Committee Minutes

A complete archive of the Committee Minutes back to July 2017. For earlier ones still see the blog archive, where they were generally repeated.

Committee Working Group Minutes 11 07 22

Minutes for PPAA Working Group held on 11 July 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom

Present: Phillip Reardon (Site Rep), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Richard Masterman (Chair), Jenny Howell, Sue Jones, Jon Townley, Dan Phillips, 

Apologies:  Alan Coombs, Martin Pasek.

Introduction

  • Richard advised that a number of issues had arisen which warranted a dedicated working group to separately consider outside the normal framework for committee meetings.

Constitution

  • The Committee are aware that the PPAA Constitution as it stands is out of date and contains references which are no longer appropriate and an overhaul should be considered.
  • Any changes to the Constitution must be accepted by Cardiff Council and also by a vote of plot holders at a special or annual general meeting.
  • To avoid any misinterpretation a note has been included on the website to explain that amendments are being considered for future implementation.
  • With this in mind the group agreed that the original Constitution would remain in place unaltered whilst revisions are drafted for consideration by the Committee and submission to the Council in readiness for discussion and vote by plot holders at the AGM 2023.
  • The working group will report to the Committee and reconvene in due course to assess progress.

Website

  • In a similar manner the website also requires an update to make it more relevant to current plot holders.
  • A committee helper has undertaken a few obvious alterations and the working group will provide further suggestions for inclusion and consideration by the Committee.

General Information for Plot Holders

  • The document on the website will be amended to be in line with the Constitution 

 

Maintenance of Plots

  • The Committee are fully cognisant that a number of plots are badly overgrown and can be a source of great irritation to adjacent plot holders not to mention the huge list of people waiting for a plot who otherwise might be more productive.
  • Phil explained that official process of Clear or Quit notices managed by the Council had got back to a slow start following the Covid enforced moratorium and a number of notices were with the Council awaiting execution.
  • There was lots of discussion regarding what if anything the Committee can do to improve the site situation with the following plan:
  1. Site inspections will continue and a schedule of plots of interest and status will be produced for regular review by the Committee. 
  2. The Committee will be considering ways to follow up poorly tended plots with the associated plot holder in advance of the formal Clear or Quit procedure.

Finance

  • Wendy confirmed the grant had now been received.
  • The simplified method for paying for the website is now in place,
  • Wendy highlighted the requirement for the return of the key deposit from leaving plot holders and the collection from new.

Hedge and Verge Trimming

  • Plot holders are to be reminded that they are responsible for maintaining the dividing path between plots and also their part of the verge to a site road.
  • Some careful hedge trimming has been carried out by a committee member with emphasis on minimising any interference to wildlife.

Exposed Drainage Chamber on Road 3

  • The lid has been recovered and reinstalled by a committee member.    

Any Other Business

  • None. 
  • Actions from this working group and the previous committee meeting will be discussed at the next committee meeting.

Date of Next Committee Meeting

  • Revised to Tuesday 09 August 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom.

COMMITTEE 08 06 2022 MINUTES

Minutes for PPAA Committee Meeting held on 08 June 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom

Present: Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Richard Masterman (Chair), Jenny Howell, Sue Jones, Jon Townley

Apologies: Dan Philips, Alan Coombs, Philip Reardon (Site Representative), Martin Pasek.

Previous Minutes:

  • Items from previous meeting to be addressed as agenda items

Chair Report

  • Richard suggested committee WhatsApp group and agreed to set up.

Site Representative – items for discussion: 

Council matters

  • Nothing further received regarding storm damage to perimeter walls
  • Nothing further received regarding the off-site tree report
  • No further information received regarding the overflowing culvert. It would be useful to have an update so silt discharges can be effectively cleared.
  • A point was raised at the AGM regarding Council’s revised procedure for new structures and clarification of what qualifies as requiring permission. The revised document has been issued to plot holders and the committee are not aware of any further query.

PPAA matters

  • The principal matter for concern is the over grown nature of many plots.
  • Phil had reported for the AGM the situation regarding vacant plots, void plots, waiting list and “clean or quit” notices
  • The committee are actively looking in to the management of unattended plots although a number of constraints hamper progress:
  1. Unattended plots cannot be cleared until the Council advise rental payment has not been received and a tenancy has been terminated. This has often taken an unnecessarily long time and is not within the control of the Committee.
  2. Plot holders are responsible for maintaining a minimum level of cultivation and the Committee are unable to intervene.
  • It is recognised that the pandemic has caused an unavoidable increase in the number of unattended plots but Council restrictions are now lifted and enforcement of the Plot Holder Agreement signed by all to maintain their site will be implemented.
  • The identification of each plot number was discussed and the merit of holding a competition for the best plot sign or issuing each plot with a permanent plot number tag was considered and, although this has been done in the past and labels have disappeared, it was agreed that this would be looked at further.

Treasurer’s report

  • Wendy confirmed that audited accounts have been issued to the Council and grant payment approved and payment is awaited.
  • Wendy requested submission of any outstanding PPA subscriptions and key deposits from new tenants so she can update records.

Any Other Business

  • Fly tipping remains a problem. 
  • It was previously agreed to obtain two skips for litter picking and for plot holders to dispose of awkward waste from their site. Richard undertook to arrange for early July. 
  • It was noted that the leaking water trough by the old shop has been repaired.
  • Sue highlighted all paths and verges separating plots from the access tracks and neighbouring plots should be kept clear by the associated plot holder(s). This includes the verges up to the edge of a made-up roadway.
  • It was agreed that the committee would consider hiring a large brush cutting machine and obtaining additional weed barrier matting to assist with clearing overgrown plots and other areas although it was noted that some communal ground would be left for re-wilding and pollinator habitat.
  • The plant sale has been set for Sunday 12 June 2022 at the poly tunnel. Dan Philips and Ian Douglas are coordinating and have issued a general flyer advertising the event.
  • Next meeting – to be confirmed nearer the date

Committee 19:00 Tuesday 02 August 2022 

2022 AGM Minutes 

Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association

Minutes for Annual General Meeting held on 24 April 2022

Present: 

Committee: 

Richard Masterman (Chair 9), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer 113b), Sue Jones (122b), Dan Phillips (124b), Jenny Howells (128)

Plot holders:

Roger Benson (127b), Roger Phillips (60), Sue Waring (60), Tim Llewellyn (8), Alan Coombs (5/48a), Dick Waters (103b), Jane Davies-Williams (88/89), Reg Matthews (), Graham ?? (70), Jana Herak (65)

Apologies for absence:

Phillip Reardon (Site Representative), Jon Townley, Simon and Liz Coombs

Chair’s Welcome and Introduction

Richard welcomed all to the AGM which is the first face to face meeting for some while. He explained that allotment committee meetings had continued through the Covid restrictions via Zoom and he thanked his fellow committee members for their interest and enthusiasm in keeping PPA running well and one of Cardiff’s best sites.

