Draft Minutes of AGM held on Wednesday 28 October 2020 at the Maxwell Hall, Port William


  1. Present and Apologies for Absence:-
    Community Councillors:- Mr. Douglas Ballantyne (Treasurer), Mr. Paul Carrigan, Mr. Richard McElrea, Mr. Jock McMaster, Mrs. Barbara Mellor, Mr. Steve Mellor, Mrs. Sheila Smellie (Secretary), Mr. Peter Smellie (Chairman)
    Members of the Public:- Mx Jen Hendry
    Apologies for Absence:- Mrs. Katie Hagmann, Mr. David Inglis, Mrs. Jackie McCamon, Mr. Jim McColm.
  2. The Minutes of the AGM held Wednesday 29th May 2019, having been previously circulated, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.
  3. There were no matters arising.
  4. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman’s Report had been previously circulated, but he added a welcome to Steve and Barbara Mellor as Community Councillors.

Even though the AGM is being held in October 2020, it will cover the ‘normal’ Community Council year from May 2019 to May 2020. Not that anything has been normal this year.
The declaration of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, and the subsequent lockdown prevented the assembly of people over the following months. An attempt to hold the event on line in September had to be aborted due to technical issues.

The lockdown with its self-isolation requirement for a significant number of our residents triggered a response from the local Resilience Group, led by Shaun Dodds and Davina Kiltie, who organised volunteers to assist those at risk, whether by collecting shopping or prescriptions, or just by having a chat. I would like to pass on the thanks of the Community Council to all of those involved. The actions of the Resilience Group were supported financially by Dumfries and Galloway Council who provided the Community Council with £493.30 from its ‘COVID-19 Community Resilience Hardship Fund Allocation’, which was passed onto the local group to aid their efforts. I would also like to extend our thanks to the key workers in the area, whose efforts enabled a degree of normality to be maintained.

A second major change came with the October Community Council elections which saw many of our long-standing colleagues not seeking re-election. I would like to thank those retiring councillors, Anne Highman, Hilary Pavitt, Susan Windle, Jim and Jenni Gray, for their individual contributions over the years, and in the cases of Anne, Jenni and Jim as office bearers to the Community Council. To continue this valedictory section, Pauline Watkins resigned in January and Peter Williams, the voice of Elrig, passed away in April 2020. Again, thanks are given for their contributions.

The October election did not proceed smoothly, as three nomination forms posted from Port William were not received at the D&G Council offices in Stranraer. This was not known until after the closing date for nominations, and the Community Council set about rectifying the situation by means of a procedure known as a ‘Casual Vacancy Election’. While this procedure successfully ensured that the elected members were increased from five to nine, the method of achieving that result was not a smooth one, leading to the Community Council submitting a report and recommendations to Dumfries and Galloway Council, who subsequently included many of the points made by Port William into a constitutional review over the summer of 2020.

The Community Council continued to allocate the Wind Farm funds from Carscreugh Renewable Energy Park Limited, and managed by Foundation Scotland from Gatehouse of Fleet, and this year almost £2600 was distributed to six local voluntary organisations.

The departure of Hilary Pavitt from the Community Council has led to a change in the management of the Port William website, which has been passed to Assist-IT design services in Stranraer, who revamped the look and feel of the website and manage the documents published.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the workings of Port William and District Community Council, namely the police representatives, the D&G elected members, D&G Council officers for their advice and the members, past and present, of the Community Council, but especially to Douglas for keeping the numbers in order and Sheila for her behind the scenes work.

  1. The Financial Statement and Treasurer’s Report had been previously circulated and the Treasurer thanked Audrey Kevan for auditing the books. In summary the closing accounts stood at £774.74 in the Treasurer’s account and £685.24 in the Village Improvements Fund.
  2. Election of Office Bearers:-
    The Chairman stood down and was replaced temporarily by Jock. Peter was then re-proposed by Barbara and seconded by Paul, there being no other candidates, Peter was re-elected. He resumed the chair.
    The Treasurer stood down and was proposed for re-election by Richard and seconded by Jock. There being no other candidates, Douglas was elected as Treasurer.
    The Secretary stood down and was proposed for re-election by Barbara and seconded by Jock. There being no other candidates, Sheila was elected as Secretary.
  3. Other positions:-
    1. Press Secretary – Sheila agreed to continue in this role
    2. Planning Applications monitoring – Paul agreed to continue in this role
    3. Wind farm administration – Peter agreed to continue in this role
    4. Website liaison with Andy Lund of Assist-IT – Peter agreed to continue.
  4. Any other business :-
    It was agreed that ordinary meetings of the Community Council would be held the last Wednesday of each month, excluding December and August, in the Maxwell Hall. Jock enquired whether that was sufficiently frequent to fulfil the requirements of the Scheme for Establishment. Peter replied in the affirmative, confirming that the minimum number of meetings to be held in the financial year 2020/ 2021 was 5 ordinary meetings and an AGM. The financial year ends at the end of March 2021, two ordinary meetings had been held in September and October 2020 and there were four more dates available at the end of November 2020 and January to March 2021.
    The meeting ended at 19:40.

AGM for 2020-2021 planned for Wednesday 26th May 2021.