Association Minutes 7th January 2020

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 07/01/20, at 1910, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

It was immediately apparent that PPAA are very short of volunteer effort on the Committee to carry out and to manage new projects of any kind. There have been several meetings of late with just a few present.

As a result its activities will unavoidably be restricted to the absolute necessities of plot-letting and related matters at least in the short term. In particular those present expressed regret that so far it has not been possible to update the website.

Sue expressed her wish to stand down as Site Secretary at the next AGM, which means that the requirement for new officers is acutely urgent.

The Committee believe that all plot holders, who value the continuation of the site as allotments should consider very seriously what they might do to help.

Local authorities are ever more short of funds, and cannot afford to maintain sites directly to anything like the standards hitherto achieved by volunteers at PPAA. 

This is against a background of ever increasing pressure for urban development land, and the loss of countless allotment sites to such schemes across the country in recent times. If sites fall into neglect, then that greatly strengthens the case of those interested in changing their use for building or for other purposes. Sites do enjoy some protection in law, but where the council favours a change of use, there are procedures to overreach those protections. 

Site Secretary’s Report – Sue.

Sue said that there are three new plot holders, and four empty plots, two of which will have to be cleared of junk etc. at PPAA’s expense.

The Committee warmly welcome the new tenants.

Email from Richard re clearance by poly tunnel etc. Richard says:

I have spoken with the ground contractor and he is checking the availability to hire the riddle bucket required clear more roots. He will be getting back to me shortly with a date when he can return to site. 

I have also raised a concern with him over the material used for the track and suggested that he should remove a shallow layer and replace with a surface of crushed stone/gravel. Discussions are proceeding.

I don’t expect all this to take more than one/two days and hopefully it will get sorted in the next couple of weeks. Ian has volunteered to assist in my absence.

Any Other Business

Owls – Sue. Sue has had a report of what appeared to be owl pellets near some of the recently-installed owl boxes.

Woodchip piles – Martin. Martin said that it seems that a private contractor is gaining entry to the site, and dumping poor quality material in the pens. The Council were asked to cease this, to enable the backlog to be used.

Plot holders are asked to look out for, and to make a note of the identity of any contractor who appears to be dumping trade waste anywhere on the site. We have asked one to stop doing this, but there may be others. None are authorised to do this at present.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 2000. It was proposed to make meetings bi-monthly for the time being.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Tuesday, 3rd March 2020, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

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