Site Representative’s Report

Phillip had tendered his apologies for not being able to attend and had provided a written report, as follows, which Richard read out:

Letting of Plots – At the start of the covid19 restrictions, the Council placed a moratorium on all letting of plots, and on the issuing of Clean or Quit notices. This meant that we had several plots that had become overgrown due to the holder’s sheltering and non-attendance, there was understandably no action taken.  At the tail end of last year, the council allowed us to start to let plots and to start to issue notices.  Currently we have around 15 notices in the pipeline and will be taking further action on these when advised to do so by the council.  I’m pleased to report that in March we had no available plots to let following the letting of several plots.  Unfortunately, since then, we have had approximately 20 tenants give up their plots due to multiple reasons. I will be looking at letting these over the next few weeks.  

 The waiting list is currently closed for our site with 127 people on it.  

 I’m also pleased to report that we have now got a regular delivery of both horse manure and wood chips. These were stopped by the council during covid to allow them to deploy their resources elsewhere.  

 The council have recently reissued the application for placing any structures on an allotment.  This will be emailed out to all plot holder within the next few weeks.  No structure (Sheds, Greenhouses etc) can be placed on a plot without this application being completed and approved.

I would like to place on record my thanks to the Committee and Chair for all their hard work over the past year. 

A few points were raised and discussed:

  • Unattended and overgrown plots cause a significant nuisance to adjacent plot holders. It was noted that Clean or Quit orders had only recently been reintroduced and that currently approximately 15 were under consideration. These are to be progressed.
  • Clarification on the Council’s revised procedure for requesting a structure was requested. It was noted that the revised application form would be issued shortly.

Treasurer’s Report

Wendy circulated a financial report for the year explaining that not much significant expenditure had taken place except for the improvements to two site roads which had deteriorated badly.

Plot holders who purchase items from the shop via bank transfer must enter ”shop” in the bank reference.

No queries or questions were raised and the report was accepted.

Election/Appointment of Officers and Committee Members

Two plot holders expressed their interest in joining the committee which is very welcome.

There were no adjustments to the current set up and all officers and general committee members were proposed and seconded as follows:

Site representative Phillip Reardon

Chair Richard Masterman

Treasurer Wendy Gunter

General Sue Jones, Jenny Howells, Dan Phillips, Jon Townley and Alan Coombs

Any Other Business

Several issues were raised and discussed:

  • Recent storm/tree damage and condition of boundary walls is of concern for security and safety reasons. This is a Council issued. PPAA have no responsibility.
  • Council maintenance of large perimeter trees which overhang plots causing safety concerns. No report regarding the survey the Council stated would be commissioned has been received.
  • Council removal of the obviously dead off-site tree behind the poly tunnel and adjacent plots.
  • Fly tipping of off-site waste materials

These items were noted for follow up and further review at future committee meetings.

The provision of an annual or twice annual skip for plot holders to dispose of bulky waste like paving slabs, damaged glass from greenhouses/cold frames etc and rotten wooden pallets was discussed. It was generally agreed that this would be overall benefit despite the risk that it might allow off-site material to appear. It is regularly noted in Committee Meeting Minutes that such an activity would be a breach of plot holder agreement with the Council and could result in termination of the rental agreement.

Two water tanks have reported leaks. These will be remedied.

The blocked culvert under Road 3 by the old club house which regularly backs up and deposits silt on the road has been looked at by the Council who are undertaking some work. The last update from the Allotment Officer was that work would continue through April although detail of the proposed works and progress is not available.

Following the good work of Ian Douglas in repairing the storm damaged poly tunnel, Dan and Jenny are coordinating a reorganisation of the internal layout. Dan suggested that the plant sale could resume again this year but possibly on a reduced scale. Further details to be provided. 

The poor trimming of hedges carried out by an unknown contractor was noted. This had been done without prior notification when some direction could have been provided to reduce the impact on the habitat for nesting birds. It was suggested that a recent change of personnel at Parks Department might facilitate better communication in the future regarding hedge management.

A plot holder asked if assistance could be provided with some work to a fruit cage she could not manage. There are no formal arrangements and it was suggested that the good nature of fellow plot holders could be prevailed upon.

No further items to discuss and the meeting closed at 11:48

Committee Meeting 05 04 2022

Minutes for PPAA Committee Meeting held on 05 April 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom

Present: Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Richard Masterman (Chair), Jenny Howell, Dan Phillips,
Phil Reardon (Site Representative)
Apologies: Sue Jones, Martin Pasek

Previous Minutes:

–  Items from previous meeting to be addressed as agenda items
Chair Report

– Overflowing culvert: An email has been received from the Allotment Officer stating
that initial cctv and jetting should commence during April 2022.

Site Representative’s Report:

– Council supplied water butts have been received although in a disjointed fashion.
Matching stands are awaited. The Council state that these are to be retained on site
although the Committee have not taken any responsibility in this respect.

– The Community Gardens are continuing to be plagued by theft and unauthorised
access. All plot holders are urged to be vigilant with regard to securing entry gates at
all times. The committee noted that unfortunately the Association is unable to secure
the site boundaries.

– Phil noted that revised Council procedures now require all new structures on plots
must have prior written consent from Cardiff Parks Dept. This includes greenhouses,
sheds and the like. Pre-existing structures can remain.

Treasurer’s report

– To assist with audit procedures, Wendy again requested plot holders to indicate on
bank transfers their plot number and purpose for all payments. Eg: subs, shop

–  Wendy confirmed that audit information is being prepared.

Any Other Business

– Richard reported that batches of the seed potatoes have been sold but further stock
is still available. Plot holders to email their requirements to:
pontcannapermallotments@gmail.com

– Fly tipping remains a problem with rubble and other clearly non-site materials being
brought to site and left.
– Plot holders are requested to report to the Council any incident so inspection and
possible identification of source can be carried out for police or disciplinary action.

– It was noted that in previous years that minutes of committee meetings had been
made available directly to individual plot holders but complications with the set up of
MailChimp and the WordPress website brought it in to disuse. Phil has instigated
rationalisation and improvement so that the procedure can be more readily
reintroduced.

– Dan reported good progress with tidying the poly tunnel and a skip would now be
useful for the removal of unwanted material. Richard to contact the Council to
arrange. 12 April was agreed as a clear out date. Also to look in to a second skip for 24
April 2022 at the top car park to facilitate a general site litter pick and tidy up. This
would provide plot holders with a one-off opportunity to remove storm damaged and
unwanted materials. Plot holders are reminded that bringing rubbish from off-site
would be a breach of their agreement with the Council.

– The date for the AGM was fixed as 11:00 Sunday 24 April 2022 to be held at/in the
poly tunnel. An agenda will be issued nearer the time. All plot holders are reminded
that volunteers for the committee are welcome and if anyone fancies a go at any
position or the general support roles, they should contact Phil Reardon.

