Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 7 March 2018

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

Minutes of January meeting and matters arising- Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are three vacant plots at the moment. She expects to let them over the next few weeks. She has let six plots since the last meeting and the waiting list is about thirty. AP Sue.

The Committee cordially welcome the new plot holders onto plots 156b, 157b, 68a, 45b, 35a, and 45a.

Storage unit appearance. Alex hopes to begin work before long. AP Alex.

Programme of works. Site Secretary was unable to attend the Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart, on Wednesday 14/02/18. However, Sue has since learnt that the Council have appointed a surveyor to evaluate any which should be demolished, but not before 2019 at the earliest.

A number of potential expenditure allocations were discussed: resurfacing of the car park; proper bay construction; site security improvements; options for cubicle improvements; and the clearing of compost and waste.

Asbestos. Awaiting removal by the Council’s newly-approved contractor.

Committee numbers. A probable new Committee member has been identified, and the Committee look forward to welcoming him to the next meeting.

Alex proposed that Sue explain to new plot holders, that they are entitled to be elected to the Committee from Day One of their tenure and PPAA membership.

Dan proposed that new tenants be asked as to any relevant knowledge or skills that they might have, and whether they might be willing to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee from time-to-time if nothing else.

Sue said that she would add something along these lines to the Welcome Letter. AP Sue.

Fly tipping. Owing to the recent severe weather the Litter Pick had to be cancelled. Ray said that he will reschedule the event, if possible to coincide with another national or municipal campaign. AP Ray.

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. A walkabout is proposed for Sunday, 25/03/18, at 1100, involving trough cleaning, and the water will be turned on afterwards. AP all.

Shop. Alex reported that he has received a number of questions as to the future of the shop, following the sad passing of Adrian, and Alan’s recent ill-health.

Background: At one time, the shop was run by PPAA Committee members. However, when the shopkeepers left the Committee, they continued to run it independently, as part of Harlech Gardening Club, but with no connection to PPAA at all. Our understanding is that this operation has not been on any basis authorised by the Council. However, the Council have not as yet indicated what action they might take, if any, in relation to that, although they have been considering the matter for some months now. (There is no will on the part of any of the present Committee members to take on the shop operation in the manner required to comply with the Council’s guidelines, to remove the aforesaid irregularity. There is certainly no will to continue what could turn out to be an unlawful operation either.)

However, if there should turn out to be plot holders, willing to run the shop in the manner required by the Council, then the Committee would be interested to hear from them. (Basically, that would mean that it would not be run for personal gain, and that proceeds would contribute to PPAA funds. Regular accounts would also have to be produced.)

AGM 2018 date. 22nd April 2018 is confirmed. Dave King has offered to audit the PPAA accounts.

Hedge planting group. The day was a success. Whips have been planted alongside the security fencing in the southeast corner and filling in various gaps in the main hedge etc.

AOB

Gate being left open – Wendy. The Committee were disappointed to hear that this problem has resurfaced. Those believed to be responsible are known, and they will be requested to observe the rules.

Extending BACS payments for PPAA subs – Wendy. This very simple and effective means of collecting PPAA subs could be extended by publicising the bank payment details for PPAA on FB and on the website.

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, give entitlement to serve on the Committee, and so on. They are therefore urged to take advantage of the convenience offered by this payment method.

“Bring-and-Take” cubicle problems- Sue. The recent order from the Council means, in principle, that this should be let to a plot holder, rather than to be used as it presently is. However, the Committee recognise that this facility is enjoyed by many during harvest times.

Unfortunately, the will to continue this benefit has been tested recently, by some plot holders apparently using the shed as yet another place for what amounts to fly-tipping.

Please do not leave anything other than grown produce, or as-new-condition, purpose-made gardening sundries in this cubicle.

Under no circumstances leave reclaimed building and glazing materials, rotten wood, canes, split or perished plastic sundries, furniture, polythene, cardboard, rusty or damaged tools, or anything else which would normally be described as junk. We are very short of volunteer effort and of funds. People’s time and PPAA finances are being wasted in having to dispose of such materials. Please take them off site and to a Council recycling facility.

Plot holder injured in accident- Sue. The Committee are very concerned to hear that a plot holder has been seriously injured in a road accident as a cyclist, and we extend our most heartfelt wishes for her full recovery. We understand that this may take a long time however, and Sue proposes that another plot holder, or more than one, might tend her plot during this period in a mutually beneficial way. Details would be published on the website and on FB. AP Sue, Alex.

Increased notice board space- Ray. Ray noted, that whilst the existing boards can accommodate PPAA minutes and a few standing notices, there is not enough room for ad hoc ones relating to events and so on. He proposed fitting extra displays to the existing stands or otherwise. AP Ray.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2021. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 04/04/2018, at 1900.

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