The purpose of this site is to provide a central information service to all allotment holders of the above association.  Please explore the site and if you have any feedback please go to the contact page and speak to the author or the secretary.

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It is ‘Burning Sunday’ tomorrow Sunday 11th June.

The weather is forecast to be hot this weekend, and I’m sure many of our local residents/neighbours will be enjoying the good weather in their gardens.

So, please consider whether or not your burning can wait until our next ‘Burning Sunday’, plese only burn if it is absolutely necessary, consider the impact burnig may have on the local community.


2 skips will be delivered to site today, Saturday 10th June.

1 will be placed on the main car park, and the other in the top car park.

The Committee will next meet on 4th June 2023 at 10:30 in the polytunnel.

Please send any items that you would like to be dicussed to and they will be added to the agenda.

Then meetings are open and anyone wishing to attend as an observer may do so.


16th April 2023 

Present: Steve Yorke, John Stooke, Mark Robinson, Winnie Beck, Jane Bowden, Carol Brier, Charles Dewa, Tom Hutchinson, Wendy Thomas


Observers: Gary Brier, Michael Graham, Mick Tagg

Meeting opened at 10.30 am and the minutes from the previous meeting held on 5th March 2023 were read out by JS and accepted without change (Proposed WT, seconded by TH). 

Matters Arising

  • Proposed fine for ‘late reporting’: MR reported that the fine had been withdrawn.
  • Security: Although Steve Williams had approached the company for a quote for a new padlock, it still hadn’t replied.  It is likely to be covered by insurance.
  • Composting toilet: JS will continue to research these.  JB mentioned ‘Sensible Tim’ who builds such toilets.  There are local sites which we could visit to see them in operation.
  • RHS 50% Discount card: JS to hold the card and to advertise this to members.
  • Scout Hut: WT confirmed that the Scout organisation was happy with the £10 donation, but it was felt that the arrangement should be formalised for next winter (November to March) and an appropriate fee agreed.
  • Maintenance:  The next working party would be on Sunday 23rd April and would be focused on fitting the plastic grids to the lower car park.  If there were plenty of people (more than 6), then it was proposed that the hedge in plot 22 should be tackled and the linking path between the upper and lower sites redressed.  Some soil will be needed to protect the plastic grids in the car park.  If there is not enough on site (SY and JS to check) it was agreed that JS should purchase 2 bags of soil if needed and also to get roadstone in bags as per the submitted quote prior to the next working party.
  • Easter event: Had gone well.  Finances to be looked at next meeting. 
  • Hallowe’en/Bonfire night event:  MR to investigate insurance situation.

Treasurer’s Report

  • £7316 in the bank with £2341 available after liabilities plus the value of the stock (about £800) meaning we have about £3000 to spend on improving the site.
  • 2022 accounts have been submitted to the FCA and Inland Revenue.
  • It was agreed to remove Simon Hudson from the bank mandate and to add Steve Yorke.  Also to add TH and WT as online banking payment authorisers.  

Secretary’s Report

  • Empty Plots: Plot 1 has now been let to Lisa Gailbourne but Plot 22 is still vacant and needs work to get it into a state for letting.  5 enquiries about plots had been received in one week so there should be no problem letting it.
  • Communication:  Barry Mitchell had asked that tenants should be made aware of the powers of the FCA.  This information is already available on the website, but JS will place a reminder on noticeboards and remind people that they can also ask him about this.

Barry had also asked that, in future, all documents sent out to members, particularly those about the PNL/MA, should be dated and the author identified as well as an indication of whether the document had been approved by the Committee.  This was agreed.  This led to a request from JS that all Committee members should respond to his email requests for comments on documents and issues.  This was agreed.

