Summary Minute of Meeting of the Board of Directors of ASCC Ltd On Saturday, 27 June 2009 in Glasgow Sederunt Those present included the four national officers and other members of the Board and area elected representatives as recorded in the sederunt book. Approval of Previous Minutes The minute of the previous meeting of April 2009 was read and approved. Matters Arising All matters arising were contained within the Agenda for the current meeting. Finance Report The National Treasurer tabled a written report and statement in relation to the finances of the Association. The Association's finances remain stable thanks to an increase in support from the Government and a deduction in avoidable costs. A preliminary budget for the next financial year was presented and a short discussion took place. National Secretary’s Report The National Secretary presented various items of correspondence that had been received since the previous meeting, which were considered and actioned as appropriate. A question was raised about the review of the CC scheme currently being undertaken by the Argyll and Bute Council. Argyll and Bute is conducting the review with only indirect input from Community Councils. There are several points in the scheme which are at significant variance to the national model scheme. After discussion, it was agreed that the National Secretary should be in contact with political leaders in Argyll and Bute Council to make representations in relation to the defect in their current draft. Following the search it was discovered that five local authorities across Scotland have contained within their scheme the ability for elected members of the local authority also to be elected to their Community Council. The model scheme specifically prohibits this and this process is not ASCC, Scottish Government or COSLA policy. It was agreed to write to the five local authorities involved expressing this and urging them in the course of a scheme review to withdraw the ability for elected members of local authority also to serve as elected community councillors. The National Treasurer tabled a paper on area representatives and large authority areas. In certain authorities within Scotland (examples being Highland, Dumfries & Galloway, Aberdeenshire), the geographical area that an area representative is required to cover is immense. The paper proposed a scoping exercise to consider the appointment, on a non-voting basis, of assistant area representatives balanced geographically across large local authorities. These AARs would be become points of contact locally for a cluster of community councils within their geographical area. After discussion members present agreed that this was a desirable move and tasked the National Secretary and National Treasurer to coordinate gathering comments on implementation from relevant area representatives. A discussion took place on the format for the Annual National Conference. The Conference is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 21st November. As initially agreed, venues in Dundee were considered. Investigations at various suitable public venues in the area however, have revealed that there are no suitable venues for that date or the Saturdays surrounding them. After discussion it was agreed that other cities would have to be considered as venues for the Annual National Conference. The Board discussed the issue of succession planning, as expressed in our previous plans and in the Scottish Government’s funding letter for 2009-2010. A broad discussion took place on the remits of the four national officers together with the available candidates, and the schedule for the election of the national officers in the process of the Annual National Ballot. The schedule was agreed, and it was further agreed to include the elements of the Annual National Ballot in the new strategic mailing that would go out to community councils in September. Following a report and presentation by the National Treasurer and National Secretary, it was agreed that the ASCC would release its lease on its office space on the south side of Glasgow. It was further agreed, that with some variations, the virtual office set up is working to a reasonable degree of efficiency and should be maintained. The National Treasurer presented options for the distribution of large amounts of mail and the National Secretary presented a draft version of a plan to radically reduce the amount of disparate pieces of mail that would go out to community councils. National President’s Report The National President had tabled a written report with the papers for the meeting, which was discussed. National Vice President’s Report The National Vice President gave a short report which included the success of the delegation of Bulgarian Councillors and officials to England and Scotland in late May. A delegation of some twenty local authority councillors and senior officials visited Edinburgh for four days as the guests of the ASCC, for which the Association derived a small income, and took part in a variety of engagement meetings with parliamentarians, local government officials and academics in the city during the visit. National Development Officer’s Report The National Development Officer tabled a written report along with the papers for the meeting which was discussed and actioned as appropriate. The National Development Officer and National Secretary gave a short oral report on the initial thinking for a variety of engagement meetings with member community councils across Scotland. It was particularly emphasised that the resource and benefit of the National Development Officer would only be available to member community councils. By the time of the next meeting a series of engagement meetings should have begun, the National Secretary and National Development officer will table the details in the coming weeks, via e-mail. The Community Councillor The National Secretary presented an oral report on various potential articles for inclusion in the next edition of the Association's journal, The Community Council. The newly available spring/summer version of TCC was finally ready and copies were given to all members present. There was general agreement, that although more expensive, the professionalism and the readability of the new format was more than worth the expense. It was universally believed that all community councils would find the new version of our journal much more accessible and user friendly. Scottish Government Liaison The National Secretary, the National President and the National Treasurer presented an oral report on current liaison with the Scottish Government. The ASCC continues to be satisfied with the level of support that we receive from the Scottish Government and with the general positivity of relations between ASCC representatives and both ministers and civil servants. CC Empowerment Pilot Schemes The National Secretary tabled a report on the developments with the government of the empowerment pilot schemes. The agreed working practice with the Government and the COSLA representative (members will recall that the ASCC agreed to the proposal to have COSLA representative on the pilot group) means that most of the information available to the ASCC cannot be disclosed to community councils. The Government and the ASCC are in discussion, and in some cases negotiations, with specific local authorities in relation to the promotion of pilot schemes. Members were made aware that the agreement with the Government and COSLA is that local authorities which will be targeted for pilot schemes will be those who have, or are in the process of, adopting the national model scheme. For this reason, several local authorities had been considered but could not progress to the next stage because of the content of their current schemes or schemes which they were in the process of adopting. The National Secretary and the National Treasurer presented a short oral report on the analysis that the Scottish Government’s statisticians would use to analyse the successful outcome of the pilots in due course. It was noted that in the case of two of the pilots (those concerning asset management) the timescale would be more than just one year, and therefore they would be longer both in operation and in terms of drawing conclusions from them. Members present agreed a variety of small points in relation to the pilots and tasked the National Secretary and National Development Officer with taking them forward. Any other business Members present returned to a discussion of the National Officer elections being brought forward later in 2009. There was universal concern at the potential loss of the National Secretary as a national officer. The National President proposed a variety of solutions. The National Secretary reminded all present that ultimately it would be for the member community councils to elect the national officers for the next year. A variety of other small matters of business were considered and actioned and as appropriate. The meeting began at 10am and finished at 3.15pm Date of next meeting The date of the next meeting is Saturday, 19th September in Glasgow.
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