Archive for the ‘Minutes’ Category

Firstly, thank you for those few who made the effort to attend on a cold Sunday morning or sent apologies for not doing so (5 only). As only 6 non-committee members attended there are a couple of points that I wish to summarize as they affect everybody.

Inspection 2018. Again please remove all barbed wire from your gates and fences as instructed last year at that AGM, also, see the Health and Safety Guidelines published today which re-iterate this.

We can no longer expect Community Payback to be on site as often as they have been. Communal jobs, therefore, need to be done by us. The third Sunday of the month starting in April will be a day of community jobs that need doing. We are hoping that many of you will be prepared to offer a couple of hours on a regular basis.

I received notification on the Friday before the meeting that due to council budgets there will be a massive hike in direct let allotment rents to 56p per sq mt over next 4 years this is the equivalent of our charges being £240 per garden per year. This will have a massive impact on the way our rent is set and looks as if it will be based on good management of the site and determined by the work we have done towards the new lease and subsequent management agreement.

The BBQ this year will be on Saturday 1st September.

If people wish to know more about any of the above then please feel free to contact me.

Jackie Medcalf


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Present: Steve Yorke: Steve and Jackie Medcalf: Ronnie Gayle: Shaun Taylor: Chris Skinner: Guy Askadsky: Dave Kirkham: Peter Groves: Kay Graham: Robin Roberts: Paul Barron: Jane Bowden: Paul Sanders: Charles Dewa.

Apologies:  Steve Williams. Perveen Hussain.

The meeting was opened by the Chairman, Steve Yorke, who welcomed those in attendance at the first AGM as a Community Interest Company.

The secretary Jackie Medcalf then read out the minutes from the AGM held on 15th march 2015.

Matters arising: The Health and Gardening research project results should be available by end of April, those taking part will be contacted.

Main Gate.  A new gate had been ordered and would be fitted as soon as possible.

The minutes were proposed and seconded by Kay Graham and Ronnie Gayle as being an accurate account of the proceedings.

Chairman’s report:

Steve thanked in particular Steve Williams Peter and Kay for their huge contribution in sorting out the sheds and property that had been on Reg Elmer’s gardens. Thanks also to other committee members and gardeners who had helped unload the compost and contributed to the care of the communal areas.

The chairman asked that gardeners respected the recycling bin as agin we had people who were not respecting it properly and leaving rubbish, which then had to be cleared by others.

Treasurers report.

As Steve Williams was away the chairman read out the figures. We had a balance at that time of £5915 the rent bill and water bills were still to come out of that. We would not need to put up the water charges this year. It was important we kept some surplus for any emergency repairs. Steve gave a description of how the rent is worked out by the council and explained the rebate system.  Our rent is currently 10 pence per sq mtr and we are still were not sure how much the rise would be this coming year, but, as agreed last year there would be the full  rise in the October bill. The committee had decided to give an ex-gratia payment to Steve Williams for his brilliant efforts to offset some of the losses from getting rid of the rubbish from the derelict gardens by sales and to acknowledge the amount of time he had spent doing this.

Steve Williams had asked that he wished to round up the rent bills to the nearest whole pound as the amount of small change received made the banking process onerous.

This was carried by a unanimous show of hands show of hands.

Thought should also be given to moving the AGM to October.

Secretary report.

Jackie gave an overview of the progress made since the last agm and that we were now officially Old Park farm allotments Community Interest Company. This meant that we did not now need trustees to hold the lease from the council. However at the moment we still had not got an up to date lease due to the council not altering the trustees and amending the lease several years ago. The Council were happy with our new status and that there would be negotiations this year to find a new lease that suited both parties and to take on a management agreement which would give us back all of rent monies.  Jackie went on to talk about again the huge amount of work taken to clear the derelict gardens by a few people, these had been the worst of several gardens recently vacated. Jackie spent some time addressing the meeting about the need for us all to be more aware about the materials stored on the gardens as illustrated by the chemicals and paint on show that still needed to be got rid of. It was not fair on those that had to clear gardens nor on the association when the gardens had been left in such a state that a new tenant could not take over and just garden the plot. People were storing things that should not be on the gardens, not taking responsibility for their actions and not taking responsibility for our environment. Domestic rubbish should not be left on site for others to clear. The new proposed lease and clarification of the rules of lease to new tenants were hopefully a step in the right direction. A new constitution would be needed and that would also include a section on caring for the environment.  Jackie had every right, and would use it to check what people had on their gardens.

