Vehicles on the PPA Site

A couple of incidents recently have shown that it’s perhaps necessary for the Committee to remind plot holders of some points.

Light vehicles are accepted on site, but on the basis of toleration, and on the condition that they cause no problems. There is no absolute right to bring them onto site however.

So far as we can maintain it, a live-and-let-live approach seems to be sensible in this regard.

Normally, drivers should park their vehicles in the customary car parks, and then walk to their plots. There are also a few patches of unused shady land etc., which may be used on an ad hoc basis here and there too.

Sometimes, e.g. for loading and for unloading, people may wish to park next to their plots. This is fine, but please move them so that they are not blocking the tracks as soon as this is completed. If requested by a fellow plot holder to move your vehicle then please do so, without hesitation, as already stated the tracks are not car parks.

The tracks around the site have been there for generations, to allow access on foot for growers, perhaps pushing wheelbarrows, or carrying water. Plot holders do have an absolute right to do this, and vehicles in their way are a nuisance.

These tracks are not in any way the highway, so please give way to pedestrians at all times, and drive with the utmost care, keeping your speed to less than 10 mph being a must.

Plot holders are reminded that if they then choose not to comply with, or respect, the rules of The Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association, they are at risk of having their tenancy withdrawn.

Dumping Over the Perimeter Fence

One or more plot holders appear to have decided that the hedge and fence adjoining the spine track would make a good compost heap. To that end, they have dumped a large pile of potato haulms etc, straddling the wire mesh fence and the barbed wire, and at its lowest point too.

The result is that it is now possible for intruders to enter the site simply by walking over this pile, and there’s some evidence that they have been doing just this.

It’s perhaps best if the Committee does not give its opinion on either the IQ or the morality of whoever has done this.

It is in all our interests for this pile to be cleared away as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to illness, holidays etc, there is no spare volunteer effort available among the Committee to clear this.

Those with plots nearest the heap (it is some 50 metres from the shop end gate) would logically be at most risk from intruders, and so it would be good if they could organize themselves to clear the hazard without delay.

Once again we remind plot holders that they are required by their Tenancy Agreement to compost on their plots, or remove from site entirely any green waste. Fly tipping, which is what this amounts to, is in breach of their tenancy agreement.

Dumping on fence

Lost & Found

Some asbestos has recently been dumped in the old clubhouse. If anyone knows where this has come from, please let the Committee know. Anyone proven to have fly-tipped risks losing their tenancy, and in egregious cases may be fined up to £50,000

Also a new-looking key, dangling on wire was found on the main gate.

Asbestos.jpg

Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 8 August 2017

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Alex Brown, Martin Pasek. Apologies: Ray Edwards, Dan Phillips.

Minutes of July meeting and matters arising – Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. We warmly welcome five new tenants. There are four standing “Clear Or Quit” notices. The waiting list stands at fifty. Sue reminded the Committee to look out for untended plots and to keep her informed. AP all.

Storage unit. Dave King is pursuing a grant for the eco roof.

Hedge Cutting. Dave King’s associate (Anthony) has done this. The results were similar to last year. See AOB.

Treasurer’s hand-over. Wendy said that the on line banking was now up-and-running and a Good Thing. It was suggested that Dave King be invited to audit next year’s accounts.

LMA Grant Year 2017/18 – Sue. Matters appear to be progressing normally. Re insurance, Tim said that CAHA’s enquiries potentially promise significant savings through a Group Policy for all sites.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. There has already been some interest in the November draw. A proper form and notice will be forthcoming. AP Sue.

Programme of works. There have been no suggestions from plot holders. A walkabout on Sunday, 27 08 17 has been proposed for the Committee, and to include canvassing. AP all.

Council Site Representatives’ meeting – Sue:

Fires. Following a serious explosion at a site (caused by criminals burning a shed containing a gas canister) the Council are to send a letter to all plot holders, reminding tenants of their terms. That is, no fires nor storage of such materials on site are permitted.

Boreholes. Forest Farm report that theirs is working well. The Council are monitoring with a view to extending across sites.

Asbestos. The Council are still waiting for a reliable tender. Until one is found, there can be no removal.

Promotion. There is a scheme at Rhydypennau, where single raised beds are let out to newcomers, or to others who are not sure as to their aptitude to encourage them to try. There was a discussion as to similar possibilities for PPAA.

Brick cubicles. The Council Working Group has yet to meet. This is expected in September. There was a discussion about various “self-help” possibilities.

AOB

Hedge cutting and wildlife issues. Background: In July 2016 Anthony (Dave King’s associate) cut the hedge using a small generator and electric hedge trimmer. There was no evidence of any harm to wildlife, and no complaints were received. He was invited by Tim to do the same this year on the assumption that he would do a similar job. The proposal has been in the previous two months’ Committee minutes, and no objections to it were received. However, an email has since been received from a plotholder, claiming that wildlife has been harmed by the recent use of a petrol cutter. A Committee volunteer has inspected the hedge carefully, and no conclusive evidence that this season’s nests were disturbed was found by him. However, we accept that such disturbance is still possible. The complainant was invited by the Site Secretary to attend this meeting but did not. The Committee take wildlife conservation seriously. The use of the petrol cutter was not anticipated. Next year the cut will not take place until mid-August at the earliest, along RSPB guidelines. The contractor will be given a detailed brief. Those concerned by overgrowth in the meantime (e.g. car drivers) are urged to volunteer for the interim hand prunings, indeed, to organise themselves in this regard.

Committee numbers – Tim. The Committee were very sorry to hear Tim say that he will not be standing for Chair again at the next AGM. Along with Gary’s resignation, and with Martin’s redesignation, this means that there is a need to increase numbers serving. There was a discussion as to potential nominees for the posts, and as to ways to stimulate interest generally. Alex proposed a role for someone, as a Social Secretary to promote a sense of community and engagement on the site. AP all.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2020. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 26/09/2017 at 1900.

Plotholder of the Month!

A big cheer and a ‘Thank you’, has to go to Debbie from Plot 16a for organising clearing the manure which had been wrongly dumped in the woodchip pen. With a helping hand from a couple of committee members it was cleared quite quickly.

Hopefully she will get ‘first dibs’ on the woodchip when it arrives!

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