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AGM 2022

Minutes of AGM held 24th April 2022

Present: Simon Hudson SH, John Stooke JS, Mark Robinson MR,Kay Graham KG, Adrian Robins AR, Barry Mitchell BM, Diane Yorke DY, Steve Yorke SY, Wendy Thomas WT, Michael Graham MG, Tom Hutchinson TH, Charles Dewa CD, Winifred Beck WB, Ronnie Gayle RG, Dave Kirkham DK, Mick Tagg MT, Steve Williams SW, Ralph Yorke RY, Jocelyn Yorke JY, Teresa Nason TN, Roy Lawson RL, Ray Bauser RB.

Apologies: Jane Bowden, Carol Briar.

The Chairman opened the meeting at 10:35 welcoming, and thanking everyone for attending.

Minutes from last year’s AGM held on 1st August 2021 were read out by the Chairman. These were proposed by Kay Graham and seconded by Ronnie Gayle.

Treasurer’s Report:

The accounts for 2021 had previously been presented to those present, and Mark Robinson confirmed that these had been audited by Perveen Hussain, and that a donation had been made to the Trussell Trust, a charity chosen by Perveen.

There had been a surplus of £958, this was due to the rent bill from the council arriving late, it didn’t arrive until March 2022.

Mark advised that the balance at the bank is currently around £6400, of which £1900 is available for projects.

He considers the Association to be in a sound position financially.

Barry Mitchell raised a question with regards to annual charges to the FCA, John advised that there are no annual charges, although Mark advised that there may be, as and when the accounts are submitted, clarification will be sought.

Roy requested funds to buy razor wire to be fixed to the top of the fence on the lane at the back of Hillarys blinds, no objections were raised, Roy and Ray to advise of cost before purchasing.

Kay queried whether not grids could be purchased and placed on the grass car park down by the railway line. John advised that the grids are extremely expensive and roadstone would be the most cost effective.

Winnie raised the issue of the Association Insurance not covering garden holders, John Advised that it would be too expensive for the Association to provide cover for each individual member’s plot and went on to advise that a discount is offered to individual plot holders wanting to take out cover on the NSALG website.

Secretary’s Report:

John advised those present that sadly one our members had had passed away earlier in the year. Ian Eady was the son of Pete Eady who was also a member before his passing.  Wendy Thomas enquired whether it was usual for the Association to send flowers, John advised that flowers had been sent in the past after the passing of a member, but on this occasion they had not as he wasn’t aware until around 4 or 5 weeks after.

Secretary’s Report cont:

Security:

John advised that when he was working on the area around the polytunnel he had asked Martin Spilsbury if he could use the roller that he had to roll the chippings that had been put down. Believing that the roller would be safe he left it in the Association Garden overnight, unfortunately he admits he may have been naive in believing that it would still be there in the morning.  John later learned that the roller belongs to Roy Lawson. John Accepts full responsibility and has agreed that he will replace the roller but has also said that if and when he finds out who took it, if it is one our members whom we should be able to trust not to take other people’s belongings, they will be given notice with immediate effect. Theft will not be tolerated.

A few weeks ago, a person or persons entered the site on an evening, and it is believed they gained entry by climbing the fence on the perimeter at the back of the cafe on the industrial estate. Roy Lawson & Ray Bauser have been working hard at clearing the extensive amount of foliage and dead/overhanging tree branches used to assist in climbing over. Ray advised that he had spoken with Hillary’s who said that they would look at repairing the fence that accesses there site which would then restrict access to a large part of our perimeter fence. Hillary’s also said hat we could have access to here cctv footage if required.

Tom Hutchinson enquired about the possibility of installing dummy cameras on site, John added that he had looked into solar powered cameras that have a sim installed, he agreed he would look onto both options further.

Water:

On the 12th April Steve Yorke and Simon Hudson met with Jo Tarrant and Richard from Avon water services at site. Although some repairs have been carried out it is apparent that the leak hasn’t been fixed, and we are still losing a significant amount of water. Avon water services have advised that they believe the leak is between the top and main gates. They will provide Jo Tarrant at the council with a quote for a sleeve to be fitted inside the existing pipe.

Steve Yorke went on to give the following figures: –

In 2020 our 889 cubic metres of water passed through our metre, and it was calculated that 141 cubic metres were lost from the leak.

In 2021 789 cubic metres of water passed through our metre, of which 202 cubic metres were lost to the leak.