There had also been a feeling within the committee that not enough tenants were prepared to roll up their sleeves and help when needed. So we were looking at ways to enable a work group to be formed when a particular job needed doing, especially in times when something had occurred e.g storms.  One suggestion was an appeal on the web site and on the gates, which had worked for the delivery of the compost. Everybody has a responsibility to keep the area around their gardens neat and tidy.

Steve yorke mentioned that we 5/6 trees that needed attention especially where overhanging boundary fences, this was the sort of work the committee had to undertake.

(PB) asked a question about where to put rubbish.

We could not have a collective bin as emptying it when then be a problem in itself. If a tenant could not remove it themselves then it should be left on the individual garden and deposited in a skip when provided. A particular problem should be reported and advice sort.

Asbestos should be put near to Steve Yorke’s garden for council collection.

ST requested a skip later in the annex.

Election of Committee.

The chairman stated that all but 2 of the committee had all put their names forward to stand again. Paul Sanders wished to step down due to work commitments. The committee was retained with no objections.

Proposed by Kay Graham and seconded by Charles Dewa.

Jane Bowden told the meeting that being on the committee was not an onerous task and Steve Yorke asked for any volunteers.

Annual Show.

This had been a great success last September and would be held again on Saturday 3rd September this year. Jackie stated however that the jury was out on repeating the bonfire night BBQ. Although those who attended enjoyed it that was obviously a lot of competition and the amount of organising involved for the amount of people that came was disproportionate.


No further matters were raised from the floor.

Peter and Kay were presented with gifts as a small token of our appreciation.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 11.35am.

Subsequently Paul Barron and Robin Roberts volunteered to come on the committee.

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Present: Steve & Diane Yorke, David & Becky Kirkham, Mary Corbett, Diane Gavagan, Steve Porter & Maria Bredice,  Kay Graham & Peter Groves, Tom & Sarah Hutchinson, Ian Mathews & Martin Spilsbury. Shaun Taylor, Adam Wheat, Paul & Kay Barron. John Gallagher, Ronnie Gayle. Paul Hibbs, Osmond Okungbowa. Steve & Jackie Medcalf, Steve Williams. Plus some friends and families with apologies to anyone i have missed off.

The Chairman, Steve Yorke, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their attendance at this interim meeting, stating that despite a poor start due to the early season weather the year had been good on the whole. However we have a few gardens that are not doing so well and they would be getting a letter from the secretary, Jackie, very soon.

Steve went on to then explain the concerns we have about the number of fires we are having on the allotments. There had been some complaints over the last 18 months or so from members of the public. We had experienced incidents of gardeners burning things that should not be put on bonfires and which were causing too much smoke and smells.  We were having repeated problems with people misusing communal bonfires by putting the wrong and sometimes dangerous substances on them.  The committee were suggesting that we banned the use of brazier fires and just restricted all fires to burning Sundays and that by raising this now we were seeking a consensus from those present. There was an interruption from John Gallagher who accused another gardener of causing problems with his stove fires which caused smoke and then went on to accuse Steve Williams in particular of instigating this proposal out of self interest alone. Unfortunately he chose to conduct his arguments in a disruptive manner and in a way which was totally unacceptable in a meeting. His remarks were very personal designed to cause serious offence to  Steve.  The Chairman, the Secretary and others from the floor all objected to the language and tone he used and made it clear his attitude and language were unacceptable and offensive.

The secretary subsequently suggested that the atmosphere was not conducive to a reasonable discussion and that the proposal and any decision should be postponed to the new year. The Chairman therefore postponed the discussion to the AGM in March.

