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:  oldparkfarmcic@gmail.com

Present: John Stooke, Simon Hudson, Mark Robinson, Jane Bowden and Carol Brier.

Apologies: Mick Tagg, Charles Dewa and Tom Hutchinson.

Meeting opened at 19:45 by John Stooke

JS read through the minutes from the previous meeting held 15th Feb 2021, these were accepted. Proposed by MR and seconded by SH.

MR gave his financial report for Feb/March and asked those present if there were any questions, no questions asked.

JB discussed the need for a strategic financial plan. JB explained about the draft Strategic Plan and how it linked to the draft financial plan, i.e. if we identify what we want to achieve over the next x years, then we can work out how much money is needed and that feeds into the financial plan. JS proposed that himself JB, MR, and SH meet up in the near future, covid restrictions allowing, to discuss in depth, all agreed and a day/time TBC.

JB enquired about annual fees from the FCA, JS to enquire with the FCA.

SH raised concerns about the wellbeing of a tenant as he hadn’t been seen on site for a considerable amount of time, after discussion SH agreed to call round and see the tenant atb his home address.

JS gave his update on the vote with regards to the lease situation and the direction that the Association will go.

Stay on the current lease – 1 = 1.5%

Accept the new lease – 44 = 66%

No vote submitted – 22 = 32.5%

He went on to add that although the total number of tenants that had chosen not to vote was disappointing the number that voted for the new lease was a majority and that will be the direction that the Association will go.

JS advised that he was waiting for our Legal Status to be confirmed with the FCA and getting our policies in place before approaching the council to discuss signing the new lease and any items specific to our Association.

JS raised an issue brought to his attention by Steve Williams whereby someone has been cutting a hole in the fence on the perimeter with Hillarys blinds. It has happened on a couple occasions and Steve has repaired it each time. There hasn’t been any reports of theft or damage reported so it is a little baffling as to why a hole has been cut. SH agreed to contact/visit Hillarys to discuss what can be done to stop any further occurrences, as replacing the chain link fence with a security fence may be an option, but a costly one, therefore any help from them would be appreciated.

JS advised that he received a verbal complaint from a tenant regarding the conduct/behaviour of another tenant, he went on to say that he had requested that the complainant put it in writing, handwritten or email, he would be able to follow up on the complaint.

JS raised the issue of a tenant taking chippings from site, and although the tenant had claimed in a discussion with JS, (a random discussion on the car park) that he had an arrangement with Joe Taylor, (tree surgeon), all those present agreed that the tenant should make other arrangements to acquire chippings for use on another allotment site, and once the chippings had entered site and tipped then they were the property of the Association and should be used solely for the betterment of our tenants plots and the site as a whole. JS advised that he would send the tenant a letter confirming the committee’s decision and should the tenant take chippings from site in the future then this would be considered an act of theft.

SH raised the issue of the social distancing and the lack of it in some cases as he had noticed whilst walking around site. JS advised that we were not there to police government regulations but agreed to have a notice put on the website reminding people of their responsibilities regarding social distancing and that congregating in garden sheds is not a responsible thing to be doing.

It was agreed that the water would be turned on over the Easter weekend unless we discovered any leaks during the process of pressurising the system.

JS was hopeful that we would be able to go ahead with the annual show/barbecue this year, (date tbc) and advised he would make a list of tenants who had offered their services via the voting slip and arrange a date and time for him to meet with them to discuss what role each person would take in organising of the event. He went on to say that he would sort out the volunteers for all the 6 or so sub committees that we think we need and we would try and get them set up and running gradually to take the pressure off the committee and spread the load.

Date of next meeting tbc.

Meeting closed at 21:05

Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 Registration of new society The following society has today been registered by us under Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 as a Co-operative Society:

Society: Old Park Farm Garden Holders Association Limited
Registration number: 4787
Registration date: 7 April 2021
Financial year-end date: 31 December

Please use oldparkfarmcic@gmail.com address for any communication you wish to send to the Secretary.

In recent weeks my personal email has gotten extremely busy, therefore it is important that I keep the allotment and my personal mail separate.

John Stooke

Rainwater harvesting is simply the collection and saving of rainwater for later use. It’s very easy and everyone should be doing it, you only need a roof and a water butt.

Why bother?

Rain water is better for your plants: it doesn’t have all the chemicals that make tap water safe for humans to drink. Rainwater stored in a butt is warmer than tap water.

We are on a meter, the more water we use the more we have to pay (the annual bill is about £1650). Why pay for something that falls from the sky for free ?

Our water supply is switched off from November to Easter, rainwater is your only option during these months

If you are concerned about your carbon footprint (and you should be) consider that the water company has to use a lot of energy to purify and pump the water to us, we can reduce our carbon footprint by using less tap water and more rainwater.

During periods of heavy rain any water that we retain on site reduces (slightly) the chances of flooding downstream.

How could you do it?

