Steinmeyer Legacy Interim Committee
Meeting at 6.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Comrie Parish Church
- Attending: Murray Lauchlan; Judy McDowall; Mairi Philp; Joyce Carnegie; Hugh Rose; Neill Aitken; Lynne Douglas; Jane Reid; Colin Sears; Sandra Bacon; Liz Kemp; Stephanie Cameron; John King; Andrew Reid
- Apologies: Gordon McCartney, Agnes Drysdale, Joan Carmichael, Leigh Doy, Ian Pinkerton
- Minutes of Meeting 29.6.17
Whilst the minutes of the meeting on 10 May had been changed to indicate that Murray Lauchlan had asked Neill Aitken to pick up the mobility/transport issues, the minutes of the meeting on 29 June still recorded that Neill had offered to lead this work. Neill wished it to be noted again that he had not volunteered to take this on but had been persuaded to do so. Otherwise, the minutes of the meeting on 29 June were accepted as accurate.
- Matters arising
Neill Aitken expressed his disagreement with the contents of a paper written by Andrew Reid, which was commenting on investment proposals made by Hugh Rose. Murray Lauchlan noted that this would be picked up under Agenda Item 6.
- Working Group Proposals
- Support and Care – Stephanie Cameron/John King
Stephanie Cameron reported that the first meeting of the Support and Care Working Group had involved helpful wide-ranging discussions with staff from Comrie Medical Centre. The second meeting of the Group had worked through the proposals made by people responding to the community survey, which could be classified under the headings support and care.
Stephanie noted that the legacy discussions were taking place within the context of further substantial budget cuts happening within NHS and social work services. The working group had identified that delivery of various of the proposals was the responsibility of statutory services, particularly PKC Social Work and NHS Tayside, and therefore were not appropriate for legacy funding.
The Interim Committee discussed the return of NHS and Social Work provided aids and equipmentd, when no longer needed – the general experience amongst members was of a good collection system. It was suggested that the legacy may fund people waiting for chiropody – the general view was the legacy should not deal with statutory waiting list. Administering such services would also be difficult, and the cost of providing such services would mean restricting long-term legacy developments.
It had been agreed, however, it was clear from the survey responses, that there is a significant problem with knowledge and awareness of the health and care services available locally, and it would be appropriate for legacy funding to be used to develop a directory of information. Stephanie referred to an information leaflet on services in the Carse of Gowrie, where 10,000 copies have been printed and distributed at a cost of £1,500. Within the context of information and advice services, it was noted that some survey responses had recommended extending local information and advice services through funding additional hours by Abbeyfield Advice Worker, Leigh Doy. The group had concluded that, whilst Leigh’s work is highly valued, extending paid advice hours was not something for the legacy, although the establishment of a local drop-in centre for Comrie, in which advice would be provided, was something, which legacy funding should be used for.
Stephanie said that the establishment of a local care cooperative had been proposed by various survey respondents. It might not be appropriate for legacy funding to be committed to managing such a body, but an umbrella organisation locally might still be valuable.
John King noted the proposal strongly supported by Joan Carmichael in previous meetings of establishing respite services within Comrie, and the idea that legacy funding should be used to purchase one of the properties in Dalginross Gardens, behind Dalginross House. This would be to establish a respite unit for people needing care or carers needing a break. It would be worth investigating whether Dalginross House could provide any necessary care services to such a unit. Colin Sears added that a property purchased for this purpose could be sold again if take-up of its respite service was too limited to allow it to continue.
Murray Lauchlan concluded the discussion with the view that feasible and constructive ideas from all of the working groups should be taken for consideration to a public meeting for decisions to be made there.
- Mobility and Transport – Neill Aitken
Neill Aitken said a problem with the survey responses was that a number of services people proposed already exist locally. He said people who have lived in the village for a long time know what is available and how the village works on a bottom up basis identifying needs and then organising themselves into groups to provide for that need and obtaining transport from the CoCo Bus Committee. Older people new to the village have not had this involvement. What is therefore needed is an education circular about the services that are already available. The Transport Working Group is developing such a circular for delivery to all households in the Comrie area.