– Next meeting

AGM 11:00 Sunday 24 April 2022 at the poly tunnel
Committee 19:00 Tuesday 07 June 2022

– Meeting closed at 20:10

COMMITTEE MEETING 08 02 22

Minutes for PPAA Committee Meeting held on 08 February 2022 at 19:00 by Zoom

Present: Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Richard Masterman (Chair), Jenny Howell, Dan Phillips

Apologies: Phil Reardon (Site Representative), Sue Jones, Martin Pasek

Previous Minutes:

  • Items from previous meeting to be addressed as agenda items

Chair Report

  • Overflowing culvert: No further comment received from the Council. Richard and Phil to contact the Allotment Officer for an update to this item and also the correct reinstatement of road repairs in the main site roads following water leak investigations.

Site Representative’s Report: Email report from Phil

  • No communication from the Council in the last period
  • All plots on the current waiting list are allocated. An updated waiting list to be issued by the Allotment Officer
  • PPAA subs, £5.00, are now due and Phil to issue a circular email to remind plot holders

Treasurer’s report

  • Wendy stated that PPAA insurance has been renewed
  • Wendy requested all plot holders to use bank transfer if possible to submit the £5.00 PPAA subs which is now due stating plot holder name and number.

Any Other Business

  • Richard reported that a limited supply of seed potatoes has been ordered for sale to plot holders through the site shop. Further notice to be issued by Facebook and site notice boards. These will be sold in ½ and 1 kg bags via emailed pro-forma and pre-pay/collect by arrangement. If interest is strong further stock can be obtained.
  • Richard reported that problems with the south gate had recurred and that a quotation has been obtained from a metal fabricator to remove/replace the existing worn and seized eye-bolt hinges and rehang the gate so the bolt and lock operate smoothly. The committee approved the expenditure. Richard to action.
  • Dan noted that the draw for the poly tunnel grow beds has taken place and reported that he has had discussions with Ian Douglas regarding arrangements within the poly tunnel to provide improved work benching, storage and additional grow beds. Dan volunteered to coordinate a Whatsapp group for this season’s holders to progress.
  • Further clarification is required regarding publication of the minutes and updates to the PPAA website.
  • It was noted that the Council has arranged for a tree survey on the site boundaries and, if still applicable, the Committee would like input to any maintenance work so that Council resources can be put to most beneficial use for plot holders. Action – Allotment Officer
  • It was noted that Ian Douglas had suggested that he hoped to start seed planting for a plant sale later this year, hopefully end-May. 
  • The date for the AGM was fixed as 11:00 Sunday 24 April 2022 to be held at/in the poly tunnel. An agenda will be issued nearer the time. All plot holders are reminded that volunteers for the committee are welcome and if anyone fancies a go at any position or the general support roles, they should contact Phil Reardon.
  • Next meeting 19:00 Tuesday 05 April 2022 by Zoom
  • Meeting closed at 20:05

COMMITTEE MEETING 07 12 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 07/12/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative), Richard Masterman (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer) Sue Jones, Jenny Howell, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: Dan Phillips.

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard  See AOB.

Chairman’s report – Richard  

Overflowing culvert and associated problems: Richard joined a site visit with Council Allotments Officer and a contractor who clears such blockages. It was accepted and agreed that there was no point whatsoever in clearing any material unless this was done all the way to the river, as was not done on the last occasion. AO was to attend a meeting as to how this was to be financed fairly and the outcome of that is awaited.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip  

Philip reported that there are no vacant plots, although there is at least one under tenancy dispute.

Sheds, greenhouses, etc: there is a new application form for all structures such as these on plots. The criterions are stricter, but will not apply retrospectively to existing structures or to pending applications submitted under the old rules. This form is available from Philip and should also be on the PPAA website in due course. 

Hedge cutting: it appears that a contractor has cut the main hedge but not in accordance with what the Committee would have requested had it been consulted. Allotments Officer is to investigate.

Work to trees: the Council have arranged for contractors to survey trees around the site for the purposes of felling, crown lifting, lopping etc. as appropriate so plot holders should be aware of their possible presence.

Excavations on tracks: Council Allotments Officer said that she would arrange for the water leak repairs to be properly made good.

Poly tunnel bed allocations: Philip will be holding the draw for these soon and the results will then be announced.

Site Security: it appears that Community Support Officers have access and now include PPAA site in their regular patrols, Philip was pleased to report. They seem to tour the whole site.

Treasurer’s Report – Wendy 

Wendy remarked that things had generally been very quiet since the last meeting on the financial side.

Any Other Business.

Brick cubicles. 

At the previous meeting, Dan kindly offered to affix “to let” notices to the vacant serviceable cubicles if he can be supplied with the definitive list of tenants. He emailed to say that he has not as yet addressed this. This remains a work in progress.

Website.

Philip said that he was happy to continue overseeing this. The Committee reiterated that if he should want any help whatsoever with this then the previous offers still stand.

Polytunnel.

As Dan remarked at the last meeting, that following Ian’s hard work with repairs and improvements, it is now important that the best possible use of the poly tunnel be made and be seen to be made. Dan suggested that the free space in the shop container be used to store the useful materials presently stored in the tunnel for the plant sale, and that this should free up space for additional bed(s). He suggested that, say, a WhatsApp group for those using the beds could be very helpful, and that a dynamic working group could arise in part from that, and otherwise still be promoted. However, as his email said, he has not as yet addressed this and it remains a work in progress.

AGM – Richard 

It was agreed that an AGM should provisionally be held as usual in the Spring, probably in April.

Owing to covid19, the grant was awarded this year, notwithstanding no AGM, however.

New Committee Members – Wendy

To repost what was said previously:

All plot holders, however recent their tenancy might be, are cordially invited to join the PPAA Committee. We are all unpaid volunteers, and there is no obligation for anyone to do anything at all that they might not wish to do. Normally meetings are at present bi-monthly for about an hour at 1900 on the first Tuesday of the month. They are currently by Zoom, but will return to in-person meetings as soon as conditions permit.

If you are interested, then please email to pontcannapermallotments@gmail.com or use the contact form on the website https://pontcannapaa.com/contact/ or see any Committee member. Your interest will be very gladly appreciated!

Thank you kindly.

Fly tipping

This continues persistently. It was proposed to post prominent notices warning of the consequences for the offenders.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1958.

The next PPAA meeting will be on 1st Feb 2022 at 1900, provisionally also by Zoom, but TBC. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 09 11 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 09/11/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Richard Masterman (Chair), Sue Jones, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: Wendy Gunter (Treasurer)

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard  Nothing to report.

Chairman’s report – Richard  Nothing to report.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip  N/A

Treasurer’s Report – Wendy N/A

Any Other Business.

Site security – Richard. 

RGC continue to suffer break-ins. It is hoped that the Council can at least repair the damaged wall ASAP.

Brick cubicles – Dan.

Dan has kindly offered to affix “to let” notices to the vacant serviceable cubicles if he can be supplied with the definitive list of tenants.

Website – Sue.

