On Monday 20th March, CCDT held an Emergency Trustee Meeting in Cambusbarron Community Centre. The meeting was called due to the ongoing negative and escalating nature of Douglas Todd’s emails to Trustees and social media posts.
On behalf of the Board, Jennifer Fraser (Chair), started the meeting by stating “I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the considerable time, effort and dedication you have put into uncovering Polmaise Castle Gardens both in terms of the history you’ve researched and shared and also what we all see today within the area when we visit it. It has undergone quite a transformation and there has been a lot of hard work by you and others and the Trust, like the wider community, acknowledges and appreciates that. We are concerned that there is a train of thought though, perhaps skewed by your posts on Facebook, that the action we are taking tonight is to discredit your good work and the benefit it has brought to those who visit the woodland. This is not the case. This meeting is solely about your conduct as a Trustee which we cannot continue to tolerate. As a result of recent breaches of the code of conduct I do not feel that your position in the Board of Trustees can continue.”
After highlighting Constitution clauses, sections from the Trustee’s Code of Conduct and Douglas Todd’s actions which contravened them, the resolution was put forward to the Board to state that Douglas Todd had breached the Code of Conduct and Constitution and should be removed from the office of Trustee of CCDT.
Douglas was then given the opportunity to address the meeting. This was his statement:
“All I would like to say is I’ve loved the woods all my life, born in Cambusbarron, played in the woods all my days, and to see the state it’s in now, well won’t go down all the arguments for you, fed up and so is the community.
All I’ve got to say is I’ll accept what I’ve done, I’m guilty, as charged but I’d like to say is I have the whole backing of the community behind me and I’d like to call for an emergency public meeting as soon as possible with the whole board and the whole community.
Thank you very much to all the rest of the Trustees that have worked alongside me and helped me, now that’s came to an end, some of you will be glad, some of you will be disappointed. Thank you and goodbye.”
Douglas left the meeting before the voting process could commence.
The Board then voted on the resolution, the two-thirds majority of the current Trustees in office was confirmed and the resolution passed that Douglas Todd is removed from office of Trustee of the Board of CCDT. This vote was confirmed by Pamela Barnes who attended as an independent observer from Development Trust Association Scotland. The meeting was then concluded.
CCDT regrets that we find ourselves in this challenging situation, but these actions were necessary to uphold our legal and constitutional responsibilities. It is disappointing that social media posts have been actively discrediting not only the Board but also all the other hard-working volunteers who are also giving up their time to benefit the community and our woodland.
Following this if there are any questions to raise regarding the work of CCDT, including the woodland management of Gillies Hill Community Woodland, please put them in writing and email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Board will address the issues you raise and will reply in writing within 21 days. We will also publish our frequently asked questions on the website ccdt.org.uk to assist with community understanding of development projects.
As a Board we are keen to review all our methods of communication and to hold an open public meeting as we need to address the misinformation that has been put out to the community and we’d like to actively encourage anyone to contact us (email@example.com) or come along to a volunteer event to further their own understanding of all the work that currently goes on by our various project teams.
Our aim is to send a further communication, at latest, during next week confirming the date of the open public meeting and the format that this will take.