The Scottish Rural Action Annual General Meeting is to be held at 1.30pm on Friday 6th March 2015 at the Salutation Hotel, Perth (for directions click here). Please RSVP by emailing email@example.com by 27th February. Non-members welcome.
The agenda for the AGM is available here: Agenda AGM 2015
The AGM will be followed by an informal gathering where we will premiere the Scottish Rural Parliament film and give an overview of the draft action plan.
Election of Directors
The election of Directors will take place before the AGM via online and postal voting only. There are four vacancies on the board of Directors and eight people have been nominated. You can see details of nominated people below.
If you are a member or become a member by 4.30pm on 27th February, you will be sent information on how to vote in the election. You can not vote at the AGM.
The following Directors will be remaining on the board of Scottish Rural Action and will be joined by four new elected Directors. There is provision for an additional three co-opted Directors who could be recruited to address any skill or demographic imbalance.
is a chartered civil engineer with experience in the private and public sectors on steel structures and the maintenance and construction of roads and bridges. He worked for 12 years in the second-tier position of Lochaber Area Manager for Highland Council where his responsibility also included community development, gaining a commendation from Audit Scotland for his work on community planning. He has advised political campaigns and has direct experience of arbitration and in negotiating community benefit. John has been deeply involved in the community land movement and is a director of Community Land Scotland. He presently chairs the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust. A Justice of the Peace for 27 years and an Honorary Sheriff, he is also the Chairman of Trustees of the West Highland Museum and Executive Director of Nevis Partnership.
was born and brought up on Mull, trained as a boat builder and has worked in boatyards in Scotland and the South of England. He and his wife re-opened a successful village store and Post Office on Mull, which they ran for 25 years before selling in 2011. Heavily involved in community development for many years, he is convenor of Mull and Iona Development Trust, which has 15 employees and is chair of Development Trust Association Scotland, which now has 200 members. Sandy is also a director of the Scottish Islands Federation and a member of many local groups on Mull.
has worked in rural community development in Scotland for over 25 years and managed many rural projects and organisations. She was a founder and manager of Highlands and Islands Forum, the first community based rural movement in Scotland, and worked for Rural Forum Scotland. She managed the EU funded (£750k) Duthchas initiative on sustainability of peripheral communities, the Moray Firth Partnership and the Rural Transfer Network – sharing policy and practice in rural development across the Nordic region and Scotland. She was rural development policy officer in SNH. For 7 years a Community Councillor and Highland rep. on the ASCC, she continues to be active locally as a director of 2 community development organisations and Chair of Highland Environmental Network. Her research on the rural movements of Europe lead in 2004 to the formation of the European Rural Community Alliance, of which she is a director, also to initiatives to promote a rural movement in Scotland and the first European Rural Parliament. Since 2011 she has worked with the Scottish Government and rural stakeholders to advise and develop the Scottish Rural Parliament.
Nominees for the board of Directors 2015
I live in a small hamlet on the Dumfriesshire/South Lanarkshire border, surrounded by two big estates. I am the Chair of GANDL Development Group, a voluntary organisation that works to improve life in 9 local villages and the founder of B4GAL Community Broadband, a community-owned charitable company offering superfast broadband to local residents, as well as being on the local LEADER management board and a director of VASLan, the third sector interface in South Lanarkshire.
I am passionate about rural affairs and vibrant, sustainable rural communities, as reflected in my engagement with the local community and with issues such as land reform, affordable housing, transport and services, low wages and sustainable jobs.
I attended the first Workshop in Edinburgh that sought ideas from others in the European Rural Movement and was delighted to attend the inaugural Scottish Rural Parliament in Oban in 2014. I would like to be a Director of Rural Action to contribute to this strong voice that represents all areas of rural Scotland and to bring experience and views from remote rural South Lanarkshire.
I have lived in Dumfries and Galloway for 25 years, farming a small, traditional farm amongst some of the largest commodity producers in the UK. I am involved in my local Community Initiative and in our regional LEADER programme.
I have been a co-opted director of Scottish Rural Action for the past year and was involved in delivering the first Scottish Rural Parliament event in Oban. This vibrant event generated a real enthusiasm for more grassroots views to be heard.
I believe that the rural voice in Scotland needs to be powerfully articulated in a manner that gets the attention of those in power. Consequently, I would like to try to increase the breadth of participatory engagement that a Scottish Rural Parliament offers to those living in the South of Scotland.
The challenge, not only for myself but also for SRA, will be to deliver a consistent level of communication and engagement throughout all the component regions involved: the Lanarkshires, South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders as well as Dumfries and Galloway.
There is a desire for this empowerment in the South of Scotland and I would like to think that I could be part of growing that collective voice.
After brief periods training to be an accountant and then as a social worker, I began to work in and around the peripheral housing schemes of Edinburgh during the 1980’s, helping to set up and run a wide range of community based projects. After a brief spell in local government, I moved to take up the post of setting up and running Scotland’s national umbrella body for development trusts (DTA Scotland).
While in that post it became apparent to me that the contribution of Scotland’s community sector was not adequately being reflected in national policy. As a result, DTAS and other community based networks began to collaborate, at first informally, and eventually by establishing the Scottish Community Alliance (SCA) – a broad coalition of the major community based networks operating across Scotland.
