ASSOCIATION MINUTES 20th September 2020

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 20/09/20, at 1000, PPAA Allotments Site

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative – “Site Secretary”), Richard Masterman (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Sue Jones, Ian Douglas, Jamila Mohammed, Jenny Howell, Martin Pasek (Operational Support) Apologies: None received. General attendees: None.

Chairman’s report – Richard.

Richard welcomed the new office holders on the Committee to the meeting, thanked the previous ones for their work, and thanked Wendy for continuing as treasurer.

Site Secretaries’ report – outgoing Sue, incoming Philip.

Sue reported that due to the ongoing Council’s covid19 restrictions there had been no plots let, and no clean or quit orders issued, since the last meeting.

Philip confirmed that covid19 restrictions were still in effect. However the Allotments Officer had recently stated that plans were in place to reopen lists etc. in the near future, although the exact date had still to be announced.

Treasurer’s report – Wendy.

Wendy reported that the Grant for this year has been received and also increased, owing to a greater number of plots on site and more under sixty plot holders.

She said that BACS payments are working well, but that it is essential that the payers identify in the “comment” their plot numbers when paying, and whether the payment is for PPAA subscriptions, for the shop, or for both, e.g. “plot number subs”, “plot number shop”, or “plot number both.”

Wood chip and manure deliveries – Richard.

Wendy reported that there had been a delivery of good quality wood chip, which was rapidly used however.

Philip said that the Council had not announced any date to restart deliveries of manure.

Plot holders are reminded that they are welcome to cart or to barrow manure from the Riding School themselves during this period.

Hedge maintenance – Richard.

Site Representative, Philip, said that he had contacted the Council’s Allotments Officer, to try to arrange for hedge cutting to take place, and that she would reply within a week as to progress. AP Philip.

Poly tunnel repairs – Richard.

Ian said that he had quotes of around £250 for a new polythene cover, and that the current users of the beds in the tunnel were happy to get together for a day to replace the existing damaged one with it.

Trackway repairs – Richard.

It was agreed as before (minutes, passim) that the mud on the track running from the old club house round to the Community Gardens should be removed, and that the hardcore recently deposited on tracks at the other end of site should be covered with a more acceptable material. AP Richard.

Shop – Richard.

The successful on line operation will continue. Richard said that a clearer picture of popular items was emerging, and what to re-order. There is as yet no plan for a regular opening of the physical premises,

although occasional sales may take place, and if so then these will be publicised on the website and Facebook page.

Use/hire of power tools – Richard.

Several mentioned that there have been enquiries from plot holders on this. As there is no insurance cover nor volunteer time to manage such an operation, it is not possible for PPAA to offer this facility.

Water trough maintenance – Richard.

Martin mentioned that he had replaced leaking washers on ballcocks, and other parts, as the need arose. Sue said that she and some plot holders had cleared sediment from the troughs, although they would need to be done again before long. Philip will turn off the water at the end of October. AP Philip.

Plot holders are asked to report water leaks or any such problems to the Committee.

Any Other Business
Website – Philip.
Philip has offered to be webmaster, and to address the recent lack of maintenance. AP Philip. 

Fly-tipping prevention – Richard.

Sue reminded the meeting that areas which were cleared recently – at cash cost to PPAA – such as abandoned cubicles, the old clubhouse etc. are rapidly filling with fly-tipped rubbish once more. Philip proposed that using contractors who deal in boarding-up to seal these would be a worthwhile investment to save long-term on waste removal contractors. This would take place in the context of some of the cubicles being renovated for hire.

Plot holders are reminded that they must remove any rubbish that they may have from site themselves, to compost plant waste on their own plots, or to remove that likewise, and that fly-tipping anywhere on Council property is a serious offence which would also likely lose them their tenancy.

Paths between plots – Jenny.

Jenny asked that plot holders respect and maintain the access paths, as they are required by their tenancy terms to do. In particular, she urged the reinstatement of paths where they have either been cultivated – i.e. disappeared – or become impassable.