In the first two weeks that the water has been turned on in 2022 we have had 40 cubic metres pass through our metre, this is quite a significant amount, therefore Steve Yorke will monitor it over  the next few weeks and report back with his findings.

He also advised that 67 cubic metres had been lost during the repairs.

Dave Kirkham asked for clarification on what we should be using water for, John replied, for watering plants and not for washing cars or filling ponds.

Coffee mornings:

It was agreed that coffee mornings would resume as of the Sunday 1st May 2022 and then on every 1st and 3rd weekend of the month. Winnie requested that signs be put up, John agreed to take care of the signs. Roy suggested that we might hand out a questionnaire at the coffee mornings asking members for their thoughts on how we could improve things around our site. It was agreed that this was a good idea, John will sort.

First Aid:

John advised that he has the accident book previously requested along with a large selection of First Aid items kindly given by Wendy Thomas and Simon Hudson. It was agreed that a small selection of these items would be placed in the polytunnel with the rest to be stored in the hut for replenishment. Tom Hutchinson raised the idea of members keeping a small basic first aid kit on their plot as he and a few others do.

There are a few members that are trained in First Aid, John will make a list of them, with their permission and put it on the notice boards, so should anyone be unfortunate enough to have an accident they can seek assistance. Steve Williams added, if a member has an accident that requires more than basic First Aid, they should call for an ambulance.

Steve Yorke suggested a marker board by the main gate that can be used to show who is or isn’t on site, i.e., Officers, First Aider and Committee members, John will look into this.

Transfer of a plot:

A request had been previously made for the clarification on the procedure for family members taking over a plot from a member that has sadly passed away. John advised that each instance be considered case by case as the circumstances in each case will vary, but he confirmed that in all cases when a family member takes over a plot a 6-month probationary period will apply as a standard measure.

Plastic

A plot was recently vacated, and although the plot wasn’t overgrown there was a large amount of plastic left behind. Steve Yorke advised that this plastic was removed over a period of two weeks and disposed of. Tenants are to be advised that they must take plastic such as empty compost bags, broken plant pots etc home and put them in the recycling bin.

Vacant plots:

We currently have 3 plots vacant and coming vacant within a couple of weeks, John advised that he will arrange to meet potential new tenants as soon as possible.

John advised that he had received a call from Michael Thompson advising him that he had sold his polytunnels to Roy and Ray and that he has given them his permission to enter his plot to remove them, he hasn’t confirmed yet when he will vacate his plot.

Roy suggested splitting plots to accommodate prospective new tenants that would prefer a smaller area to work, John advised it will be something to consider in the future.

Winnie stated that she would still like another plot, but John advised until we get to a point that there is no one on the waiting list he cannot accommodate her request.

AOB:

Winnie suggested a competition with a financial reward for the best garden, it was discussed by those present, and I financial reward wasn’t really accepted by the majority, John advised a competition sounds like a good idea but with the reward of a cup/rosette, rather than a financial reward. He would look at may be arranging something that could run on the day of the barbecue when he meets with the events team.

Barry Mitchell raised the point that all our members are entitled to a vote and should be given a chance to vote on changes to be made. It was put to Barry by Mark Robinson that all members do get the opportunity at the AGM but choose not to attend. Barry went on to say that within the rules that we follow it states that all members shall be given a postal vote. John advised Barry that at some point, sooner rather than later, that Barry, Jane, himself and any other member that would like to be involved in the legal side of things will sit down and go through our policies and rules to confirm where changes need to be made.

Ray raised the question of allowing members to keep chickens on plots, during which the question was raised about the Bee Garden and public liability. Steve Williams confirmed that he has public liability relating to the keeping of Bees. Roy once again questioned why we can’t have a burning weekend rather than a burning Sunday. John Replied to both Ray and Roy requesting that they put their questions on paper or email so he can put their requests to the Committee to consider whether or not members should be sent a postal vote on both matters. John also added that a consultation with local residents may also be required with regards to burning days.

Ray asked why he had not been given a key to the hut to allow him to store tools/machinery although he had been told previously that he could. Simon initially agreed to get a key cut for Ray but was opposed by John on the grounds that there isn’t enough space for storing tools/machinery. It was agreed that Ray would get a quote for a steel door/gate for the building on the lane by the railway. This building would only be used to store tools/machinery that are used for Association site work.

