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.

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