Bute Community Land Company appeal for future community input at AGM

The meeting at Rothesay Museum was well-attended, by members of the BCLC and members of the public.
The meeting at Rothesay Museum was well-attended, by members of the BCLC and members of the public.

The Bute Community Land Company (BCLC) held its Annual General Meeting yesterday, with directors presenting the company’s accounts and setting out their plan for the next year.

The meeting went ahead at Rothesay Museum, and there was a full house with company members and the general public attending.

Board members reiterated that they are hoping to take on more directors and liaise with community groups on the island through the summer and autumn.

The company, which is a registered charity, manages Bute Forest on the north end of the island, and has had to delay its plans to set up a community centre at the forest after failing to secure lottery funding for the project.

Chairman John Reid admitted that the company had not communicated well with the people of Bute in the past, and that they had been ‘unable to locate’ the minutes from last year’s AGM.

He said that the company is now in ‘reasonable financial shape’ after taking advice from an independent examiner, and that the board wants to work with the community council and charitable organisations on the island in the hopes of developing another application for funding.

He later told the Buteman: “We will be taking time to consider what BCLC should be doing next, and trying to build better contacts with other community organisations.

“This will take time, but will result in better understanding of BCLC and what it can and, perhaps equally importantly, cannot do.”

Director Peter Vincent said at the meeting: “If any groups have any ideas for what they want to do with the site we will happily support them, but they will have to fund it themselves.

“Our view beyond that is that we have to make better contacts with the community through groups like Bute Community Council and others.

“We have to work with these organisations and do more research to help us create a strong business case to apply for funding again over the next year or so.”

Ronald Falconer of Bute Community Council said at the meeting: “I am encouraged by your declaration that you are looking to liaise with groups like the community council, and though I can only speak for myself I think that is a step that will be welcomed.”

BCLC’s accounts for the year ending September 2016 as well as the company’s strategy for the forest and other documents are available online at buteforest.co.uk.