Ivy growth on boundary wall – Ian.

Ian raised the matter of the ivy damaging the wall. It was agreed that its removal would be beneficial if possible. AP Ian.

Renovation of cubicles – Philip.

Wendy reminded the meeting of the history of this proposal, and of the likely costs and problems. It was re- iterated that the recurring sticking point was the removal of the asbestos roofs, and that it had previously been resolved to settle this as a separate matter first, in order to clear the ways. (Minutes passim). AP TBA.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1110.

The next PPAA meeting will be [at a time and place to be arranged.]

2020 AGM Minutes 6th September

Present

Committee: Sue Jones (Site Representative – “Site Secretary”), Jenny Howell (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Plot holders: Richard Waters, (plot 103), Alan Coombs (plot 48a), Roger Benson (plot 127b), James Matthews (plot 24b), Mrs. J. Mohammed (plot 76a tbc), Philip Reardon (tbc).

Apologies: Richard Masterman, Jane Williams.

Chair’s Welcome and Introduction – Jenny

Jenny welcomed all to the AGM, and gave a summary of the meeting’s business. She emphasised the good fortune of plot holders in having access to their gardens during the covid19 restrictions, and thanked the Committee for their work since the last AGM.

Jenny announced that she would be stepping down as chair, but remaining on the Committee, subject to approval at the meeting.

Site Secretary’s Speech – Sue

Sue explained that since the start of the covid19 restrictions, the Council have placed a moratorium on all letting of plots, and also on the issuing of Clean Or Quit notices. This means that where plots have become overgrown due to the holder’s sheltering and non-attendance, there is understandably no action to be taken. She has not been sent any waiting lists or vacant plots lists, and so cannot report on them.

Sue announced that she would be stepping down as Site Representative (“Site Secretary”) but remaining on the Committee, and thanked Philip Reardon for offering to assume that position.

Sue thanked Jenny for her work as Chair.

PPAA Accounts – Treasurer’s Report – Wendy

Wendy brought printed copies for the attendees. She confirmed that Dave King, plot holder, had audited the accounts, and that he was content.

Wendy said that the Grant has been approved and is on its way, but remarked that dealing with the Council is awkward owing to covid19 measures at the moment.

She said that the shop operation – based on online pre-payment and collect/delivery – is working well, but asked that people please identify for what their payments are, i.e. Shop, or for Subs, or for both, or for whatever, along with their plot number – space permitting.

Richard Masterman sent an email detailing the shop’s business. Good progress has been made clearing old stock. Total sales for 2019/2020 were £709.70p, and £544.80p has been invested in new stock.

Election/Appointment of Officers – Jenny

Officers were proposed by Ian Douglas and seconded by Roger Benson. There were only single candidates for each position.

Philip Reardon was appointed unopposed as the new Site Representative (“Site Secretary”)

Wendy Gunter was re-appointed unopposed as Treasurer. 

Richard Masterman was appointed unopposed as the new Chair

Election/Appointment of Committee – Jenny

Jenny invited anyone present who was interested to join the Committee. Mrs. Jamila Mohammed kindly volunteered.

James Matthews proposed all existing Committee members who wished to continue to do so, and for Mrs. Mohammed also to be placed on the Committee. Ian Douglas seconded and all were appointed or re-appointed unopposed.

AOB

James Matthews queried when the Council would restart manure deliveries. At this stage the Committee have no information, but as per the notices placed on the gates by the Riding School, plot holders are welcome to take their barrows there and to help themselves for the time being.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1122.

Association Minutes 9th March 2020

Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association

Meeting Tuesday 9th March 2020

1. Present: Ian Douglas, Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Jenny Howell (Chair), Richard Masterman, Daniel Phillips, 

Apologies Sue Jones, Martin Pasek, Alex Brown 

2. Site Secretary’s Report

Wendy read out Sue’s report. We have 9 new plotholders and 4 plots still to fill. The waiting list is around 80 and the waiting time around 18 months.

