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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.

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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.

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COFFEE MORNING

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

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Chrsitmas get together

Winnie has booked a table at the Holly Tree Farm pub and restaurant for up to 20 people on the 15th December at 6pm.

If you would ike to atteend, please contact Winnie directly on site or email opfgha.secretary@gmail.com to reserve your place.

Come alomng for a drink or two, eating is not mandatory.

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Water supply

The site water supply will be switched off Monday the 21st of November.

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COFFEE MORNING

Carol will be hosting a Coffee Morning tomorrow Saturday 12th starting at 10:30 in the polytunnel.

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Comittee meeting minutes

MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETING

14 th August 2022

Present: Simon Hudson, Jane Bowden, Wendy Thomas, Charles Dewa,
Winnie Beck, Roy Lawson, Ray Bauser, Mark Robinson, Tom
Hutchinson, Carol Brier
Apologies: John Stooke
Observer:
Meeting opened at 10.40am
The minutes from the previous meeting held on 29 th May, 2022 were
accepted without changes.
SH welcomed everyone and all sent best wishes for a speedy recovery
to JS.
Matters Arising
 FCA: Accounts have been submitted to FCA
 Water leak/Lease: Leak now fixed.
 School visits: These had been very successful. Thanks to JS for
his hard work. SH reported that we are likely to get more
community visits.
 Communication: CB agreed to finish the new website ASAP to
improve communication
 Trees: Lane has been opened. One more tree to deal with and
razor wire to be finished by RL and RB. It was noted that razor
wire is allowed but barbed wire is not.
 Plot 3: It was agreed that WB could build a structure to collect
rainwater to fill an IBC. The gate could be extended to no more
than 8ft to allow Steve Yorke’s tractor through to turn the soil.
Cars are not allowed on the plot.

Minutes 14 th August 2022
 Break ins: Remains an issue as Steve Yorke’s ladders had been
stolen.

Treasurer’s Report
 Current financial situation: We currently have about £1600
available for spending (the rest is required for liabilities such as
key deposits, water bill) until the end of September: good for this
time of the year. As well as the accounts going to the FCA, MR
had been informed of the need to fill in a tax return which he will
do.
 Spending plans: RB asked if he could purchase some steel to
make a steel door for the ‘asbestos’ shed so that tools could be
stored there. He agreed to produce a plan in writing with costs –
RB
Secretary’s Report
In John’s absence, his views were shared on the remaining agenda
items:
 Water: As there is no hosepipe ban at the moment and we have
sufficient funds to meet the extra water costs (circa £400 for
August), it was agreed to remind people about being careful using
water, reiterating that sprinklers are not allowed. If there is a
hosepipe ban, no hosepipes would be allowed at all, e.g. not for
filling water butts or for any watering system that relied on hose
use. This was to avoid any confusion. Failure to follow this rule
would lead to disciplinary action within the Association and referral
to water authorities. SH agreed to check with Steve Yorke about
the timer that used to be used to turn off the water supply in the
evening to see if it could be resurrected.
 Honorarium: JS’s views were that these should not be paid this
year as they are not allowed by our current rules. SH and MR
disagreed, pointing out that we were well through the year and that
the work had been done by the officers, especially JS. JB
explained that Liz Bunting from the NSALG had confirmed that
many other associations paid honoraria. Given that the member

Minutes 14 th August 2022
who had queried the legality of the payment had indicated to SH
that he was happy with the argument, it was agreed to pay it this
year and to put it to the next AGM. As many people do not
understand exactly what officers do, it was agreed that we should
produce a statement of responsibilities for each of the 3 posts.
This would have the added benefit of potential volunteers knowing
exactly what would be required of them. JB offered to co-ordinate
this if each officer provided her with a brief list of their
responsibilities as they understood them.
 Funds for BBQ and Show: JS’s proposed figures were accepted,
i.e. BBQ food/curry – £110, Kebabs/Chilli – £40, Mushy peas and
mint sauce – £10, except that the drinks budget was increased to
£120 and SH agreed to provide some non alcoholic beer as. He
outlined his plan to build a bar area for people to obtain their drinks
rather than them being ‘served’. SH circulated details of the
categories for the show. Steve Yorke will be at the coffee morning
on 21 st August to advise gardeners – SH to advertise.
 Loaded Trailers and Rubbish brought on site: Both trailers belong
to RB. The one in the main car park holds parts for a shed ready
for putting up to house pots. RB agreed to move the one without
wheels ASAP. The basketball post had been brought onto site by
RB for recycling by the person who takes scrap metal. The plastic
base could be used to store water but if no-one wanted it, then RB
would dispose of it. It was reiterated that in future no items should
be brought onto site for recycling; the bays are for recycling items
from the site only.
 Committee Meetings: SH would be taking over organising
Committee Meetings in order to reduce the load on the Secretary.
He will send out a list of dates for future meetings and is aiming for
one per month for a while as things are busy. Agenda to go out 2
weeks before the meeting.
 Skips: JS’s suggestion of 2 skips over the next few months was
accepted although there was concern that skips are filled so
quickly that people cannot get rid of stuff. Sometimes this is due to
bringing items from off site. RB agreed to make signs that can be
put by a skip telling people clearly that these skips are only for
items from the site.

Minutes 14 th August 2022
Any other Business
 Maintenance: All agreed that 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. SH to discuss with JS. The fence around the
Association hut was discussed as a H and S issue and all
agreed that it should be pulled down before the BBQ. Review
in 6 months to see if we really need a replacement or can leave
it open.
 Storage: RB asked for permission to store some equipment in
the hut until the ‘asbestos’ hut is made secure and if there is
room. This was agreed on condition that the equipment was
needed for particular projects that were being undertaken on
site, and that the Association would not be responsible for any
loss or damage. RB agreed to try to fix the gate/door to the hut
and the main gate once his welding equipment is fixed. SH to
obtain key.
 Ramp to main gate: this has deteriorated and needs extending
with concrete or asphalt. RL to look at it and advise.

Rolled over items
 Strategic/Financial Plan: JS to organise a meeting of the group
(JB, JR, MR and SH) – ongoing
 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
 If rules on burning, chickens and inheritance were to be changed
then these would need to be voted on at the AGM.

Minutes 14 th August 2022

Date of next meeting: To be confirmed
Meeting closed at midday.

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Coffee Morning

Carol will be hosting a Coffee Morning tomorrow Saturday 29th, starting at 10:30am.

Around £250 has been raised for Macmillan, and donationsare stiil being gratefully received, regardless of the amount.

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