Third Steering Committee Meeting
Following the recommended code of practice, the secretary should present the minutes from the previous meeting, the chair should discuss the achievement of the actions of the previous meeting, the treasurer should give a brief report also.
Contributions from invited stakeholders (from previous meeting)
These will be local people who have a role to play in helping you achieve your aims: it could be a local politician, the chairperson of a community club or group, a representative of the local council office, or a member of a local religious community. Their presence and their contribution will help signify that you want to represent a broad community alliance and are happy to engage with existing groups and decision makers.
Establish stronger community network links
Building on the progress you have made start spreading the word about your committee’s plans. You should align these plans with the aims of the stakeholder networks. You should also investigate your plans in the light of local authority regulations.
Experts and Mentors
Reach out to experts/mentors in the area your committee is focusing its actions. Ask for their advice and assistance – it will not carry a cost in the first instance, and they will be able to guide you through the next steps. It is not advised that you carry out this step until you have completed the others above.
(Ian and Josh to add these)
These are groups that have travelled down the sustainability route before you. Some of these are co-operatives and operate under the co-op principles of non-competitive, peer-to-peer engagement. They will be very willing to help out with advice.
Valentia Island Energy Cooperative:
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Hebrides, Scotland)
Organisation of this should be delegated to a subcommittee which is willing to put in a lot of additional time. If you have carried out the stakeholder mapping exercise above, you will have identified the correct people with the skillsets and experience required to organise a successful public meeting.
You should consider inviting members of the expert groups, the beacon communities, and policy makers to contribute to the event. They will tell the story of what the potential benefits are to your plans.
Part of the presentation of your plans at this event should be to request the approval of the chosen corporate structure (i.e. a co-operative or a company limited by guarantee) so you will need to explain the implications of this at the meeting.
Form the required corporate entity. This will be needed to set up a bank account, apply for grants, and create formal partnerships with other bodies, but most importantly it protects the committee from personal liability. It can take a month so do this as soon as possible once it has been agreed. The expert mentors above can help with this process.
SEC Engagement Pack (devised by Energy Co-ops Ireland):