Archive for the ‘News’ 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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The Burglars Came Back

For the second time in two weeks, we have had intruders on the gardens, this time they seem to have been more systematic, it’s presumed they came in over the railway gate and worked their way down the gardens including the brick building.  We know things have been taken and discarded presumably when they have found something more interesting and have now stolen some valuable items.  They will come back because they have not been in everyone’s gardens yet.  Take home anything of any value now!   Report thefts to me and to the Police.  DO NOT LEAVE THE GATES OPEN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.  Challenge strangers safely, if they don’t know the secretary’s name they should not be on the gardens.

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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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WATER USAGE.  

OK ITS RAINED A BIT.

HOWEVER!!!!  The Water supply is not the problem its the cost of how much is being used that is the problem.

First of all a big thank you to those of you who have complied with our requests to cut back on water usage.  The amount of water being used is still being monitored on a daily basis. The amount of cubic meters of water used in comparison to other years is still high. If the heat wave continues without regular consistent rainfall this will have a massive effect on our ability to spend any money for the rest of this year and next year. Our bill is already well over the amount we put aside each year to cover the water charges. NO one should be using sprinklers or oscillators to water their gardens. We have considered a number of options the first of which was to ask for your support in reducing your own individual water consumption on site and we continue to ask you to do so.

  1. No Sprinklers/Oscillators to be used.
  2. Hose pipes can be used at the moment to fill water barrels and then the water used to fill watering cans. Which target crops better.
  3. If you must use a hose because you have no storage. Target the plants. Watering a pathway is unnecessary!!  as is watering weeds which should be kept to a minimum to allow vegetables some chance to flourish.
  4. Be realistic. Some crops will not produce edible plants now no matter how much you water them so let them die or wait for rain.
  5. Water once a day and rotate what you water. Greenhouses and polytunnels only need watering every other day.
  6. Do not under any circumstances leave the water running while you do something else and do not use anything that leaks.
  7. Do not leave hose pipes attached to the taps if you are not using them.

The meter will continue to be monitored and if the dry weather continues into late August we reserve the option of reducing the supply or turning the water off completely. This has been a very strange year weather-wise, no one person has experienced different weather to the rest of us, this is your association and everyone should be pulling together and helping each other not acting in a self-interested way.

We will be looking at how we can keep our finances secure and if extra charges are needed as a one-off this year then they will be imposed. Baring in mind there has been no rise in water charges for many years we will be discussing that option. I am also thinking about how in the future we manage conditions like this. My preference is to ride this out and decide at the AGM next year what to do and when hopefully the council’s rent policy may be clearer.

BUT IF THE DECISION NEEDS TO BE MADE TO PROTECT OUR FINANCES THEN THAT DECISION WILL BE MADE WHEN NEEDED.

Please support what we are trying to do.  

Jackie

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Water Usage

First of all a big thank you to those of you who have complied with our requests to cut back on water usage. The amount of water being used is being monitored on a daily basis and over a weeks measurement, we are still using over £200 pounds worth of water per week. The amount of cubic meters of water used in comparison to other years is mind-boggling and unsustainable. If the heat wave continues without regular consistent rainfall this will have a massive effect on our ability to spend any money for the rest of this year and next year.  Our bill is already well over double the amount we put aside each year to cover the water charges. There are some who are continuing to use an average weather years water on their gardens and using sprinklers/ oscillators. We have considered a number of options the first of which is to ask for your support in reducing your own individual water consumption on site.

  1. No Sprinklers/Oscillators to be used.
  2. Hosepipes can be used at the moment to fill water barrels and then the water used to fill watering cans. Which target crops better.
  3. If you must use a hose because you have no storage. Target the plants. Watering a pathway is unnecessary as is watering weeds which should be kept to a minimum to allow vegetables some chance to flourish.
  4. Be realistic. Some crops will not produce edible plants now no matter how much you water them so let them die or wait for rain.
  5. Water once a day and rotate what you water. Greenhouses and polytunnels only need watering every other day.
  6. Do not under any circumstances leave the water running while you do something else and do not use anything that leaks.

Over the next few days the meter will be monitored and if the rate has gone down no further action will be taken as yet, however, over the next couple of days if there is no significant decrease then the water flow/pressure will be halved.  I am away for the next two weeks and if needs be other members of the committee will impose a hosepipe ban and ultimately we reserve the option of turning the water off completely, but that seems to be a waste of the money we have already spent. Hence the action as above.  This has been a very strange year weather-wise, no one has experience different weather to the rest of us, this is your association and everyone should be pulling together and helping each other not acting in a self-interested way.

We will hold another committee meeting when I return and if necessary we will have an EGM very soon after.  We will be looking at how we can keep our finances secure and if extra charges are needed as a one-off this year then they will be imposed.  Bearing in mind there has been no rise in water charges for many years we will be discussing that option. I am also thinking about how in the future we manage conditions like this.

Please support what we are trying to do.

Please note though that if Severn Trent imposes a hosepipe ban then no matter what our meter is telling us we will have to comply. We also reserve the right to turn the water off if necessary.

Jackie

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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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As you should all know by now we only allow fires including brazier fires on burning Sundays the next one being next Sunday the 8th July, next week. Weather conditions all over the country mean that fires can get out of hand very very quickly and the local fire brigade is already heavily involved in responding to garden and wildfires particularly in the Manchester moors area thus reducing the number of fire officers here.

Therefore having regard to individual safety and the danger of fires spreading and most importantly taking into consideration advice from the Fire brigade I have made the decision to ban fires on these gardens until further notice.

The fire brigade already this week have had to attend a city council allotment site to attend an out of control fire. NOTE: YOU WILL BE HELD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY COMPLAINTS OR BRIGADE ATTENDANCES AND COULD FACE PROSECTION.

At the moment there is no hosepipe ban as such but you should prepare now for that possibility. A hosepipe ban would include filling water butts with a hose. Please check and double check that you have switched off the water and DISCONNECTED any hoses. Immediately report any leakages. Please keep your eye on local news from Severn Trent and be prepared for the use of water on site to be restricted to watering cans only. I will be keeping in touch with the council where necessary and inform you of any decisions.

I can only stress that anyone who breaks the ban about fires or any future hosepipe ban will not only be personally responsible for any repercussions but you will run the very high risk of losing your tenancy too.

Jackie Medcalf
Secretary
07931950950
Sunday 1st July 2018

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