Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

I think we can all agree it’s been a remarkable year weather wise and it’s certainly caused some issues with our water bill, very definitely not helped by the outsourcing of non-domestic water charges to non-Severn Trent companies. A lot of time and effort has been put in by both Steve Yorke and Steve Williams to try to stop us from getting ridiculously large monthly estimated bills.  This year has bought home though how vital it is for all gardeners to be collecting rainwater. If you have a building on your garden you should have a collection barrel rigged up. If you want help/advice just ask.

The Community work days have been frustrating in as much as a small regular team has turned up and some gardeners have taken jobs on themselves as a regular task. But it’s the same faces. There is no immediate chance of offenders coming and giving us a helping hand so we need to do maintenance and project work ourselves. Harry’s old gardens need converting and I am trying to be inventive on how this is achieved. We cannot afford to let gardens stand idle and have no income coming in. I am trying hard to get tenants on the two other gardens we have vacant. Over winter we will advertise some work days on the plots near the gate and try to blitz the work. Obviously, we wish to say a big thank you to those who do turn out to help.

As you are aware we are facing proposed rent rises. I am in the process of attending a series of 3 evening meetings with other associations and the council where rents and new leases are being discussed. How this will all turn out I honestly have no idea at the moment, but because everyone’s leases end at different times the council ideas could mean varying rents or charges between various associations. The current proposals for council direct let gardens would see 56p per sq meter, associations without new leases would be about the same, with a new lease it would be about 30p as a starting point.

The AGM next year will be on Sunday 17th March it is very important that you make the effort to come, or send a representative if you can’t. It was snowy this year but that does not really excuse such a poor turnout. If you want to keep the allotments going then you need to take an interest and have a say in what is happening.  We need more active Committee members, it is very possible that we might have to fundraise to keep rents down which is one of the proposals the council has made, plus keeping the site well managed and tidy, we need fresh ideas and fresh faces and a bit less moaning when things don’t get done.

Steve Williams our Treasurer is standing down so we need someone to take on that responsibility as soon as possible. Our financial year starts on the 1st January, so before then would be ideal. Help and support will be given. This role is vital we cannot continue without a treasurer. For an informal talk about the roles responsibilities and how much time is needed please contact me.

If you wish to know any more about the committee, the council proposals and rent rises please feel free to ask me. Please keep your eye open for news and a possible early new year meeting/vote if any decisions are made on the lease over the next couple of months.

Jackie Medcalf

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Water Supply

As usual, the water on site will be turned off shortly after burning Sunday which is this Sunday, the 11th November.

Over winter if you have a shed or similar on site please, if you have not already done so, construct a water collection system.  If you need help or advice on how to do this please ask.

Severn Trent has outsourced their bills to another company who want estimated monthly payments based on this year’s extraordinary water usage.  This is being opposed but it has taught us a valuable lesson that as a community every one of us needs to be collecting and storing rainwater. We need to take individual responsibility for water conservation and we need to be doing it now.

Please look out for a newsletter next week as I have been called to a meeting on Monday about the rent rises and proposed new lease.

Jackie

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Garden Fires

As is traditional you are allowed some extra burning time over the Bonfire period.  As Bonfire night itself is on Monday 5th you can have fires from Saturday 3rd through to Sunday 11th, which is the normal burning Sunday.

However, please be aware of those around us who will be at work during the week so please restrict daytime burning to small fires, if you need to set fire to a larger bonfire please do it in the evening when bonfires for fireworks night will be burning as well. As usual please don’t burn anything that will cause excessive smoke, especially green woods anything wet and certainly nothing toxic e.g plastics, roofing felt etc.

As always I would point out that if complaints are received about fires it is the person who has lit the fires, not the association who will liable for a large fire.

Please be extremely careful and make sure you are working in the safest way possible, preferably not on your own and that hazards have been removed before you set light to a fire and that you are not using exploding chemicals, such as petrol as an accelerant.

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If anyone has some spare time on Sunday there is plenty to help out with. Harry’s old gardens and another derelict one wants hacking back so it is ready to let. I am away this weekend so, what needs doing is ……..

As you go into Harry’s garden and look to your left the brambles want cutting back to the boundary corner where an opening in the hedge will be made and then following the hedge towards the top gardens at the back of the greenhouse. This is where a pathway will be going. There are a few rose bushes that need isolating ready to be moved. All the perimeter boundaries on the gardens need cutting back to fences or hedges and hedges trimming and cutting back. Plenty to do.

The other garden is open and behind the metal fencing about 6 up from the polytunnel/community room. Work in there is pretty obvious.

Come and help us because the likelihood of the probation service helping out now is pretty slim. We need to get these gardens up and running so they earn us money and do not just lie dormant. Many thanks to those who do help, and to be honest the people who actually turn out on these Sundays already do a lot anyway. There are over 65 people on these allotments an hour or two every few months is not a great deal to ask of you.

Jackie

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Free Beer On Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month again already this weekend. If anyone has some spare time there is plenty to help out with. Harry’s old gardens, another one wants hacking back that has been left a long time and the polytunnel area needs a tidy ready for the BBQ.

Also, if anyone is interested in a third share in one of the gardens can you get in touch with me, please.

Sorry, I lied about the beer I am afraid.

