Highgate Hall Committee


Highgate Hall Progress Meeting
A public meeting was held on Wednesday evening 15 th March in the Younger Hall, to report on
progress of the Highgate Hall Committee and to present the results of the recent survey.
Invitations to participate in the online survey were published throughout the district and 170 paper
forms were delivered to all houses within Strone during November 2022. The result was that only 6
people said that they were prepared to help in retaining the hall.
The survey results and the lack of use over the years led the committee to the conclusion that, as
per the Deeds, they would at the Annual Public Meeting, present the motion that “the hall was no
longer necessary and no longer of benefit”. If the motion were passed it would allow the Trustees to
sell the hall and distribute the proceeds for use by local charities, fulfilling David Highgate’s wishes.
The Annual Public meeting, will be held at 2.30pm on 26 th April in Younger Hall , KIlmun.
A general discussion followed. It was noted that even with the hall closed, the ongoing running costs
including insurance and rates, were significant and these could no longer be met by the Trustees.
The extent of the running costs was discussed and a number of suggestions were made as to how
the hall could be developed if cash were available. Many good ideas were presented, but all needed
significant funding, local commitment and a good business plan. Although the Committee and
Trustees were not in a position to fund these developments, these ideas could be of interest to
future owners of the hall, if it were sold.
The consensus was that the momentum created by the survey and discussions about the hall was
beneficial to the local community and could lead to developing other local resources and activities,
not necessarily connected to the hall. It was noted that a registered charity was being set up in the
Strone area, but no details were available and also the local church hall was being refurbished which
could be available for public use.
The meeting discussed the forthcoming Annual Public Meeting and how next year’s committee
would be elected.
Committee members are sought for election at the meeting . Even if the hall is to be sold, committee
members are required. In the future and they would be required to facilitate the transition from
managing the hall to providing for the community needs in other ways. Anyone who would be happy
to stand for the committee should contact Alan Slevin on alanjslevin@gmail.com before the 21 st
The voting on the motion, on the necessity and benefit of the hall, will precede the election of the
new committee. The prospective members of the committee would be asked to submit a brief
written resume to be included on the voting form.
In response to questions from the floor it was clarified that committee members do not have any
responsibility nor formal role in the distribution of any proceeds from the sale of the hall, this is a
reserved matter for the Trustees. However, it was noted that the Trustees would consult with the
community, including the hall committee, before any distribution were made.
Members of the audience stated that they appreciated the consultation and the involvement of the
community including this meeting and thanked the committee and speakers.





Minutes of meetings

Minutes of the meeting held on 15th August at Strone Golf Club, starting at

Alan Slevin, Diane Filshie, Jim Smith, Rebecca Abbot, Lorraine Whitton, Becky
Hothersall (virtual attendance), Brian Grout, Pearl Brown, Sue Rule, Graham

1. Minutes of the previous meeting
These were considered and approved, and signed by the Chair
Matters arising
The issue of confidentiality was briefly discussed and the agreed view was that
the approved/signed minutes should be a public document. It was further
agreed that these should be provided to the Kilmun Community Council (KCC),
which would aid publicity for, and promotion of, the work of the committee
BG noted that Highgate Hall was a repeating item on the KCC agenda and that
their Secretary had suggested that a brief report from this committee would be
welcomed at the next KCC meeting. No decision was taken on this matter

2. Treasurer’s report
The Treasurer (RA) is in contact with Nicola Hughes
(nhughes@mbjsolicitors.co.uk, working with Norman Fyfe at Miller Beckett &
Jackson) to get information concerning the funds currently available to the
committee and any known further or recurring financial commitments. A brief
report will be provided in due course.
GT noted that external funding had been used to pay for the 12 month renewal
of the Hall insurance for 2022

3. Dilapidation of the hall
There was extensive discussion of this issue and it was eventually agreed
that a formal, technically-skilled assessment of the work required to achieve
a condition suitable for hire and public functions is necessary if the Hall was
to be renovated. This survey would also be central to any application for
external funding.

Highgate Hall Committee 2022

Such a survey, if required, would have to be funded and BG agreed to gather
estimates, from reliable sources, for the cost of such a survey.
It was further agreed that any significant quantity work by the committee on
the practicalities of renovation would be inappropriate until the outcome of
our estimate of sustainable, future demand for a functioning Highgate Hall
was known.

