AGM 2019 Minutes


  Minutes of UCT AGM 2018/19

28th November 2019        Macphail Centre 19.00hrs

Present: Flick Hawkins, Sandy Mackenzie, Serena Mason, Susan Leslie, Terry Rose, Amanda Barry, Gayle Lowry, Ally Ross, Sandy Underwood, Gill Wilson, Ben Williams,  Sara Callaghan, Hilary Bradshaw, John Menzies, Tim Gauntlett, Chrissy Boyd,  Topher Dawson, Yvonne Boa, Gilly Meighan and Jason Leon.

  1. On behalf of UCT Flick welcomed everyone.

Apologies: Sue Parker, Brendan O’Hanrahan, Kate and Paul Copestake..  

  • Minutes from the previous AGM 29/11/2018 were proposed by Tim Gauntlett and Seconded by Amanda Barry.  There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.
  • Chair person’s report – Flick Hawkins  

Covering the tax year 2018/19

The Trust has established and completed several successful projects over the previous year and continues to act as an anchor organisation for other community groups and initiatives.  The Community Benefit Fund was  established in partnership with Lochbroom Community Renewables. Facilitated by UCT and awarded by an independent panel this fund comprises £5000 of direct surplus from Broom Power and £3985 donated dividends from share holder, to be distributed to successful local community groups over the next year.  The fund is designed around the community growth plan fund criteria and looks to build a lasting legacy within the community by supporting local projects and initiatives. It is planned that future income generating projects will also pay into the Benefit Fund.

UCT has also worked on the potential acquisition of Lael Forest through developing a stage 1 submission to the Scottish Land Fund. We have also opened our working groups up to the community, drawing in vital skills and experience and allowing direct community involvement in our project delivery.

UCT continues to maintain local employment at 8 part time staff which is great for the local economy and has provided steady, all year-round work for local people as well as a vast array of volunteering opportunities across our trading activities and broader development projects.

UCT has diversified into supporting many other community projects and initiatives by offering locally targeted grants and administrative support. We hope that continued growth and momentum can be carried forward into 2020 and beyond. In the coming few years we will aim to really add to the diversity of our services, establish further income generating projects and broaden our offering to the community.

Flick thanked all the UCT directors, staff, volunteers and community members, for all their work for the Trust and its projects during the past year.

  • Treasurers report –  John Menzies   

John thanked Flick for all she has done for UCT and the community in general over the past several years.  circulated the 2018/19 accounts.

It was noted that the accounts showed a positive position with an overall increase in income. It was noted that the Trust relies upon the New Broom’s income to fund all of its non grant funded work, including most of its core functions. Highland and Islands Enterprise remains the main grant funder, for which the trust is most grateful. This funding supports our Local Development Officer – Ben but has been reduced over the past years.

John commented that currently UCT has reserves sufficient for 6months of activity. The trust plans to build upon these in order to ensure it can sustainably commit to future project.

 Approval of the 2018/19 accounts;  proposed by John Menzies and seconded by Flick Hawkins.

  • Election of new board members.

UCT board may comprise of upto 9 elected members and 3 co-opted the current board 9 and 1 respectively.

3 elected members are standing down, Sandy Mackenzie, Susan Leslie and Serena Mason.

Susan and Serena are both willing to be re-elected.

Susan was proposed by Sandy and seconded by Amanda

Serena was proposed by John and seconded by Tim

There are 2 persons putting themselves forward as directors, Brendan O’Hanrahan and Linda Bailey.

In his absence Brendan was proposed  by Terry and Seconded by Serena. 

Linda will be co-opted onto the board at the next board meeting.

Flick welcomed the two potential news directors and thanked Sandy for all his work for the Trust. She also noted that she would be stepping down during the course of the current year and encouraged  members to become actively involved in the board .

  • Engagement officers’ reports

Ben Williams

Ben noted that the cut in core funding from HIE for his role had required him to prioritize as capacity had been reduced. He noted that securing further core funding would be important in the following years.

The potential of Community owned  Forestry has been an increasingly important element of his work this year working with the forestry group in which terry has been heavily involved.

The Community Benefit Fund UCT has been busy with the set up and administration of this and distributing funds to local groups and projects  

Future focuses for development are Youth Space, Health and Well Being and the potential of setting up a shared community admin/ bookkeeper post for use by different groups locally.

Sandy Underwood

Sandy gave a brief back ground to the Loch a Bhraoin  Hydro scheme, which may potentially bring funding into the local community, with UCT possibly facilitating this via the Community Benefit Fund.

He also spoke about the work he has been doing on UCT’s structure and explained how UCT’s Growth Plan    and Strategic Framework can be aligned with the Government’s National Framework. This would make   applications for funding more efficient and give UCT measurable objectives.

The concept of UCT as an umberella organisation was raised with the potential of providing core services and most importantly coordinating with other groups to pool resources and work more efficiently.

  • New Broom Hub report

Gill Wilson

Gill as manager of the New Broom noted that promoting the circular economy and reducing the community’s contribution to land fillis a main thrust of their work, as well as earning some vital cash to run the UCT core activities. They take in a large volume of Donations and resell, repurpose and recycle virtually aoo that they receive.  Thanks to the local community for supporting us in this and to Blythswood who buy any surplus stock from the Trust.  Having secured some funding from HIE plus £1000 form the Harbour trust the refurbishment of the Broom began in 2018 with work to the store and shop building a separate office in one end of the shop and in 2019 we installed a wood burner. Further works are planned to improve the efficiency and accessibility of the Broom. In the current year we have started weekly Make do and Mend workshops  providing a friendly practical welcoming solution to social isolation and rekindling the crafty side of our community. 

The Broom continues as ever to support local initiative and groups raising funds and promoting their causes. None of the above would be possible without our small but tireless band of staff and volunteers. For which we are truly grateful. Gill ended by encouraging all who have not been to visit the Broom.

  • AOCB none

Questions/ comments from the floor…

 Tim Gauntlett spoke, thanking Flick for her many years chairing UCT and her other many involvements within the community. He noted that Ullapool is a thriving community with good resources because of the quiet leadership freely given by several individuals, of which Flick is one. 

Meeting closed 20.11

 Thank you

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