Minutes of the AGM of Friends of the Far North Line, held in the Glen Mhor Hotel, Inverness on 19 June 2015 at 11:00.
MINUTES OF THE 2014 AGM (previously circulated) were accepted.
John Thurso spoke of two things: "Rail" - covering the highly competitive possibilities of high-speed rail and the continuing viability of freight hubs and palletisation, and "Friends" - who are the best critics and who should be tapping the shoulders of those who run the railways. FoFNL was well-positioned to offer help in both areas.
Mike Lunan explained why he had come back to the vacant Convener's post in advance of the AGM, and thanked Richard Ardern for holding the reins for most of last year. The important work of persuading Network Rail and its funder, Transport Scotland, to prioritise infrastructure enhancements on the FNL from 2019 has already started (see recent Far North Express articles) and would continue in the next couple of years. He was willing to remain Convener for that period, but would be demitting office in 2017.
The report was read out by the Convener in the absence of the Membership Secretary. Membership is 160, made up of 134 individuals, 22 household, 3 Community Councils and 1 corporate. John Melling asked that contact be made with Community Councils, and the Convener said that he intended to do this in the next few months.
The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2014 were presented to the AGM. There was a deficit of £478.75 mainly due to advance purchase of postage stamps for the newsletter. Committee expenses were lower than the previous year with a small increase in the cost of producing Far North Express. The legacy of £4925.32 with the balance added to make a figure of £9000.00 invested with the Scottish Building Society in a bond. The Oakley bequest, now confirmed at £6102.38 by the Halifax, is awaiting transfer to an investment product. Assets at the year end were £15421.90.
Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Bob Barnes-Watts, seconded by John Brandon and approved unanimously by the meeting.
|Membership Secretary:||Angus Stewart|
|Newsletter Editor and Webmaster:||Ian Budd|
|Committee Members:||Richard Ardern, Bob Barnes-Watts, Stewart Campbell|
Following the recent General Election when Dr Paul Monaghan was elected as the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross it was agreed that he be appointed as President. John Thurso had fulfilled this role while he was MP, and Bob MacLennan before him. It was also agreed to appoint Rhoda Grant MSP (Highland) as one of the two Vice-Presidents. John Melling had been a stalwart Vice-President, and before that a long-term member of the Committee. In recognition of the service of both Johns it was agreed to create the posts of Honorary Past Presidents to include both of them. The Convener agreed, at John Melling's suggestion, to contact Bob MacLennan with a similar offer. The other Vice-President position was left vacant until after the Holyrood Election next May. The Convener thanked Iain MacDonald who was retiring from the Committee. His invaluable knowledge of operational matters, particularly of signalling, will still be available however, and he will continue to be responsible for mailing copies of Far North Express. The meeting closed at 1139 - still on time (just) in railway-speak.