Jackie then explained the problems with water being left on on after gardeners had left the allotments leaving hosepipes running. This was an ongoing problem and there had been occurrences each season. Everyone understands that people make mistakes but if it’s an action that is reoccurring then we need to do something about it. However, there is no written guidance as to what action to take and is basically left to the discretion of the secretary. The tenancy agreement has stated that hose pipes should not be left attached to the water taps and the water taps should be turned off after use and water should not be running if the gardener is not present on the garden, however there is no sanction when this occurs. Hence repeated transgressions. Jackie wanted to ensure fairness and therefore wanted a policy to deal with such incidents.

Proposal was.

1st occurrence. The gardener is informed if not already aware and a verbal warning is given. This is kept as a written record by the secretary.

2nd occurrence. The gardener is issued a written warning and a record of this is kept by the secretary.

3rd occurrence. The gardener will be written to and warned that any further occurrence that season could lead to the termination of the tenancy agreement and a fine would be imposed.

The floor was in agreement and the question of how much that fine would be was left to the floor. The amount agreed on was £30 which was accepted by the majority in attendance.

The warnings would not be carried over to another season.

The new rent bill was explained and why the bill had increased and why it would do so again next year on October 1st 2017. A decision would be made on exactly how much that would be during 2016 this would be after we had received final confirmation from the council and had taken into account where the new lease agreement is in its completion.

The meeting closed at 13.30pm and the BBQ started.

As an extra note after the meeting several complaints were made as to the attitude and language used in the meeting by JG. After a discussion between the secretary and chairman a formal warning letter was sent to JG, he did not accept this and subsequently removed himself from the gardens.

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Minutes Of AGM Sunday 15th March 2015


Present: S Yorke, S &J Medcalf, S Williams, J Menzies, J Gallagher, C&D Monahan R Gayle, C Skinner, K Pearson, P Sanders, A Robins, C Hall, K Graham, P Grove,
M Adam, E&C Scothern, P&K Barron, J Scott, B Watson, T Nason, C Brennan,
J Bowden

Apologies: S Inger, S Porter, E Collier. J Rick

The Chairman opened the meeting at 10.30 am
The Secretary read out the Minutes from the AGM 30th March 2014.
There were no matters arising
The minutes were proposed and seconded by Steve M and Kay G as being an accurate account.

Chairman’s report:
Steve reported on how good the season had generally been.
Sadly we had 2 long time gardeners who had died during the year Reg Elmer and Henry Harrell.
Also 3 members of the committee had left during the year having given their gardens up.
Steve also thanked those who had helped out with plumbing problems and repair work.

Treasurers Report.
Steve had prepared a balance sheet, which had been circulated in the meeting.
Kay Graham had checked and audited the accounts.
The balance at that point was a healthy £3500.
Steve then went on to talk about the workings of the rent system and that we would be having a rent increase in 2016. After this a vote was taken to increase in one go or to stagger the increase over 2 years.
It was decided to increase in one go.

Secretary’s report.
The key exchange for the new locks had gone well and Jackie had chased up the few who had not responded.

Jackie had attended 4 forum meetings and 1 of a new federation that was being formed. It was increasingly obvious that the council wanted to back out of the forum meetings due to staff costs and poor attendance from some associations.

Jackie then explained how the Association should function legally and that due to fears over personal liability we could not find enough people willing to take this on, due to delays at the legal department our lease agreement was legally inadequate. The council was also pressing associations to take on a new lease, which would save them money and give us all our rent back. But it was not perfect and more work needs to be done.
After meetings with the NCVS Jackie wished to change the status of the association and explained the options. The most promising seemed to be forming a not for profit Community Interest Company.
Jackie asked for permission from those present to carry on with these negotiations on the association’s behalf. Any change would be done only after a vote from all gardeners.
The Chairman asked for a show of hands for agreement and all responded positively.

The Chairman then went on to the election of the committee. All still on the committee had chosen to remain. There were no objections. He then asked if any other gardeners would like to become committee members. Subsequently, John Gallagher, Brian Watson and Paul Sanders volunteered. Again no objections were raised.

Annual Show. There was a general discussion about how the show should proceed. Do we want to keep the more formal format i.e. showing items to a set standard or a less formal affair of a “grow and show” event. A lively discussion took place and it was decided to go for a less formal event.

It was also decided by a show of hands to move the date from August bank holiday to September.

There were some complaints about the condition of the main gates in particular dangerous sharp bits.

