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6 July Minutes

Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse (TRIM)

Minutes of Board Meeting 9th July 2013


Present                                                                                                                                                 John Davidson, Eileen Carr, Ann-Marie Whyte, Wendy Carr, Jan Muir, Vince Logan, Robert Pearson, Cristina Frangulea, Jan Muir, Gordon Davie, Mike Vallance and Natasha Wood                                                                                                                      Apologies                                                                                                                                            Jim McGinty, Cammy Day, Emma Carr, John McGlynn.


Approval of Previous Minutes 

Proposed as a true record by Ann-Marie Whyte and seconded by Vince Logan      


Matters Arising from Previous Minutes                          

Jan asked if TRIM had any success in communicating with the Muirhouse High Rise as there is concern and frustration about the lack of maintenance of the grassed areas.   Eileen confirmed that she had been in touch with Betty Stevenson via e-mail when Betty was just about to go on holiday and Betty was going to get back to TRIM when she got back regarding meeting up.   Eileen was not surprised when Betty didn’t get in touch as it was coming up to ETF’s AGM and Betty would have been extremely busy in organising that event.  Now the AGM is over Eileen will get back in touch to see if a couple of reps could go to the next High Rise Meeting and see if any of their reps would like to attend out meeting as it would benefit the area if the groups were to work together.  Robert confirmed that we had at least 5 High Rise tenants on ‘hold’ at the moment as they have contacted us about issues and were either unable or unaware that there was a High Rise Group.  John went onto clarify that there are another 2 High Rise Groups in Muirhouse and Eileen confirmed that when TRIM was being registered as a tenants organisation it was for Muirhouse Low Rise and Pennywell as there was already a registered tenants group for the High Rise.  It was agreed that Eileen get back in touch with Betty regarding meeting up and ask if they will agree to us working with the High Rise Tenants who approach us with issues on their behalf.


Discussion about the importance of maintaining the environmental areas.   It was discussed that the failure of the council is not in providing money for environmental improvements but in the lack of a proper structure or planning in maintaining the area after improvements had been done.  


John confirmed that he had been in discussion with Cammy Day who had agreed to organise a walk about with reps to take note of areas of concern.  John suggested inviting Cammy, Peter Strong (as Henry Coyle may not be available) and Betty Stevenson to our next meeting on Aug 13th with Environmental Issues as an agenda item with lots of time for discussion.   Group agreed and Eileen to e-mail invitation.


John suggested that TRIM take an active part in helping to organise a new group that had been suggested at the last community council meeting – Friends of Linear Park.  This group would work with the council on developing and maintaining the Linear Park for the community to enjoy fully.   Group agreed to work with the community council on this matter.   John confirmed that the community council elections are coming up in Sept and encouraged people to attend and take part.   TRIM agreed that a strong community council is of great benefit to the community and should be encouraged and supported.

Vince raised concern about a specific area and Robert agreed to go along and take some photos with Vince.


1.     Letter from council confirming grant – read out and filed

2.     Bank statement no 1 – confirming receipt of grant – presented and filed

3.     ETF – voting card for TRIM – presented and filed

4.     ETF – Newsletter Federation Matters  – presented and filed

5.     ETF – New development group information flyer – presented and filed

Discussion followed on ETF and how we (as a group) could take up the training opportunities and have a more active involvement in it.  It was agreed to invite an ETF worker/rep to our September meeting to get more information and discuss this further.


                                                                                                                                  Eileen Eileen presented the financial statement for this meeting (as financial documents had been presented as correspondence) and confirmed that future finance reports will be from Vince (treasurer).   TRIM requires a supply of pads, pens, files etc. and asked if group was agreeable to ordering admin supplies through the millennium centre and reimbursing them as our treasurers account does not allow online/phone payments.  Group agreed.  Eileen confirmed that she is setting up an online facility to see/print statements so that Vince can print off a statement before each meeting.   Gordon asked if this was secure and could money be transferred from the TRIM account to another account – Eileen confirmed that no money can be transferred either online or by phone because of the type of account we have and the only money that can taken from the TRIM account is by cheque with 2 out of 3 signatories signing – this has been set up for Vince to access the information he needs to report back to the group and for our financial record keeping.   It was agreed that all TRIM financial information/cheque books etc. be kept securely in the office safe and confirmed Vince would have access at all times to all financial information.