One of the available plots, 26b, has a lot of rubbish on it which needs removing before it can be let. Richard has agreed to have a look at removal along with the remedial works to the road (see below). It is possible it may need to be removed by volunteers. AP: RM

There is a lot of rubbish building up in the sheds. It has been agreed that a temporary solution is to board up the sheds. Wendy will look into this. Once we have a date for the work to be done, we will arrange for a skip to be delivered so that we can clear the rubbish first. AP: WG

It was agreed that plotholders should be reminded of their responsibility to keep their plots clean and remove their own rubbish. Jenny to put a note on the website to this effect.     AP: JH

3. The bottom road

Richard gave us an update on the situation with the road nearest the shop. The contractor has deposited hardcore which he claimed was perfectly acceptable for this kind of work. In fact, the road has some glass and other items which are not appropriate as a top surface. It was agreed that with a suitable top surface, it would be fine to leave the existing material in place. Dan offered to seek the advice of a friend of his who is a civil engineer on the best way forward. Richard is happy to continue to manage the work going forward. It was agreed that at the same time, a price should be sought to improve the road across the top of Llandaff Fields, and along the boundary fence with WJEC. This work may need to be phased. AP: DP and RM

4. AGM and Plant Fair

The date of the plant fair has been set for Saturday 16th May. We decided to have the AGM on Sunday 17th May at 11am so that we can continue to sell unsold plants at the same time.

5. Shop

Richard and Ian have very kindly offered to open the shop on the first Sunday of each month, starting on 3rd May and finishing in September. AP: ID and RM

6. Committee Members

Dan commented on the lack of committee members, and felt that more people might be happy to contribute if they felt their commitment was not too great and open ended. An example was taking the monthly minutes, or showing people around their plot for the first time. He has offered to write something that we can use on Facebook, the website and before the AGM that might encourage new people to step forward. AP: DP

7. Polytunnel Damage

Ian said that the high winds had caused irreparable damage to the plastic covering on the polytunnel. He was happy to do some running emergency repairs to get us through to the plant sale. However he felt that a new cover should be bought and fixed during the summer months. It would cost around £300 – £400. It was agreed this could go ahead. AP: ID

8. Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 7th April, 7pm, Butchers Arms

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.

Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association 5th November 2019

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 05/11/19, at 1800, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Sue mentioned that re the problem with the overflowing culvert, despite the renewed recent very heavy rains there has been no further deposit of mud on the central car park, and the manhole cover was in place. It was assumed that someone had replaced it since the last inspection.

On the brick cubicles, Sue has approached an asbestos removals contractor, and he says that it is exactly the work in which he specialises. He should be shortly giving a quote. AP Sue.

Richard has done a survey, and made a site plan of the areas which are to be cleared of debris, compost etc. However, he is aware that hedgehogs may be hibernating in much of the material, and so it was proposed to delay clearance until spring. AP Richard. 

The Committee were dismayed, however, to learn that a plot holder had been seen bringing a car on site, apparently laden with domestic garden waste, and then putting it on the large pile which has arisen on site!

Tenants are reminded, yet again, that it is expressly forbidden in the Conditions Of Tenancy to bring any waste material onto site for fly-tipping, which is what this is. Cardiff City Council collect garden waste from homes in any case, and so it is astonishing that anyone should do this.

The Council provide no service of waste collection from allotment sites, and PPAA have to pay contractors to clear such piles from limited funds. That is why the unauthorised “communal” compost heaps are being phased out.

Please, as per your tenancy agreement, compost your plant waste on your own plot and take all unwanted materials off site for disposal.

On the website improvements, Jenny said that she and Alex had not yet arranged any tutorial, but she was reasonably confident that given access to the site, from her own experience, she would be able to do what was needed. She proposed emailing Alex for passwords and key facts etc. AP Jenny.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s Report – Sue. Sue said that she has had four responses from people considering giving up their plots following last month’s advice, and 

it was agreed that the publicity had been worthwhile.