  • Buildings and Hedges:  Although a complaint had been withdrawn, the issue of ‘planning permission’ for buildings on plots was discussed.  SY explained that the rule about buildings needing to be 4 feet from hedge had been made to ensure that hedges could be cut.  However, when the rule was formalised the term ‘hedge’ was replaced by ‘boundary’ which has caused some confusion. Generally, there isn’t a problem with buildings that isn’t covered by current rules.
  • Use and Storage of hazardous substances:  Simon Hudson had provided an article about the dangers of using engine oil as a wood preservative.  However, it was noted that this was a danger particularly in relation to fences around livestock, so was not really relevant to us.  It was agreed that JS would remind tenants of the need to use and store such items in line with our standards policy.  
  • Complaint from local resident: JS had received a complaint from a local resident about the smoke produced on the last burning day on Easter Sunday.  It was noted that the removal of the trees from the railway had exacerbated the problem of smoke affecting local homes.  Tenants should try to reduce items burned by recycling or otherwise disposing of them.  In future, where a burning day fell on a bank holiday, it should be postponed. All agreed that JS had responded well to the complaint.
  • Health and Safety: Following a number of complaints and concerns raised by tenants, the use of firearms on site was discussed.  It was noted that: as a method of controlling pests (rats and pigeons) it was ineffective, the law requires that pests killed in this way must be killed outright without undue suffering and that firearms must not be discharged within 50ft of a public highway.  Members reported seeing rats in a cage being shot multiple times and clearly in distress.  The risk to the public as well as other gardeners as a result of ricochets was noted.  It was agreed that a ban on all firearms on site should be proposed to members and any comments considered at the next meeting.  Alternative methods of pest control should include netting crops and the use of humane traps and possibly a ‘gas’ box.  Poison should not be used as it enters the food chain and harms animals.
  • Tables: The wooden trestle tables in the polytunnel are in very poor condition and it was agreed to replace them with 10 new collapsible plastic tables at a cost of about £500.

Any other Business

  • AGM: Following the AGM there was a discussion about the current quorum of 20 members, i.e., approximately a third of the membership.  This had only just been met at the last AGM.  Although the preference was to get more people to attend, in practical terms, the quorum number should be reduced to 15 to ensure that the Association’s business could continue. This will need to be agreed by the members and the Registered Rules amended. (Action – JS)
  • Voting for Committee members: It was agreed that we should continue to have a secret ballot to elect the Committee, in future, all votes must be cast at the AGM as there is no provision in our Registered Rules for a proxy or postal ballot.  Information will continue to be sent out by mail/delivery.
  • PNL/MA: Although there is still no progress on this between the local Federation and the Council, it was agreed that the main documents could be compared now with the Registered Rules so that these could be amended to ensure that there were no contradictions. It is likely that the current drafts will probably remain unchanged to any significant degree.  (Action- JS)
  • Financial Plan:  This had been started a few years ago and all agreed that it would be a good idea to resurrect it.  MR to find the old plan and JS/SY to set up a meeting of a sub committee to draft a basic financial plan to include the replacement of 2 asbestos roofs, provision of a compost toilet and, more long term, the replacement of the Association hut.
  • Water: SY reported that the water had been turned on but a leak meant that it had to be turned off again. Thanks to Steve Williams the leak was fixed and the water is now on again.
  • Transfer of gardens: SY requested that plot 16 be transferred to his son Ralph and that plot 19 be transferred from SY to his wife Di Yorke.  Given the extensive work undertaken by Ralph supporting the Association including at working parties and clearing vacant plots for re letting, this was unanimously agreed.  JS also confirmed that his plot has now been divided into 2 and that MR is the additional tenant. 
  • Access to plot 4: It was agreed that WB could access plot 4 to remove stones.

Rolled over items:

  • Noticeboards: JS is still working on the design of these.
  • It was agreed that we need to make an inventory of all equipment owned by the Association, including serial numbers and photos.
  • A loose-leaf Handbook was proposed to ensure all gardeners had up to date and easily accessible information about the Association and were aware of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Communication:  New website is on hold as CB is too busy
  • Stock Control sheet for the shop:  MR had drafted this.

Date of next meeting:  Sunday 4th June in the polytunnel

Meeting closed at 12.25pm.