Election of Officers and New Committee

The Committee, including the Officers, stood down and the following members were proposed, seconded and elected:

Officers:

                                                            Proposed by:                   Seconded by:

Chair         – Simon Hudson                  J. Stooke                          W. Thomas

Secretary – John Stooke                      S. Williams                        W. Thomas

Treasurer – Mark Robinson                  J. Stooke                          C. Dewa

The position of Chair was contested by Winifred Beck and after a show of hands Simon Hudson won by a significant majority.

Committee:

                                                  Proposed by:                   Seconded by:

Jane Bowden                             T. Hutchinson                    S. Williams

Carol Briar                                 R. Bauser                         R. Lawson

Tom Hutchinson                        J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Wendy Thomas                         J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Ray Bauser                                J. Stooke                          S. Hudson

Charles Dewa                            J. Stopke                          S. Hudson

Winifred Beck                            R. Bauser                         J. Stooke

Roy Lawson                               C. Dewa                           J. Stooke

After the election of Officers and Committee was finalised Winnie suggested that we have a Vice Chair in the unfortunate event that Simon wouldn’t be able to carry out his duties as Chair. Steve Yorke commented saying that if an event should occur the Committee has the power to second a member to fulfil his role until such a time that a new Chair can be elected.

Barry proposed that we should have a Vice Chair and John advised him that he should put this proposal in writing for it to be put before the Committee.

Dates for the diary:

It was agreed that this year’s BBQ will take place on Saturday 10th Sept.

The 2023 AGM will take place Sunday 26th March 2023 at 10:30 am.

Close:

Just prior to the closure of the meeting, Adrian Roberts stood and proposed that the Officers and Committee be given a round of applause for the work that they do. This proposal was was seconded by the majority by the clapping of hands.

Meeting closed at 1pm.

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AGM 2022

Good evening gardeners.

Just a reminder that we will be holding our AGM this coming Sunday 24th of April.

It is scheduled to start at 10:30am in the polytunnel, so please arrive 10 mins prior to the start to allow time form you to sign in and collect any relevant documentation for the meeting that will be handed out.

I look forward to seeing you.

John stooke – Secretary

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Contact

I will be away taking a well earned, and overdue holiday this week, so if for any reason there is an issue that cannot wait until I return on the 17th of April please contact Simon Hudson or Mark Robinson.

I will have limited access to email, so please dont mail me if you require a quick response.

John Stooke – Secretary

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Water

It was hoped that the water would be turned on this past weekend, but due to there still being an issue with the leak its has been put off until Easter weekend whilst we gather some information with regards to the amount of water being lost, and for the council to respond.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this cause anyone.

John Stooke

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Site Security

We recently had trespassers on site during the late evening. It’s not certain how they gained access, but after a walk around site a couple of area’s of possible entry were identified. Work is currently underway to minimse the potential for entry at these points.

At this time, I am certain that 4 gardens were accessed, with damage being caused during and upon entry. Should anyone know of any gardens that had been broken into with damage caused and or items stolen please let me know in the first instance to enable me to update the police.

As I state at the top of this post, it’s not certain how they gained access, and although a couple of area’s had been identified as a risk, there is still the possibility that someone just “Walked In”. It has been brought to my attention that the main gate is being left open for considerable lenghts of time on a regular basis.

The gate MUST be closed each time you enter or exit the site unless you have a fellow gardener entering or exiting behind you.

This is a reoccurring issue and it seems that a tenant or tenants have a blatant disregard for the security/safety of our site and its gardeners, therefore I intend to have an indepth discussion at the AGM with regards to what action can be taken against any tenant/s that repeatedly compromise our security/safety.

John Stooke

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AGM 2022

As previously comminicated, this years AGM due to be held on 27th March was cancelled and rescheduled for 24th April. The meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 am in the Association polytunnel, so please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start as you will need to sign in and collect any documentation relevant to the meeting.

If you have any items that you wish to be raised, please send them to the Secretary, in writing via the postbox outside the Association compound, or via email to opfgha.secretary@gmail.com no later than the 16th April, these will be added to the agenda that I aim to circulate on the 17th April.

John Stooke

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Present:  John Stooke, Mark Robinson, Jane Bowden, Tom Hutchinson

Apologies: Simon Hudson, Wendy Thomas, Carol Brier, Charles Dewa

Observer: 

Meeting opened at 11.05am

The minutes from the previous meeting held 21st November 2021 were accepted. Proposed by MR and seconded by TH.

