Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Ian Douglas, Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Alex Brown, Dan Phillips.
Minutes of January meeting and matters arising- Tim
Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are six vacant plots at the moment, and she expects to let them over the next few weeks. AP Sue.
Storage unit appearance. We await information from Alex. AP Alex.
Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. All bed holders have paid, and Ian has repaired a roof tear.
Programme of works. Sue will attend the next Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart, on Wednesday 14/02/18. More than one contractor has been identified to carry out improvements, and the initial estimates are encouraging. Sue is still identifying current users of the cubicles, but it is hoped that improvements can begin soon. AP Sue, Ian.
The Committee thanks those plot holders who have come forward as cubicle users. We appreciate that the notice served by the Council was arguably precipitous, and acknowledge the forbearance of all concerned.
Asbestos. The Council now have an approved contractor, and so asbestos should soon be removed.
Committee numbers. As at the last meeting, 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.
Tree waste dumping/manure/wood chip supplies/fly-tipping. Martin has spoken to Mike Boyer and identified the material which has been left by him. It seems that other deliveries are sometimes made by the Council’s workers when they are nearby. There is no evidence at the moment of fly-tipping of tree waste by anyone else. However, the problem remains of deliveries being made by the latter before the pens are empty, with a build-up of decaying material at the rear resulting.
If any plot holders are able to clear the backlog, by using this wood chip, then that help would be much appreciated.
The Committee regrets the damage to the southern manure pen, caused by the last delivery. It would appear that requests to the Council to advise care on the part of the contractors have had no effect.
There do not seem to have been any egregious instances of fly-tipping around the site since the last Meeting, but it is still happening.
We remind all plot holders, yet again, that their tenancy is at risk, and that they may be exposed to heavy fines, for fly-tipping around the site or over the fences.
Water supply. Any trough cleaning will need to be done before the water is turned on again in mid March. AP all.
Gardening Tutorials. Unfortunately, owing to a lack of response, these had to be cancelled. Ray will identify a list of subjects for an event later in the year, autumn. AP Ray.
Shop. As at last month, there is no further news from the Council on the formal position. However, please see AOB.
For the avoidance of doubt, the PPAA Committee clarify that there is no connection between its activities and the operation of the shop, which is independent of it.
Potentially usable land behind polytunnel. The clearing work has been started by Alex, Ian, and Sue, and good progress is being made. AP all.
Spine road, fly-tipping over the fence. There is to be a Great British Tidy, in progress on March 3rd and/or 4th. Ray proposed a site event to coincide with this at the last meeting. It was now also proposed to clear rubbish tipped over the fence into the park. AP Ray et al.
All noticed that the Council have cut the hedge. This was unannounced as ever, and now leaves the site exposed to easy view by the general public. It is also now easier for fly-tippers to throw rubbish over it into the park. The Committee’s advice on this point would appear to have been ignored, therefore.
Budget Plan. Dan Phillips sent an email with a helpful list of projects and the likely expenditure, totalling £5,000-£8,000. It included the main item above, the cubicles refurbishment.
The BACS system for payment of PPAA subscriptions is working well, and has resulted in a useful increase in revenues.
Plot holders are reminded that the PPAA subs do not just help to cover manure usage, but also contribute towards public liability insurance for them, running repairs, and so on.
Hedgehog release. Alex has released two since November, and as he said at the last meeting, he is waiting for better weather before releasing more 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.
AGM 2018 date- Tim. 22nd April was provisionally proposed.
Plant sale date- Ian. 12th May is proposed by Ian.
Hedge planting group- Ian. Sunday 18th Feb at 1100 is proposed.
Clearing, weed killing- Ian. Ian proposed clearing between the southernmost two blocks of cubicles to enable renovation to begin, and anticipated enlisting the digger facility, available at very reasonable rates from Lady Mary Allotments, for this.
He also said that there is now a Glyphosate-free herbicide available for killing mares tails, and proposed that it be publicised on the website. AP Ian/Alex.
Sad news- Tim. Tim has heard that Adrian Walsh of plot five passed away recently. Tim understands that this was after his suffering a heart attack.
Further sad news is that Rob Searle of plot forty has also passed away.
The Committee extend their deepest sympathies to Adrian’s family and friends, and to those of Rob. We also understand that Alan Turner has been unwell, and that this means that there will be no shop operation for the foreseeable future. We wish Alan a full and speedy recovery.
There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2016. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 07/03/2018, at 1900.