Meeting Report – June 24th 2019

The Stornoway Trust met on 24th June 2019, and items under discussion – in addition to those already reported – were:

Stornoway Golf Club

There has been no contact from the Club, and the lease has still not been signed.

HIE (Arnish)

Trustees noted their disappointment that the HIE Board has still not responded to repeated requests to finalise the lease review.

Back – Tolsta Water Main

Agreement has been reached between Scottish Water and the crofters affected, and so the work can proceed.

Water Extraction Project

Trustees noted that revisions to the draft lease agreement with Larkfire are nearing completion and will be presented to the Enterprise Subgroup for information and comment, if required.

Cuddy Point

The Factor reported that he had held an initial meeting with some parties who regularly access the facilities at Cuddy Point, but it was agreed that a further meeting was necessary to ensure that all stakeholders could be represented on the proposed new users’ group.

Marauding Deer

The Factor informed Trustees that Beat holders have been invited to meet with him to discuss their progress and consider how the growing problem of deer, ravens, geese and rats throughout the Estate can be addressed and the part they may be able to play in support of the Trust’s objectives.

Community Windfarm Consortium

Trustees noted that Community Energy Scotland had written to Grazings Clerks and Community Councils inviting those who wish to participate in the Consortium to form membership groups which can progress to obtain equity stakes in the project.

Trustees also noted that the tenant of the neighbouring Arnish Moor Windfarm is liaising with the project consultant over wind data information and their requirement for wind impact assessment work required to establish if the proposed layout will have a detrimental impact on the site.

Salt Barn

Trustees noted that discussions are taking place between CnES and John Maciver and Son.

Mountain Bike Trail Extension

The Factor informed Trustees that the young people involved had identified a possible route which, although more challenging than the existing provision, seemed capable of being constructed in a safe manner. Trustees granted their approval on the understanding that the group would take responsibility for its construction.

Special Meeting

The following actions were agreed at a Special Meeting of Trustees held on 18th June 2019. The minute of the meeting will be submitted to the next special meeting.

  1. Trustees to meet to consider amendments to the Standing Orders of the Trust deemed necessary to better address present day requirements practices
  2. Trustees to endorse the Trust policy on PVG compliance.
  3. Trustees to be updated on staff appraisal progression.
  4. Arrangements for Trustee Governance training to be addressed to provide evidence of good governance compliance and capacity building by the Trust.

Archive Subgroup

Trustees noted that the Archive Subgroup has started work and will report progress to the next Trustees’ meeting.

The Stornoway Trust– Investment Portfolio

Trustees noted the update from Barclay’s Wealth Management, and the note of the meeting with the Factor on Wednesday 12 June 2019 and letter dated 17 June 2019 ).

Trustees agreed that the four Subgroup Chairs should become signatories for the Barclays Wealth Management Accounts.

River Creed SSE Substation

The Factor brought to the Trustees’ attention a peat disposal issue that has arisen affecting the development work being undertaken by SSE to install a new substation, adjacent to their existing facility, opposite the Arnish Road junction.

Having agreed terms for land acquisition and the temporary use of laydown and landscaping areas as well as the relocation of the grazings tenant of the affected park, SEPA had subsequently objected to the peat disposal plans. Instead they required them to remove the peat off-site for it to be used for moorland restoration purposes.

Trustees determined to further assist SSE by leasing an area between the Lochside Arena site and the newly created grazings park, which would benefit from moorland restoration, to SSE as a site for the deposition of the excavated peat. The lease will run until the Trust is satisfied that the heather/sward. regeneration has been established to a satisfactory condition.

APPLICATIONS FOR TITLE IN TERMS OF THE CROFTING REFORM (SCOTLAND) ACT 2010

Three items of business.

APPLICATIONS FOR ASSIGNATION OF A CROFT TENANCY

Ten applications, including one notification from the Crofting Commission, and one application by executries to the Crofting Commission.

APPLICATION TO SUBLET TENANCY OF CROFT

Trustees received one notification from the Crofting Commission.

APPLICATION TO DIVIDE CROFT TENANCY

Trustees received one notification from the Crofting Commission.

APPLICATIONS FOR APPORTIONMENT OF COMMON PASTURE

There was one application, approved by Trustees for submission to the Crofting Commission.

APPLICATIONS FOR FEUS

There was one application.

APPLICATIONS FOR USE OF LEWS CASTLE POLICIES

There were three applications, all approved.

NOTIFICATIONS OF CROFT REGISTRATION

There were six notifications.

Grazings Regulations

Trustees approved the draft Grazings Regulations prepared by the Newvalley, Guershader and Laxdale Lane Grazings Committee, with the Crofting Commission’s approval.

Vacant Shares at Melbost/Branahuie

Trustees noted that three parties have expressed an interest in obtaining shares which over time have fallen vacant in the Melbost & Branahuie Grazings.

The Factor explained that the shares became vacant as a consequence of the crofts being decrofted, and the share renounced by the respective tenants. At the request of the Grazings Committee, it was decided that the shares remain unallocated, but held collectively, until such time as their use was required. Trustees therefore decided that no decision should be made until the view of the current Grazings Committee had been ascertained, and the legal status of the shares had been established.

Scottish Civic Trust

Trustees agreed in principle to the request from Dr Susan O’Connor, Director from Scottish Civic Trust, to place a high quality sculpture, that will be created as part of a LEADER sponsored project, in a suitable location within the Estate.

Areas of Land at Stornoway Airport

The Factor informed Trustees that following the Land Court judgement on the status and area of HIAL owned land at Stornoway Airport the North Street Grazings Committee had written requesting that the Trust now confirm that two parcels of land taken from their grazings, which was reconveyed to the Trust in 2000, have reverted back to form part of their common grazings under crofting tenure.

Trustees accepted the Factor’s recommendation that a decision on the matter should be held in abeyance until the Court of Session judgement on HIAL’s appeal against the Land Court decision is determined.

Plans Submitted

Trustees noted that four notices had been served on the Trust in terms of local planning legislation.

Documents for Signature

There were eight documents requiring signature, or homologation of signature.