Minutes of the Portgordon Community Harbour Group Ltd.’s 
11th Annual General Meeting 
Held on Wednesday 21st May 2014 at 7.00pm
in the Lampie Hoose, Portgordon.
 
 
In attendance:
 
Committee Members: Ron Billing (Honorary President), Derek Murray (Chairman), Bob Thomson (Secretary), Kay Griffin (Local Groups Representative), Lee Brown (Harbour Users Representative), Bill McIntosh (Director) 
 
Members / Public:   Councillor Margo Howe, Ann McIntosh, Colin Hanover, Karen Hanover, Paul Brinton, Keith Whittaker, John Dunbar, Ian Paterson, Thomas Jack, Shaun Tosh, Alexander Bruce, James Mackie, L Bangura, K Grieve, S Grieve, D Michie   
 
Apologies for absence:  
 
Malcolm Smith (Vice Chairman & Website Co-Ordinator), Alastair Cook. 
 
Welcome by Chairman:
 
Derek Murray (DM) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone in attendance to the Lampie Hoose and to the 11th AGM of the Portgordon Community Harbour Group Ltd. He then introduced the office bearers and local Moray Councillor Margo Howe.  He also thanked the Lampie Hoose for their hospitality. 
 
DM indicated that if Portgordon Harbour was going to have any sort of future then it needed all the help it could get at the moment and therefore it was encouraging to see so many people in attendance.  He reminded those present that Portgordon Harbour was officially declared closed by the Crown Estate in 1947 and, despite some emergency repairs done by the Ghurkha’s in the 1980’s, the harbour had been in a steady state of decline for the last 67 years.  It was therefore no great surprise when severe storm damage occurred in December last year.  He advised that something now needed to be done to secure the harbours future and that hopefully PCHG could help.
 
It was noted that the Crown Estate (or their representatives Smiths Gore) had not been invited to the AGM as Smiths Gore, together with Moray Council representatives and Richard Lochhead MSP, had been invited to a public meeting in the Lampie Hoose at 7.00pm on Monday 26th May to discuss the plans for the harbours east pier.  
 
 
Minutes of Previous AGM (22nd May 2013)
 
These minutes were circulated soon after the 2013 AGM and were posted on the notice board and on the website.  The minutes, which were available for inspection, were approved with no matters arising. Proposed and seconded by Ron Billing and Kay Griffin.
 
Chairman’s Annual Report: 
 
The Chairman presented his annual report and opened by saying that the severe storm that occurred on 5th December 2013 dealt a crippling blow to Portgordon.  Many houses were flooded and the harbours east pier took a severe pounding resulting in major structural damage.  The damage has been a massive set-back for PCHG, it dealt a severe blow to the harbour users, and it raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of Portgordon’s sea defences.  
 
The damage has also prompted PCHG to review their aims and objectives and the Group have been considering what direction to take in the future.  No firm decision has been taken as yet while we await the outcome of the Crown Estates deliberations over the east pier.  However the future of the rest of the harbour is likely to remain unclear for some time.  DM suggested that if the current upturn of interest in Portgordon’s development potential could be channelled in a more positive way, this might just help secure the harbours future.  He said that the best platform to campaign for harbour repairs and improvements is through the well-established Portgordon Community Harbour Group.
 
DM noted that with such a small Committee the Group had again took the decision not to hold a gala in 2014 and other fundraising activities had also been limited.  However, the Group remained on a firm, albeit limited, financial footing.  DM also noted the Group’s disappointment that the plans for a new Village Hall at the harbour-side had been abandoned, but despite all the set-backs in the last year he still believed the harbour area had tremendous potential and could once again become the centre of the community.
 
DM advised that the Committee had worked hard throughout the year, keeping pressure on the relevant authorities to deal with the damaged east pier and the removal of abandoned boats.  The Group had also kept the community informed through the website, www.portgordonharbour.org and the Group were grateful for the ongoing support from Taylors the Chemist for their sponsorship of the website.
        
DM thanked Cllr Howe and all of the Committee Members and who had served the Group over the last year, particularly Malcolm Smith (Vice Chairman and Website Co-ordinator) who was standing down.  DM also confirmed that due to other commitments he no longer wishes to be considered for an office bearer’s position.  He hoped that new volunteers would come forward to help PCHG survive and continue into the future.  
 
The Chairman’s Report can be found in full on the website, www.portgordonharbour.org.  
 
 
Treasurers Report:
 
The meeting noted that the Group were unable to appoint a Treasurer in the last year and that the Chairman had been acting Treasurer.  DM presented the Groups’ Annual Financial Statement for the year ending 31st March 2014 which had recently been audited by the Groups accountants, C Banks Bookkeeping Services of Garmouth. DM explained the contents of the Financial Statement including the value of the tangible assets.  A copy of the report was made available for inspection. 
 
At the end of the financial year the Portgordon Harbour Group account stood at £2688.91 and the Gala account £4189.32.  However as agreed, the Group had recently approved the transfer of profits from our gala account back into the main PCHG account so there is now £4878.23 in the PCHG account and £2000.00 in the gala account.
 
