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

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Compost Stock

We now have new stock of Compost, unfortunately prices have risen slightly, but not by much.

Mother Earth Multi Purpose Compost 60ltr- £5.00

Farmyard Manure 50ltr – £5.00

4 Plant Growbags – £3.50

I’m around most weekends to open up the hut for sales, but if it is more convenient for you during the week then just email me opfgha.secretary@gmail.com and I will make arrangements for myself or another key holder to open up at an agreed time.

Compost Delivery

A delivery of Compost, Manure & Growbags will arrive on Wednesday 25th January. It is expected to arrive at around 0930, a few people to help unload off into the hut would be much appreciated.

Coffee Morning

Carol will be hosting a”Coffee Morning” tomorrow Saturday 14th, usual time and place, in the polytunnel from 10:30am.

4th December 2022

Present: Steve Yorke, John Stooke, Ray Bauser, Winnie Beck, Jane Bowden, Charles Dewa, Tom Hutchinson, Wendy Thomas

Apologies: Mark Robinson      Observer:  Roy Lawson

Meeting opened at 10.40am

Chair:  Following the resignation of SH, the Secretary had consulted with 6 members and the Treasurer of the Committee, and it was agreed to second Steve Yorke to take over as Chair of the Committee until the next AGM. This was formally ratified by the Committee at the start of the meeting.

The minutes from the previous meeting held on 6th November 2022 were accepted without changes (Proposed WB, seconded by RB).

Matters Arising

  • Break ins/thefts: Ladder had reappeared but still no sign of the roller.
  • Honoraria/Job descriptions:  CB had provided some useful outline job descriptions for the 3 officers and MR had also provided one for the Treasurer. JB to draft something for the next meeting. 
  • Maintenance: The Maintenance sub group need to meet as a matter of urgency to sort out a priority list of jobs and to organise work parties so that jobs were shared out more fairly.JB/JS/SY to look at draft terms of reference for the group.
  • Complaint: JS to set up a meeting to consider the complaint of aggressive behaviour against a tenant.
  • Asbestos shed:  RB had obtained a gate and would send a picture of it to JS.

Treasurer’s Report

In the absence of MR, his report was considered and accepted.

Secretary’s Report

  • Car park:  JS and Steve Williams will be working on improving the lower car park during the week ending 16th December. Any help that can be given from others would be much appreciated.
  • Skips: being collected shortly
  • Community garden:  Although people were in favour of this type of project, 2 previous attempts had failed due to lack of consistent support.  Will be considered when CB produces her proposal.
  • Coffee mornings:  It was agreed that it was ok for organisers to make a small profit from running the coffee mornings and that WB would take a lead on developing the social side.  She would produce a diary of planned coffee mornings although it was difficult for CB to do so due to work commitments/scheduling.
  • Fence/orchard:  SY to do pruning in the communal orchard and JS to finish off the fence and put in a gate so that people can access the orchard.
  • Plot inspections:  SY reported that about 13 plots would have failed the old council inspections for various reasons.  Various proposals were considered but it was agreed that we should develop a points system for inspections that clarifies for tenants exactly what is required, i.e. educate people and provide informal guidance.  There should be a procedure that includes Step 1 (initial inspection), Step 2 (time to improve and a further inspection), Step 3 (eviction).  Those present agreed to be part of a panel of people to carry out inspections.  Key issue is consistency so ‘inspectors’ will need to be trained and work in pairs. JB had produced a checklist in the past and will send it to JS and SY.
  • Complaint:  A written complaint had been received from RL.  JS explained how difficult it was to work out the truth of various allegations given that it was a case of “he said, she said”.  He requested that those involved should try to resolve their differences or, if this was not possible, to avoid one another. JS apologised to RL for sending an email which he found upsetting.  JS explained that he had been put in a very difficult situation.

Any other Business

  • WB asked for permission to use a chiminea.  As this was similar to the use of wood burning stoves, this was agreed provided that dry wood was used to avoid producing lots of smoke.
  • Water usage:  SY reported that 1116.62 cubic metres had been used this year, an increase of 200 cubic metres.  There was a small discrepancy between his and Severn Trent readings which he believed was due to leakage before the leak was fixed.
  • Orders: Items for purchase were obtained from Codnor Horticultural.  Prices had gone up, but JS would be putting in an order with a proposed delivery date of 15th/16th December.  People wishing to buy from Whitemoor allotments could go there on a Saturday between 11 and 12 midday.
  • AGM: SY put forward some draft forms for use at the AGM including nomination forms for the committee.  These need to be sent out by the beginning of February and returned by the end of February.  All committee members to consider these and comment.
  • Future meetings location:  WT to find out about whether we could use the scout hut.

Rolled over items:

  • Sub committees: JB had drafted some terms of reference. To be considered at a further meeting.
  • Noticeboards: JS is still working on the design of these.
  • Stock Control sheet for the shop:  JS/MR to devise something
  • Following the inspection, RB had been readmitted to the committee.  However, the plot remains in an unsatisfactory state despite assurances.  JS/SH/MR
  • Communication: CB agreed to finish the new website ASAP to improve communication.  It was agreed she should add a link to the old site.
  • Trees: Razor wire to be finished by RL and RB
  • Sieve: RB to make for working party for plot 4 to clear glass.

Date of next meeting:  21st January, 2023.

Meeting closed at 12.05pm.

COFFEE MORNING

Carol will be hosting a “Coffee Morning” starting at 10:30 this coming Saturday 10th December in the polytunnel.

New Chairman

Simon Hudson recently stood down as Chairman and Steve Yorke has been seconded to the position until our 2023 AGM.

The Committee and myself would like to thank Simon for his work since taking up the position.

