Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 7 November 2017

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

Minutes of October meeting and matters arising: Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are five standing “Clear Or Quit” notices and three Non-renewals Of Tenancy. The waiting list stands at fifty-five. We welcome cordially one new plot holder and there is one empty plot. It was resolved that the site will be re-divided among the extant Committee for the purposes of monitoring for neglect etc. (Sue also attended the Cardiff Allotments Site Representatives’ meeting and the CAHA meeting in October). AP Sue.

Storage unit. Alex has offered to investigate possible funding from a company, which has an undertaking to make environmental offsets for some of its activities. That money would be used to lessen the unit’s impact on the local visual amenity, and on wildlife etc. AP Alex.

Hedge Cutting. This is now finished for the season. Sincere thanks again to the volunteer.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. Sue has sent the letters to the 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). Sue has had several applications to date. She reminds plot holders that the closing date is the end of this month, November. AP Sue.

Programme of works.

i) It was agreed that the large communal compost bin near plot 48 and the old shop needs tidying. AP Alex. [Update: please note that this arrangement has been discontinued at all locations on site in accordance with Council rules, and PPAA intend to remove all remaining compost in due course. Would all plot holders please deal with composting on their own plots or remove it from site as our Rules Of Tenancy require – thanks] 

Note: Ian messaged to say that he also intends to work on this during the next few weeks.

ii) The position re cubicles was discussed again. A quote has been obtained and is under consideration. However, we now have a date for the Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart. It is to be on 10 01 18 and Sue will attend. We await further developments.

Fires. The Council has not yet sent the letter to plot holders.

Asbestos. The Council still have no approved removal contractor.

Committee numbers. There have been no volunteers as yet, but a few people had been identified, who had implied in conversation that they might be interested. AP all.

Fly tipping/tree waste dumping/manure/woodchip supplies. We learn that Dave King has a contact at the Council, and that this officer may be able to arrange supplies of such material. We understand that Dave has said to him that PPAA would be very pleased to accept some of it. AP Tim.

There have been no serious incidents of unauthorised tipping of late.

Water supply. The water is now turned off for the winter. We warmly thank Gary Berriman for clearing the sediment in the trough near his plot. We would heartily encourage everyone to do this too. There is a report of a leak near plot 58A. It has been passed on to the Council. AP all.

Gardening Tutorials. Michele Fitzsimmons is available after February for tutorials on pruning fruit trees and bushes. She has quoted her fee. It was proposed to use the “orchard” area for these, and to extend the invitation to allotmenteers across Cardiff. A nominal attendance fee was proposed, to cover her quote and to firm up numbers. AP Ray.

Shop. As at last month, 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. An approach for beginning clearance was discussed. AP Alex.

New Items

Rats: Sue. Tony Robinson has been liaising assiduously with the Council on this. He has shown Pest Control the affected areas, after gathering information from plot holders. We thank him cordially for his work.

We also remind all plot holders to report rats in accordance with the notices, originally written by Tony, on the noticeboards and on the website, and to follow carefully the advice for minimising their presence.

Spine road. Fly-tipping over the fence: Sue. Ian has affixed notices at particular problem points, but there is a large amount rubbish in the park, apparently from plot holders. Ray offered to organise another litter pick next month. AP Ray.

Note: Ray has since organised a Litter Pick of Site. He has contacted Dave King, and the latter will make available all the kit. He will arrange for the waste to be picked up afterwards. It will be on Sunday 10th December. Meet at 10.00 am, at the lock up next to the shop. All volunteers will be warmly welcomed!

Plot holders are reminded again that such actions are a serious breach of the terms of tenancy.

Budget Plan: received from Dan. It is anticipated that there will be significant outlay on the brick cubicles before long. There is also the boreholes project under consideration, along with on-going costs to private contractors for waste removal and for other site maintenance.

CAHA donation: Sue. CAHA are a self-funding group of volunteers, who assist all allotment sites and associations across Cardiff. Last year they were instrumental in helping us to secure our LMA Grant which was under threat, and being withheld. It was unanimously agreed that a donation of £50 was the least that we could do to express our gratitude and support. AP Wendy.

CAHA are having a Skittles Night in January. Final date TBA.

CAHA Secretary Lynne Lewis is retiring, and they are looking for someone to replace her.

Hedgehog release: Alex. In his work with the Hedgehog Helpline, Alex has been releasing these rescued animals on site. Gardeners could not have better friends, and we ask that plot holders make theirs as safe for them as they reasonably can. In particular abandoned coils of netting are a danger to them, and slug pellets, if used, should be in accordance with their instructions, that is, scattered only thinly.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2022. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 05 12 17, at 1900.