Fearnan Village Association
Minutes of the AGM and Business Meeting,
4.30 pm on the 23rd March 2013
The Chair, Sue Gardener, opened the meeting by welcoming members and particularly the new members. She explained that the format of the afternoon would be: the FVA Annual General Meeting, followed by the Business Meeting.
Annual General Meeting
Apologies were received from Cath McGregor, Sheila Watt, Keith Brockie and Hazel Brockie.
Minutes of the AGM 2012
The minutes of the AGM in 2012 were adopted by the meeting and signed by the Chair.
Chair’s Report on the Year’s Activity
Membership– we have been very pleased to welcome several new members during the year and have around 57 members, pending renewals being completed.
Planning and Development – this has dominated our work over the last year. PKC held their final public consultation on their proposed Local Development Plan. We produced information to help people understand the document, along with advice on how to make a representation and gave support to those most immediately affected by the proposals.
There were also 2 Community Consultations (rare in a small village) on Shoreside and on Boreland Farm. We attended both, following up with information, and answering questions from those concerned about the plans.
Broadband – we continue to attend meetings and lobby for an improved service.
Christmas Card – This year we produced our own Christmas card from an original picture kindly donated by Keith Brockie. Producing a quality card meant that printing costs were high, so profits from sales were reduced, as was the uptake compared to previous calendar sales.
Fearnan History – Ian McGregor and Peter MacKenzie have produced a sixth board of pictures on Fearnan’s history for the Hall, and a photographic record of chairmen of the Hall Committee. Ian McGregor has also produced a book on Fearnan’s history and generously gave us a small commission on those that we sold on his behalf.
Social Events – we ran a reduced number of events this year because of the refurbishment to the village hall, and this in turn reduced our income. However, the village is now enjoying a much more comfortable hall. Before Christmas, we ran a joint event with the Village Hall Committee, in aid of Aberfeldy Hospital. “Mulled Wine & Mince Pies” was very successful, and in March the FVA Chair accompanied Jim Herd to present a cheque to the hospital from Fearnan Village.
FVA Blog – The FVA blog has gone from strength to strength and continues to be one of our main means of communication with members.
The Chair finished her report with a tribute to John Thomas who passed away last year. John was involved in the formation of the FVA, he chaired our first public meeting and supported us wholeheartedly to the end of his days.
She also thanked the FVA Committee, Laurie and Julia Lane, Neil and Fiona Ballantyne and Peter MacKenzie, for all their diligent efforts; Keith Brockie and Ian McGregor for contributing their individual expertise; and all those who have supported the association throughout the year.
Key points from the Treasurer’s Report
A table setting out Income and Expenditure for the last year was presented to the meeting.
- Funds carried forward at the end of the year amounted to £3137.02.
- Donations to good causes during the year amounted to £172.27, and the use of funds had included a free Members’ Night.
- It was noted that Fearnan was one of the most active communities in the PKC area in terms of responding to the Local Plan consultations and that this was facilitated by the existence of the FVA.
In response to a question about the Food Hygiene Course that appeared in the accounts, it was explained that Sue Gardener and Julia Lane (who do most of the cooking for FVA events) now have certificates in Food Hygiene, and this was felt to be appropriate given the number of events that are undertaken.
A question was also asked about public liability insurance for our events, and it was confirmed that the Hall itself is covered for public liability.
Committee Changes – there are no changes to the committee, but we are in need of a Secretary and the Chair asked anybody who was interested and able to help to contact her separately.
There were no further questions and the Chair declared the AGM closed and moved on to the Business Meeting.
FVA Business Meeting
Local Development Plan – a letter was recently sent by PKC to those who made representation about the Plan. The main concern has been Site H41, on the Fortingall road at the edge of the village. The Development Plan is behind schedule and the Council did not bring out a modification of the initial Plan for comment. It has now gone to The Reporter, who will review all the representations that have been made in response to the Council’s Plan and determine which representations should be upheld, before it goes to Scottish Ministers.
Thanks to the Community Council and Councillor Ian Campbell, it has been possible to insert a wording to the effect that if The Reporter agrees to our representations to take Site H41 out of the Plan, then PKC will not object.
The outcome will not be known until August this year, but the fact that we have been able to influence the proposals in the Plan shows that writing letters does have an effect!
Broadband – there have been a lot of meetings about the slow broadband speeds that we experience, but no-one seems to be nearer solving the problem. There is concern that communities such as ours will be marginalized as others move towards superfast broadband. Community Broadband Scotland has a fund of £5m to help small communities, and it was suggested that they should start with the communities least likely to be reached by commercial provision of superfast broadband, rather than prioritising their funds according to population. Linking Highland Perthshire with the Highlands and Islands was also seen as a more constructive way forward, as the problems are similar. A question was asked about moving straight to 4G, but the problem is that this is a commercial market, and the broadband providers are only interested in the large conurbations, not small, unprofitable communities.
FVA Blog – the FVA blog has now been running for 2 years, and we get about 400 page views a month from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and Germany. It has connected us with a number of former residents, and also with people who are researching their family histories. Its main purpose is to provide a communication forum for FVA members, and Fiona is always pleased to receive ideas for articles that would be if interest to members.
Business Carried Forward from Last Year
Roadway Mirror for the junction on the lochside road – we were advised that if we put up our own mirror, we could incur a liability if there was an accident at the junction and the mirror happened not to be properly aligned. The Roads Department have said in the past that there is nothing wrong with the line of sight, but there was a strong feeling that this is not the case and there have been a number of near-misses recently. It was agreed to ask the Community Council to have another attempt at approaching the Roads Department in order to resolve the matter satisfactorily. Action: FVA Committee
Freshly Made Pancakes for the Coffee Morning – Sue and Julia will have a look at Trish’s pancake maker to see if a similar one could be bought.
Fearnan History – Ian McGregor has proposed some signage for key features of old Fearnan. Only the Baptismal Font has a sign describing its significance. Ian agreed to talk to PKC and some of the historical organisations and will try to get an estimate of the cost. Action: Ian McGregor
Social Events – Dates for Coffee Mornings are 9th April, 7th May, 4th June, 10th September, and 8th October. We will run a ‘Strawberry Teaz’ event on the 13th July, and will repeat the Mince Pies and Mulled Wine event towards the end of November.
AOCB – Ian McGregor reported that he now has photographs of 5 out of the 8 men commemorated on the War Memorial, and is hoping to get pictures of them all in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1. It was also felt by members that the steps up to the Memorial need to be sorted out and that the yew trees on each side have got too big and are restricting the view of the memorial. The view was expressed that, as they are yews, they could be successfully trimmed which would be better than removing them completely. There are funds available for refurbishing memorials in advance of the WW1 Anniversary, and the possibility of securing some funds will be explored through the Community Council.
The meeting was reminded that Andy Burt’s 90th birthday is coming up shortly, and Sue and Julia undertook to find out how the FVA might mark this appropriately.
Action Sue Gardener & Julia Lane
Fraser MacLean proposed a Vote of Thanks to the Chair, and the meeting was closed.