Those present agreed that it was important that the website be updated regularly, to allow plot holders to comment on minutes etc., and also so as not to lose viewers. It was acknowledged that the burden on Site Representatives is already heavy, and proposed that other Committee members have access as webmaster to enable this to be done. Maintaining a website is not among the long list of responsibilities, which the Council expects Site Reps to address either.

Polytunnel – Dan. 

Following Ian’s hard work with repairs and improvements, those present agreed with Dan, that it is now important that the best possible use of the poly tunnel be made and be seen to be made. Dan suggested that the free space in the shop container be used to store the useful materials presently stored in the tunnel for the plant sale, and that this should free up space for additional bed(s). It was agreed that the fair and transparent means of allocating beds should continue and be publicised appropriately. He suggested that, say, a WhatsApp group for those using the beds could be very helpful, and that a dynamic working group could arise in part from that, and otherwise still be promoted. 

AGM – Richard 

Those present agreed that an AGM should provisionally be held as usual in the Spring.

Owing to covid19, the grant was awarded this year, notwithstanding no AGM, however.

New Committee Members – Wendy in absentia 

Wendy raised the need for new Committee members.

All plot holders, however recent their tenancy might be, are cordially invited to join the PPAA Committee. We are all unpaid volunteers, and there is no obligation for anyone to do anything at all that they might not wish to do. Normally meetings are at present bi-monthly for about an hour at 1900 on the first Tuesday of the month. They are currently by Zoom, but will return to in-person meetings as soon as conditions permit.

If you are interested, then please email to pontcannapermallotments@gmail.com or use the contact form on the website https://pontcannapaa.com/contact/ or see any Committee member. Your interest will be very gladly appreciated!

Thank you kindly.

Timing of next meeting – Richard 

Owing to the very limited attendance at this meeting – which was considered by those present to be inquorate – it was agreed that the next one should be in one month’s time rather than in two.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1939.

The next PPAA meeting will be on 7th Dec 2021 at 1900, provisionally also by Zoom, but TBC. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 07 09 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 07/09/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative) Richard Masterman (Chair), Sue Jones, Jenny Howell, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: Ian Douglas, Wendy Gunter (Treasurer)

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard

Nothing to report.

Chairman’s report – Richard

Nothing to report.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip

The updated and rationalised waiting list has finally arrived, so Philip can now address the letting of plots. However owing to the delay vacant plots are now badly overgrown with weeds. Richard recommended brush cutting.

Philip reminded plot holders that according to their terms and conditions that if they bring pets onto site then they must be on leads.

He also reminded all, that if any plot holder claims that they have been subjected to any form of abuse or harassment on site, from any person – plot holder, member of the public, contractor etc. then they must report this directly to the Council Allotments Officer. 

If substantiated, then such behaviour by a plot holder may result in termination of tenancy, and in extreme cases in prosecution.  

Philip said that there has been no further news from the Council on the proposed revision of the rules re structures e.g. sheds, greenhouses.

Any Other Business.

AGM – Richard

It was agreed that covid19 measures permitting this would be held as normal next spring.

Manure/wood chip deliveries

The position re wood chip has deteriorated, with poor quality material – leaf mould, stumps etc. – being dumped in the car park when the pen is overflowing or inaccessible. It also blocks access to the useful, good quality material delivered by the Council’s operative who is also a plot holder.

Martin has contacted two known private contractors, and it appears that they had resumed tipping even though they were asked to cease some time ago, the Council having written to one and requested the key be returned – it never has been, however. They have been reminded that fly tipping is an offence and asked again to cease forthwith.

Allotments Officer has replied to Martin’s email and he has asked her to remind the main contractor of the position on behalf of the landowner. 

Plot holders are asked to be alert for contractors tipping tree waste, and if possible to note details if seen. We have a plot holder who works for the Council and who brings useful material i.e. actual chipped wood and bark, and no one else is presently authorised. In particular, plot holders are asked not to arrange with such traders on their own account for deliveries to anywhere on the site other than to their own plots, as anything else could make them complicit in fly-tipping.

Thanks to Ian – Richard

Ian Douglas said that owing to pressure from other commitments he would be standing down from the Committee. The Committee would like to express their sincere thanks for all his work, especially re the plant sales, poly tunnel, and shop. Ian hopes to resume as and when his life is less busy.

Change to security locks for gates – Philip

The possibility of changing the gate locks to security locks with non-copy keys was discussed as a means of preventing unauthorised site entry, tipping, theft etc. and proposed as an AGM agenda item.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1955.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Nov 2nd 2021 at 1900, provisionally also by Zoom, but TBC. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 06 07 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 06/07/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative) Richard Masterman (Chair), Sue Jones, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Jenny Howell, Ian Douglas

Chairman’s report – Richard.

The leaking water pipe has been repaired.

The fallen tree has been removed. However, the damage to the wall will not be repaired for several months it appears. Philip reported that the Council will only be assessing it within this timescale.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip

No emails have been received from the Allotments Officer, so Philip has been unable to let any plots as he does not have the updated waiting list.

Vacant plots are becoming overgrown, but Philip is hopeful that tenants with the needed resolve can be found to clear them when letting resumes.

The Council have issued revised criterions for granting permission for the putting up of structure such as sheds, greenhouses etc.

Philip does not expect that these will cause any problems for those with existing facilities.

Precise details will be posted in due course.

Any Other Business.

Poly tunnel – Ian.

Ian will shortly be attending to the ironmongery to be fitted to the door.

Manure/wood chip deliveries – Philip.

There have been deliveries of manure, but no charge has been requested, and so it is not intended to raise any issue with any party.

Wood chip is being deposited by at least two private companies. How they gained site access is not known, but so far the material has been of reasonable quality and so again, unless the position deteriorates no action is proposed.

Reports of possible wilful damage – Sue.

The Committee have received reports of what could be intentional damage to trees, and of other nuisances on plots. It is not easily possible to say whether the tree damage is intentional or some form of disease however.

Nonetheless, it is considered timely to remind all plot holders that wilful damage or nuisance to any other plot will result in summary loss of tenancy and also likely prosecution too. The Committee therefore ask all tenants to be vigilant, and to report to the Committee any suspicious acts that they might witness.

It is also conducive to good relations between neighbouring tenants that we all take care that branches etc. do not overhang other plots, and that neither spreading weeds such as bindweed, couch grass etc., nor cultivated subjects such as mint are allowed to spread from ours onto theirs.

Break-ins – Philip.

There is evidence of break-ins. Please do not keep anything portable of significant value on site. It may be cost saving to leave sheds unlocked to avoid the damage of forced entry, as many do.

The Committee are, as ever, looking at ways to make the site more secure. 

Possible AGM – Philip.

An AGM will be arranged as soon as covid19 conditions make this possible.

Carpet – Sue.

The Committee sympathise that this may appear useful as a weed suppressant, but remind plot holders that their terms expressly forbid its use on allotments, as its plastic fibres become a persistent soil pollutant, and for other reasons.

