Portree Area Community Trust AGM
Thursday 24th February 2011, 7.30pm, Portree Community Centre
Ross Cowie, Neil Campbell, Julian Toms, Hugh MacDonald, Lisa Stephen, JF
Walker, DSR Walker, Tim Bowditch, Roger MacDonald, Pam Simmister, Myra
Urquhart, Norma Macleod, A Mackinnon, A Macdonald, G Gormal, BJ Ronald, Roger
Liley, Ella Liley, George Burns, John Ellis, N Campbell, Morag Campbell, Jan
Nicolson, Peter Urquhart, M Matheson, LV Kirkwood, John Gordon, Andrew Shaw,
Anna Bethune, N Mackinnon, Irene Hepburn, Dolina Munro, Liza Hawthorne, Billy
Macaskill, Catriona Leslie, Martin Leslie & Campbell Dickson.
Ian Smart, Charlotte Johnson, Bill Johnson & Katie MacDonald
Approval of minutes of last AGM
Approved Neil Campbell, seconded Lesley Kirkwood
Chairman’s report on the activities of the company
Hugh MacDonald presented his annual report to the meeting. An interim report from
the Trust’s directors was also presented (see attached).
Proposed alterations to Memorandum & Articles
The following Alteration of Articles was proposed by Catriona Leslie:
That subject to obtaining the consents required in article 72, that article of association
32.4 be suspended for five years. This is to ensure an adequate continuation of
directors and that the necessary quorum of directors is elected at each AGM.
A counter-motion, that this amendment be deferred and the decision left to the new
committee following further research, was proposed by Martin Leslie and seconded
by Andrew Shaw.
Those present voted to support the counter-motion.
Accounts and Finances
The annual accounts, approved by the Board, were approved by the membership.
Election of Directors and related business
Of the ten directors (Hugh MacDonald, Katie MacDonald, Rob MacGregor, Lisa
Stephen, Neil Campbell, Julian Toms, Catriona Leslie, William Macaskill, Ross Cowie
& John Gordon), six must stand down (Hugh MacDonald, Rob MacGregor, Lisa
Stephen, Neil Campbell, Julian Toms & Catriona Leslie).
John Gordon, as a cop-opted director, must be elected.
The election of John Gordon and the remaining three eligible directors (Katie
MacDonald, William Macaskill & Ross Cowie) was proposed by Julian Toms and
seconded by Neil Campbell.
Seven nominations for new directors were received from: Campbell Dickson, Myra
Urquhart, John Ellis, Malcolm Matheson, Donnie Nicolson, Catriona Maclean &
Dolina Munro. Their election to the Board was proposed by Anna Bethune &
seconded by Peter Urquhart.
The lapse between the Annual Accounts year end (May 2010) and the AGM
was queried. It was agreed that the next AGM should coincide with the next
financial year end (in this instance, new directors are inheriting 10 month old
The Trust’s new Chairman and other office bearers will be decided by the
newly elected Board at their first meeting.
Anna Bethune, Chairman of Portree Community Centre Committee,
confirmed that a Business Plan for the centre is being developed and that the
committee is keen to hear any comments or suggestions from the community
about the centre’s future use.
Highland Council have to issue 6 months notice of their intention to stop
managing and insuring The Lump. The council did approach the Trust, with a
view to the Trust taking over their management agreement. However, due to
the public liability costs involved this was initially considered a liability – not an
asset. A joint valuation of The Lump has now been carried out by Skye
Gathering committee and Fearann Eilean Iarmain (Sir Iain Noble’s estate) –
valuing the land at £8,200. The Trust would consider the management of the
land, if the council would continue to indemnify the site.
Jan Nicolson referred the meeting to Scorrybreac which has been maintained
through self-funded contributions from overseas for the last 10 years since
the end of a management agreement with the council. He estimated an
annual management cost of £1500 (£1 million of public liability cover costs
£220), proving that The Lump should not be too expensive to maintain. The
Rotary Club have offered assistance with maintenance at The Lump.
Martin Leslie suggested that Highland Council has failed to undertake several
of its obligations under its management agreement. The terms of contract
should be checked before any handover happens.
Civic marriages at the tower were suggested as a possible source of income
for The Lump.
The Lump has two landowners and one tenant: the central arena and road
belong to the Skye Gathering and are leased to the Skye Games Committee
for £1 per annum. The remaining land belongs to Fearann Eilean Iarmain.
All of the current landowners and the lessee have expressed willingness to
work together and with the Trust.
The issue of trees above houses at The Lump was raised – the insurance
liabilities should be carefully considered.
There was general support at the meeting for the Trust taking on the lease of
Braes Community Council has now been amalgamated with Portree
Community Council. The new Trust should consider widening its membership
area, securing a greater pool of potential members and directors. It was noted
that the new board should consider extending the Trust’s membership
boundary to include Braes.