Pilton                                                                                                                                                  Robert has been approached (via the community shop and social media sites) from residents in Pilton asking if we could act on their behalf on issues in Pilton.   TRIM members are concerned that an organisation that helped us when we were starting is now seemingly having problems.   TRIM is grateful for the help/advice and support that TRIP provided before we were fully established and feel that is important for us to support them if they need or want it.   The support would not be financial as TRIP has sound finances but poss. admin/promoting/working together.  It was confirmed that a very active member of TRIP has resigned and there is uncertainty about who is still involved.  Although TRIM has its own busy and heavy workload it is important for the community of Pilton that TRIP continues.  It was acknowledged that TRIP may not need or want our support but as there had been approaches from residents of Pilton it was agreed to ask whoever is left at TRIP if they would like to meet up informally for a chat about mutual support and working together for the good of both communities.

Community Shop                                                                                                                             Robert reported that the shop was very successful and that under his management and the co-operation of the volunteers who do 80+ hours a week it is now open 6 days/wk.   There is a good variety of produce and the shop is being well used for both selling fruit/veg and as an information point.  Robert stated that updating  the community wall and information leaflets takes up a lot of his time and when combined with managing the shop and volunteers he is grateful for all the help and support he gets from the volunteers/Eileen and the other partners.        

Concern was raised about the shop being used by the Anti Bedroom Tax Campaign group to give advice and support when that was not an agreed function of the community shop on the lease.  Concern was also brought up that the community and business partners think that TRIM and the Anti-Bedroom Tax Group are linked although that is not the case.   Full and frank discussion followed by Gordon and Mike agreeing not to use the shop for their Anti-Bedroom Tax Group (although they disagreed that what they were doing in the shop was campaigning and said they were not giving advice or support).    Lengthy discussion followed on the possible conflict of interest in Gordon being chairperson of TRIM and organising the Anti-Bedroom Tax Group (along with Mike) and the perception of the community that the two groups were linked because of the position of Gordon on both groups – although it was denied that there was any conflict of interest by Gordon and Mike it was suggested that Gordon should stand down as chairperson of TRIM so that there could be no misunderstanding of his different roles and influence by the community.

Gordon pointed out that TRIM is a democratic group and if people were uncomfortable and thought that there could be possible conflict of interest then put it to a vote.  

It was proposed by John and seconded by Robert that Gordon stands down as chairperson and a vote was taken.   By a large majority vote it was decided that Gordon stand down as chairperson and another member be elected.  

Eileen nominated Robert and Ann-Marie seconded the nomination.   No other nominations were received and the group (including Gordon) agreed with the nomination and Robert accepted the position of chairperson.

It should be noted that this in no way reflects on the way that Gordon has performed his duties as chairperson of TRIM and was made for the sole reason of the perceived and possible conflict of interest between one person’s role in the two groups and separate them once and for all in the eyes of the community and beyond.   The group acknowledged and thanked Gordon for his time spent as chairperson of TRIM and hoped that he understood the reason behind the decision made.   Robert thanked Gordon on behalf of TRIM.   Gordon accepted the group decision and stated he would still support TRIM and be part of the group and there were no ill feelings or resentment about the group decision as it was done democratically.

Robert then took over facilitating the meeting.

Any Other Business                                                                                                                           Mike asked if there was any updates on the proposed building work due to start on the 15th July on site opposite school – John informed him that there is a further delay in the start of building due to alleged dispute with contracts and planners but will keep us updated with any new information.   Group agreed that this was a great shame for the area and not a good omen for things ahead with the regeneration.   Group agreed that this item be added to the next agenda for discussion with Peter Strong, Cammy Day and Betty Stevenson. 

Robert asked if there could be agreement for TRIM to part fund a ramp to allow access to the community if it cannot be funded fully by one or all of the partners – group agreed that access for wheelchairs and people with mobility problems is important and agreed to help fund the ramp.   Robert will present estimates at next meeting.

John informed the group about the passing of Stevie Hay – a well respected member of the community and talented musician who worked in the Millennium centre for 11 years.   Funeral on Friday at 12 noon.

John asked if TRIM (as a group that uses the Centre on a regular basis) would support the Centre (and the community council) in requesting limited speed signage (20mph) and lines outside the Centre (similar to schools) for the safety of the children and vulnerable people who use the Centre on a daily basis.   Group commented on the sounds of children playing outside and agreed that TRIM would support the Centre and the Community Council in this request.

There being no other business meeting ended with Robert thanking everyone for coming.  

Date of Next Meeting Tuesday 13th August 7pm in Centre

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