Steinmeyer Legacy Group – Interim Committee
Meeting at 7.00 p.m. on Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Parish Church – Annex Hall
Attending: Attending: George Lees; Gordon McCartney; Ian Pinkerton; Jane Reid; Jimmy Laing; Joan Carmichael; Joyce Carnegie; Judy McDowall; Leigh Doy; Mairi Philp; Murray Lauchlan; Stephanie Cameron ; Andrew Reid; Lynn Duke
Apologies: Alan Laing; Ken Heiser;
Murray Lauchlan had prepared an agenda, which the meeting agreed to follow. Those present agreed that Andrew Reid, who had chaired the first group meeting, should chair the first part of this second meeting, until an interim committee chair was selected. The group also agreed that Lynn Duke could be present at the meeting to take notes for a potential article in the week’s Strathearn Herald.
- Minutes of the meeting on 19 January 2017
It was noted that: Mairi Philp had given apologies as not able to attend the first meeting; the transfer of funds into the Legacy Account held by CDT should have been recorded as 1 July 2016; and the Comrie and District Adult Education Association had also been represented at the first meeting through Ian Pinkerton.
George Lees said he thought the number of people involved was sufficient to form a proper committee. Ian Pinkerton believed the committee needed to be formally structured. Joan Carmichael expressed reservations about the selection of anybody for formal positions in the group at this stage, and suggested this should take place during or after a public meeting. Because of the amount of work required to set up full public consultations in the village, it was agreed that the work of the group would need to have people to be identified against the usual committee positions, and on the basis of a clear understanding that they were temporary positions on an interim committee.
The committee agreed that the following people would have formal group interim positions:
Chair – Murray Lauchlan, proposed by Joan Carmichael;
Secretary – Andrew Reid, proposed by Ian Pinkerton;
Finance coordinator – Judy McDowall – offer accepted of working with Bob Hughes, CDT Treasurer. It was agreed to ask that CDT provide copies of Legacy Bank Statements at regular intervals.
Minutes Secretary – Jane Reid – offer accepted.
- Interim Committee & Membership
It was agreed to continue with all who had volunteered to work on the Interim Committee, including those present and those who had volunteered but not been able to get to the meeting. There might be subgroups for particular purposes, if this proved useful. It was not felt that representation was needed by the full range of village groups, but it was vital that the group should work on a transparent basis and communicate its proposals widely.
The various possible village venues might be used for interim committee meetings – White Church, Rural Hall, Parish Church Annex. The need to take account of the availability of a loop system for people with hearing difficulties was noted.
It was agreed that elections to the permanent Steinmeyer Legacy Group should be arranged to take place at the proposed public meeting, and that the interim committee should take things forward until then.
- Group Functions
The main function of the group was agreed as planning and arranging local consultation.
- Aims for Legacy Fund Use
Various potential aims for the use of the legacy funds were suggested including: spending on a major project that would have long-term benefits; or spending a small amount initially with most of the fund invested and with a long-term project financed annually through the interest earned; or arranging for an annual sum to be available as grants to community organisations in the village following successful applications for financial assistance by them. It was agreed that it was not for the Interim Committee to take a view about the use of the legacy funds – this must be fully open for discussion within a consultation process.
- Community Consultation
The interim committee identified four methods of community consultation, in which local people should have opportunities to give their views on how the legacy funds should be used. These four ways of making comments should be through:
- a public consultation event at the White Church, in which those attending would meet within small groups (of perhaps eight people), with a group chair, and every individual around the table expressing their own personal opinions about how the money should be spent, followed by group discussion of the ideas, and with individual views and group comments recorded for consideration by the interim committee;
- survey forms with some introductory text at the top and a large space for whatever comments people wanted to make, which should be delivered to every household in the village, with various collection points for the completed forms;
- individual or group sessions with people, who could not get to a public meeting, and might need support in making personal comments and having those recorded;
- survey forms provided to professional groups, such as those in the Medical Centre, Care Home, Social Care Agencies, and returned by them with their comments.
- Legacy Group Tasks
he role of the Legacy Group would be to make the arrangements for all of these forms of consultation, and publicise the planned consultation programme, including a timetable of activities, in various ways: posters; Comrie Facebook page; Comrie community website; and contact with village organisations. The group considered and decided not to establish a website at this stage, but to set up an email address. It was agreed that the interim committee would have to set the scene for people involved in the consultation in the public meeting and other ways. Information put out publicly and initial statements at public meetings and other groups should all make clear that the work has two main purposes: to honour Heinrich Steinmeyer through the use of his legacy; and to respect his wishes by using the legacy for the benefit of elderly people in Comrie.
The committee agreed to draw up a standardised form to be used in all of the consultation forums, and to be issued at the public meeting to all of those attending. Joan Carmichael had been working on the text for a survey, and she agreed to complete a draft survey form for consideration. Murray Lauchlan would enquire about the availability of the White Church for a public meeting on 29 March.
The committee also agreed to recruit volunteers: to chair and note comments at the public meeting and other small group sessions; to deliver consultation forms to every household in the village; and to get comments from individuals needing help to put their ideas forward. It was reported that there are 1,500 households in Comrie, with a population of just under 3,000 residents. It was agreed that views would be sought from adults of all ages – younger adults may have good ideas, and many would have elderly relatives with various needs.
It was agreed that this standard form should be delivered across the village in advance of the public meeting and other sessions, so that people would have a chance to think and talk to other people about their ideas. It was agreed to establish various drop-off points around the village for the survey forms to be returned. The offer was accepted from Leigh Doy to make up a list of contacts, who could be asked to assist individuals with form filling, such as the pharmacy and paid carer organisations, including Ashdene and Elite Care.
Concern was expressed about how much the proposals would cost and the potential waste of resources on feasibility studies. It was agreed that people should be allowed to express their ideas without having to cost out their plans – if that was a requirement, it would put many people off from saying what they thought should be provided.
The Legacy Group would then pull all of the ideas together from the various sources. It was fair to assume that it would not be possible to provide for a large number of the proposals from the legacy funds available. The Legacy Group would therefore have to consult again about what the priority should be for spending the legacy.
It was agreed that Murray Lauchlan and Andrew Reid would put together a draft work programme and timetable of activities for consideration at the next meeting of the interim committee.
- Next meeting – 7.00 p.m. Wednesday 8 February 2017, Comrie Parish Church Hall Annex.