4.Likely shore village demand for an increase in hall facilities
An extensive and detailed discussion was given over to this issue, seen as
the most essential, primary, set of information needed to develop a plan for
the future of the Hall.
Efficient techniques for gathering reliable information from key stakeholders
in the Shore villages was agreed as essential to be able to estimate if there is
any realistic and sustainable demand for expanded Hall facilities. Having this
information, with sufficient detail, was accepted as being central to making
a fair, and transparent, decision on the future of the Hall.
Keeping a flow of information going to the KCC was seen as important, as a
was engaging in a dialogue with the other hall committees.
A practical way to begin the information gathering process was put forward
by BH, based upon her professional knowledge and practice with Argyll and

Bute Council. The method proposed by BH is based upon a Community-
Led Action Planning toolkit available on an Argyll and Bute website

This link was circulated, by email, to the committee members immediately
after the meeting. BH asked the members to respond to her by Monday, 22nd
August if they were interested in being part of a sub-group to discuss how
we might use this (and/or other resources) to gather views and data.
A list of internet links to funding resources for possible future use was also
Funding Alert 222 July 2022

funding https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/grantnet

The value of contacting other groups that have looked into or undertaken
projects based on physical community assets e.g. Project 81 in
Garelochhead: (http://project81.co.uk/) was also proposed. No immediate,
further action was taken
4. Any other business
Designated footpath
Details of an email from a Strone resident were relayed to the committee.
This mail raised concerns over the possible closure of the footpath at the side

of the Hall if the owner of the woodland at the rear chose to block it off. Those
present shared the expressed concerns and would be supportive of keeping
the path open, but it was agreed that possible events beyond the boundary
of Highgate Hall were not, at present, relevant business for the committee.
SR spoke in her role as Editor of ‘Lochs and Glens’ and asked for help in
putting together a piece for the magazine that detailed the past history of the
Hall.GT offered his services and PB, JS agreed to search through materials
at home to see if any suitable pictures could be found. A likely publication
date of October was indicated

5. Date and venue for the next meeting
Monday 12th September, 7:00pm at Strone Golf club

The meeting closed at 8:10pm




Minutes of the meeting held on 14th November (Zoom call) starting at
Alan Slevin, Diane Filshie, Jim Smith, Rebecca Abbot, Lorraine Whitton,
Becky Hothersall, Graham Thompson.
Apologies: Pearl Brown, Brian Grout, Sue Rule

1. Minutes of the previous meeting
Matters arising

2. Treasurer’s report
No response yet on the application for £11k to meet running costs sent to
Nicola Hughes, accountant at the solicitors Miller Beckett & Jackson, to be
considered by the Highgate Charitable Trust.
Electricity bill increase - being covered by up to £200 in funding request
(*on finding out at the drop-in that we possibly should not be paying
electricity charges, this should be queried again with Nicola whose response
to Rebecca was not very informative. We should clarify the rules on this and
ask why since closure any steps taken to minimise this bill have not been
considered; also for water charges? This was not actioned at the meeting. )
3 Dilapidation of the Hall
BG included a summary of likely costs with the previous meeting’s minutes
to inform the drop-in meetings. It was also agreed the document was not to
be handed out at the drop-in meeting. (*subsequent contact with SPC and
waiting on valuation after drop-in visit)
No progress on the pigeon situation in the hall although acknowledgement
that this is contributing to the dilapidation as well as the severity of the
recent weather in terms of the open window. Noted the complications (2015
Wildlife Act) dealing with the birds. Waiting for any update from PB but no
action taken on this.
4.Likely shore village demand for an increase in Hall facilities
Other mailing lists for distribution of the online survey identified by BH.
Also, sent to golf club distribution lists (GT).

Highgate Hall Committee 2022

Need to find £10k next year to stop it getting sold, need to raise that money
from April – a point that might be raised during drop-in (GT)
Potential for application to lottery fund for money that would allow an
extension to consider hall future if this was to be an option (JS)
Looking for evidence that there was demand for the hall, and ideas for other
uses, fundraising, local involvement with interested parties.
Standard recording of information on survey forms to be assessed; data
analysis to include all but not likely to be too onerous
Rota for Drop-in:
3-5: SR, AS (to deliver waivers), JS, RA, BH, BG
7-9: DF, AS
5 Community councils
The minutes of the Highgate Hall committee will continue to be sent to the
Kilmun community council. Other community councils and village hall
committees have received a copy of the on-line survey for further circulation
if they feel this is necessary. KCC site has a clear link to minutes and a
calendar of all local group meetings -Cowal Collaborative Community
Calendar. May need to speak to Secretary of KCC about removing outdated
6 Footpath adjacent to the Hall
Some further communication has taken place between the National Park
and Strone residents concerned over the loss of access to the woods using
the pathway by Tyneshandon. A template is being developed to collect data
locally and this will be sent from the Parks before Christmas. No contact as
yet with Tyneshandon owner made with regard to this matter.
While there is less dispute over the pathway by the Hall were the site to be
sold, with the status of the pathway across the property to be recognised,
this should still be considered in the data gathering process to effect some
‘official’ status for that route (*not in meeting, but I heard at drop-in there
might be something in the deeds which only recognises the HH route if it
was for access to the old Church, which means if sold this could affect this
7 Any other business
GT will be in Australia for next 3 months and we wished him well.
8 Date and venue for the next meeting
Monday 12th December in the Strone and Blairmore Golf Club at 7 p.m.
There is some time after survey close date on 30th November to analyse the
results, although this task has not been actioned. AS to be the host.
The meeting closed at 7:45pm

