Minute of the Laurencekirk Development Trust 21 January 2020 – Burgh Buildings 7.30 pm
Chaired by Jim Stuart

Present: Jim Stuart (JS), Anne-Maryse Churchill (AMC), Carol Medlock (CM), Euan Ramsay, (ER), John Medlock (JM), Lynn Moir (LM), Marion Robson (MMR), Mike Robson (MR), Toby Burrell (TB)

1. Welcome from JS.

2. Apologies: Fred Higgins, Lesley Higgins, Morag Mitchell

3. Notification of Conflicts of Interest: None.

4. Minute of Meeting of August 2019: Proposed by ER and Seconded by MMR

5. Matters arising: All covered in the Agenda. AMC to write formally to Fred and Lesley to thank them for their very kind donation which is greatly appreciated. Action: AMC.

6. CAT Transfer/Conveth Project: JS advising that the Church are not completely out of the picture. CM advising that they were potentially interested in Journeycall. JS says we should take public support forward as he has spoken to a number of local people who are keen for us to have the old Community Centre. JS indicating that the café are still interested as a main leaseholder. ER has done a lot of work on setting things up on social media, leaflets and posters etc to try and get the community and local groups involved. Agreed by the meeting that he will share everything by email and we can all make comments as necessary so that the Facebook page can be launched. FB is currently offline till agreed. It is also a good way to get new members. ER has set up an email address ldt_cc@yahoo.com which he will look after but we will all have access and will make the passwords available.

ER advising that people outwith Laurencekirk may also be interested and this should be encouraged and discussing examples of that. ER also indicated that he has looked in to getting funding from Highlands and Islands. If after we report to them that we are up to the task they will visit and give us a formal offer. Lot of work to be done on that. If we have positive interest we can get more funds. JM saying that we need to give people a timescale in which to respond. This was agreed by the group. CM commenting that she is worried that we have the same problems as Fettercairn. They got a lot of money but because they have a lot of problems with the hall they may not be able to use the money and therefore hand it back. ER also talking about a Community Lottery and explaining how it works. For example if we charge £2 per ticket give £1000 to the winner and £1000 to the Community. MMR saying a direct debit could be set up and may get money from all over eg by people who have an emotional attachment to Laurencekirk.

JS talking about what we do with the CC again. Remove the chimney breast? Have a wooden partition to change the size of the room? MR noting it didn’t work in the Dickson Hall because of noise. New toilets are definitely needed. JM proposed that we do nothing until we know public opinion and we should ask Council for more time. AMC will write to Diane Henderson and ask for more time. LM advising that we need to make sure that people “like it” and “comment” on FB so that we can convince people that we have enough interest. MR saying we should remind people of the capacity of the CC. MR advising that we should advise all the local groups also. JS noting that sustainability is the most important thing for the purchase and any financial assistance. The purchase is perhaps the easy part and we can get cash for that. We should speak to the Church to see what they are doing. JS advising that he can look at costs for refurbishment quite quickly. MR saying we need a timetable. ER saying that he will do that. Council year end is 31 March so we need to be organised before then. Discussing end of February for comments from the public (CM). ER stating that we will need multiple meetings. Action: AMC to write to Diane Henderson (formerly Strachan). ER to forward what he has prepared to the Group for approval and then he will launch FB. ER to prepare a timeline.

7. Laurencekirk Gala: Defer in MM absence but noting from LM that the bingo night was a sell out.

8. LDT Website: ER reporting on meeting which was a bit inconclusive but discussing generally the website etc. but agreeing we will defer in view of the work required for pushing forward with the CC.

9. Review of Communication with Members and GDPR: Deferred meantime.

10. K and S Grant: Advising grant now received. After some discussion and AMC texting Ann as she hasn’t responded to emails getting a reply that signatories are Mike, Ann and Jim and finally being able to let Lynn have a cheque for £300. Many thanks to LM for her patience.

11. Laurencekirk Place Standards Meeting: CM advising that meeting on 16 January was deferred as Roddy McInnes, our new representative, had a funeral. It is now rescheduled for Wednesday 29th January, 11.15 at Gannets. All welcome. Roddy wants it to be informal at this stage.

12. Current LDT Vehicle: Defer until we know more about uptake for purchase of CC. There was however some discussion about reverting to VIC. MR talking about SKIO.

13. Treasurer: Discussion with ER highlighted that we need someone with Companies House experience so still on the lookout. We must have this in place for the AGM. AMC saying we should keep looking and will contact her own retired accountant but in the meantime speak to Bower and Smith to see if they would be willing to stand in meantime. Action: AMC will contact Bower and Smith and her own retired Accountant.

14. Vacant Position of Secretary: AMC had advised by email that she will step down due to personal circumstances and discussing who may take over. There was no ultimate conclusion to the discussion.

15. Secretarys Report: Made throughout the meeting.

16. Treasurers Report: See above but confirming to MR and the group that AMC has done the necessary return and Ann did the financial return.

17. Chairmans Report: Comments throughout the meeting. JS advising however that he would need to step down soon due to personal circumstances and discussing who may fill his place. JS suggesting CM?

18. AOCB: AMC will get in touch with MM about a meeting in relation to the members list for the AGM notification. MR advising we must give the members two weeks notice before the meeting. Agreeing the AGM should be Tuesday 17 March. JM kindly offering to speak to his mail man to see how much it would cost to do a mail shot to everyone. Action: JM to speak to mailman about leaflet drop. MR talking about using Rory Dutton from DTAS. Is the group happy with that? Agreed!.JS talking about St Laurence Hall and whether if things folded for the group taking the CAT forward if we could pick up the slack. There was no decision made.

19. Date of next meeting: Monday 17th February 2020.