Possible interruption to site water supply.

The PPAA have been contacted by the Council re an apparent water leak on our site. There’s a chance of our water supply being shut off next week, while investigations are carried out. 

Unfortunately we’ve no further information at this point, but we’ll pass it on as and when we do have.

It’d be worthwhile keeping cans full then, as the dry weather looks set to continue.

Our understanding is however, that there’s possible confusion with a known leak on Pontcanna A/Llandaff Fields Allotments over the avenue – owing to the erroneous identifications shown on Google maps, perhaps – as has happened before. Our regular patrols find no water rising to the surface anywhere on PPA site on this occasion.

PPAA Website Team

Possible contaminated water trough alert.

The water, in the first trough to the left on the track to the Community Gardens, appears to be contaminated, with a milky appearance, and some spilled fluid on the filler cover (0930, 24/05/23).

If anyone knows what this might be, and it’s harmless, then can they please comment to let everyone know?

Otherwise baling out the trough a couple of times is obviously needed.

Can everyone please avoid rinsing or washing anything in the troughs for obvious reasons. Take water into a bucket or other container for doing this.

Thanks all.

Update: the leak has been repaired and the water seems clear as of this lunchtime 25 05 23.

We also have a likely explanation as to what the material in the water was and it would be quite harmless.

Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association: Minutes for Annual General Meeting held on 21st May 2023



Richard Masterman (Chair, 9), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer, 113b), Sue Jones (122a), Rob Loxton (79), Martin Pasek (122a)

Plot holders:

Monica Nobrega (62), Sera Jones (129), Dave King (47), Josie Henley (36), Reg Matthews (13B), Louise Shenstone (157a/b), Ian Douglas (25), Wanda O’Connor (6), Rhys Williams (137a), Chris & Victoria Springall (23).  

Apologies for absence:

Dan Phillips (124b), Christine Barford (131), Tim & Di Llewelyn (8), Kevin Magner (104b), 

Chair’s Welcome and Introduction

Richard welcomed all to the AGM. He explained that allotment committee meetings had continued post-Covid restrictions via Zoom. A couple of committee face changes were noted:- Phil and Jenny leaving the committee and Rob and Martin joining the committee.

It was sadly noted that Alan Coombs had sadly recently passed away and his contributions to allotment and committee life will be missed.

Committee Report

Richard outlined some of the work the committee had engaged with over the last twelve months:

  • Overgrown and badly attended plots had been a big point of discussion at the 2022 AGM. The relaxation of Council Covid restrictions had allowed plot inspections to return and a number of pre-notice letters had been issued which had resulted in some plots being released by the incumbent tenant and significant improvement work being carried out at others. The Council had been requested to issue five Termination Notices. 
  • Sue outlined the current status of plot allocations as follows:
  1. 4 vacant plots pending letting, 51B,  83B, 151A, 48A
  2. 2 plots in long term ongoing dispute with the council.
  3. After the clean or quit process of 2022, the PPAA requested that the Council terminate the tenancies of 6 plots, 28, 39b, 42b, 52a, 53b, 112b . The Council have given no confirmation of whether the notices were issued, and if so ,if any of the tenants appealed the decision.
  4. The council are not expecting to finalise the non-renewed tenancies / unpaid tenancies until late June at the earliest. 
  • Dan had implemented a re-organisation of the poly tunnel with the construction of additional grow beds and revised procedure for allocation. 
  • Wendy had arranged for a contractor to rebuild the section of stone boundary wall damaged by a recent tree fall.
  • The blocked culvert on Road 3 continues to be a problem with the back filling causing the 2-section inspection chamber lid to blow off opening up a 2m hole in the middle of the road as well as the discharge of silt on the road. Richard explained that this had been discussed with the Allotment Officer and a contractor last year and remedial action is with the Council. Committee members repeatedly recover the split lid and replace it to reduce the obvious hazard. The layers of silt on the road continue to be a problem for adjacent plot holders.
  • A website sub-group had been set up which had achieved good results with regard to dissemination of useful information to plot holders.
  • Sue had maintained pressure on Cardiff Parks with regard to deliveries of manure following the post-Covid suspension and without any advance heads-up deliveries resumed.
  • Richard/Sue explained that the Local Management Agreement (LMA) which PPA operates under had recently expired and would be renewed to the current Level 2 arrangement. In response to a query regarding the LMA it was explained that the Level 2 Agreement allowed the Committee a degree of autonomy from the Council but required a signed Agreement that the Committee are required to implement and abide with Cardiff Council allotment policies.
  • Other Committee activities included overhaul of the 4-wheel trolley and repairs to water trough pipework.

