitor the progress of the A90 Grade Separated Junction and the traffic implications for Laurencekirk. Current predictions indicate a start on construction in 2021.
Recently the community received approval for a Self-Build Housing Scheme in Fordoun Road thanks to the support of LDT and Mearns Community Council.
Particular thanks are due this year to director, Toby Burrell, whose excellent talk on “Mountaineering Around The World” made a major contribution to our funds.
Lynn Moir also continues to give generously of her time to manage our Laurencekirk AB30 and associated websites.
I also wish to single out Mike Robson, our secretary for the work he puts into the LDT. Tonight he brings forward a Special Resolution for adoption. This will maintain our ability to access the Scottish Land Fund for community projects under the Community Right To Buy Legislation. The resolution has been given approval by the Scottish Government.
Changes in the Community Empowerment Act and new directives for local government will provide both challenges and opportunities for the Trust.
As Chairman, I have benefited from the support from a committee that has and reflects a broad skill-base, professionalism and an excellent work ethic.
On behalf of The Laurencekirk Development Trust, I thank you all for your excellent support and hope you can all continue next year as we have much to achieve.”
6. “Shaping Laurencekirk“ Questionnaire
Director, Sarah Leigh, introduced an interim survey report. She designed the questionnaire to prioritise the aspirations identified in previous public engagements and demonstrated the breadth of information and demographic reach. She discussed in some detail the general findings to date and the current “top ten” subjects.
The survey will remain on line until the end of March.
7. Treasurer’s Report. Director, Dr Ann Lewendon, presented the financial report for the financial year 1st November 2015 to 31st October 2016 which largely dealt with the financing of the planning “Charrette”. The minor recurring charge is that of running the websites. A marginal positive balance for the year was recorded. She recommended that we should carry out further fund raising as a priority. The Statement was adopted, proposed by Alistair Beeley and seconded by Colleen Henderson.
8. Special Resolution.
A special resolution to maintain the Trust’s eligibility to apply for Scottish Land Fund support under the Community Right To Buy legislation (previously circulated to all members) was presented and proposed by secretary Mike Robson, seconded by Sarah Leigh and duly adopted.
9. Appointment of Directors.
During the past year Gordon Beatt resigned, Stuart Murray stood down immediately prior to the meeting, due to pressure of work and Fiona Bissmire was not able to attend the required number of meetings. The remaining directors served less than the three year term. Four places were available on the board.
The following candidates were proposed, seconded, introduced and duly elected:
Natalie Lucy, 15 Johnston Street, Laurencekirk AB30 1AN
Alastair Donal, 6 Lyall Way, Laurencekirk, AB30 1FU
Douglas Shaw, 18 Reed Crescent, Laurencekirk, AB30 1EF
Tero Luoma, 14 Reed Crescent, Laurencekirk, AB30 1EF
10. Appointment of accountants: Currently registered as a “micro-entity” in respect of financial reports and excluded from this requirement.
A question was raised as to the action the Trust could take to promote a fuel station for the local community. The chairman responded that our prime role at present is not only to lobby our political representatives but also to facilitate indirect commercial approaches to enable the challenge of economic viability to be overcome.
12. Vote of Thanks.
A vote of thanks to the Trust was proposed by Councillor George Carr who hoped that the Trust would continue to work closely with the local authority to deliver more for the community.
13. Provisional date for the next AGM : March 2018
Our AGM was held on the evening of March 8th, 2017. Highlights included:
- Chairman Jim Stuart’s annual report which encompassed the Trust’s efforts in making Capital Asset Transfers for the former Mearns Academy and its playing field,
- Securing funding for a Charrette planning exercise by Planning Assist Scotland which resulted in a new community vision entitled “Shaping Laurencekirk”.
- This has provided the Trust with a sound base for future development plans and a current survey across the community has already attracted over 300 participants ( see online at https://sarahleigh.typeform.com/to/xPTqEH).
- Studies have been made into the options for the development of the old community centre and the St Laurence Hall, both of which Aberdeenshire Council intend disposing of.
- A project to create a safe access foot/cycle path to link residents with the Garvock hill, a favourite walk and view point, currently separated from the town by the A90 dual carriageway.
- Support for a group of local footballers who have initiated work to improve facilities at the Memorial Park, to accommodate more teams and better facilities
- Continued success for laurencekirkab30.co.uk the community website and Lynn Moir, who gives her time to run and maintain the site.
- Annual financial report demonstrating the challenges of funding community groups.
- Most importantly for the future the appointment of four new directors to the Trust, Natalie Lucey, Tero Luoma, Doug Shaw and Alastair Donald, all of whom bring very valuable skills to the organisation.This maintains a full board and provides added business management acumen.
All local residents and members of the Laurencekirk Development Trust are invited to join us in the Mearns Academy Theatre on 8th March at 7.30pm.
You will receive an update on our current activities and a review of the previous year.
The Trust was established in 2013 and has worked steadily to promote improvements in Laurencekirk.
We take action based on residents’ wishes and are particularly keen to hear your aspirations or your concerns for the town.
We will give an interim report on our latest community questionnaire which aims to find the most popular projects from those identified during last year’s Shaping Laurencekirk event.
We look forward to meeting both existing and potential members and to gathering your thoughts on how to improve the town.