Present: Simon Hudson, Jane Bowden, Wendy Thomas, Winnie Beck, John Stooke, Ray Bauser, Mark Robinson, Carol Brier

Apologies: Roy Lawson

Observer: 

Meeting opened at 10.40am

The minutes from the previous meeting held on 14th August 2022 were accepted without changes.

Matters Arising

  • Communication: CB agreed to finish the new website ASAP to improve communication.  It was agreed she should add a link to the old site.
  • Trees: Razor wire to be finished by RL and RB
  • Plot 3:
  • Break ins/thefts: Ladders and roller have gone missing.  Seems unlikely to be someone external to the site.
  • Keys: In line with the original decision made at the AGM, keys to the hut will not be given to RB.  Instead, the focus will be on sorting out the ‘asbestos shed’ so that items could be stored safely – see below.
  • Maintenance: The Maintenance sub group needed to meet as a matter of urgency to sort out a priority list of jobs and to organise work parties so that jobs were shared out more fairly.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Current financial situationWe currently have about £9000 in the bank of which about £5000 is committed, leaving about £4000 available for spending.  Although this would probably be enough for any plans, it was agreed that we really needed to put together a brief development/financial plan in order to identify likely costs and where we might need to seek outside funding. 
  • Spending plans: RB hadn’t produced a plan/costs for the ‘asbestos shed’.  JS had approached 2 companies for quotes on a steel door but both need chasing. JS agreed to organise replacing the roof.

Secretary’s Report

  • Rents:  A few rents were still outstanding.  JS and MR would work together on rents in future as chasing up late payers was time consuming. It was agreed to offer some people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, the option of paying monthly in advance so that their rent demand wouldn’t come as a big block of money.
  • Keys:  There’s a problem with people not returning keys meaning that it was possible that ex tenants could access the site.  It was agreed that, in future, key deposits would increase to £40 but that we should not go to the expense of changing the locks.
  • Hedges:  Hedges need to be cut over the next few months.  JS to send out letters to gardeners whose hedges were too high and would post a message on the website.
  • BBQ and Show: These were successful although there were less people than last year.  The show was good and we made about £70 profit.
  • Plot 39:  RL and WT had asked to be considered for plot 39.  RL’s request was rejected as he was asking for a second plot which is not allowed under the Plot Allocation policy unless there is no waiting list.  It was agreed that WT could move from her plot due to the problem of glass pollution.  It was agreed that there should be a working party after WT leaves plot 1 on 1st January, to clear the top 2 layers of plot 4 using some sort of large, possibly mechanical sieve, to extract the glass.  RB to make.  Polytunnel will be left and shed sold for £200.  Another proposal for dealing with overgrown plots was considered.  Steve Williams has offered to clear a plot if he could have it for one free season.  Offer to be considered when appropriate.
  • Loaded Trailers and Rubbish brought on site:  RB now has 2 working trailers and the other 2 have been removed.
  • Water:  Although we are not using excessive water, there is still a problem with people leaving taps on and not paying fines or being impossible to contact. The previous system using timers was unreliable.  It was agreed that in future the policy should be altered so that after leaving a tap running twice and being warned after the first one, JS will padlock the tap for 2 weeks and give keys only to those other gardeners who share it.  Water will be turned off on November 14th.
  • Honoraria/Job descriptions:  The 3 officers would provide a summary of their roles and responsibilities for the next meeting.  CB to circulate some samples.
  • Skips: Both are now full.  In future people need to ensure items that can be burnt are taken to the bonfire in the lower carpark rather than using space in the skip.  A bathtub had also been dumped by someone who had clearly brought it from off site.  JS to follow up this unacceptable behaviour.
  • Complaints:  A written complaint had been received about the behaviour of a gardener.  Another, informal, complaint had also been made against the same person.  The complaints referred to aggressive and abusive shouting leading to people feeling uncomfortable whilst at the site.  The formal complaint will be investigated by JS and MR.  The person will be provided with the written complaint and asked to attend a meeting in the polytunnel.  If the informal complaint is put in writing, then this will also be provided and considered.  JS to discuss situation with Jo Tarrant if possible.
  • Plot 3:  Following discussion about the structure being built on the plot, it was agreed that, provided the decking is used to support the IBCs to collect and store water, the structure could remain.  If WB wants any further structures on the plot, she must apply to the Committee for permission, in line with the agreement she signed.

Any other Business

Local Federation:  JB and JS had attended a meeting of the local federation where it had been agreed that officers of that group would continue to negotiate with the Council on the new lease and management agreement.  It was agreed that we would join the local federation (cost approximately £25) as we would benefit from this negotiation and also sharing issues with other associations. (JS)

  • Christmas Social:  WB proposed having a Christmas social at a local pub.  She would research it and JS to publicise it.
  • Community Garden:  CB proposed that we should dedicate one plot to a community garden to benefit a variety of people and groups in the local community.  Generally, people were in favour of the idea in principle.  CB to put together a proposal. 
  • Top Gate:  It was agreed that RB would adjust the size of the gateway into the upper allotment site to make access easier.
  • Fence round Association hut:  Thanks were given to JS and Martin Spilsbury for installing the new fence.
  • Macmillan Coffee Morning:  Had raised £270.

Rolled over items:

  • Sub committees: JB had drafted some terms of reference. To be considered at a further meeting.
  • Noticeboards: JS is still working on the design of these.
  • Stock Control sheet for the shop:  JS/MR to devise something
  • Following the inspection, RB had been readmitted to the committee.  However, the plot remains in an unsatisfactory state despite assurances.  JS/SH/MR

Date of next meeting:  To be confirmed

Meeting closed at 12.45pm.

COFFEE MORNING

Carol will be hosting a COFFEE MORNING this coming Saturday 26th November starting at 10:30am