Dogs on PPA Site

A concerned plot holder has contacted PPAA Committee, about certain dogs apparently being allowed to roam freely whilst on the allotment site. In this case the dog was trampling over another plot’s crops. Clearly, this is not acceptable. Also, apart from any visible damage, it’s probably fair to say that all of us plot holders want to be sure that no dog has fouled or marked our produce in any way while we have not been there.

So, while dogs are allowed on to the allotments, their owners are reminded that it is a requirement of our tenancy to keep all of our dogs on a lead – or tethered – at all times whilst within the site boundaries. (Tenancy Agreement, Provision 18 in the Schedule).

Kind thanks everyone.

PPA Website Team

There has been a delivery of manure…yes, really

While enjoying a walk in the rain this morning, the Website Team noticed Council workers busily shifting manure from the Riding School to PPA site, the way that one does.

Given that it is an absolute requirement for the School to be rid of its encumbrance, and that it can also be disposed of for no cost right next door, this would seem to be the only possible logical action by the Council, so we are pleased to note that this would appear to have occurred to someone in a position to act, and we express our gratitude to them.

The delivery is substantial, and we trust that drivers will forgive the temporary loss of car parking space in the Western Avenue car park. However, in view of this, could everyone please use that which is taking up parking space first – thanks.

We have no further information as to whether this will be a regular occurrence as previously, however.

PPA Website Team

Minutes for PPAA Committee Meeting held on 11th October 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom

Update: the information given by Council workers to PPAA Committee re manure deliveries would appear to have been superseded – 24 10 22.

Present:  Richard Masterman (Chair), Sue Jones, Dan Philips, Alan Coombs

Apologies: Jenny Howells, Wendy Gunter (Treasurer)

Previous Minutes:

Matters arising from Committee meeting 30th August 2022 and Working Group meeting to be addressed as agenda items.

Agenda Items

Polytunnel

Dan had previously circulated discussion document proposing actions to make more efficient use of the poly tunnel with additional grow beds for plot holders, reduced storage by utilising adjacent containers and retaining areas for plant sale propagation.

There is potential for external cold frames which would further enhance the facility.

Dan volunteered to produce a winter works programme and to establish a small working group to implement

Sue stressed the necessity that the draw for allocation of beds must be available to all plot holders who meet the agreed criteria.

The Committee approved the proposals. The key elements agreed were:

The beds will be allocated for the growing season 1 March to 31st January to broadly align with plot tenancies (2nd Feb to 1st Feb) and allow bed holders to maximise their use over winter. The ballot will be held in February each year. 

Successful applicants will be charged £5 pa towards polytunnel upkeep.

Conditions for entry for ballot:

Entrants must be a PPAA plot holder with a valid tenancy agreement for the coming year and be a paid-up current member of the PPAA. (£5.00 annual subs).

Only the plot holder named on the plot tenancy may apply and only one application per plot is allowed.

Successful candidates cannot sublet or transfer their grow bed to other plot holders.

The use of the bed is for two consecutive designated growing seasons (March to January). 

A new ballot will be held each season. Half the beds will be allocated and drawn each year. If a bed become vacant during its allocated term it will be reallocated for the remainder of the term.

Should a successful candidate cease to be a tenancy holder then their grow bed will be forfeit and reallocated.

In the event of a large number of applications, applicants who have already had a grow bed for two consecutive seasons will be ineligible for the draw

Plot inspections

Jenny had forwarded an update on plot inspections as follows:

17 No notices of non-cultivation had been issued

3 No plot holders are considering leaving PPA

9 No plot holders have advised they are in the process of improving

5 No plot holders have not responded in any way

The specified notice period expires 12 Oct and further inspections will take place in accordance with Council procedures and requirement.

Any plots not improved without valid reason will be reported to the Council who will issue termination notices. An appeal period would still be available for individuals

Dan reported that the clearance of some vacant and overgrown plots is progressing well.

Ground cover membrane has been usefully used on several plots and it was agreed that future inspections should continue to ensure the plot is cultivated properly as it’s intended purpose and ground is not simply covered. Site inspections are proposed for late November/early February 2023 prior to a Committee meeting and before Council renewal notices are issued. 

The separation between some plots has become indistinct and plot holders are requested to take time to maintain the access paths.

Vacancy list

Sue reported that she had met and offered plots to new tenants as plots have become available and the waiting list is now greatly reduced although still in excess of 60.

Manure delivery

Sue reaffirmed the Council response that deliveries would not re-commence.

The cost of engaging a private contractor to deliver manure and is being investigated. However, plot holders are encouraged to collect their own supply from the stables at no cost. 

Communications 

Dan reported that the sub-group were making good progress with rationalising the various communication platforms currently open.

Undesirable self-seeded saplings and overhanging ivy.

These will be addressed as a secondary priority behind the clearance of overgrown plots.

Information for new plot holders

Alan had provided a link which might be of interest to new plot holders.

Sue advised that she highlighted to prospective new tenants various Council and PPAA driven documents which are available to assist with allotmenteering.

Vehicles 

Following an unnecessary verbal exchange from a driver to older and less able pedestrians all drivers are requested and reminded to show due courtesy and respect to other site users. Please note the site speed limit is 5 mph as it is on the main Llandaff Fields park road.

Chair Report

Nothing further to report

Site Representative 

Committee members have continued to undertake matters and are addressing PPA issues including responding to plot holder Gmail queries, shop purchases and contact with the Council

Council matters

Richard reported that the next Council run meeting for all Site Representatives would take place 9th November 2022 and he would attend.

PPAA matters

Items addressed in Agenda Items

Treasurer’s report

Nothing additional to report from previous meeting

Any Other Business

Richard to turn off site water main and report meter reading to the Allotment Officer

Items for discussion next meeting

Committee recruitment

Date of next meetings

Next Committee meeting Monday 28th November 2022 Zoom or site.

Western Avenue Gate Update

PPAA Committee had a report yesterday – 06 10 22 – that a lady was trapped in the site with her car, unable to open the Western Avenue gate, but learned later that she had happily managed to get out.

On inspection that evening there appeared to be no problem with the lock this time, but it seemed that the gate had a tendency to stick, requiring a firm nudge or yank to open it. This meant that it could be left wedged shut, but unlocked, in turn causing confusion when people wanting to unlock the gate could not turn their keys. Unfortunately, it also appears that someone has been doing this very thing at times. Could we all please always lock the gate immediately we have closed it behind us – thanks everyone.

On further inspection this morning, it was apparent that the hinge eye bolts needed adjustment. This has been done and the gate no longer sticks, and all seems fine again at the moment.

Site volunteers.