Matters Arising

  • Strategic/Financial Plan: JS to organise a meeting of the group (JB, JR, MR and SH) – ongoing
  • FCA: Still no response from FCA re annual charges for submitting Accounts.  MR to submit accounts shortly so will get information at that point.
  • Water leak/Lease:  The water people will be returning on 28th February to complete the work.  Steve Yorke reported that the stopcocks before and after the meter have now been turned off although when only the second one was turned off, the meter continued to turn, albeit slowly, suggesting there is another leak or the stopcock hadn’t been fully turned off.  Jo Tarrant is aware that the leak being fixed is a condition of us signing the new lease/management agreement.
  • Sub committees: a. Funding: WT, MR and SH have been working on funding options, b. Social – JS and JB to discuss, c.  Legal – JB, JS and Barry to meet with the aim of getting the group set up by the end of May, d. Others all agreed that we should aim to make progress on these by end of May, especially as so many people had volunteered to help.  JB agreed to have a go at drafting some terms of reference.
  • Hedges: Only one hedge remains a cause for concern. JS
  • Noticeboards: JS is still working on the design of these.
  • Key Register: Done
  • Stock Control sheet for the shop:  JS/MR to devise something before the AGM.
  • Following the inspection, RB had been readmitted to the committee.  However, he has not been in contact regarding the committee and the plot remains in an unsatisfactory state despite assurances.  JS/SH/MR
  • Website:  Awaiting information from Carol

Treasurer’s Report

  • Current financial situation:  MR explained that the rent bill was expected imminently and should be covered by our surplus.  We currently have about £2350 available for spending (the rest is required for liabilities such as key deposits, water bill) until the end of September.  This means we are in a reasonable position. 
  • BBQ:  £72 was still outstanding for the strimmer (MR/JS to chase). 
  • Accounts: Will go to the auditor (Perveen Hussain) this week.  Most of her recommendations from last year had been acted upon although we still need to finalise the stock check and the register for accessing the hut.  MR/JS
  • Rents:  One tenant remains in arrears with his rent.  All agreed this was unacceptable and unfair on other tenants.  MR/JS/SH to follow up on this

Secretary’s Report

  • Vacant plots:  New tenants have made good progress on their plots.
  • Plot 1:  Following a discussion by JS with the tenant, there has been significant improvement which was welcomed.  All agreed JS had handled the situation well.
  • Eviction:  As agreed, the Secretary has broken into plot 10/11.  There is nothing of value but a lot of rubbish left, so MR will organise a skip.
  • The question of ‘bequeathing’ a tenancy to a family member or friend if they have been involved in working the plot over a period of time will be clarified by the group looking to standardise all the policies and procedures. Review of tenancy agreement/rules to clarify 6 month probationary period and 3 month review of progress and dealing with those who do just a small amount of work to stop the procedure then neglect their plot again. (JS)
  • Trees: Have been trimmed as far as we can reach.  Thanks to Steve Yorke
  • Policies:  See matters arising

Any other Business

  • Damaged Polytunnel: The Community polytunnel had been damaged in recent gales.  MR to find out if this is covered by our insurance policy.
  • Damage to lane:  The recent bad weather has led to damage to lanes.  JS to order hardcore for potholes and to ask tenants to refrain from driving vehicles on very muddy roads
  • MR indicated that he may not be renewing his tenancy next year.  It was agreed to ask for volunteers to take over as Treasurer at the AGM.

Rolled over items

  • Toilet (WT)
  • First Aid kit (WT)
  • Defibrillator (WT)
  • Keys to the hut (SH)

Date of next meeting:  20th March 2022 10.30 in the polytunnel to prepare for the AGM on 27th March. (AGM subsequently postponed to 24th April 2022)

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AGM 2022

At the close of last year’s AGM we set a date for our 2022 AGM, unfortunately the date set, the 27th of March is Mothering Sunday, and Im sure that many of you will want to make other plans for that day.

During the recent storms the Association polytunnel took a quite a battering, sustaining damage which was beyond repair. A new cover has been purchased, and once a few items of maintenance/repair have been complete on the frame the cover can be fitted.

So, with the points above being taken into consideration, this year’s AGM will be moved to the 24th of April. The meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30am, so please arrive by 10:20am allowing time to sign in and take a seat.

Should anyone have any items that they wish to raise and dicuss, please put them in writing and send them to opfgha.secretary@gmail.com, or by post using the Association post box before the 31st of March, I will then add them to the agenda.

John Stooke – Secretary

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