The simplest way is to put a gutter along the side of your shed and arrange a water butt so that when rain water runs off the end of the gutter it drops into the water butt. You can improve your collection by putting a second butt on the other side of the shed. You can make your system as sophisticated as you please, things to consider are:

To reduce carrying heavy water cans, put a water butt near your plants and fill it with a siphon hose from your full water butts

Arrange a second butt which is filled from the overflow from the first, you could have a whole row of them.

IBC tanks occasionally become available and they hold the some volume of water as five barrels

Keep a barrel of rainwater inside your greenhouse/polytunnel which makes the water warm for your seedlings and helps to stabilize the greenhouse temperature

If you need any help or advice please ask John or a Steve.

The water has now been turned on.

I would like to remind everyone to use the water supply considerately, don’t hog the tap.
Never leave a hosepipe unattended whilst running and always ensure you have disconnected the your hose from the tap before leaving the site
Harvesting rainwater is encouraged, so if you don’t already do so then please contact John Stooke or Steve Yorke and they will gladly advise/assist you in setting up a system.

BARK CHIPPINGS

We have an arrangement with 2 or 3 Tree Surgeons allowing them access to the site to drop off bark chippings. These chippings are used by a lot of tenants for the betterment of their plot and site as a whole.

It has been brought to my attention that these chippings are being removed from site and taken elsewhere. This is NOT acceptable or fair on other tenants and appropriate action will be taken should there be further occurrences.

John Stooke

COMPOST SALES

Steve Yorke and myself collected stock from our suppliers today as they are extremely busy at the moment and have been unable to commit to a delivery date.

As well as the Mother Earth compost we now have Farmyard Manure in 40ltr bags priced at £4.00 each as a trial, and new stock of 8ft canes.

I will be on site for the majority of the weekend, therefore any tenant wanting to purchase any items give me a call or drop me a txt and I will be happy to meet you at the association hut.

John Stooke

(VIA TEAMS)

Present: John Stooke, Mark Robinson, Simon Hudson, Jane Bowden, Charles Dewa, Mick Tagg & Carol Brier.

1900 The meeting was opened by JS, welcoming and thanking those in attendance.

JS talked through the minutes of the meeting held on the 19th January 2021, these were proposed by MR and accepted by MT.

MR gave his financial report advising that there is currently £931 available for maintenance, skips etc.. SH enquired as to when the next skip would be available for the top carpark. MR advised that funds are available for the skip and asked SH if he would like to arrange the booking a delivery to site, SH agreed he would.

JS confirmed that all the documents and voting slips regarding the new lease had gone out to all tenants.  He confirmed that an order for compost had been placed with Codnor Horticultural, but due them prioritising seed potato deliveries at the moment our order wouldn’t be delivered until the 1st week in March. He went on to discuss the issue with tenants not being able get to their plots with deliveries on the lane by the railway. The issue had been raised with JS by Lorenzo Hines and Mick Tagg. After discussion it was agreed that hardcore would be used to hopefully remedy the issue and allow vehicles to use the lane during wet weather,but the small grass car park would continue to be closed when too wet.

JB requested that a notification be put on the website advertising that we now have a Facebook page set up by CB.  JS agreed he would speak to Steve and ask him to put a notification.

SH began a discussion regarding the financial plan that we will require if/when we sign our new lease. As it hasn’t been possible for JS, MB & SH to get together to discuss in person MR advised that he would begin putting together some figures.

He went on to voice his concern for Bernard Taylor who hasn’t been seen on site for some time, 4 months or more. MR also had concerns about Paul Sanders. JS agreed that he would contact both tenants by telephone and by letter if needed to check on their well being.

MR raised his concerns about the amount of what he believes to be junk accumulating on a tenants plot, he identified the tenant and JS agreed he would take a look and discuss a resolution with the tenant.

SH began a discussion with regards to tenants moving from one plot to another and the said tenant taking buildings that were inherited to the new plot. It was agreed by those present that a tenant shall not remove any building from a plot unless that tenant had purchased it from the previous tenant or erected it his/her self. He went onto to talk about harvesting rainwater and educating tenants that don’t already do it. JS agreed that he would look at putting something on the website.

SH asked for clarity on how a donation is made to charity on behalf of Perveen. MR & JB advised that when Perveen audits our accounts, rather than charge for her services she will pick two charities and the association will make a £50 donation to each. ( For those that are not aware, Perveen is a former tenant of our allotments).

SH went onto the possibility of other charitable donations and he agreed he would get details for local food banks so should any tenants have excess crops and wish to donate them then they can do so.

JS discussed the possibility of relocating the association hut to the top of the main car park. This would free up its current location to be used as another plot. Those present agreed it was something worth looking into.  He will look into the possible costs and have a chat with the council with regards to installing a concrete base. SH suggested that funds taken in rent from the plot where the hut is currently could be used for the maintenance of the hut once re-sited.

Date of next meeting to be confirmed.

Meeting closed at 20:30.