If you have any carpet on your plot then please remove it as soon as you can. Bio-degradable materials such as corrugated cardboard are fine, however, and the wood chip makes a good mulch for fruit bushes etc. 

Gate locks – Sue.

Both locks have been recently refurbished and are in good order.

However, the SE gate has slumped rather on its hinges and needs lifting. It catches on the lock bolt and can make turning the key a little difficult. Pulling up the gate makes this easier.

Subject to that, if your key does not operate them easily, then please contact Site Representative for a better copy which we have.

Please do NOT attempt alterations or maintenance. Someone has heavily oiled the SE lock which achieves nothing – the mechanism is above the keyhole – and it simply makes the gate messy for other users. Please do not do this.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1935.

The next – now bi-monthly – PPAA meeting will be on Sept 7th 2021 at 1900, provisionally also by Zoom. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 25 05 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 25/05/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative) Richard Masterman (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Sue Jones, Jenny Howell, Dan Phillips, Ian Douglas, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: n/a

Owing to a poor connection from the Chair’s remote location, this meeting was chaired by Site Representative, with Chair’s agenda.

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard.

See under AOB.

Chairman’s report – Richard.

Shop publicity – Richard. Philip said that he would do an email shot to the mailing list with the proposals. AP Philip.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip

Philip has managed to let two more plots, but he thinks that one may need to be retracted owing to inactivity.

The Council have reverted to not responding to emails. Philip is persisting, particularly re the water leak and the recently fallen tree, which has caused quite serious damage and is also a safety concern.

Philip has received enquiries as to the hire of power tools from PPAA. As minuted on several previous occasions, PPAA cannot provide this service because without the volunteers to manage the service, relevant H&S training, and PPE, the necessary insurance cannot be obtained.

If any plot holder wished to take on this operation, and to join the Committee, then they would be very welcome.

Treasurer’s report – Wendy.

Wendy said that this year’s grant has been received, and noted the speed of response to her enquiry.

Any Other Business.

Poly tunnel. Ian reported that the new cover was on, and that all that remained was for the door arrangements to be completed and for the last of the trench refilling to be done. The Committee commended Ian and his helpers for their speedy and effective work during the scant spells of good weather.

Pallets – Ian. Ian remarked that there are some unwanted pallets between the shop and the steel container. The Committee agreed that if they were of use to any plot holder, then they would be welcome to take them. Their condition has not been examined, however.

Fruit trees on untenantable shaded plots – Jenny. 

These trees were planted by the Committee some years ago, on land for which tenants could not be found owing to the dense shade of the sycamores on Llandaf fields.

Jenny reported that she has the matter of weeding, pruning etc. in hand. AP. Jenny.

Ian said that he was pleased to note that plot holders had been enjoying the fruit over the years.

Sue said that she considered that it was important that these trees were kept down to the required size to ensure that they themselves did not cause any shading problems to adjoining plot holders. 

Manure and wood chip deliveries – Philip.

Philip said that the position as to whether manure deliveries require payment, and if so how much, remains unclear. He continues his efforts to resolve this. AP Philip.

The Council is at present prioritising demand from schools for wood chip, but there have been some deliveries nonetheless.

Clearance of waste on abandoned plots etc. – Philip. Philip is to get quotes for contractors to remove this, as it is beyond the scope of either new plot holders or PPAA volunteer effort to do this work. AP Philip.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1943.

The next PPAA meeting will be on a date TBA at 1900, whether by Zoom also remains TBA. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 27 04 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 27/04/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Philip Reardon (Site Representative) Richard Masterman (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Sue Jones, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Apologies: Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips, Jenny Howell.

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard.

Plant sale – Richard.

Richard said that Ian regretted, that owing to the poly tunnel’s being out of commission and other problems, the plant sale will not likely happen in its usual form on 29th May. However, Committee members said that their surplus plants could be offered, and suggested that other plot holders might contribute too, on a “bring-and-buy sale” basis.

Chairman’s report – Richard.

Track upgrades.

The work is now complete and the final pile of spoil will shortly be removed by the contractors.

Shop.

New stock has recently been delivered and will be advertised on Facebook and by the email distribution.

Disposal of power tools. 

Richard has sold some of these.

Poly tunnel.

It is hoped that the re-covering can happen as soon as conditions and volunteer effort are in place. A digger is coming this week to excavate the trenches, however.

Brick cubicles improvements, asbestos removal.

A definitive list of those paying the Council for cubicles has now been provided. PPAA are awaiting instruction to empty any occupied without authorisation.

Site Representative’s Report – Philip 

Philip said that the Council have suspended the letting of plots pending the rationalisation of the waiting list. Applicants will be contacted, and those who do not reply removed from the list. It is expected that this will greatly reduce wasted time on the part of volunteers.

Applicants – and plot holders – are reminded that it is very much in their interests to keep their contact details up to date with the Council.

He has issued nine Clean or Quit notices, and there remain three occupied plots, but where the former tenants contest the position with the Council – the matter being between the latter two parties.

Inspections to identify neglected plots are ongoing, as ever.

Philip would be a participant in the next Site Reps meeting, where he would raise the matter of the Council’s poor record on responding to emails etc.

However, he was pleased to report that the water leak on the spine road has been taken up, and an Emergency Instruction for repairs has been issued by the Council.

Treasurer’s report – Wendy.

Wendy said that she has received some anonymous cash payments – apparently for PPAA subscriptions.

Please identify your plot number when making any payment, so that the fact and your resulting entitlements can be correctly attributed to you! Payment is much preferred by BACS which makes it easier to avoid any such problem.

Any Other Business.

Manure and wood chip deliveries – Philip.

Philip said that the Riding School appear to have abruptly changed the way and the amount that they expect to be payed for this, and that until this is resolved there may be interruptions to deliveries. AP Philip.

There is less wood chip than usual, as the Council are minimising movements re covid 19 action, and it is now nesting season anyway.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1957.

The next PPAA meeting will be on 25/05/21 at 1900, again by Zoom. 

COMMITTEE MEETING 23 03 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 23/03/21, at 1900, by Zoom

Present: Richard Masterman (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Sue Jones, Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard.

Asbestos removal and cubicle improvements – There is no further physical progress, but a Committee member has by chance spoken with the single tenant who is registered as leasing an affected cubicle, and that tenant has agreed in principle to move if necessary to facilitate works.

Tracks – Approval from the Council for the next stages of the work is still awaited. An email stating the urgency of the position has been sent by PPAA to the Council.

Chairman’s report – Richard.

Shop – Richard has clarified further a proposed stock list.

Disposal of power tools – Richard reports that there has been interest in buying these among plot holders. The Committee agreed that any which would sell should simply be sold to those interested, and any left-overs advertised.

Poly tunnel – Ian said that the new cover should arrive by the weekend, and proposed a working party for the following weekend. He suggested May 29th as a provisional date for a hoped-for plant sale. AP Ian 

Treasurer’s report – Wendy.