John Menzies spoke of a filming project being done by his Grandson and asked those present if any were willing to take part.

Presentation of Health and Gardening research project.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 11.30.

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Discussed if we needed roadstone and how much of it. Would not be a bad idea to have a small load when available.

Steve will re -spray weeds again before end of season.  Barbara’s husband at queried if spray could have affected a row of potatoes near the hedge.

Weeds in both unoccupied and occupied gardens are becoming a problem. Complaint about one gardener in particular.  Jackie will talk to that tenant.

Discussion around should we the committee intervene and then charge for doing so where weeding is not being done. Agreed to make this an item for discussion at the next AGM:

Minutes from 15th August agreed. Proposer SM and seconded JG.


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Present: Steve Yorke: Steve Williams: Steve Medcalf: Jackie Medcalf: Ronnie Gayle: John Gallagher: Brian Watson: Paul Sanders:

Apologies: Jane Bowden:

Last meeting was about preparation for AGM so know matters arising.

Matter carried over from meeting on 31st January was the matter of Dog mess.  Signs had been put up but still some fouling. Jackie to have a word with culprits.

Chairman’s report. Steve reported a leaking tap near to Chris’s garden. Presume valve probs.

Treasurer’s report. Bank balance is a healthy £6423. Rent collected was £1336 and water charges £1801.  Expenditure so has been on compost (which we will recoup) and toilet hire.

The system of having to account for our council refund was explained for the benefit of our new members.

Secretary’s report.

No further developments on lease discussions.

Still had some gardens to let, 2 of which were those that had not picked up keys.

Waiting lists at council were a complete mess, making it a struggle to find people who were still interested.

Reg’s old gardens. Have started to sort them out but will be a long process. Money raised by sales of items from gardens will go towards costs of skips.

Annual BBQ on 5th September.

Ronnie volunteered to do a raffle.

Steve and Jackie will do the food.

Steve M will also do the auction.

We will have flowers, fruits and vegetables but concentrate more on the novelty/unusual side than sticking to the usual more formal format.

Will need to advertise.


Main gate. Some sharp bits that want taking off, right where fingers go to open gate. We will have a go at sorting it.

Steve Yorke will spray the main pathway, car parks but leave the area near our garden to encourage wild flowers.

Jackie mentioned difficulty of access to gate near the railway due to parking. Not much can be done though as there are no parking restrictions.

We have potholes. We need some road stone. Sos had a contact originally for man and digger.  We will need to make some enqs to see if we can get some.

The Chairman thanked our new committee members for their presence and the meeting closed at 11.15am.
NEXT MEETING Saturday 13th June at 10.30.

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For info these are the minutes from the last committee meeting as held above.

Present: Steve Yorke, Steve Williams, Steve Medcalf, Jane Bowden, Ronnie Gayle and Jackie Medcalf.

Apologies: Phil Hilsden and Paul Marshall (leaving association).

M&M’s from 23rd November 2014

Chippings: Jackie made contact with Darren who now has key. Has put notice on annex gates re chippings being dropped there.

Audit. Kay Graham has agreed to act as auditor.

Keys. Still 4 gardeners have not responded to letters re keys. Old locks and a few keys in tin in Committee room for emergency use.

Chairman: Nothing to report at the moment.

Treasurer: Healthy balance in bank.  Not all compost sold but Jackie did a stock count and we have left what we should have. Will not order more until present stock sold.

Secretary: The proposed rent increases will be confirmed at Forum meeting next week. Ours are due 2016. Suggest we put on agenda at AGM for a vote on whether to stagger rise.

Lease: Meeting at council informative. Since then Jackie offered mediation services of NVS has meeting there on 9th Feb hopefully will be able to report back to AGM.

Format for AGM.

Main topics for discussion rent and problems with lease. Students from Nottingham Uni doing research project and also the student grandson of John Menzies wishes to do a film project. Both to present at meeting.

Nomination forms need to be done.

Jackie to advertise, web and notice boards.

Pre AGM meeting set for March 8th.


Received complaints from gardeners re dogs fouling the main pathways. Notices to go up.