Any Other Business

Wendy mentioned that opportunistic parking in the turning from the Lime Avenue into site sometimes blocked or hindered access. Sue proposed asking the Council to extend the double yellow lines. AP Sue.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1910.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Tuesday, 7th January 2010, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, provisionally at 1800.

Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 1 October 2019

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there were three non-renewals of tenancy and that thirteen Pre-Clean Or Quit and six Clean Or Quit notices had been issued. She had also accompanied the Council’s Allotment’s Officer on a site visit, who agreed with the Site Secretary’s reports.

Important: Sue urges any tenant who is considering giving up their holding to let her know, and to do this on a voluntary basis. This means that they can then re-apply for tenancy if and when that once again becomes feasible for them. Once a tenant has been served notice to quit on the other hand, the Council may not again consider them for any site in Cardiff, should they re-apply.

Sue pointed out the problem with the overflowing culvert to the Officer, who said that the Council did not have the funds to call in contractors again. It was proposed that PPAA hire an inspection to establish the location and extent of the problem.

The flooding from the recent exceptional rains has left the central car park covered in a film of very slippery mud. Plot holders are advised to be very careful.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Brick cubicles restoration – Wendy. Wendy said that builders had looked at the job, but there were problems, in that no one seemed to want to remove the asbestos roofs, and that the doors are a none-standard size.

Sue knows a contractor who specialises in asbestos removal. It was proposed to clear the site completely of it, and to approach the restoration job afresh after that. AP Sue.

The Committee thanked Wendy for her work.

Website – Alex. The Committee were pleased to see Alex at the meeting, now that the other demands on his time had eased. Alex apologised for the delay in posting minutes etc. on the website of late, and said that he was happy to continue as an administrator of the site, but agreed that it would be beneficial if there were others also in a position to do this. Alex and Jenny agreed to arrange between themselves the tuition to enable her to do this. AP Alex, Jenny.

Ease of location of reference documents on the website was raised as an issue, and Alex said that he would look at this. AP Alex.

Alex also invites any plot holder, who has an interest in photography, to offer attractive, seasonal images of the allotments site, for incorporation into the website, so as to improve its artistic and visual aspects.

Any Other Business

Compost Heaps – Wendy. Wendy noted that these were getting large and out of hand.

Richard proposed that as a digger and truck would be hired to clear the land behind the poly tunnel, that would also be the time to remove the compost heaps and other piles of material encumbering the site. AP Richard.

The various uses to which the resulting space could be put were discussed. Sue suggested returning it to a leasable plot and this was welcomed, not least because it would not require Committee maintenance thereafter.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 2002.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Tuesday, 5th November, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1800. (Please note the earlier time).

Minutes of Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association – 28th August 2019

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that, as last month, there are no new tenants, and that the site is full, bar one plot temporarily needed for works access. The waiting list stands at around sixty-five.

She said that overgrown plots were becoming apparent, and that she would be undertaking her rounds for the Clean-Or-Quit Notice process.

She attended the Cardiff Allotments Site Reps Meeting. The Council’s allotments officer apologised for the communications difficulties that reps had been experiencing, but it was unclear to Sue, what steps would be taken to resolve the backlog of outstanding matters.

The CAHA reps said that they were in the process of looking at a rewording of the Tenancy Agreement to clarify some points, and that they would submit it to the Council for adoption. They were also looking at suggestions for simplifying and for speeding the Clean-Or-Quit Notice procedure.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Grant – Wendy. Wendy reported that this years money was now in the bank.

Brick cubicles restoration – Wendy. Wendy said that quotes were still awaited, but that she was also willing to start tendering for them herself. The Committee backed her, and suggested that a schedule of the specific jobs required be drafted. AP Wendy plus all.

Fly-tipping, trough fouling etc. – Wendy. Wendy said that a plot holder had been apprehended whilst dumping clippings in the centre car park, and that another had been witnessed washing produce of mud in a water trough.

