Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 13 June 2018

Present: Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Jenny Howell (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Dan Phillips, Richard Masterman, Ian Douglas, Ray Edwards, Alex Brown, Martin Pasek (Operational Support) Apologies: none received.

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Increased notice board space. Dan has investigated the pricing and availability of various sizes of board for the purposes discussed. It would cost up to £800 per gate to affix the boards to both sides. It was agreed that the 8 x A4 size would be most suitable. Concern was expressed that they might assist intruders to climb over the gates however. The Western Avenue gate would appear to be least susceptible to this, and so it was proposed to do this one first. It was proposed to invite input from RCG as to their sharing the boards. Sue said that she would approach Celia Hart re repairing the locks on the existing boards. AP Dan, Ray, Sue.

Shop. There have been two expressions of interest re assisting with the running of a proposed site shop, in addition to the Committee members’ initiation offers.

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Owl nesting boxes / hedgehog boxes. Richard said that these were available from £75 each. They need to be fixed in pairs, at between 3.5m and 7m height in quiet locations. It was proposed to site them on the trees near to the old clubhouse, and to use a tree surgeon to do the necessary work in fixing the boxes. There is only one suitable species, tawny owls. Alex also suggested the purchase of four hedgehog boxes and that was agreed. AP Richard, Alex, Ray.

Legacy power tools. Richard has made a schedule. Two tillers and two strimmers have been identified as suitable for possible future hire to plot holders. Cardiff Mowers will inspect a machine for £20 per piece to assess safety etc. It was proposed to sell or to retain the other gear as appropriate. Sue will consult the Council as to safety matters etc. AP Richard, Dan, Sue.

Shop contents. The stocktake has not yet been completed. Sue said that she will consult the Council as to any restricted chemicals etc. AP Ian, Alex, Ray, Sue.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue said that there are three vacant plots, four current Clean-Or-Quit Notices, and that ten Pre-notice Letters have been sent. She has had a new lock fitted at the Western Avenue gate, and one is due to be installed at the other one soon. There is to be a visit on Saturday, by a delegation from the Highfields site to see how our poly tunnel is managed and assigned.

If plot holders with worn keys experience difficulties with the new locks, then please approach the Site Secretary in the usual way for a replacement exchange.

 Accounts queries. Wendy reported that she has received very detailed and time-consuming requests for financial information from a plot holder, with which she has reasonably complied.

The Committee note that the accounts were audited for presentation at the AGM, that there were no questions raised by those present, and that they have been duly accepted by the Council. On that basis this year’s grant has been awarded.

The plot holder concerned did not attend the AGM, and nor has the same attended any other Committee meeting, as all are free to do.

It is self-evident, that the correct time and place to raise such queries is at the AGM, or failing that, at an ordinary Committee meeting.

It is unclear to the Committee what the reason for the requests was. If anyone had any suspicion of impropriety, then the correct procedure would be to raise that with Council, and to supply the evidence for that suspicion.

Parking on access tracks. Complaints continue to received from plot holders hindered by others parking on the tracks. (See speeding item).

Please use the car parks only. Blocking the tracks is Antisocial Behaviour and a breach of tenancy terms.

 Criminal damage. A plot holders’s bird feeders have allegedly been repeatedly destroyed. If the perpetrator is identified, then they will very likely lose their tenancy.

Speeding. The Committee note with interest, the “identify-and-shame” approach taken by some plot holders, on the general Facebook account, towards speeding vehicles.

Plot holders are reminded that there are 5mph roundels as soon as one turns off Western Avenue into the park, and that this is the site limit too. Repeat offenders put at risk their tenancy.

 Fires. Sue has had to point out to a plot holder that fires are expressly forbidden under tenancy terms.

Hedge trimming. Richard noted that some hedges are encroaching onto tracks. All plot holders are encouraged to use hand tools, even if just in passing, during the nesting season, to keep encroachments under control. AP all.

Any Other Business

Plant sale – Ian. Ian handed over receipts and cash. The profit provisionally stands at about £530. Thanks to Ian.

Land behind polytunnel – Alex. Alex has sprayed this. Other parts of the site require treatment too. AP Alex.

Footpaths between plots – Wendy. Wendy reported that some people are failing to keep these clear as required by their tenancy, and sometimes even fly-tipping on them.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2038. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 25/07/2018, at 1900 sharp.