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.

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