Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 3 October 2017

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Alex Brown, Ray Edwards, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek. Apologies: None received.

Minutes of August meeting and matters arising – Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are two standing “Clear Or Quit” notices and two Terminations of Tenancy. The waiting list stands at sixty-five with a waiting time of about fifteen months. Tim asked Sue if Committee members had reported anything to her but she shook her head. AP all.

Storage unit. No news on the eco roof, but see under AOB.

Hedge Cutting. The Committee were pleased to hear that an independent volunteer plot holder had apparently taken matters in hand to some extent, and all said that they were ready to give the necessary guidance and support. Sue to contact with thanks.

Treasurer’s hand-over. Wendy said that the Council now had updated its payment particulars to enable payment straight to the PPAA account.

LMA Grant Year 2017/18. Wendy said re insurance that a quote from Zurich came in £67.35 cheaper than that from Shield, including personal liability. Aspects of risk assessment were discussed. It was resolved to go with the quote.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. Sue said that she needed to send letters to the seven current bed holders, informing them that the beds will be subject to a draw-by-lottery in December. The beds will be allocated to the winners on a named-user-only, non-transferable basis. AP Sue.

Programme of works. There have been no suggestions from plot holders. A re-scheduled walkabout on Sunday, 15.10.17 has been proposed for the Committee, and to include canvassing. AP all.

Fires. No one mentioned having received the letter from the Council as yet.

Asbestos. No news from the Council.

Brick cubicles. The Council Working Group still has yet to meet. There has been little local interest among plot holders in self-help solutions so far. The situation is to be assessed on the walkabout. The Committee resolved to spend funds on improvements if there is no action by the Council soon. Ways to obtain best VFM were discussed.

Committee numbers. There were a few reports of plot holders expressing interest, but not many. Members said that they would continue to ask round. Sue clarified her position as being willing to stand again as Site Secretary, provided that the burdens of the rôle were not unreasonable. The Committee asked Sue to inform them of any ways in which they could share the workload of matters incidental to, but not central to the Site Secretary’s function. AP all.

AOB

Fly tipping/tree waste dumping-Sue. Background (as minuted earlier this year): Following years of unrestricted dumping of tree waste by a contractor, a large part of the car park became unusable, and filled with rotted material that no one wanted to use. That has now been cleared. PPAA now has just one authorised supplier, Mike Boyer, and the previous contractor has been instructed to cease. The Council have requested by letter the return of their key. Mike Boyer is contacted whenever a bay becomes empty, but not before. However, it appears that unauthorised dumping has still been taking place. There also appeared to be a vexatious tipping of rubble and of other waste in the pen, now cleared by volunteer effort. A plot holder recently informed a Committee representative when asked, that from time-to-time he would contact the previous supplier, and ask him to deposit tree shreddings for him, and that this might be in the pen. The plot holder was asked please not to do this again. A letter to him, explaining the formal position (that is, that he is arguably asking an agent to fly-tip on his behalf) was resolved. All plot holders are reminded, that if they request a delivery of any kind from a contractor, then it must be to their plot and to nowhere else, and that they must supervise the arrival and the departure of people and of vehicles in person.

Marker posts removal-Wendy. Wendy remarked that those near her plot had been taken and used for stakes. She has replaced them. Ian offered to replace any others found missing.

Water supply-Tim. In the interests of keeping the bill down, it was agreed that the water could now be turned off by Friday. AP Tim.

Containers’ appearance-Alex. There were suggestions as to how to improve this, including by hiding with hedging, by painting with landscape colours, or by decorating with artwork. Alex is to speak to Dave King.

Gardening Tutorials-Dan. Michele Fitzsimmons is already offering courses, as publicised on the PPAA website. Dan and Ray offered to approach her re specific courses for PPAA, including topics such as fruit tree pruning. AP Dan, Ray.

Unauthorised adverts etc.-Ray. The Council have still not clarified their position regarding the site shop operation. So as it stands PPAA, notably the signatories to the Local Management Agreement, cannot actively endorse any activities which might turn out to be unlawful.

Potentially usable land behind polytunnel-Ian. Ian proposed a working party, to apply weedkiller, and to dig out, and to sort the rubbish, prior to its removal by a contractor, as a cost-saver. He also offered to approach the Council about the large diseased tree overhanging from the park. The ideas were approved.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2012. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 07/11/2017 at 1900.

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