DM invited questions about the accounts and confirmed that he would now sign off the accounts as correct and ask C Banks to forward them to Companies House and OSCR for approval.
 
Proposed changes to PCHG Aims & Objectives:
 
DM referred to the minutes of the meeting held on 29/4/14 when the Group considered a report from M Smith outlining 4 possible options as follows: 
 
1.Disband the Group / Company (this option was dismissed at a previous meeting).
2.Continue as per original aims and objectives.
3.Promote the regeneration of the harbour by the Crown (or others), with ownership remaining with the Crown Estate but consider whether management and operation only could come under Community control.
4.Revise the Groups aims and objectives along the lines of “promote the regeneration of the harbour”.   
 
No decision has been taken as yet and it was agreed that further discussion would be required after we get confirmation of the Crown’s intentions for the harbour.
 
Before moving on to the election of office bearers DM noted the following:
 
Membership:  Membership forms were available for anyone wishing to join the Group.  Becoming a member does not cost a penny and does not commit you to anything. Membership demonstrates to the harbour owners that we care about what happens to the harbour.  
 
Website:  Everyone was encouraged to look at our website and feedback information and comment to M Smith.  This includes an invite to other local Groups wishing to promote their own activities. Comments and discussion is also encouraged through our Facebook page.  It was agreed that Malcolm had done a tremendous job maintaining the site over the years. 
 
   
Nominations and Election of Office Bearers:
 
Before the election of new office bearers for 2014/15 the meeting thanked the outgoing committee for their work over the last year.
 
The office bearers for 2013/14 then stood down and Councillor Howe kindly agreed to read out the nominations for the forthcoming year.  The notice advising of the AGM and inviting nominations for the new committee was posted on the harbour notice board, at the Lampie Hoose and on the Groups website in advance of the AGM.
 
Councillor Howe asked those who were present if there were any other nominees for the Committee positions.  Nominees, proposers and seconders for the office bearer’s positions were agreed as follows:
 
Position: Nominee Proposer Seconder
 
Chairman Lee Brown C Hanover R Billing
Vice Chairman Colin Hanover L Brown K Griffin
Treasurer Bill McIntosh R Billing D Murray
Secretary Vacant
Assistant Secretary Vacant
 
Local Group Representative Kay Griffin D Murray C Hanover
Harbour Users Rep John Dunbar L Brown R Thomson
Local Business Rep Vacant
Website Administrator Keith Whittaker L Brown K Griffin
Funding Co-ordinator Vacant
 
Attempts will be made to fill the vacant positions on the Committee. 
 
There remains 2 co-opted positions available on the Committee:
Moray Council Rep Vacant 
Community Council RepVacant (It was noted than no Lennox Community Councillors were in attendance and Cllr Howe agreed to make LCC aware of the vacancy at the next Community Council meeting on 28/05/14).
 
It was noted that PCHG Memorandum and Articles of Association required a minimum of 4 Directors and these were currently Ron Billing, Derek Murray, Robert Thomson and William McIntosh.
 
Lee Brown (LB) was congratulated by the Group on his appointment as Chairman and then duly took the Chair for the remainder of the meeting.
 
LB thanked the Group for appointing him as Chair and advised the meeting that he hoped to build bridges with the owners and other interested parties.  He called on harbour users to respect the harbour and to keep the area clean and tidy for the benefit of all.  
 
 
A.O.C.B.  
 
LB advised that the 2 life rings donated previously by the MV Solstice would be erected and it was noted that the Crown had previously approved this proposal.  The proposed erection of a replica Ghurkha plaque would however have to await repairs to the east pier.
 
J Dunbar asked if harbour users could get approval for cleaning out the shingle on a voluntary basis.  It was confirmed that the Crown had already given approval in principle but that further detailed information with regards to proposed methods of working and programme would be required in advance ahead of final approval.
 
D Murray summarised the options and recommendations in the Pier Options Assessment carried out by CH2MHILL on behalf of the Crown Estate.  Four options were considered including 1. Do Nothing, 2. Repair the east pier, 3. Replace the east pier, 4. Reclaim (infill) the harbour.  The Engineers have recommended option 2 (Repair the east pier). The report would be subject to further discussion at Monday’s public meeting.
 
It was noted that the review of the Group’s aims & objectives would also necessitate a review of the Group’s Memorandum and Articles of Association and a review of the Groups management structure would also be appropriate at this time.  This could hopefully be done without affecting the Groups charitable status.  
 
 
Date, Time & Venues of Next Meetings:
 
1) A provisional date was set for the next meeting of the Harbour Group as Tuesday 29/7/14 at 7.00pm in the Lampie Hoose.  Further dates will be confirmed in due course.  
 
2) 2015 Annual General Meeting 20/5/15 at 7.00pm in the Lampie Hoose.
 
Dates may be subject to change therefore check website for details.
 
Lee thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 8:30pm.
 
 
End
 
 
 
 
 
 
Portgordon Community Harbour Group Ltd - registered Scottish Charity No: SC040805
Patron: Mrs Clare Russell - Lord-Lieutenant of Banffshire
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