Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 12 June 2019

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

The Committee deeply regret the absence of Ray Edwards from this meeting owing to ill health. Ray remains in hospital in a very serious condition. We are sure that his fellow plot holders will join with us, in sending him, Ali, and the rest of his family, our heartfelt good wishes. We also warmly thank the other gardeners, who have kindly made sure that his allotment does not become overgrown and neglected during this time.

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are five new tenants on plots 72, 136a, 136b, 108a and 149b. Plot 9 is the only vacant one, and that is only to allow access for works behind the poly tunnel. The waiting list stands at around seventy.

Sue has received reports of speeding from concerned plot holders, and remarked that the destroyed 5mph signs need replacing. AP Sue, Martin.

Plot holders are reminded that there is a 5mph speed limit on the site, indeed, on all parts of Pontcanna Fields after turning off Western Avenue, as the official signs indicate. Thanks everyone.

Sue said that a plot holder had pointed out that it appears that some allotmenteers have been using, or allowing other family members to use, the car park, for non-allotment business, such as visits to the university. This was at a busy time when parking was not easy.

Tenants are reminded that the car parks are only for visits whilst gardening, and for no other purpose. Thanks all.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Battery-powered hedge trimmer purchase – email from Richard. Although Richard had proposed a model, Sue reminded the Committee that PPAA already owned a powerful Husqvarna strimmer, and that their series of professional-grade tools was designed so that the – very expensive Lithium ion – batteries are interchangeable between models, and so only one charger – as already owned – would be needed, along with fewer batteries. Sue invited the Committee to consider the durability and value for money aspects of such a model instead, therefore. Martin said that he would provide the information to the Chair for distribution.

Shop – email from Richard. Those present acknowledged the valuable work done by the volunteers who have addressed the shop operation, and Jenny proposed that this de facto sub committee should and would have the full backing of the rest, in whatever they decided to do in this regard, in particular in relation to the matters raised in the email.

Improvements to parkland near to site – Sue. Sue said that she had been approached by interested tenants, as to whether PPAA would assist with the purchase of a bench near to the SE gate, and also with the Council’s wildflower meadow project. Wendy’s comment that use of funds off-site might be problematic was noted, and it was proposed to defer discussion until a better attended meeting.

Security – CCTV – Sue. Sue has learnt from the Community Gardens that they have suffered another break-in. This time their donations box was stolen. She was asked to re-open the issue of whether CCTV installation would be possible. Those present noted that there was interest among some absent Committee members in this, and it was suggested that they might form a working group, especially with extra effort from RCG volunteers, and with funding from PPAA. Further discussion was proposed.

Tenants are reminded never to leave cash or valuables unattended on site at any time, and always to lock the gate immediately after use, both on entering and leaving.

Any Other Business

Noticeboards, planters etc. – email from Dan. Dan proposed increased and improved notice board space, and also the enhancement of the main entrance aspect, by the installation of planters. Owing to the sparse attendance, Jenny proposed the deferral of this item.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1958.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 12th June, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

Car Parking for Allotment Use Only

A fellow plot holder has drawn our attention to a parking issue, which has the potential to become very problematic.

A car owned by a plotholder has been regularly arriving in the morning, a younger, presumed family member, is driving, he parks in our car park, then leaves the site and heads to the University across the road. The plotholder has then seen the young man returning a few hours later to collect his car.

His obvious fear, and one we share, is that our car parksing space could be seen as free parking for people working at/attending the University. Keys get cut and more people take advantage of the situation, and eventually we are log jammed with cars not on allotment business.

Therefore may we just remind people that parking on site is for the use of people on allotment business only. The relevant car number has been taken, and we are aware of the plot holder to whom it belongs. If this is the case and parking has been used in this manner,as it would appear, I trust that they will be reasonable and respect the council rules on this matter.