Skip: Jackie will order a skip in early March to get rid of rubbish from two derelict gardens that have been cleared by new tenants.

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Present: Steve Yorke (Chairman),  Jackie Medcalf (Secretary), Steve Williams (Treasurer).  Jane Bowden,  Phil Hilsden,  Joe Dyer and Steve Medcalf.

Apologies:  Ronnie Gayle and Paul Marshall.

Chairman and group welcomed our new treasurer to the committee.

M& M’s from 23rd March 2014.

Read and approved. Steve M and Phil proposed and seconded.

COMPOST SALES: Decided compost money from sales can go straight to Steve W. Jackie to keep eye on stock levels as last year.

GATE: Jackie attending meeting next week hopefully their will be some info re council extra funding.

GATE KEYS: Steve M in process of costing will report back next meeting.

Proposed changes to rent year which was accepted at AGM will go ahead. Hopefully it will make a difference to the state of gardens we can let each year.

Reg’s Pots. Garden number 37 had been let; two other people had been put off by the amount of pots in the garden. Decision made to get skip and have a clear out. Phil to explore “free cycle “on the net to see if we can get rid of any.

Chairman: Had no further feedback from AGM everyone seemed to be positive. Briefly explained about availability of pallets which basically can be supplied to any gardener as and when required.

Secretary: Jackie reported that all gardens had now been let apart from 31. The intention being to get on and do some clearing when her garden allowed some time.

Committee told of one gardener who will not be able to move on as quickly as he hoped due to personal circumstances. Committee to offer help if required.

Concern over Henry who has not been seen after obviously being very unwell,Jackie to write to him.

Already a few gardeners had made no effort at all during weeks since the rent year started and had therefore had missed the start of the main growing season. One disappointingly is a new tenant. Others had previously been mentioned at inspection or had after consideration decided to keep their gardens on.

Action: Jackie to write to all those falling behind towards end of month setting out standards and giving one month to comply. Further action then to be taken if no response.

Treasurer: Still have a fairly healthy bank balance even taking into account the compost bill. Decide later which big project to do obviously our expenditure on the gardens has to be reported to the council.

Steve pursuing changing signatories etc with the bank, feeling that we should stay with Lloyds as it was local even though they are not the most dynamic at sorting things out.


Jackie would like to look at the rules and regulations and give them a more modern feel, closely based on the inspection requirements and also our own expectations. Agreed that work could be undertaken. Obviously any proposed rule change would have to go to the AGM.

Discussed Steve Y idea of allowing a garden to be paid for and then left to lie for a year if gardener’s personal circumstances warranted “time out”. In principal it’s a good idea but could lead to more problems than solves. Agreed to put on back burner for a while.

It was agreed that an admin charge of £10 would be introduced for late payment (without prior agreement of delay in payment on time) on the rent bills next year. It is ridiculously time consuming having to chase payments and making separate arrangements to collect rent, then banking the money etc around a dozen gardeners had been late this year.

Bees: Decided not to create an area for hives at on Steve W’s advice. One of his hives will be placed on his garden later in year. If any other gardener wishes to have a hive please talk to us first. Advice and help can then be given. Person needs to be a member of the Nottingham Bee keeping association and receive the appropriate training.

Show and BBQ: Again to be held on August Bank holiday Saturday so the 23rd August.

Agreed: Phil to be in charge of liquid refreshments. Jackie/Steve will do shopping, catering and cooking.

Joe will be head judge aided by Steve.

Steve to enq if Kay and Peter will do admin for show.

Jackie suggested we moved the “social side” of party to the orchard to give more room.

Mower: Steve M queried if we should again look at purchasing one to use on communal areas.  All agreed it would help but all worried about security. To look at cost of a second -hand container, Maybe hire out space in it to gardeners.

Sadly our mean thief has struck again. Phil Shaw’s seed potatoes have been taken.

Secretary will do a notice re theft and access to others gardens. . Everyone agreed that this is a particularly mean low theft!

Wild flowers. Steve W raised prospect of having set aside areas to plant wild flowers which echoed Jackie’s ideas of forming some conservation areas. Would need to be signed designated areas to avoid well meaning but mistaken spaying.

Jackie to circulate dates for next meeting.

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