Treasurer’ Report

Wendy presented the draft accounts for the year which were being independently audited by Dave King. The accounts show a healthy positive balance.

In order to ease the end of year audit burden the Committee have agreed to implement a quarterly mini audit to ensure timely collection of information.

Election/Appointment of Officers and Committee Members

It was proposed to retain the current arrangement. Richard explained that the burden of work for a single Site Representative was onerous and the sharing of workload between available committee members was beneficial. There were no disagreements and the following were collectively proposed and seconded:

  • Site Representative Shared role 
  • Chair Richard Masterman
  • Treasurer Wendy Gunter
  • Members Sue Jones, Dan Phillips, Rob Loxton, Martin Pasek

Any Other Business

Various points were raised by attendees:

  • A request to provide skips to dispose of bulky unwanted materials. This would be a benefit to the many new plot holders who may have inherited from the previous occupier bits they have no use for. A number of dilapidated structures have also finally collapsed and will need removal and disposal.
  • Following a suggestion to collect metallic waste for recycling it was noted that Cardiff Rivers Group already have an arrangement for this.
  • The provision of bird boxes was suggested. Two owl boxes were installed a couple of years ago although one has since gone missing. It was noted that the linear tree distribution around the site isn’t best suited for owl boxes. Hedgehog boxes had also been introduced but are now showing signs of degrading. Further boxes will be considered.
  • It was noted that hedgehog sightings had reduced and one had been run over and killed on the main allotment road. Vehicle drivers are expected to be more observant and obey the 5mph speed advisory.
  • Richard explained that he was preparing a guidance note for the management of boundary hedges and wildlife habitat. He hoped to be able to call on the collective knowledge of interested plot holders to offer constructive comment. The procedure will need to be submitted to Cardiff Parks for their input/approval.
  • A plot holder raised the problem of a blocked path between adjacent plots. The tenant agreement signed by all plot holders specifically states that these paths and tracks should be maintained by the associated plot holders.
  • There was a long discussion regarding site security. Burglaries and shed break ins sadly are becoming more frequent with a recent spate of forcible entries. Revolting occurrences of perpetrators defecating inside a shed have been reported.
  • Richard explained that at the last Site Representatives’ Meeting many other sites have suffered theft and vandalism. The Allotment Officer had stated that the Council had appointed a Parks Community Safety Officer who might be able to provide some guidance on preventative measures.

There being no further discussion the meeting closed at 11:54.

Thanks to all who attended.

Site security, shed break-ins etc.

The authors are very sorry to have to report that there’ve been recent waves, including last night, of sheds and cubicles being forcibly entered. In some cases things have been stolen, in others not, but there’ve also been reports of someone’s having defecated in sheds or elsewhere.

There’re also very recent accounts of the Western Avenue gate having been left wide open. A number of these relate to a person on a motorcycle’s leaving the site at about 2000-2030 in the evening – on more than one occasion – leaving the gate fully open. Early morning visitors have also found the gate(s) open or unlocked, suggesting that they may have been left like that all night.

It’s important that the person(s) doing this be identified, and so PPAA Committee ask everyone to be vigilant.

Whether the two facts are related or not is unclear, but obviously leaving a gate unlocked is inviting this very thing.

Update 01 06 23: we have reports that masked/balaclava-clad men climbed into the site and broke into sheds. We are told that it was via the damaged wall with Llandaff Fields. One – relating to about 2200 Sunday last – mentioned three twenty-ish males, two white, one of colour who ran away when they realised that people were about. However, we would strongly advise anyone who has been the victim of such a crime to report it promptly. The police will only act on direct evidence from a victim or from a witness so there is no point whatsoever in anyone’s only telling the Committee in that regard. (These crimes would appear to fit an annual seasonal pattern, also with householders reporting break-ins to garden sheds etc.) We repeat our usual advice that expensive items such as power tools or anything else of high value density should not be left on site, and that damage can be avoided by leaving sheds unlocked.