Wendy said that she would email Site Representative for the information that she normally receives. She was pleased to note that most PPAA members are now paying their subs by BACS.

Any Other Business.

Poly tunnel beds – Richard hoped that following restoration the beds could be allocated soon.

Interested plot holders are encouraged to watch the notice boards, web site etc. for news and to put forward their names for the draw.

Water turn on – Sue kindly offered to turn on the water this week and to photograph the meter reading for Site Representative.

Gates – There are no major problems at the moment, but Richard continues to look at means of getting the eyebolt hinges replaced on the SE gate.

Informally shared plots, helpers etc. – The Committee agreed that this information should be publicised:

Sometimes a named plot holder has friends helping out on the plot, in the apparent hope that they will eventually take over the plot at some point in the future. Please note that the council have strict rules re this procedure. So to avoid future disappointment, please be aware that this can only happen if:

Either:

  1. The friends become joint plot holders immediately by adding their names to the site waiting list, stating the plot to which they are going to have joint tenancy. Once their names are on the list, the Site Secretary can begin the joint tenancy process.

Or:

2. The friends add their names to the waiting list and state they wish to take on tenancy of the plot when it becomes vacant.

Also, such people working on plots are not, without more, covered by site insurance.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 1948. 

The next PPAA meeting will be on 27/04/21 at 1900, again by Zoom. 

PPAA Committee Meeting 23 02 21

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 23/02/21, at 1900, by Zoom

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

Previous minutes and matters arising – Richard

Hedges – the Committee concurred with Richard’s being pleased that the Council had cut the main hedge, and expressed their gratitude to Dave King who instigated this.

Water troughs cleaning – owing to Covid 19 no day of action was possible over this, but the Committee were grateful to the plot holders who, by themselves, have still done this on an ad hoc basis.

Skip Hire – it was agreed that the rubbish clearance using this had been successful and beneficial, and without too much pirate usage of the skip. However, it was noted that some abandoned brick cubicles are still full of waste, and it was proposed to cut off any rusted padlocks to remove this. There is no record of these being officially leased. 

Chairman’s report – Richard.

Asbestos removal – the Committee were pleased to hear that good progress has been made on clearing the cubicle roofs. However, there is one still in use and listed as leased, and it was proposed to offer its tenant alternative accommodation to allow completion, which in turn will permit new roofs to be fitted. AP Philip.

Tracks – Richard has obtained three quotes for remediation and improvements on some of the tracks. The need for this has been increased by the recent heavy rains which have caused an eruption of silt yet again by the old clubhouse, covering the car park and a part of the track to some depth. Dan said that he would speak to a civil engineer whom he knows, who would perhaps look at the drainage plan for the culvert and advise on the needed work.

Shop – Richard proposes to list the items that would be worth stocking for opening during the growing season and to order these.

Disposal of power tools – Wendy reminded the Committee that PPAA does not have the necessary insurance to lease power tools, and that this would only be issued with the necessary H&S training. It was agreed that there is at present insufficient volunteer effort available to offer this facility, and so the tools should be sold, ideally with first refusal going to plot holders. A PPAA website ad was proposed, and also offering them at the hoped-for Plant Sale.

Poly tunnel – Ian said that the new cover should arrive within a few days, and that he would try to arrange a task force for its fitting soon after that. AP Ian. 

There should be six beds inside for allocation by means of the annual draw, and plot holders are invited to consider whether they might like one.

The Committee thanked Richard and Ian for all their work.

Site Representative’s report – Philip.

Philip said that Covid19 restrictions on leasing plots had now been lifted. There had been fourteen vacant plots and he has now let eight of these.

The Council are moving swiftly ahead with the issuing of Clean Or Quit Notices to the holders of neglected and overgrown plots.

Website – Philip is keeping this updated, with the overarching aim of making it as clear and comprehensible as possible.

The Committee thanked Philip for his work.

Treasurer’s report – Wendy.

Wendy said that BACS payments are working well, and increasing in number but again, 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.”

Wendy said that she has had a number of “mystery payments” where this information was absent. She also reminded all who have not yet paid that PPAA membership of five pounds is due, and includes entitlement to manure, along with the right to vote at PPAA  AGMs and more.

Any Other Business

Manure deliveries – Committee were pleased to note that these have resumed.

Wood chip – the Committee expressed thanks to the plot holder – a Council worker we understand – who maintains these deliveries of useful material.

Gate locks – The south east gate lock was repaired a few weeks ago, but the Western Avenue one has also now suffered identical damage yet again. This is consistent with perhaps a screwdriver’s having been hammered into the keyhole. It is not definitely not normal wear. It was agreed that complete new locks would be made so that spares are on hand for prompt replacement if needed. 

Plot holders are asked to watch for anyone tampering with the gates, and please, to report promptly any problem with the locks to the Committee.

Violent assault on plot holder – the Committee were alarmed to hear from Ian that a plot holder told him of having been attacked. We understand that a driver had parked blocking the Western Avenue entrance, and when challenged, he got out of the car and knocked down the plot holder. The police did not act as they said that there were no independent witnesses.

There was no further business and the meeting ended at 2005. 

The next PPAA meeting will be on 23/03/21, again by Zoom. 

PPAA Committee Meeting 20 09 20

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.] 

PPAA AGM 06 09 2020

Minutes for PPAA AGM, held on 06/09/2020, at 1100, Pontcanna Allotments Site

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 (plot 158b).

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.

Owing to covid19 restrictions, the usual venue for monthly PPAA Committee meetings remains closed. It was therefore not possibly to fix a date or place for the next one at the AGM, and these remain to be confirmed. 

PPAA Committee Meeting 07 01 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.

PPAA Committee Meeting 05 11 19

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.

PPAA Committee Meeting 01 10 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 01/10/19, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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 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).

PPAA Committee Meeting 28 08 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 28/082019, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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.

PPAA Committee Meeting 10 07 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 10/07/2019, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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.

PPAA Committee Meeting 12 06 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 12/06/2019, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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.

The Committee cordially welcome the new tenants.

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 further security measures involving CCTV 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, 10th July, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

PPAA AGM 05 05 2019

Minutes for PPAA AGM, held on 05/05/2019, at 1100, Pontcanna Allotments Site

Present 

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

Apologies: Dan Phillips, Ray Edwards, Richard Masterman, Alex Brown.

Plot holders: Elizabeth Pengilly (plot 10b), Richard Waters, (plot 103), Jane Williams (plots 87, 88), Alan Coombs (plot 48a), Brian Robinson (plot 53a), Paul Jones (pp Paul Jones and Bob Hughes 24b), Nick Morris (plot 90b), Chris Springall (plot 23).

RCG: Frank Berry

Chair’s Welcome and Introduction – Jenny

Jenny welcomed all to the AGM, and remarked that the sparse attendance was actually, ironically, a good sign in some ways, in that it meant that few people had concerns, or complaints, about the state of the site, or about its running.