Minutes of AGM held 26th March 2023

Present: Steve Yorke SY, John Stooke JS, Mark Robinson MR, Kay Graham KG, Barry Mitchell BM, Diane Yorke DY, Wendy Thomas WT, Michael Graham MG, Tom Hutchinson TH, Charles Dewa CD, Winifred Beck WB, Jane Bowden JB, Carol Brier CB, Gary Brier GB, Shaun Taylor ST, Matthew Whyman MW, Alan Gonzalez AG, Gill Moore GM, Helen Bristow HB, Simon Hudson SH.
Apologies: Steve Williams, Roy Lawson, Paul Hibbs
SY opened the meeting at 10:35 by welcoming and thanking everyone for attending. It was confirmed that the meeting was just quorate as 20 people were present. This was a disappointing turnout from the 66 people possible, although a total of 26 people had returned the voting forms. In future we could reduce the number needed to make the AGM quorate or work at getting more people to attend. BM felt that attendance at the AGM could be improved if people were encouraged to attend Committee meetings as observers. JS agreed to look at ways to improve attendance.
Minutes from last year’s AGM held on 24 th March 2022 were read out by the Secretary. These were proposed by WB and seconded by CB.
Matters Arising:
 FCA charges: MR confirmed that the FCA did not charge for submitting our accounts.
 First Aid: Information is on the noticeboards.
 Razor Wire: Has been fitted.
 Grids for the car park: Are to be fitted shortly.
 New lease: BM requested that the Association and Committee should behave as if the proposed new lease (PNL) and management agreement (MA) were already in place and that a management/financial plan should be developed now rather than waiting. JS explained that several documents need to be tied up including the PNL and MA and that when we were at the point of negotiating our specific new lease, a ballot of members would be held.

Chair’s Report:

SY briefly explained his history in the role which stretched back some 14 years. He had had a break but was happy to be back. He thanked SH for his work as Chair since the last AGM, and also JS for his work as Secretary.

Treasurer’s Report:

The accounts for 2022 were presented and MR confirmed that these had been audited by Perveen Hussain. Mark advised that the balance at the bank is currently around £7170, of which £2200 is available for projects. There had been no unusual items of expenditure. The increase in the cost of fuel was due to the extensive tree work undertaken by Ray Bauser and Roy Lawson. He considers the Association to be in a sound position financially. It was agreed that Perveen should be asked to audit the accounts again next year. (Proposed: CD, Seconded: JB).

Secretary’s Report:
JS explained that it had been an extremely busy year and that, consequently, not everything planned or wanted had been achieved. A key aim for next year was to get more people involved and enthusiastic about the Association. We are a Co-operative and it is therefore particularly important that every member participates. To achieve this, information will be placed on the website and on noticeboards. Key documents such as the Proposed New Lease (PNL), Management Agreement (MA), FCA Registered Rules etc. are now on the website under their own tab.
Vacant Plots Currently 2 are vacant and 1 (plot 4) is unusable due to glass pollution although there is a plan to deal with this. Potential members are visiting shortly to see the vacant plots (1 and 23). A suggestion was made that new members should be given extra encouragement to get involved. JS also proposed producing a loose-leaf folder for all plot holders with information including policies and procedures.
It is hoped that by running coffee mornings, working parties and opening up the common areas such as the polytunnel, more members will get involved.
Security: Recently the padlock on the main gate had been removed from the inside with an angle grinder. This will entail a cost to the Association for its replacement. The perpetrators had then gone on to break through the fence in the main car park and had stolen aluminium from one of the neighbouring factories. Everyone was asked to be vigilant. CCTV was discussed and JS agreed to look into the costs and to find out if the Council might be able to help, particularly as there is an issue with fly tipping in Old Coach Road.
Burning Day Roy Lawson had asked for the policy on burning day to be changed to burning weekend. There was a unanimous decision not to do this.
Standards Policy There is a problem with bad plots, including when people give up their plots and leave loads of items for others to clear. The proposed new policy clarifies the standards that gardeners should be aiming for. It is not designed to be a way of getting rid of people but of enabling gardeners to meet the standards required and of offering guidance. Currently 13 plots would fail the old Council inspection due to the lack of things being grown or the stuff that is being stored on them. If items are brought onto site for sharing then they need to be stored neatly and safely and moved on as soon as possible. The new policy allows the Committee to withhold the offer of a new lease in September for 2 months to allow for improvements to be made. No rent would be taken during this period. Where improvements are made then the gardener would be offered a new lease but would be required to pay for the full 12 months. It was pointed out that anyone doing the inspections must not be in breach of it themselves. The new policy and procedure on standards and inspections had been sent to members along with the voting slips. 26 members had returned their votes:
22 voted for the policy
2 voted against
2 abstentions
The Inspections Policy was therefore passed.