Non-members can be co-opted onto the Trust’s sub-groups. There was an
appeal to members to help out with and publicise the Trust’s activities. Help is
needed with admin / funding applications in particular.
Date of Next Meeting
It was agreed that new and outgoing directors will meet on Tuesday 8th March at 6pm
(venue to be confirmed).
Portree Area Community Trust
Chairman’s Annual Report
Presented to the membership on the 24th February 2011
Our Community Trust has made significant changes and advances since our last AGM
held on the 11th February 2010. We are in the early days of our Community Trust and
your directors have worked hard on the membership’s behalf. Our membership
remains as important as ever and we need more volunteers to help the directors realise
the aspirations of our community.
We passed a resolution at the last AGM to change our company’s name to more
accurately reflect what we are a “Community Development Trust” and we are now
formally constituted as the “Portree Area Community Trust”. This name change to the
informal “Portree Community Trust” has without doubt made it much easier for the
Directors to explain to the public at large what we are about and it has helped to make
our Trust be perceived by the community of Portree as a more inclusive and open
According to our memorandum and articles one third of our Directors must resign by
rotation every year and no director may remain for a period of more than three years.
This is going to cause us problems at this year’s AGM as it means that six of your
original directors must stand down and are not eligible for re-election without a
suspension of the company rules. The Directors are certain that change is a good thing
but that for the purposes of continuity your new directors should look carefully at
changing our memorandum and articles to allow for a longer term in office. It cannot
be desirable that half of the directors are ineligible to stand again, all at one time,
when current projects need to be seen through to a conclusion.
In the year to 31st May 2010 your directors refined the focus of their attention and
actively sought to reduce the number of projects the Trust were involved in so that we
might direct our resources in a more targeted fashion. We concentrated on key areas:
Community Land Ownership.
Your directors feel that ownership of community land is a key element of community
empowerment which is central to building a community spirit. To achieve this, the
Trust has been in negotiation with Fearann Eilean Iarmain and the Highland Council
The Portree Community Centre
At last year’s AGM the directors were able to report the conclusion of a study
undertaken by Macleod and Maccallum on the Community Centre and we formally
elected three new directors who are themselves actively involved in the running of the
Centre. A fourth community centre committee member was co-opted shortly after the
AGM. The community centre is of vital importance to Portree and your Trust has
continued to work towards a solution to its current problems.
The Portree Waterfront Project is still a work in progress. The Project comprises
plans for the regeneration of both the Harbour and Bayfield which are essential
for the economic revitalisation of Portree centre.
The Trust strategy is to establish a cooperative partnership with Highland Council,
Crown Estates and HIE and to secure the involvement of both the private sector and
the public sector as project funders. However given the current economic climate
funding is likely to remain a problem for some time to come. A phased approach to
the project is already included in the plans. The main obstacles to funding for Portree
is that it is no longer a Ferry Port and therefore does not qualify for sources of
funding available to other harbours which have a ferry service – for example,
Lochboisedale or Mallaig.
As part of that strategy the Trust has acquired written support from political parties
and all harbour users. A new feasibility study brief has been prepared to address the
larger project. It is hoped that with cooperation from Highland Council and Highlands
& Islands Enterprise, funding can be identified for a full time project officer as it is
now accepted that a project of this scale cannot be effectively progressed on a spare –
time voluntary basis.
Currently the Trust is awaiting a meeting with key members of Highland Council
Community ownership of the harbour is also a possibility and the Trust will open a
public debate to address this option.
The Trust has been offered land at the Home Farm for community use and your
directors have been active in encouraging an allotments group.
As the outgoing Chairman of the Portree Community Trust I hope I have left
something of value that the new directors will be able to build on. I have enjoyed my
time as a director but it is time that I stepped down and I hope that my successor will
be able to build on all of the work done by the directors who are retiring at this AGM.
Lisa Stephen our secretary deserves especial thanks for the tireless work she has done
for the Trust and the directors would have been lost without her organised guiding
Neil Campbell, Catriona Leslie, Julian Toms and Rob Macgregor have all served the
Trust since its inception. They have all worked hard on its behalf and deserve my
thanks for the help and support given to me personally, as well as for the efforts they
have made on behalf of the membership.
All of the out-going Directors will continue to work on behalf of the membership by
either serving on Trust sub-committees or offering advice and support to the new
J. Hugh Macdonald 14th January 2011
Directors’ Interim Report (AGM 2011)
Macleod and Maccallum’s report on the Community Centre recommended
PACT should establish a trading subsidiary, as recommended by Douglas
Graham. This action would remove the risk of personal liability that members
of the current committee face.
The Community Centre committee has agreed to follow PACT’s proposal and
all members have confirmed their commitment to the project.