Site Secretary’s Speech – Sue

Sue was pleased to report near-capacity tenancy, and a waiting list of about eighty, with a typical waiting time of a year or so.

She reminded those tending plots for friends – whether already plot holders themselves or not – to consider becoming joint tenants. This is important, as it means that should their friend give up the plot, then they can take it over straight away, subject to the usual limits on total area held. Otherwise, they would have no more right than any other member of the public to do so. To apply for joint tenancy, contact the Council to join the waiting list, stating that joint tenancy with the holder of plot (quote its number) is requested. The Site Secretary will then be able to process the joint tenancy forms.

Sue issued her general reminders to all, to comply fully with their tenancy terms. In particular, to compost all plant waste on their own plots, to remove all other rubbish from site, to apply for permission for planting fruit trees (and then only on dwarf root stock) – just as for sheds and for greenhouses – and finally, to collect rainwater from shed roofs.

PPAA Accounts – 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 thanked those plot holders, who had transferred their payment method for PPAA subscriptions to BACS, and urged everyone, who had not already done so, to consider doing this. She reminded them also to make sure that their plot number was the reference.

Wendy ran through the proposed expenditure for accumulated funds. The main items being the refurbishment of the brick cubicles, shop development, land restoration, track planing, and the regular removal of rubbish from abandoned plots by waste contractors. However, the timing of such expenditure is dependent upon the availability of the needed volunteer time, to project manage the respective proposals.

Paul Jones asked if there were any plans for further toilet facilities on site. It was generally agreed that these would be beneficial, but as yet there are no plans to add to the single composting one, currently maintained by RCG.

Richard Waters asked about consistency of the Council grant awarded. Wendy explained that the Council apply a formula. It is based on the number of tenants and income from those tenants, so 

variance from year-to-year is to be expected.

Election of Officers – Jenny

Officers were proposed and seconded by attendees.

Sue Jones was returned as Site Secretary. 

Wendy Gunter was returned as Treasurer. 

Jenny Howell was returned as Chair. 

The rest of the Committee present were also returned.

Jane Williams, Paul Jones, and Elizabeth Pengilly expressed interest in assisting the Committee as volunteers, even if not in being formal members. Their kind offers were very gratefully received by the Committee.

The Committee, being unpaid volunteers themselves, fully appreciate that people cannot render themselves to be controlled by others, and that they at all times remain helpers-at-will. However, there are always tasks, such as clipping back overgrown hedging with hand tools, or removing rubbish as it appears, which can be done by the self-motivated, as and when they are able, and which are always of great value to all who enjoy the site. 

AOB

Jane Williams asked whether all significant proposed changes to the site would go through the Committee. In so far as these related to areas within PPAA’s remit rather than within the Council’s, it was confirmed that they always would.

Alan Coombs asked as to the position regarding the problematic, unofficial compost heap, adjacent to his plot. The difficulty is recognised by the Committee, and all plot holders were reminded again, that they are required under their terms of tenancy to compost on their own plots, or to remove waste from site completely.

Richard Waters expressed concern, that increased water consumption might lead the cash-strapped Council to look for future savings in this area. Sue explained that costs had previously been needlessly high, owing to a reportedly serious leak. Despite her requests, she cannot find out whether the recent works have identified and resolved the problem for sure. The Committee are also following with interest the bore hole and pump scheme, in operation at the Forest Farm allotments site.

Nick Morris enquired as to whether there were any plans for tree felling or for crown lifting, to alleviate problems caused by shading of plots. It was explained that this was entirely within the Council’s remit, that the parks department is severely stretched, and that this work, although on the list of works, would probably not be done for some years.

Chris Springall asked that plot holders be reminded, that they are collectively responsible for keeping the footpaths between plots free at all times, and that there should be no obstructions at all, to the walk through from one trackway to another. 

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1148.

PPAA Committee Meeting 01 05 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 01/05/2019, at 1902, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are three vacant plots. She has been able to let one. However, she has had no fewer than four refusals from applicants, who seemed unprepared for the realities of maintaining an allotment. Sue remarked that it was better to avoid unsuitable applicants at this stage, than to be faced with dealing with abandoned and overgrown plots a matter of months later.

Sue mentioned that there are a few plots becoming neglected, and that she has begun issuing the necessary Notices.

Sue noted the rapid growth of the hedges, but also that it is now peak nesting season.

Plot holders are encouraged to assist the Committee volunteers in their work, by carefully cutting back hedges with secateurs etc. Power tools cannot be used at this time. We are considering what best to do with the clippings, but most of them can be “lost” within the hedging for now.

Discontinuation of one of the communal compost heaps. Despite clear notices that nothing is to be left on one of the the heaps any more, fly-tipping continues. There was a discussion as to how best to remove the existing material, and it was understood that RCG might be interested in being paid to do this, and to use it for levelling etc. Jenny expressed interest in project-managing this if so. AP Jenny.

With regret, the Committee remind plot holders to add no further material to the heap, but instead encourage them to take as much mature compost as possible, for raised beds, for levelling, or for any other purpose. Again plot holders are reminded that it is a condition of their tenancy agreement that they compost on their own plots, or remove from site.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Manure Deliveries To Middle car Park – Jenny. A message was received from a plot holder, requesting that the Committee reconsider leaving manure there, as historically once happened. The Committee all agreed to attempt to restart deliveries there. Sue explained that PPAA have no point of contact at all with the Council-operated drivers who deliver it, despite persistent attempts to establish one. However, it was proposed to put notices at the existing pens/gates, asking that manure be delivered here too. Sue will continue to try to make contact. This would occupy some of the space currently used for car parking, clearly. AP Sue, Martin.

If parking should prove problematic, drivers are reminded that there is additional space by the composting toilet.  

Accumulation of funds – Wendy. The projects mentioned under this heading previously are still outstanding, and, as and when the volunteer time to organise them is available, they will be undertaken. They include the refurbishment of brick cubicles, the planing of mud from the tracks to expose the hardcore, poly tunnel repairs -or even an additional one – and the restoration of abandoned land to good use. The money is allocated. 

Any Other Business

Shop – Ian, Richard. Both have continued work, generally improving matters, clearing, sorting, tidying, painting, and repairing. Richard has successfully tested battery-to-inverter-powered lighting, which showed that a solar-powered charging system would likely be worthwhile.

The Committee cordially thank Ian and Richard for their work.

Plant sale – Ian. This is now to be held from 1000 on Saturday, May18th, and not on May 4th as previously announced. The shop will also be open for the sale of sundries etc., although it is not yet possible to open it on a regular basis.

AGM – Jenny. All are reminded that this will be held Sunday coming, May 5th, 2019, by the poly tunnel, at 1100. 

PPAA subs may be paid at this time, entitling members to vote on the proposals raised.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2017.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 12th June, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 03 04 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 03/04/19, at 1910, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are no new plot holders. There are two empty plots and the waiting list stands at about eighty-five. However, there remain outstanding issues with the vacant plots, which prevent reletting at the moment.