Local Federation: JS explained that the Local Federation (LF) was made up of 2 members from each of the allotment associations from around the city. JS and JB had attended 3 meetings at which the LF was set up again with a view to restarting negotiations with the Council over the PNL/MA and also as a way to pool experience and offer support and advice to each other. The Council seems to respond more quickly to a group than an individual Association. The cost of joining the LF was likely to be about £25 to cover admin costs. It was agreed that we should join the LF. In response to questions, JS confirmed that it did not need to be the same 2 people that attended the LF meetings and also that we need to be members of the National Association as part of our governance arrangements.

Communication: JS confirmed that he is now putting minutes and agendas on the website as quickly as he can and will remind members that they can have input into Committee meetings or can attend. He will also include minutes from LF meetings.

New noticeboards are still being planned. They will provide a lot more information than at present. BM requested that all documents should be dated and the author/contact point identified. The Model Rules will be included.

Election of Officers and New Committee
This year all members had been invited by letter to stand for the Committee, either as officers or ordinary members. Once nominations had been received, all members were given the opportunity to vote and, if they wished, to object to nominees. The results of the secret ballot were:
Chair – Steve Yorke
Secretary – John Stooke
Treasurer – Mark Robinson
Ordinary Committee Members:
Winifred Beck
Jane Bowden
Carol Briar
Charles Dewa
Tom Hutchinson
Wendy Thomas

KG had checked the results and if anyone else wished to check them, JS would make them available.

There had been some objections to those nominated which led to a discussion about the rights and responsibilities of members and of Committee members. All members are welcome to raise concerns with members of the Committee who should listen and refer concerns to the Secretary, Chair or full Committee. However, members should ensure that their comments are constructive and politely worded. Members of the Committee are volunteers who give up their time and energy to run the Association and it is unacceptable for them to be addressed discourteously.

Dates for the diary:
It was agreed that this year’s BBQ will take place on Saturday 9th September at 12 midday.
The 2024 AGM will take place Sunday 26th March 2024 at 10:30 am.
WT (lead on Maintenance group) is planning to hold Working Parties every 5 to 6 weeks (free
refreshments for those who help!)
Easter event: WT and WB are organising an Easter event on Saturday 8 th April. All welcome.
Any other Business
In response to a question, JS confirmed that the mains water will be turned on by Good Friday

A vote of thanks was made to JS for his work, particularly on the fencing around the polytunnel/community orchard, as well as his other work as Secretary. It was also made to all those on the Committee who had kept the Association going.

Close: Meeting closed at 12.25pm.


There will be a ‘Work Party’ this coming Sunday 23rd April at 10;30.

The aim is to lay the grids for the car park down by the railway. Any extra pairs of hands can begin the redressing of the path between the main drive and the top car park. If you have a wheelbarrow and spade/shovel, please bring it along with you.

I believe Winnie will be on hand to provide drinks and breakfast rolls.

I look forward to seeing you.

John Stooke

Please click the link to read April’s Newsletter. If for some reason it doesn’t work, simply copy & paste into your google search bar, this will direct you straight to it.


10:30 Chairman to open meeting


10:35 Minutes of meeting held 5th March 2023

10:45 Matters arising

10:55 Treasurer’s report

11:05 Secretary’s report

11:20 Business for discussion:

Request from Barry Mitchell, 

1. To discuss and make the membership of FCA powers. 

2. To discuss and confirm All documents addressed to the Membership, with regards to the ‘Transition Period’ to our P.N.L. are approved at Committee, and stated as such, before publication.

Issues raised by Simon Hudson that he has requested be looked at as soon as possible with regards possible breaches of Rules & Regulations, The schedule, para 2 & 9c.

Work Party’s

12:00 AOB

12:25 Confirm date of next meeting

12:30 Close