Minutes of the meeting held on 12.12.22 at Strone Golf Club, starting at
7:00 pm
Alan Slevin, Jim Smith, Lorraine Whitton, Sue Rule, Brian Grout, Diane Filshie,
Becky Hothersall.
Apologies: Pearl Brown, Rebecca Abbot, Graham Thompson
Minutes of the previous meeting .
Matters arising
The situation concerning the cost of connected utilities was discussed and the
lack of clarity noted. It was agreed that AS would talk to NF to try to get a firm
position on if/when utilities should be disconnected, and what the involved costs
might be
Approval & signature of presiding officer
2. Treasurer’s report
3. Dilapidation of the hall
No further information.
4. Likely shore village demand for an increase in hall facilities
The analysis of the overall response to the Strone survey to be completed and
detail circulated before the January meeting, when ways to present the outcome
to the community will be discussed.
It was agreed the discussion should extend to drafting a committee resolution
to be put to a vote at the April 2023 AGM
5. Kilmun Community Council
Signed minutes continue to be sent to KCC as previously agreed. Details of
financial issues will be redacted as necessary.
6. Footpath adjacent to the Hall
AS has been in discussion with Guy Keating, the Recreation & Access
Advisor for the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority re the two
Strone footpaths and he is supportive of any efforts to keep them open. It would
appear that open access for 20yrs prior to 2003 has to be demonstrated.
AS is to continue to liaise with Colin Cumming and Catriona Darroch, both
Strone residents who are also in contact with Guy Keating and are actively
pursuing resolution of the problem re the Tyneshandon footpath.

Highgate Hall Committee 2023

7. Any other business
Conditions to be met for the April 2023 AGM were discussed. It was agreed the
meeting should be in Mid-April with the necessary newspaper advertisement
ready to be sent by mid-March. It has to be published in the local newspaper in
both of the two weeks prior to the meeting.
8. Date and venue for the next meeting
16 January, 7:00 pm at Strone Golf Club


Minutes of the meeting held on 20.02.23 at Strone Golf Club, starting at 7:00 pm

Page | 1 Present: Alan Slevin, Lorraine Whitton, Sue Rule, Graham Thompson, Rebecca Abbott, Brian Grout, Becky Hothersall (online). Apologies: Pearl Brown Diane Filshie, Jim Smith 1. Minutes of the previous meeting Approved& signed by the presiding officer 2. Treasurer’s report RA reported that the current account stood at £208-96 at the end of January 2023. There was an outstanding electricity bill still to be paid. With regard to charges for the water connection it was decided to wait until after the April Annual Meeting before taking any further action RA also to contact the local council about adjustment of the rateable value if the hall, and to see if rebates might be justified We have yet to be notified of the amount of funding to be delivered this year via Miller Beckett & Jackson 3. Survey graphics The graphics that BH circulated were warmly welcomed and it was agreed these would be distributed for display at various point in and around the Shore villages. BH would add additional text after the meeting publicising the 15 March information meeting 4. Update on forthcoming meetings BG to put together a brief presentation (PowerPoint, max10min) to introduce the meeting To include a very brief history, largely to explain the consequences of continuing costs with no demand for the Hall and therefore no income. Then a summary of the survey, using the prepared graphics, and the inferences drawn from it by the committee. Thereafter an open, informal discussion The date of the Annual Meeting was altered to the 26th April at the Younger Hall, Kilmun to start at 2:30 pm 5. Dilapidation of the hall Damage to the front door was noted, apparently resulting from an attempt at forced entry. BG to effect a repair. 6. Kilmun Community Council Approved minutes from previous meetings sent to KCC as formally agreed Highgate Hall Committee 2023 Page | 2 -/ 7. Footpath adjacent to the Hall A Strone residents group to progress this matter with the local council and the National Park authorities is being co-ordinated by Catriona Darroch and Colin Cummings. They will liaise with the HH committee through our Chairman. 8. Any other business None 9. Date and venue for the next meeting Thursday 16th March at Strone Golf Club, starting at 7:30 pm The meeting closed at 8:42 pm


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