Neill reported that the working group was examining the mobility and transport issues under three headings: equipment; services; and others. With respect to equipment, consideration had primarily so far been given to the First Response service and the CoCo bus, which are the most critical services in the village. He noted that, at an earlier meeting, it had been stated that neither First Response nor the CoCo Bus needed funding. Being unsure of this he had contacted the management of both services, who had indicated that funds in hand are only sufficient to cover running costs and not amortisation or replacement. John King responded that, at First Response Treasurer, his view was that First Response currently has adequate funding, especially since receiving the gift of a car from Top Set. John said that First Response did not need legacy funding support, taking into account the low level of annual car mileage, likely long-term life of the vehicle, the saving on annual car leasing costs, and the presence and likely future availability of other monetary donations.
Neill reiterated his view that capital is needed both for First Response and for the CoCo bus. He asked where funding was going to come from for these services over the next 20 years. Murray Lauchlan thought that a replacement bus would be needed at some stage in the future, and that CoCo bus running costs, driver training and insurance might be picked up by the legacy. Hugh Rose felt that a Business Plan was needed for the future of the CoCo bus service.
Neill stated that the Transport Group had concluded that there was no need for a second CoCo bus. Andrew Reid indicated that a large number of people had responded in the community survey asking for legacy funding use towards the provision of transport to get down to the village or elsewhere, to the shops and other activities, and asked for the views of the Transport Group on how those needs could be met. Joyce Carnegie asked whether there had been contact with bus companies. Colin Sears commented that Crieff has an internal hourly bus service within and around the town.
Neill Aitken said local people had expressed the wish for door-to-door assistance, and a dial-a-bus type of service but there were costs and liabilities with this. He reported that the Group had considered this and needed names and addresses of certain respondents to facilitate investigation of individual needs, and reported that, meantime, a trial was being considered to evaluate actual needs/uptake. He also stressed that group recommendations must all take into account the servicing of new facilities and its demands on an existing pool of volunteers.
Neill noted that there had already been communication with bus operators, who had promised quotations but were reluctant to discuss a farepaying service. They had pointed out that there is already a free service operating in the Tay Avenue area. Stephanie Cameron commented that many people with mobility difficulties would have problems even getting to these bus stops and would therefore have problems just getting into the village centre, and it was repeated that when details are available, such people will be assessed individually. Judy McDowall suggested that volunteer drivers and helpers with shopping might be available from the Good Neighbour Scheme.
Andrew Reid said that most people completing the survey had provided their home address postcode, and the computer worksheet, which had been made up of the individual response details, could be used to identify the locations within the village of people who are asking for transport assistance, for example to get to the village centre shops. This worksheet could be made available to Neill and the Transport Group to establish where people with mobility and transport problems live. The individual survey forms also provide more information about needs and proposals, and Neill responded that this will be dealt with when the requested information is received.
Neill asked for committee guidance on arranging transport beyond the village for shopping, on the basis of a previous comment at the Interim Committee about the importance of supporting Comrie shops, and the increased risk of their closure if shopping was enabled elsewhere. He said that the Group had also investigated running a possible railhead service to make a connection to major cities such as Edinburgh to enable people to make visits there.
Neil said that the issue of transport assistance to enable people to get to Comrie Medical Centre and hospitals elsewhere had been raised, but transport was already available to these venues, and the response should be to educate people about what is already provided and how to access it. He felt that transport was seen locally as a social issue and that neighbours helped one another. There were already voluntary arrangements, for example to take people to church and the Silver Circle.
Neill Aitken noted that proposals had also been made for other modes of transport, such as bicycles, ATVs, electric cars, etc but these are not been given priority at this time. The Group has identified disabled transport, such as chairs, buggies, etc as meriting urgent attention and that considerable work had already been done on investigating such equipment with a view to a possible ‘pool’ being established.
- Social Places and Activities – Joyce Carnegie/Liz Kemp
Joyce Carnegie reported that the Social Places Working Group had considered all of the requests and proposals made in the community survey responses. The availability of transport to enable people with mobility problems to get down to the village was seen by the group as being intrinsic to the use and value of social places. The Group had narrowed the various options down to:
- A meeting place, built in St Kessogs Square in the area behind the current barrier fencing;
- A social space for exercise and other activities, through contributing to Rural Hall renovation;
- A Men’s Shed, which could be located in a number of venues, such as the Ancaster (if it becomes available for purchase);
- The cost of equipment and installation of hearing loop systems in the White Church and the Rural Hall.