Since 2011, I have been Director of SCA and in that capacity, I became involved in some early work to establish Scottish Rural Parliament and became a founding director of Scottish Rural Action. I hope I can use my experience and knowledge of the sector to make a further contribution and help to establish the Rural Parliament as a firm fixture on the landscape of civic Scotland.
The first Scottish Rural Parliament in Oban was a fantastic success, and I’m proud to have been a member of the team who made it happen. We must not lose the momentum of that success. The challenge now is to ensure that a significant, sustainable and influential Rural Parliament becomes firmly embedded as part of the social, political and cultural landscape of rural Scotland.
I’m asking for your vote because I believe I can play a useful role in consolidating our success, building our membership, and increasing our activity and influence over the next two years. I offer energy, commitment and experience, based on many years of practical involvement with rural issues, rural communities and the Rural Parliament.
Brought up in Assynt and now living in Inverness, I am a Director of Care Farming Scotland and the International Rural Network, and an Associate Member of Community Land Scotland. In my day job, heading up SCVO’s rural activities, I lead a team who provide information, development and support services to rural communities, including Rural Direct and the Scottish National Rural Network. Since 2002, I have played an active role in Scottish rural policy development, representing the interests of the third sector.
Born – 1968 – Dundee
Schools – Muirhead Primary/Newtyle Secondary/Harris Academy
Left School at 16 – Joinery Apprenticeship with Halliday Construction
Further Education College at 20/21 – Highers etc
University: Edinburgh – English Lit and Lang
Brought up in Muirhead – village that seems to move between being in Dundee and Angus. Strong connection to Dundee (teenage/work) Kirriemuir/Forfar (family) and Angus (tatties and berries).
Moved to Knoydart in the 90’s to work on volunteer and construction projects. Stayed. Became involved in local volunteer/community work around about the time of the buyout in 1999. Director on the Board of the Knoydart Foundation for 8 years. Chair for five years. Employed as Local Development officer by Foundation/HIE since 2011.
Reasons for Directorship?
Strongly believe that all people/areas of Scotland should be able to voice opinion into the body politic.
Think that the Rural Parliament deserves to become a focus for the democratic voicing of rural opinion.
Think that participation in community ownership is good grounding in Rural Parliament’s area of interest.
Experience covers aspects of rural living from remote/rural to arable to town to city.
- Personal commitment to rural affairs, rural civic voice and communities, noting communities and debate/dialogue relevant to RSA work streams.
- Countryside/rural issues RSA legacy 1970s onwards
- Honed Governance skills: selected posts e.g. (i) Civic Trust and Amenity Groups (ii) NTS Council (iii) RSA (www.theRSA.org) as elected Trustee; currently in third term as RSA Scotland chairman (terms 2002/4, 2004/7 and 2014 election)
- Committee skills: salaried and voluntary work, including Public Appointments via DTI, Home Office, former DEFRA and Scottish Office (now Government)
- Development skills: One time salaried Development Officer Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland, ADAPT and Spinal Injuries Scotland and as volunteer
- Experienced energetic networker: excellent contacts across private, public and voluntary sectors, having worked across all three
- Active Member, Scottish Parliament Futures Forum, DHI, ASPA, CSPP, Reform Scotland, CSPP and other relevant organisations
- Extensive experience in design and delivery of well evaluated seminars, conferences and social events including recently on Land Use etc.
- Project Management experience including a Millennium Award Project
- Volunteer fund-raising (AHSS 1984, and later e.g. Patron, Glenelg Mountain Rescue and for Glenelg Village Hall initial grant bid)
- Election Agent twice (Borders 1974 and 1986)
It’s great to see the establishment of a rural parliament raising the profile of rural communities, the issues we face, which are many, too many to list here; the cost of living, proper funding, infrastructure and resources that supports the rural way of life, protecting our environment, developing opportunities to enhance rural communities, all of which I personally support.
I live in a rural Lanarkshire. I have over 20 years’ experience at board level, including current director roles. I have a good grasp of corporate governance together with a good working knowledge of company law. I have valuable board and transferable skills which I hope to bring to the rural parliament. I have been involved in community activities more than 20 years.
Members’ support and consultation is a fundamental benchmark, ensuring we have an effective organisation and voice. Directors need to be diverse, reflect the rural communities, raise the profile and take forward the rural agenda, supporting parliament staff. I am currently involved in civil law, a recent graduate from University of Stirling. I hope you will support me, so I can support fellow directors, members, and the wider agenda of the rural parliament.
I am standing for election to the board of Scottish Rural Action because I passionately support the development of a rural parliament. I have been active in community development for many years based in Caithness an area far from centres of influence, and whose voice has no significant natural outlet.
I have served over the last 20 years on the boards of Citizens Advice Scotland, SCVO, CVS Scotland, Voluntary Action Scotland, was chair of Voluntary Action Highland and represented the voluntary sector on the Highland Wellbeing Alliance.
I am currently chair of Wick Community Council, The North Highland College UHI, the Laurandy Day care Centre for the elderly, Caithness Childcare, No Limits Caithness offering services to children on the autism spectrum, and vice-chair of Home-Start Caithness. I am on the board of Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company and on the board of Rumster Energy Ltd and secretary to the Caithness Village Hall Federation.
In my day job I am a development officer for Caithness Voluntary Group which gives advice and support to community and voluntary groups, and provides the Caithness Rural Transport services and Befriending Caithness for isolated elderly people. I give advice and training on governance.