This year’s plant sale will take place between 10.00 – 13.00 on Saturday 19th May. If you would like to get involved by helping with watering / planting or sales on the day, please contact the Committee.
Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Richard Masterman, Jenny Howell (plot holder, Chair candidate), Frank Berry (Riverside Community Gardens rep.) Mel Evans, (plot 39b,) Geoff Edwards, (plot 76,) Roger Phillips, Monica Nobrega, (plot 62a,) Liz Pengilly (plot 10b,) Lewis Evans, (plot 88b) Richard Waters, (plot 103,) Stephen Pearse (plot 52a,) Wyn Williams, (plots 97b, 99a,) Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips, Alex Brown, Jane Williams, Nerys Lloyd-Pearce.
Chairman’s Welcome and Introduction – Tim
Tim reminded the meeting of the recent passing of Adrian Walsh and Alan Turner, of their many years of service to the community of gardeners at the site, and as key figures in the PPAA Committee. He briefly outlined the position re the shop operation under Harlech Gardening Club. That is, that the matter of winding it up has been passed to the Council for their opinion, and that until this is settled, a new system for running a shop could not be put in place.
Tim announced that he would be standing down as Chair, and the assembled expressed their thanks.
Site Secretary’s Speech – Sue
Sue said that there were currently no plots vacant, but expected that some would become available through non-payment.
Sue also said that the problem with rubbish or junk on site had improved, and emphasised that the best way for the problem to be avoided would be for plot holders not to bring materials to site on the off chance that they might be useful at some time. Geoff Edwards expressed the feeling that understanding and some patience needed to be shown towards plot holders, who either might have a practical difficulty in removing such items, or still be considering whether they had a use. His point was accepted.
Sue went on to say that the letting of the brick cubicles was progressing well, and that all the usable ones were now let, with particular interest among new plot holders. She invited anyone who had skills relevant to their refurbishment, or who wished to tender for such work to come forward.
The Committee invite any plot holder(s), in a position to refurbish any or all of those brick cubicles still in disrepair, to let us know their terms for the specification TBC.
PPAA Accounts – Wendy
Wendy brought printed copies for the attendees. She confirmed that Dave King, plot holder, had audited the accounts, and that he was content.
Wendy explained that the number of categories has been increased, so as to make identification of items easier, and so to improve transparency.
There were no questions.
Return of Officers and Election of new Chair – Tim
Officers were proposed and seconded by attendees.
Sue Jones was returned as Site Secretary.
Wendy Gunter was returned as Treasurer.
Jenny Howell was elected as the new Chair.
The rest of the Committee were also returned.
Roger Phillips asked what was going to happen to the delivery of seed potatoes, onion sets, and so on, which had been made for the shop. A discussion arose, during which it was mentioned that PPAA did not have the authority to dispose of the property of Harlech Gardening Club. However, it was also suggested that if the social community of gardeners on the Pontcanna site, (as Alan’s and as Adrian’s acquaintances), acted reasonably, then those items probably could be used, especially since the bereaved had apparently declined to be involved with them. It was proposed that gardeners distribute them amongst themselves, and contribute a reasonable sum to a kitty, which would then be passed to the relevant estates, or to HGC as appropriate. However, no particular person who would oversee such actions was identified at this meeting.
Richard Waters mentioned that he had received an email questionnaire from the Council, as to satisfaction with the job being done by the Committee under the Local Management Agreement. He said that he felt that the questions were often loaded, perhaps in order to supply evidence, for a conclusion that had already been formed. He wondered if that might be to support the outsourcing of allotments management by the Council, and if that were the reason for its sending. Sue said that Council officers would probably consider it necessary to do such work from time-to-time, but Richard’s comment was noted.
Richard also remarked that the wood chips had all been used. Martin pointed out that the Council had made abundant deliveries during the winter, and would have made more, if the chips had been used up to create space. However it is now nesting season, and so work on trees is at a low level. Accordingly deliveries are few.
Plot holders are urged to make use of the more plentiful supplies of wood chips available between October and March.
Thanks to outgoing Chairman – Jenny
Jenny thanked Tim for his seven years as the Chair of PPAA, and in particular she expressed admiration for his unfaltering, steadying influence over the Committee. Tim was warmly applauded.
There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1148.
Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Dan Phillips, Richard Masterman, Jenny Howell (plot holder, observer), Frank Berry (Riverside Community Gardens rep.) Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Ian Douglas, Ray Edwards, Alex Brown.
The Committee welcomes new member Richard Masterman.
Sad News- Tim. The Committee were very sad to hear that Alan Turner, hitherto holder of plot 41, passed away recently.
The Committee extend their heartfelt sympathies to Alan’s family, and to his many friends and acquaintances that he made during his decades as a committed, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and industrious allotment gardener.
