Present: Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Jenny Howell (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Ian Douglas, Richard Masterman, Martin Pasek (Operational Support) Apologies: Alex Brown, Dan Phillips. General attendees: None.
Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.
Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are three vacant plots. She has been able to let one. However, she has had no fewer than four refusals from applicants, who seemed unprepared for the realities of maintaining an allotment. Sue remarked that it was better to avoid unsuitable applicants at this stage, than to be faced with dealing with abandoned and overgrown plots a matter of months later.
Sue mentioned that there are a few plots becoming neglected, and that she has begun issuing the necessary Notices.
Sue noted the rapid growth of the hedges, but also that it is now peak nesting season.
Plot holders are encouraged to assist the Committee volunteers in their work, by carefully cutting back hedges with secateurs etc. Power tools cannot be used at this time. We are considering what best to do with the clippings, but most of them can be “lost” within the hedging for now.
Discontinuation of one of the communal compost heaps. Despite clear notices that nothing is to be left on one of the the heaps any more, fly-tipping continues. There was a discussion as to how best to remove the existing material, and it was understood that RCG might be interested in being paid to do this, and to use it for levelling etc. Jenny expressed interest in project-managing this if so. AP Jenny.
With regret, the Committee remind plot holders to add no further material to the heap, but instead encourage them to take as much mature compost as possible, for raised beds, for levelling, or for any other purpose. Again plot holders are reminded that it is a condition of their tenancy agreement that they compost on their own plots, or remove from site. [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]
Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.
Manure Deliveries To Middle car Park – Jenny. A message was received from a plot holder, requesting that the Committee reconsider leaving manure there, as historically once happened. The Committee all agreed to attempt to restart deliveries there. Sue explained that PPAA have no point of contact at all with the Council-operated drivers who deliver it, despite persistent attempts to establish one. However, it was proposed to put notices at the existing pens/gates, asking that manure be delivered here too. Sue will continue to try to make contact. This would occupy some of the space currently used for car parking, clearly. AP Sue, Martin.
If parking should prove problematic, drivers are reminded that there is additional space by the composting toilet.
Accumulation of funds – Wendy. The projects mentioned under this heading previously are still outstanding, and, as and when the volunteer time to organise them is available, they will be undertaken. They include the refurbishment of brick cubicles, the planing of mud from the tracks to expose the hardcore, poly tunnel repairs -or even an additional one – and the restoration of abandoned land to good use. The money is allocated.
Any Other Business
Shop – Ian, Richard. Both have continued work, generally improving matters, clearing, sorting, tidying, painting, and repairing. Richard has successfully tested battery-to-inverter-powered lighting, which showed that a solar-powered charging system would likely be worthwhile.
The Committee cordially thank Ian and Richard for their work.
Plant sale – Ian. This is now to be held from 1000 on Saturday, May18th, and not on May 4th as previously announced. The shop will also be open for the sale of sundries etc., although it is not yet possible to open it on a regular basis.
AGM – Jenny. All are reminded that this will be held Sunday coming, May 5th, 2019, by the poly tunnel, at 1100.
PPAA subs may be paid at this time, entitling members to vote on the proposals raised.
There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2017.
The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 12th June, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.