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.

Contact email:  opfgha.secretary@gmail.com

AGM Agenda

Good evening all members

I will be putting together the agenda for next weeks AGM later in the week. If anyone has any items that they wish to be raised on the day, please send me details of the item either by email or by written letter posted in the association post box no later than Thursday 29th July.

Due to previous AGM’s overrunning in the past I would like to work to a schedule, therefore, any items raised on the day may be dismissed until the end or until later date if we run out of time.

John Stooke – Secretary

AGM

For all those that will be attending the AGM – You will see on our website that a new tab has been added, ” Policies”. Please take the time to read these Policies, as during the AGM a vote will be taken to re-affirm them. There hasn’t been any significant changes, mostly just the way they are worded. If anyone would like a printed copy of the Policies, please let me know and I will get them tp you as soon as I can.

To give me some idea of the numbers attending, please send an email to – opfgha.secretary@gmail.com, advising me of your intention to attend.

John Stooke – Secretary

MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETING

27th June 2021

Present:  John Stooke, Simon Hudson, Mark Robinson, Jane Bowden, Winnie Beck, Mick Tagg, Ray , Roy Lawson, Charles Dewa.

Apologies: Tom Hutchinson, Carol Brier.

Meeting opened at 10.35 by Simon Hudson

The minutes from the previous meeting held 29th March 2021 were accepted. Proposed by WB and seconded by MT.

Matters Arising/Secretary’s Report

  • Strategic/Financial Plan – Due to restrictions, the group (JB, JR, MR and SH) had not met but JS would set up a meeting shortly
  • Annual Fees for FCA – JS awaiting reply.  JS confirmed that the fee for the NSALG is £3 per gardener per year.
  • Concern re tenant – Tenant had been contacted and is ok.  He is back working on his plot.
  • Lease/Legal Status –  Legal status as a Co-operative is now confirmed and the Council has been advised.  The revised policies required as part of the new lease have been drafted and will be circulated to Committee members for comment before being put to the AGM for agreement (JS).  Unfortunately, James Diamond has now left the Council.  JS will contact his successor to discuss the new lease arrangement. The water leak remains a concern (£1.50 per day) and JS confirmed that he will not sign the new lease until the Council have solved this problem.
  • Security – SH and JS had been in touch with Hillary’s and they will keep an eye out for people using their car park to break into the site.
  • Chipping’s complaint – Roy expressed his dissatisfaction with the way in which the situation over the removal of chippings from the site had been handled.  It seems that the Committee and Secretary were not aware of all the facts in the case, including that the chippings had been placed in an area away from the normal site for communal chippings.  JS apologised if his handling of the situation had caused distress.  All agreed that the key lesson from this is to ensure that gardeners communicate with a member of the Committee if they are having any deliveries made, to avoid similar misunderstandings.

Treasurer’s Report 

MR explained that we currently have about £5000 in the bank of which about £1000 is available for spending (the rest is required for liabilities such as key deposits).  This could be put aside for the plans for a new community hut, but we also need a reserve in case there is a large water bill.

The audit of the accounts was completed by Perveen Hussein (an ex allotmenter) who had raised 3 issues to look at:

  • Petty Cash (no longer required)
  • Key Register needs updating – JS is in the process of doing this.
  • Stock Control sheet for the shop.  All agreed this was a good idea and JS/MR will devise something.

A donation of £100 was made to the Trussell Trust in place of a fee.  At the AGM a decision will need to be made about whether to have an audit again next year or an inspection (can be done by a non accountant).

