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A skip will arrive on site at some point today, Friday 28th and will be placed on the small car park down by the rear of the Association hut, (outside Sid’s plot). It will be in place until next Saturday the 5th of June.

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Many of you will be aware that one of our gardeners recently decided to fly tip their unwanted carpet on site, a selfish act that would have cost the Association had it not been for the assistance of a number considerate and helpful gardeners.

I would like to thank Steve for taking the time away from working on his garden and cutting the carpet up into manageable pieces, and to thank all those gardeners that took pieces of the carpet away to dispose of in their bins at home and/or the tip.

John Stooke

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Our stock of compost and farmyard manure has run out, therefore I will be collecting new stock from our supplier Wednesday morning.

I will arrive on site at approx 10:30 am, so any assistance with unloading would be very much appreciated.

John Stooke – Secretary

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Fly Tipping

A selfish person has dumped a large amount of carpet in the main car park, next to the scrap metal bay. I’m sure the committee will have something to say to the culprit, when they find out who it was.

In the meantime, as a community we have the problem of clearing it up. John and I are planning to cut it into manageable pieces, once this is done please could everybody take a piece home for your wheelie bin, just take what you can manage. It would be great if we could clear this mess before it rains and the carpet becomes heavy and squalid.


Update: One week later and all the carpet has gone. Well done everybody that helped out.

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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

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We are now a Co operative Society

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

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Contact with the Secretary

Please use 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

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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.

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