Steinmeyer Legacy Interim Committee
Meeting at 6.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Comrie Parish Church Dundurn Hall
1. Attending: Joan Carmichael; Gordon McCartney; Vicki Cottrell; Leigh Doy; Ian Pinkerton; Mairi Philp; Joyce Carnegie; Phil Tipping; Judy McDowall; Jane Reid; Ken Heiser; Murray Lauchlan; Lynn Duke; Colin Sears; Peter Simpson; William Nicol; Andrew Reid
2. Apologies: Amanda Laing; Alan Laing; Jimmy Laing; George Lees; Janice Donaldson; Fiona El-Miligy: John King; Stephanie Cameron; George Carson
3. Minutes of Meeting 10.3.17 – Approved
4. Consultation Meetings
a. Public meeting 14.3.17
From the comments made by various people, who had attended the public meeting in the White Church, it appeared to have been a very successful occasion in providing an opportunity for people to express their views about the use of the legacy funds, and to have these all noted. The only question raised had been about the next steps taken and the potential for a further public meeting. The response given had been that the public survey would be gathered in and analysed, and that there is likely to be further public meeting at some stage.
b. Silver Circle 16.3.17
Members attending the Silver Circle had formed discussion groups, and their views had been recorded and provided to the Interim Committee.
The comments, recorded on the poster sheets at the Public Meeting and the Silver Circle session, had all been transferred into a single report, which was included with the Interim Committee agenda papers, and would be posted on the public websites, and available to anyone who wants a copy.
c. Cameron Court
There had not yet been the opportunity to arrange group discussions at Cameron Court, but this was still a possibility if requested.
e. Murray Lauchlan had attended a session of the Singalong group and spoken about the legacy work.
f. Murray Lauchlan reported that he was also planning to meet with the Medical Centre and social care staff, and with Janet Denham of the Crieff and Muthil Abbeyfield Society.
5. Highland Perthshire Care & Well-Being Cooperative http://thecareandwellbeing.coop/about/
Ken Heiser reported on a meeting he had attended of the Cooperative services to people in rural communities and areas, providing support where public services were very stretched. It was noted that the Cooperative Chair, Donna Murray-Trail had offered to bring a group from the Cooperative to meet with anyone in Comrie with an interest in its approach and work.
a. Comrie Community Website
As previously agreed by the Interim Committee, Sandra McRitchie had created a section on the Comrie Community Website, which now features all of the Interim Committee minutes, and where future minutes will be posted along with other reports related to the legacy, including the notes from the Public Meeting and the Silver Circle group discussions.
b. Comrie Facebook Page
The Comrie Facebook page had been very helpful in promoting the public meeting and the survey. It was agreed that it was extremely important to produce public information to keep the community up to date with how legacy issues are progressing.
c. CDT Website
The CDT website also now features the Interim Committee minutes and other reports will also be sent to CDT to post on that website, as an additional source of local information.
d. Strathearn Herald
Developments in relation to the legacy had continued to appear in Strathearn Herald articles and photographs by Lynn Duke. The Committee expressed its thanks for the positive way in which the information was being presented.
e. BBC GMS & Reporting Scotland
A BBC film crew had spent time at Cultybraggan Camp and in the village, with an item on Heinrich Steinmeyer and the legacy fund featuring on Good Morning Scotland, the midday news, and the early evening edition of Reporting Scotland on 20 March. The BBC team had filmed at the Silver Circle group discussion session, including an interview with Margaret Murray who had known Heinrich Steinmeyer. The programme also featured interviews with George Carson, Joan Carmichael and Murray Lauchlan.
f. Heinrich Steinmeyer – intentions for legacy
It was noted that the Reporting Scotland item had included Heinrich Steinmeyer speaking in German with a voice-over translation, and with Heinrich saying, “Everything I owned will be sold and given to the people of Comrie because the Scots treated me as a human being.” This should finally and conclusively answer the question about whether Heinrich Steinmeyer meant his legacy should be left to elderly people in Comrie or used across Scotland. People he had talked to in the village had been left in no doubt that he had wanted to leave his possessions for use in Comrie, and the funds had been specifically left to Comrie Development Trust, which has always clearly defined its aims as limited to the Comrie area, but it was helpful to have a record of his wishes in the recording held by the BBC.
g. Herald – Greg Russell
It was noted that, alongside other continuing media interest, that Greg Russell, a journalist with the Herald newspaper group, had been in touch about developments in the legacy consultation process, and planned to maintain contact about this.
h. Scottish Daily Mail
On 25 March, the Scottish Daily Mail featured a detailed article about Heinrich Steinmeyer, his history and the legacy, including interview comments by Joan Carmichael and Murray Lauchlan.
a. Completed Surveys
The boxes, in which the completed survey forms had been posted around Comrie, were opened and counted during the Interim Committee meeting. The number from the box in each location was: The White Church – 21; Chemist – 42; Post Office – 83; Hansen’s Kitchen – 32; Comrie Butcher’s – 54; Comrie Parish Church 10; Comrie Medical Centre 24. The total number of surveys returned was therefore 266.
A method of analysis was suggested by Andrew Reid, based on the ideas put forward by people attending the Public Meeting and the Silver Circle. This would involve identifying all of the detailed proposals made by people on their survey forms and completing account of the number of people in the survey supporting each of those proposals. Joan Carmichael thought this would reveal the level of support for different ideas, which would enable them to be whittled down. Murray Lauchlan said there was a need to get a view of what ideas were supported by the survey and that the results must be transparently available to everyone in the village. Phil Tipping expressed the view that the survey would provide a starting point, but there should be an openness to new ideas, and a second public meeting might be required to discuss those. It was agreed a subgroup from the Interim Committee should meet, in advance of the next Interim Committee meeting, to carry out a preliminary analysis of the survey forms, and report back to the next Interim Committee meeting. Offers to join this subgroup were made by Joan Carmichael, Mairi Philp, Ken Heiser, Jane Reid, Phil Tipping, Leigh Doy and Andrew Reid.
8. Legacy Group Expressions of Interest in Membership
The survey forms were examined and 14 people were identified, who had expressed an interest in being members of the Legacy Fund Committee. It was agreed that they should be contacted with an invitation to join the work from the next meeting, and to offer a briefing session before that meeting starts to provide background information about the legacy and the work of the Interim Committee so far. It was agreed that some form of village vote on permanent Legacy Committee membership would be required, maybe at a public meeting.
Judy McDowall reported that the account currently stands at £386,361.47 p, with additional interest added on a quarterly basis. There had been some spending on CDT printing costs for the survey forms, but not yet invoiced.
10. Next Steps
It was agreed to decide on the way forward after the next meeting when information would be available about the proposals coming from the surveys
11. Any Other Business – There was no other business.
12. Next meeting – Date and Venue
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 10 May at 6.00 p.m. in the Dundurn Hall at Comrie Parish Church or in the Annex.