Items for Discussion

  • Water – An estimated bill has been received but Steve is getting a proper bill sent.  The usage is reasonable given the weather although it does appear that one tap has been left on over the weekend of 4th June.
  • Date of AGM – Sunday 1st August at 10.30 in the car park. If needed there will be a Committee meeting on 11th July to finalise policies. JS to inform gardeners.
  • Site Maintenance Team – Ray and Roy are happy to be part of this team which will be one of those set up to support the Committee.  Winnie also volunteered.  JS will list all those who offered, as part of the lease consultation, to participate in the proposed 5 or 6 teams/sub committees.  It was suggested that the site be split into at least 2 parts with areas allocated to volunteers.  The teams would not be expected to do all the work themselves, but to get other gardeners involved.  It was agreed that they could incur small costs but that plans must be communicated to JS or SH before they were put into operation.  It was also agreed to build a 6ft by 8ft communal ‘woodshed’ from pallets, near to the other recycling bays, for the various bits of wood that are around site and which could then be used in log burners.  Fencing panels are available from JS.  SH agreed to sort out scrap.
  • Guinea Pig manure –  JS to remind gardeners that this must be used in compost heaps or on plots immediately and not stored as it is very attractive to rats.
  • Brick building/Tool storage – The brick building cannot be used until the asbestos roof is removed.  SH to get extra keys cut for the Community hut so that maintenance team tools can be stored safely.  It was also agreed to produce a log in register for the hut and to add hut keys to the main key register (JS)
  • Chippings – A request for some chippings to be dropped in the top car park was noted although there is an issue with the delivery van negotiating the gate and car park.  The recycling bins may need pushing further back to make room (Maintenance Team)
  • BBQ and Show date – 11th September.  To be organised by the Social Team/Sub Committee once established.  It was agreed that it would be good to invite Jackie and Steve.

AOB

  • Bonfires – We can only have the fires that are currently allowed (2nd Sundays and bonfire week) due to Environmental Health issues and an agreement with the Council following complaints in the past.  To increase the number of ‘burning days’ risks all bonfires being banned.  Tenants need to consider alternative ways to deal with pernicious weeds such as mares tail, convolvulus etc. that are unsuitable for composting, such as ‘drowning’, removing from site, bagging, dry out and burn.
  • Untended gardens – JS reported that 3 gardens were causing concern: 27 (removal procedure has been started), 2 (gardener has responded and started work strimming the plot) and 1 (awaiting response but if none is forthcoming, JS will commence the removal process).  W requested being considered for the plot if it became available but the policy of offering empty gardens to people on the waiting list rather than current gardeners who already have a plot, was noted.  JS confirmed that plots may be split where access is suitable.
  • JS agreed to remind gardeners that hedgerows, some of which are encroaching onto paths, can be trimmed at this time of year although cutting should wait until September/October.
  • Hole near gate and connecting path – JS and Maintenance Team to investigate tarmac for hole and roadstone for path.  The gate may have to be closed for a weekend.
  • Noticeboards – JS to cost providing 3 new noticeboards including ‘stillage’.

Date of next meeting:  10.30am, 11th July 2021 if needed.

Meeting closed at 12.20

WATER & HEDGES

Over the past few weeks a number of tenants have left the site leaving their hose connected to the tap, and the tap turned on. A sudden surge in pressure is all it takes to pop the connection off, this then results in a lot of water being lost.

The cutting back/down of hedgerows is something that should be done between October and February to avoid disturbing nesting birds..

The trimming of hedges can be done all year round, so please trim your hedge if needed.

Our AGM will be held on the 1st August 2021 at 10:30am.

Please arrive before, allowing time to sign in.

The date for the annual barbecue is the 11th Sept, the start time will be confirmed at the AGM.

SITE SECURITY

In recent weeks the main gate has been left open on more than a few occasions.

Gates accessing the site should be closed and padlocked immediately after entering or exiting the site.

I know it is common for someone to say “ leave the gate open, I’m leaving now”, but unless that tenant is in view and clearly driving towards the gate when you reach it you must close and padlock it.

Leaving the gate open for even a few minutes compromises the security of all tenants and their plots, more so the plots near to the gates.

Skip

A skip will arrive on site at some point today, Friday 28th and will be placed on the small car park down by the rear of the Association hut, (outside Sid’s plot). It will be in place until next Saturday the 5th of June.

Many of you will be aware that one of our gardeners recently decided to fly tip their unwanted carpet on site, a selfish act that would have cost the Association had it not been for the assistance of a number considerate and helpful gardeners.

I would like to thank Steve for taking the time away from working on his garden and cutting the carpet up into manageable pieces, and to thank all those gardeners that took pieces of the carpet away to dispose of in their bins at home and/or the tip.

John Stooke