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ALL GARDEN HOLDERS, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS ARE, OF COURSE WELCOME.  YOU CAN SHOW, VEGETABLES, FRUIT OR FLOWERS, ANYTHING YOU ARE PROUD OF, SUCCESSES, FAILURES, AMUSING OR OF INTEREST.

AN AUCTION WILL FOLLOW OF ENTRIES WITH PROCEEDS GOING TOWARDS FOOD COSTS.

IF YOU WISH TO SELL SURPLUS PLANTS, CRAFTS  ETC THEN YOU ARE WELCOME TO SET UP A STALL. ANY OTHER IDEAS PLEASE DISCUSS WITH ME. PRODUCE TO THE SHOW AREA BY 12.30 PM AT LATEST.

THE  BBQ FOOD AND DRINKS INCLUDING BEER WILL BE SERVED FROM ABOUT 1.30PM.

YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PAY YOUR RENT IF YOU WISH.

RSVP TO ENSURE WE HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO GO AROUND.

IT WAS REALLY ENJOYABLE LAST YEAR WE GOT THROUGH 70 BURGERS IT BE NICE TO SEE AS MANY OF YOU THERE AGAIN.

If you fancy working off some calories before come and do a couple of hours of community work in the morning…….you will get bigger portions !!

JACKIE

07931950950

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Sunday 15th July

First of all a big thank you for respecting the no fires call on Sunday and hopefully for respecting our call to minimize water consumption.

This year we have more than normal amount of overgrown gardens two people have told me they are not continuing and some have gone via requests to do so. If you have given up this year due to the conditions which is understandable please get back on your garden and hack the weeds down, as it is not fair on your neighbours to let your garden get overgrown and spread weeds around, especially Mares tail.

If you have a problem other than the conditions this year then please contact me. Next month i will be sending out enquiry letters/non offer of tenancy letters. The allotments may not be a priority in your life at the moment and things happen, where we can we will help and accommodate anyone who is having difficulties, but we cannot do so unless you tell us there is a problem but you still wish to retain your garden.

SUNDAY 15th July is Community work day.

The hedges on the main road need doing urgently and there is plenty of strimming to do. Please bring your own shears and trimmers with you. You don’t have to give up a whole day of your time, just an hour or two can make a big difference so thank you in advance.

BBQ.

Hopefully the weather will supply some rain soon but equally hopefully not on Saturday 1st September although it would be ironic if it does. There will be a light hearted show and this year it could be very lighthearted, indeed, raffle and sales if anyone wishes to sell plants, crafts etc..
As a change, i am suggesting that for an hour or two before the food is served people could help out on the gardens and do some community work. I am sure a reward of free beer or wine could be arranged as a thank you.

Jackie

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June Newsletter

Two members of the committee, Steve Yorke and Steve Williams have this week spent a lot of time stopping another one of the water standpipes from leaking.  This is not an easy task as it means digging down to the base of the standpipe through mud then getting down on the muddy ground and locating the leaking bit in water, removing it and replacing it.  The water has to be switched off and on, whilst this is happening which involves getting down into another manhole.  It is a back breaking and filthy job to do. But it saves a lot of money and as this is probably the 4th or 5th time this particular part has given way I think we can be confident that most of the other standpipes will leak in the not too distant future. So we are pretty dependent on the two Steves to be available to stop the leaks.  The only alternative would be to switch the water off entirely and pay a plumber. So a massive thank you to both of them.  If anyone out there has basic plumbing skills who would be willing to find out about our water system as backup help if necessary, please talk to Steve Yorke or Steve Williams.

Four weeks ago I put notices out asking everyone to be proactive in getting data permission forms from me.  There are 79 people who need to do this. It’s meant a huge alteration to our database, (thanks to Steve Medcalf for doing this) and then the checking and updating of 79 separate entries onto the database.  This is after research, production, distribution etc of those forms.  Most of you have now had the forms one way or another and thank you for doing this.  However, I am still left with 10 unfilled ones plus several forms that have been given out but not yet been completed and given back. Some of those contacted have not bothered to reply to emails or texts. So it means that putting a line under yet another admin task is once again becoming frustrating to say the least. The point I am making is that to keep our allotments working a lot of voluntary work goes on that the greater majority of you do not see or appreciate happens at all.  The norm in fact is that people only react to anything if it affects them personally when they then think no one is doing anything about it, usually the opposite is in fact true or there are valid reasons why a decision is being delayed.

Personally I have found this a difficult 6 months all in all and we now have several gardens that are basically no longer being worked and action is being taken to address this, however, that in itself means work for someone else.  Harry has left us and it is important that his huge plot of land is recovered and reclaimed but it is not going to be easy and we will require help.  I have a plan in my head with what to do with it we just need to do it. Hopefully we can do this without calling for outside help.  It will be an ongoing task for several months on community days and in peoples spare time.

If you have not yet filled in or returned your data forms and given permission for us to contact you please do so.  I will chase people once more by text.  If I don’t hear from you or you have returned your forms without giving permission to contact you I will presume you don’t want to be informed about anything other than what gets circulated publically on the web site or notice boards or of course, when your rent bill is due, so it will be up to you to keep yourself informed from now on.

I was asked about the BBQ a couple of days ago. It was announced at the AGM it’s on Saturday 1st September, all are welcome.  If you wish to “do something” for example sell crafts or plants then you are welcome.  There will be a light hearted show of veggies, flowers as usual.  If anyone has any bright ideas for something different your ideas and organisational skills will be welcome.

Jackie.

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