The Committee remind all, that fly-tipping anywhere on the site, or over its boundaries, is a serious breach of the terms of tenancy, and may very well result in the loss of that tenure, and even in prosecution. The Committee is considering what action to take re this instance.

Please do not wash tools, produce, or anything else in the water troughs. The reasons for this are too obvious to need further explanation.

Website – Wendy. The Committee agreed that additional effort was needed to keep the website updated.

Shop – Richard. Richard said that the sale days had been successful, with considerable interest amongst about fifty customers. He thought that a clearer position as to the suitable times of year, frequency of opening etc. for the shop had emerged from the experience, and from his discussions with the customers. Wendy noted that a commendable sum had been received from it too.

Any Other Business

Composting toilet – Richard. Richard repeated what Ian had said at the last meeting, that there is interest among some plot holders, in having these facilities, if possible, towards the southeast end of the site.

Sue and Jenny again mentioned that the Council let plots on the site on the basis that it is defined as one without toilets, and that that those which are charge higher rentals. However, it was agreed that a major problem, as with other proposals, is that with only very few active Committee members, there simply is not the volunteer effort available to project manage the installation, nor to maintain it afterwards.

Sue reiterated her and earlier Site Secretaries’ requests, that plot holders make proper representations for any proposals either in writing to her – preferably by email – or by attending a Committee meeting.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1938.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Tuesday, 1st October, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

Minutes of PPAA – 10th July 2019

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are no new tenants, and that the site is full, bar one plot temporarily needed for works access.

However, Sue went on to say that her core site business has come to a halt, owing to severe communication problems with the Council’s relevant staff. Sue has spoken with other CAHA reps and found that she is not alone. Neither emails nor the ‘phone are being answered.

There is a new system too. Once requested, the lists of those waiting, of holders, and of available plots, are posted on a council portal, for the Site Secretary, to access securely electronically. They no longer contain addresses, which can make communicating with plot holders and potential plot holders very difficult, especially if email addresses and/or ‘phone numbers are either unavailable or incorrect.

She has made a number of enquiries as to what the underlying problem is, but nothing conclusive has emerged so far. It was agreed to take the matter further, to whatever level might be required to resolve the difficulties.

Wendy commented, that she too has been unable to obtain any information, as to this year’s Grant – it should have been paid in May.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Composting toilet – Ian. Ian reported that there is interest among plot holders, in having these facilities, if possible, towards the southeast end of the site.

Sue mentioned that the Council let plots on the site on the basis that it is defined as one without toilets. Jenny added, that those which are charge higher rentals. However, it was agreed that a major problem, as with other proposals, is that with only very few active Committee members, there simply is not the volunteer effort available to project manage the installation, nor to maintain it afterwards.

Security – Ian. There have been reports of thefts and criminal damage to sheds etc. Two youths on bicycles have been seen loitering by the gates, and attempting to follow in tenants. They were excluded on that occasion. The southeast gate has also been found unlocked at times.

Tenants are reminded always to lock the gate immediately after use, both on entering and on leaving, and never to admit strangers. Please be vigilant, and report crimes to the police.

Restoration of land behind poly tunnel – Sue. Sue said that her work to find a suitable contractor to deal with all the issues remains on-going.

Shop – Richard, Ian. The type of operation which would probably be possible was envisaged. It would likely consist of limited opening, say, a monthly Sunday morning during the growing season, and publicised sale days.

Richard kindly emailed a newsletter detailing this, and a list of items for a two-day clearance sale, proposed for the weekend of 20/21st July. It was agreed to publicise these electronically, and on the notice boards.

Email agenda items from Dan – Jenny. Jenny proposed the deferral of these items until a better-attended meeting.

Any Other Business

Thanks to Council – Jenny. Jenny remarked on how pleasant she found the meadow areas project in the park nearby, and was joined by all in thanking the Council for this idea.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 2010.

Provisionally, the next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 28th August, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

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.