Feareann Eilean Iarmain Estate acknowledge PACT’s interest in purchasing
their assets at the Community Centre complex to include the KGV and are a
willing seller. The Trust and FEI have obtained a valuation very recently and
this will form the basis of further negotiation.
Partnership / cooperation between Trust and Community Centre committee
DTA Scotland allocated 5 days support to develop a Business / Action Plan
for the centre.
HIE have indicated that they can provide assistance with legal costs of
transferring ownership of the community centre.
Meetings with HC and FEI ongoing.
Cllrs. John Laing and Hamish Fraser expressed willingness to work with the
Trust and transfer ownership of the community centre to the Trust, providing
that a Business Plan is produced.
At a meeting on the 10th January 2011 members of the Highland Council’s
area committee agreed to the transfer of the footprint of the Community
Centre to the trust and have appointed John Macdonald to take this further
with the Trust
Cllr. John Laing arranged meeting in Feb 2011 with key stakeholders to
The group has now received letters of support for the project from almost all
Prof. Ronald Macdonald is now a member of the sub-group and will be
producing an economic appraisal of the project with his colleagues from the
University of Strathclyde.
NC explained that the Harbour presentation which has been used to date
provides an overview of a ‘masterplan’ which has 10 phased stages (including
some elements which have been stipulated by Highland Council).
The group is currently seeking £30,000 towards a feasibility study. So far
£5,000 has been awarded by The Crown Estate.
Donald Macsween has approached PACT about a possible partnership to
develop a private windfarm on his estate at Drumuie.
Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association funded a suitability study of the site at
Home Farm for use as allotments. Forrest Ecological undertook the study
which concluded that the site is suitable for the proposed use as allotments.
Negotiations about the handover of the land at Home Farm ongoing with
Funding has been secured for an exchange visits to find out about the new
allotments at Cows Hill in Fort William and another project in Banchory.
Plans for the allotments have been drafted and the planning application started.
Dave Sands (Shell Global Solutions), has offered to help the group to prepare
a development plan for the allotments and community woodland. A meeting to
inform this is planned in March
A note of interest in sale of Glen Varrigall forestry was submitted and a formal
valuation undertaken (Trust met 50% of costs). The time scale for the
community to be offered exclusive rights to the forestry has now passed but
the community may still make a bid and may be considered as a preferred
Jan Laing was contacted about the lease for the information boards in the
village. It has been agreed that Portree Community Trust will take over the
ownership and management of the display boards in the village.
The current lease expires in May 2011. It is important to ensure that these
boards contain relevant, up-to-date information for tourists.
Ross Cowie and Catriona Leslie met with Bob King re. the display boards.
Bob King has arranged for the boards to be tidied up. BK will revert to us
with proposals for improving the content e.g. adding B&Bs, Emergency
Services info, etc. BK advised his company want to continue using the boards
but they don’t want to pay.
It has been suggested to BK that a board be put up at the top of Quay Brae for
the businesses down the pier.
Campbell Grant at Sitekit thanked for upgrading the PACT website
(www.portree.org) to allow content management. Now much easier to upload
new info. This provided free of charge to Trust.
Community Day on 19th June a great success – attracting a good cross-section
of the community and generating interest in the Trust. Almost 50 new
members signed up to the Trust on the day and there were 48 signatures in
support of the plans for the community centre.
Agricultural show. The Trust took a stand on the Show Field to promote its
The Trust has a Facebook page
The Trust met with Donald Kennedy to discuss the Highland Core Path
Implementation Project. Donald was keen to see an extension of River Lisigarry
footpath along to the new housing development at Home Farm. The trust offered its
Ross Cowie, on behalf of Portree Community Trust, has entered into
discussions with Highland Council about leasing all or part of the building at
the end of the pier (occupied by Anchor Seafood’s, RNLI and the Harbour
Master) which could then be renovated to accommodate toilets and shower
facilities for tourists visiting Portree by sea. Improved store facilities, an
information point, waiting room for ferry or seaplane passengers, viewing area
and improved lifeboat facilities could also be incorporated. There is also the
potential to include a maritime museum / information facility. Following some
positive meetings with representatives of Highland Council (Cllr. John Laing,
Chairman of the Transport, Environmental & Community Services Committee
and Sam MacNaughton, Head of Transport and Infrastructure), Neil Campbell
has kindly prepared some plans for the building which are currently being
looked at in consultation with the building’s tenants and other harbour users.
Catriona MacLean (former Economic Development Manager at Highland
Council) is also assisting the Trust to identify funding for the project.
Trust helped to coordinate the switching on of the Christmas lights and
associated activities. The Trust had £1,000 from the Ward Discretionary
Budget ring-fenced for this project.
We will keep you informed as things progress and, as ever, welcome your views
on these and any other Trust projects!