In addition, the view of the Working Group was that various activities should be supported through legacy funding:
- Arts and craft work, created by local older people, for any new social spaces;
- Silver Circle activities to meet needs identified by those involved with that group;
- Exercise equipment in various venues, such as the Rural Hall and White Church.
Joyce Carnegie explained that the proposal concerning art work to be used in building development, such as that proposed for St Kessogs Square, had drawn on the experience of Liz Kemp, working with the residents of Dalginross House. Murray Lauchlan asked about the funding source of that work, and Liz Kemp indicated that it was financed by Dalginross House is.
Joyce noted that funding for exercise equipment was confined to indoor proposals, since outdoor equipment, for areas such as Legion Park, is a PKC responsibility
Neill Aitken said that there are seven halls or spaces in halls available in Comrie. Is there any need for further building or purchase? Hugh Rose asked what would be gained for older people if funds were committed to Rural Hall refurbishment and suggested budgets could be allocated to groups for older people to hire hall space, when needed. John King said that he thought the Rural Hall was a great resource for older people. Currently, its state was not at all suitable, including because of access problems into and around inside the building. Committing £70,000 of legacy funding would make the Hall sustainable for a very long time.
Hugh Rose said that the terms of the legacy meant that grants should be given to organisations for older people. Murray Lauchlan agreed that legacy funds must benefit the elderly, but some developments would benefit both older people and others.
Joyce Carnegie said that legacy funding spent on hall renovation or purchase should be with a view to older people using the areas created or bought, and that the activities taking place there should be self funding. She felt that people expect to pay for activities in which they participate. Judy McDowall explained that the Silver Circle group relies on volunteer drivers and helpers. She said that those attending contribute £2 for their afternoon tea, and that this money is available for the cost of the hall hire and insurance. Judy said that legacy funding for some services and equipment, such as for curling, would enhance what the Silver Circle offered.
- Village Environment – Lynne Douglas
Lynne Douglas reported that the Village Environment Working Group had considered the full range of proposals made in the community survey. It had concluded that where matters, such as the state of pavements, were the responsibility of other bodies, particularly Perth & Kinross Council, to communicate those concerns to the Community Council to take up as necessary.
Lynne said that the Group had concluded that a range of other developments and improvements would be appropriate for legacy funding, and these included:
- Picnic tables with benches on the Boulevard, with riverside seating elsewhere;
- Boulevard access – depending on ownership (adjacent residents, or PKC/Riverside Park?);
- Community Garden/s – donation to Kessogs Square garden and garden in Legion Park.
Clarification was being sought from the Council about their ownership, responsibilities and plans for the Boulevard/Riverside Park and for Legion Park. There were also implications for development within the context of flooding . Murray Lauchlan mentioned the recently published PKC Committee Report on this issue. Murray also noted that the seating purchased previously for St Kessogs Square had been made and bought from Perth prison.
Judy McDowall noted that the issue of a pedestrian crossing for Drummond Street had been raised and discussed within the Working Group. It had been recognised that the required 20 m parking prohibition either side of a crossing would create other problems there. It had also been felt that a 20 m.p.h. limit would be a good idea. However, the traffic and crossing issues were matters for the Community Council rather than for legacy funding.
Neill Aitken asked about the Legion Park Community Garden proposals, because of the existing use of the park currently as a football pitch. Lynne Douglas said that the Working Group thought that both football pitch and community garden could be accommodated on the site, alongside the children’s play area, which was also visited by older people – grandparents accompanying their grandchildren.
- Strategic spending options:
Andrew Reid said that there was a continuing difference within the interim committee over two strategic options for spending the legacy funds, and it was important that the committee proposed a particular course of action for consideration and decision to a public meeting. Murray Lauchlan stated that an option should be proposed to a public meeting, and the final decision about the way the legacy should be used should rest with the community. Local people should choose as we whether to use the funds over a relatively short time on village developments or invest much or all of the funds to provide income for a common good fund for older people. It was agreed that it should be for Comrie community to decide which of three options should be pursued in using the legacy funds:
- Village development expenditure of the total legacy amount, used on implementing the survey proposals & then reviewing progress and preparing for further expenditure: or
- Financial investment of the total legacy amount – with the interest spent annually on a grant of up to twelve to fourteen thousand pounds; or
- Spending a proportion of the total legacy amount on village developments and improvements, and financially investing the remainder, with the interest then being used for annual grants.