As evidence of how determined these almost nightly criminal onslaughts are, here’s a picture of the RCG container office door this morning after a further break-in, despite security bars:

Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association Annual General Meeting

Thanks to Wyn for his permission to use this photo of his exemplary plot!

11:00 Sunday 21st May 2023 at the poly tunnel

There’re a few days yet to go before the 2023 AGM. This’ll be every plot holder’s opportunity to find out what PPAA Committee do, and to offer their suggestions as to how we can all improve our enjoyment and enhance the fruits of our labours on our plots. Since all of us allotment gardeners will be able to vote on policies, on offices, and on more, the better the attendance, the more representative of the site consensus will be the meeting, and so being there is very important for every one of us!

PPAA Committee

Message PPAA Committee

Minutes for PPAA Committee Meeting held on 9th May 2023 at 19:00 by Zoom

Present:  Richard Masterman (Chair), Sue Jones, Dan Philips, Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Robert Loxton, Martin Pasek

Apologies: None

Previous Minutes:

Meeting date 4th April 2023: Approved. 

Items arising not covered by the agenda:

  • The main trolley now has four puncture proof tyres and new side panels and is fully operational again despite its longevity and a rusty frame.

Other matters arising from the Committee meeting to be addressed as the agenda.

Chair Report

It is with sadness that the Committee noted the passing of “Welsh John,” a popular allotmenteer who had been very supportive of committee members, particularly Sue and Richard.

Site Representative 

  • Council

The next CAHA site representatives meeting is 17th May 2023. Richard to attend. There are several points which will be raised regarding plot inspections, plot termination notices, tenants appealing directly through local Councillors with PPAA Committee not given any opportunity to make a representation. (Post meeting note: Site Reps subsequently postponed to 31st May)

  • PPA

The Local Management Agreement with Cardiff Council which the committee are obliged to sign is due for renewal. Currently PPAA are signed up to Level 2 of the agreement. The Committee agreed to renew at Level 2 for a period of 3 years. Sue/Richard to inform Celia and request a copy of the agreement for final review before signing.

Treasurer’s report

Wendy reported that 2022-2023 accounts are now with the auditor but because of commitments they would not be signed off until end-May. Wendy advised that the Allotment Officer had confirmed that this would be acceptable.

Wendy suggested she would introduce an additional mid-season mini audit to simplify the end of year main audit.

Wendy advised that she would re-send a copy of PPAA insurance certificate to the Council where an earlier copy appears to have been mis-placed.

PPAA Subscriptions

It was noted that some plot holders do not pay the £5.00 subscription which is necessary be full member of the PPAA and access manure, woodchip, the allotment shop, plant sales, enter the polytunnel draw and (importantly) pay for PPAA insurance for the site, but that it is currently difficult to monitor late/non-payment. Dan agreed to look into how this could be done with Wendy.

Termination Notice Requests

All further actions are now with the Council. No feedback or update have been received.

Plot Re-inspections.

Plot inspections would continue through the growing season. Plot holders are reminded that each tenant’s agreement requires cultivation and not just suppression of weeds by large areas of ground cover.

Plot Vacancy/Letting and Structure Application

Sue advised that, since the last meeting, there are currently 2 vacant plots and there have been 4 approved applications to install a structure on a plot.

Sue advised that an updated waiting list was awaited from the Council which is needed before the two vacant plots can be offered for occupation. The waiting list is currently closed to new applications.

Wildlife Habitat

Richard advised that he is producing a draft winter work programme for habitat management. Nothing other the minimum necessary trimming to maintain vehicular access is expected during the current nesting season March to September. Plot holders are reminded that they should respect wildlife habitats.

Stone Wall Repair

Due to work and holiday commitments, work is expected to take place over two days in June. 


Attendance at AGMs is generally not great and plot holders are encouraged to attend as this is a good opportunity to raise suggestions for Committee consideration.

Notifications will be published shortly for the 2023 AGM to take place 11:00 Sunday 21st May at the poly tunnel.

Plant Sale

Dan advised that seed plantings in the poly tunnel were underway with the plant sale scheduled for 4th June 2023 and subsequent sales on a rolling basis subject to availability.

Any Other Business

Nothing further to report

Date of next meeting

AGM: 11:00 Sunday 21st May 2023 at the poly tunnel

Committee: 19:00 Monday 5th June 2023 at the poly tunnel