Passions run high at land company’s EGM

TORRENTIAL rain outside was not enough to damp down the passions of the 77 members of Bute Community Land Company who attended an EGM of the organisation on Saturday afternoon.

The 90-minute meeting at Rothesay Joint Campus was called at the request of 27 BCLC members, who asked last month for an EGM to “discuss and agree together the direction and scope of the activities of the company”.

Commitments made by the directors of BCLC and its subsidiaries, Bute Forest Ltd and Brandish Bute Ltd, during the course of the meeting were to hold a vote – at a time as yet undetermined – on the content of the draft BCLC Strategic Plan, and to take immediate steps to improve communication with ordinary members.

Of the 27 members who requested an AGM, 15 were in attendance at the meeting, and of those, all who spoke said they did not see themselves as opponents of the board of directors - though it was clear that some board members did not feel the same, with BCLC director Christine McArthur complaining at one point that “all you are doing is criticising us”.

BCLC chairman John McGhee repeated his view that the Rhubodach forest, purchased last summer after a public vote in favour of a community buy-out, should be seen as a means of kick-starting the economic regeneration of the island and that he saw BCLC as a catalyst for that regeneration.

For a full report of Saturday’s meeting, see the next issue of The Buteman – on sale on Thursday, May 26.