Andrew Reid proposed that people in Comrie should also make decisions about the projects to be supported through legacy funding, and that this could be done by arranging for all members of the community to be given a full list of the projects finally proposed by the Working Groups and to be asked to return the list with their views on how the should be ranked in order of priority. Hugh Rose supported community consultation rather than a public meeting, which might have limited attendance.
- Principles to govern spending decisions:
Andrew Reid suggested that it was important that the Interim Committee propose principles to be followed in making final decisions about projects for legacy funding. If the legacy is to be used for village developments, then the principles to be followed might be that each of those developments would require to demonstrate, for example: benefit to older people in Comrie; sustainability; value for money; self revenue financing; —- and there might be certain exclusions, such as no funding for: statutory services: or individuals. In relation to any of the legacy identified for financial investments, these might have to demonstrate that they were in accord with criteria such as: being in a balanced portfolio; providing long-term safety; inflation proofed; and in line with specified ethical standards.
- Legacy Group – Legal Status
Andrew Reid reported that the Comrie Development Trust Board had indicated that it was looking for the establishment of a separate and independent community organisation, registered as a charity, to take over responsibility for planning and managing how the legacy fund is used , in line with what is set out in the Will. The CDT Board believes that this is the best way to exercise its responsibilities and to establish accountability over legacy expenditure. CDT would probably still be able to continue to provide administrative support, including in relation to financial matters.
Andrew said that, if the Interim Committee wished to accept this position, and it was then further accepted by the legacy fund public meeting, and the CDT AGM, this should be taken forward on the basis of a governance arrangement proposed by the Interim Committee to those forums. He suggested that the various alternatives for a legally constituted body to have responsibility for the legacy fund were those set out in the SCIO paper circulated with the Interim Committee agenda. The three organisational options, which would all require community agreement to governing documents (containing the purposes and objects, powers of the board of trustees, qualifications of any members and trustees, and meeting arrangements) were to establish a body, registered as:
- A Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO); and
- A Company ;
- A Charitable Trust.
Hugh Rose said that he believed that the CDT Board should nominate people as Trustees within a separate Trust, and offered to contact the lawyer he had previously consulted to enquire whether he would be willing to attend the next meeting of the Interim Committee to provide advice. John King thought there might be a need for professional advice about setting up a Trust. Neill Aitken thought the Trust mentioned earlier was the vehicle proposed to manage the investment of legacy funds. Andrew Reid said that there were arguments against setting up a Trust, and in favour of the separate body being registered as an SCIO, which would be a membership organisation, accountable to its members – a Charitable Trust would not have members. Lynne Douglas asked who would be the members. Andrew Reid said that they could be defined as any adult residents of Comrie. Judy McDowall said that she definitely supported the body being established as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation – this would give the Trustees limited liability, which establishment as a Trust would not provide. It was agreed that the next Interim Committee should seek to agree the proposals for future legal/constitutional arrangements to be put to the public meeting being arranged.
It was noted that until a new legal arrangement is in place, a legacy committee will continue to function as a CDT Subcommittee. In line with that arrangement, Andrew Reid had drafted a Legacy section for the CDT 2016/17 Annual Report – comments were requested on this by 25 September.
- Nominations/Election of Legacy Group
Andrew Reid indicated that, in addition to deciding arrangements for the public meeting, the next Interim Committee meeting would also have to agree proposals on the method and process of seeking nominations and carrying out elections to the permanent Legacy Committee,
- Date of next meeting – Tuesday, 26 September, 6.30 p.m. Dundurn Hall, Comrie Parish Church
. a) Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) – reports only to OSCR – can enter contracts, employ staff, own property, incur debts, be sued – organisational rather than individual transactions – charity trustees largely protected from liability – members not liable if wound up – potential for single tier governance by trustees, or two tier with a body of members & subject to membership resolution – register of members required – register removal results in dissolution;
- b) Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee – regulated by OSCR and Companies House – company does transactions, holds property titles, limited trustee liability and member liability to £1 – single tier structure of charity trustees, or two tier structure with membership body – register of directors and members required – dissolved company can continue, but not as a charity;
- c) Trust – single regulator OSCR – Trustees undertake transactions, and take title to property, and carry some personal liability – no membership structure – duties set out in governing document and trustees subject to trust law – dissolved trust can continue, not as a charity – dissolution when all trust property is expended.