Riverside Community Gardens Fire, Theft, and Vandalism- Frank. The Committee were appalled to hear the details of the offences committed, but also heartened by the undaunted spirit of the volunteers in getting to work straight away with clearance and rebuilding. Frank expressed gratitude to Dave King, for removing debris from site to be incinerated. The feasibilities of various measures for improved security were discussed, including the possibility of shared funding for that with PPAA. Frank explained the insurance claim procedure, and the Committee wished him every success with that.
For reasons connected with the investigations into this matter, and with future security, not all points discussed are minuted here.
Minutes of January meeting and matters arising- Tim.
Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are no vacant plots at the moment. She has let four plots since the last meeting and the waiting list is still about thirty. She was also pleased to report that the number of holders in payment arrears is relatively few.
The Committee cordially welcome the new plot holders onto plots 10a, 19a, 35b, and 86.
Storage unit appearance. Alex was not available for an update.
Programme of works. The main items remain brick shed refurbishment, and the clearance of usable land, to which has been added flood relief for susceptible segments of track. As quotes for the first have been rather high, it was agreed to lower the specification, and to investigate off-the-shelf items such as exterior-grade doors.
Sue has a quote for a digger plus driver at £150 per day, which was agreed to be reasonable.
Asbestos. The material in the old club house has been removed by the Council’s newly-approved contractor.
Committee numbers. The Committee are pleased to welcome Richard Masterman as a new Member.
Sue reminded herself to change the wording of the welcome letter for new plot holders as agreed. AP Sue.
Fly tipping. Owing to the recurring severe weather, the rescheduled Litter Pick also had to be cancelled. The Committee thank Ray for his efforts so far, and hope that a future event will be more fortunate. 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. The water is back on, and Sue was pleased to report that there has been interest by plot holders in adopting the cleaning and maintenance reporting for nearby troughs.
The Committee cordially thank those volunteers, who have already cleared sediment from the troughs near to their plots. Thanks to their efforts and those of the Committee, all troughs have now been cleaned.
Shop. Following the recent further sad news, it was agreed by the Committee that the winding up of the present undertaking is not within its gift, and it was resolved to invite the Council to propose a solution.
The Committee understands that the shop was run by Harlech Gardening Club, and that any audits, accounts, and the like, would therefore be in the name of that entity. However, that is not entirely clear. Tim reported that as it stands, and at this difficult and sensitive time, he did not perceive any will amongst the recently bereaved to be involved in any way with this. However, if that were to change, then the Committee remain open to any such approaches that they might make with regard to winding up its affairs. (This is a necessary step, before any proposed shop operation could be brought back under PPAA control, which would be required by the Council for proper authorisation.)
AGM 2018. Wendy brought the accounts, and they are ready for presentation on 22nd April 2018. However, it was agreed to move some major items, such as expenditure on waste clearance contractors, to their own line, rather than to include them under “general” or “other” expenditure. This is both in the interests of transparency, and also to publicise the specific actions taken by the Committee on behalf of plot holders.
Extending BACS payments for PPAA subs- Wendy. Wendy proposed handing the paper BACS details to new plot holders, (and, ideally, to anyone else who might not have them.) The Committee thanked Wendy for all her recent hard work, and under circumstantial difficulties.
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. Furthermore, for those who understandably wish to avoid “internet banking”, this method of payment can be set up over the counter, or often by telephone with the plot holder’s bank.
Plot holder injured in accident- Sue. Sue was pleased to report that a plot holder, Monica Nobrega, has offered to tend the injured plot holder’s allotment while she is unable to do so herself.
The Committee warmly commend Monica’s kindness and support.
Increased notice board space- Ray. Dan reported that he and Ray had discussed putting noticeboards on the gates, and this idea was met with the approval of all. AP Ray, Dan.
AGM- Tim. Tim asked the Committee to confirm that the AGM would begin at 1100. (Carried.)
Plant sale-Tim. Ian has said that it will be on 19th May 2018.
Complaints by plot holders about PPAA Committee members- Sue. It was acknowledged that plot holders, naturally, are free to make criticisms about any or all, to whomever they might choose on the Committee, but that formal complaints must be addressed to the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart.
The Committee respectfully remind plot holders that they are all unpaid volunteers, and that they have to share their time in this regard with the same demands as those affecting everyone else.
There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2025. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 02/05/2018, at 1900.
We are saddened to report that a very familiar face on the site and of the shop, Alan Turner, has passed away. No doubt many of you will have fond memories of Alan and indeed, many of you will have been introduced to your plots by Alan, who over the years did much to improve the running of the site.
We extend our deepest sympathy to Alan’s Family and many friends.