She confirmed that the plot, over which access would be required for a digger to the land behind the poly tunnel, is vacant and so there would be no issue.

Unfortunately, the plot holder injured in a road accident is still unable to manage her plot. However, Monica Nobrega has very kindly offered once more to look after her plot in the meantime. The Committee offer their heartfelt thanks to Monica.

Sue said that the water had been turned on two weeks early, as a result mainly of the extraordinary weather in February.

Sadly, a plot holder reports yet another incidence of theft, after a break in to their shed.

The Committee remind all, to maintain their awareness for irregular activity, and as ever, please, to lock the gate immediately after use on every occasion. 

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

Communal compost heaps. The Committee recognise that unfortunately, there is insufficient volunteer effort available to continue to offer this facility. There was a discussion, as to how to deal with the removal of the existing heaps, and to prevent further dumping of waste by plot holders. Notices, encouraging the use of the existing compost for plot levelling and raising etc. were proposed, and also those reminding people not to dump further material, but to compost it on their own plots, or to remove it from site. An action day for volunteers, on a Saturday, was agreed in principle.

With regret, the Committee ask plot holders to add no further material to the heaps, but warmly encourage them to take as much mature compost as possible, for raised beds, for levelling, or for any other purpose.

Email from Ian – shop. Ian says that he and Richard have started work cleaning, clearing and painting. He also proposed the sale of surplus stock at the same time as the Plant Sale, May 4th. That was agreed as a good idea. The Committee warmly thank Ian and Richard for their work.

Any Other Business

Owl boxes – Sue. Sue reported that the second owl box has been installed. Thanks again to Richard.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1928.

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

PPAA Committee Meeting 06 03 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 06/03/19, at 1910, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are three new plot holders. There are two empty plots and the waiting list stands at about sixty-five

The Committee warmly welcome the new tenants.

Sue said that the northern gate has been found left open on more than one occasion.

Please lock the gate on every occasion after use. There is little point in the Committee taking any measures to prevent theft by trespassers etc., so long as the occasional plot holder does this.

Sue has received a complaint, from those engaged in collecting litter from the adjoining parkland. They report rubbish being thrown over the allotments fences, walls, and hedges, into the parks. There is no doubt in their minds that it is plot holders doing this, as the litter consisted in part of old gardening sundries. They will now be very vigilant in their efforts to identify the offenders.

Clearly, anyone doing this is very likely to lose their tenancy, and also to face prosecution. The Committee asks all plot holders to look out for anyone doing this too. If this becomes a serious problem for the Council, then it undermines the case for the continuation of the whole site as allotments.

Sue noted that manure is being deposited on the hard standing by the old club house. It appears that a plot holder may have asked the delivery contractors to do this.

The Committee are minded to leave plot holders near to that standing to decide between themselves, whether they want a clean car park, or for it to be occupied by such deliveries at least in part. For the meantime, however, it is not proposed to expend further precious volunteer effort in cleaning the area as a car park. The resolved position is, however, that there are only two places to which manure is delivered, being the pens at either end of the site in the main car parks there.

Raised Agenda Items – Jenny.

PPAA subscriptions reminder – Wendy. Wendy reminds those whom it concerns, that subscriptions for 2019 continue to be outstanding from many plot holders, and she encourages them to pay as soon as possible, very preferably by BACS. It was proposed to advertise this facility prominently on the website. AP Alex.

These subscriptions entitle the member to use the manure, and also help to pay for insurance etc. 

Shop – email from Ian. Richard has prepared a detailed list of jobs which need to be undertaken by the volunteers for the proposed shop operation. He has also costed some of the envisaged expenditure. All except the PV lighting was approved, pending approval as per Richard’s list.

The list and schedule are shown after these Minutes. All volunteers are warmly invited to come and help on the weekend of 30th/31st March, from 1000 onwards. If you are able to assist then please do! 

Land restoration behind poly tunnel – email from Ian. Sue said that digger access needs to be resolved. She awaits confirmation that access over an adjoining plot would be feasible. AP Sue.

Plant sale – email from Ian. The sale has been fixed for Saturday, May 4th.

AGM 2019 – Jenny. Jenny proposed that the AGM take place on Sunday, May 5th, the day after the plant sale, and that residual plants could also be sold then. This was carried.

Bees – Sue. Sue has received a request from a plot holder to install a bee hive on a plot. The Council have a process for this. They list plot size, relevant safety, and bee management courses being attended and certificated as among their conditions. Only when all the Council requirements have been satisfied may a bee hive be installed. In this instance however, the plot was too small to meet those requirements. 

It is timely to remind all plot holders, that flowering plants are encouraged to be planted on plots too, to attract these and other beneficial pollinators whether wild or kept.

Alex has offered to publicise this on the website, and Ray to list suitable subjects. AP Alex, Ray. 

Any Other Business

Rats etc. – Sue. The problem with rodents was discussed.

Plot holders are reminded that if they have such a problem and require help, then it is for them to contact the Council themselves. Under no circumstances must they enter on to other plots to place bait or traps. Guidance and contact information is on the website, and the standing notices will be renewed on the boards. 

AP Alex, Martin.

Locks on notice boards – Sue. New locks are being fitted, which will prevent time-wasting from the wind’s blowing away notices etc.

Documentation for maintenance and for sale of power tools etc. – Richard. Richard produced these receipts etc., and handed them to the Treasurer.

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

The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 3rd April, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

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PPAA Committee Meeting 06 02 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 06/02/19, at 1910, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Communal compost heaps. Work to tidy them is ongoing. Alex proposed that weed control would be needed, and offered to do that, along with such work elsewhere on site. The Committee thanked Alex.

Water trough clean-outs. The Committee thank Gary for cleaning the trough near his plot, and anyone else who might have done this. 

Shop. There was a discussion, during which a number of points arose or became clear. Thanks to the cleaning, sorting, and tidying work by Ian, Ray and Richard, it now appears that the shop is in better condition than first feared, and that quite a lot of the stock is useful and saleable. There would also seem to be enough volunteer effort available to consider realistically its operation. Various practical suggestions were made re that, along with stocking, and so on. Richard suggested solar panels to provide electric lighting, and it was agreed that a costed proposal would be submitted in writing, to be put to a vote at the next meeting. AP Richard

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are two new plot holders, and she will be seeing a further five interested people during the coming week. There are at present seven vacant plots. 

The Committee warmly welcome the new tenants.

Sue reported that utilities staff are investigating a water leak, which they deduce is probably on the allotments site. It accounts for some £12,000 per year to the Council’s costs, so it is a serious matter.

Sue said that after careful consideration, she sees no reason for her not to stand again as Site Secretary, for another year, at the AGM.

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Malicious communication received by Committee member. The Committee were appalled to hear, that a member had discovered a weatherproofed newspaper cutting affixed on their plot, relating to the brutal murder of an allotment volunteer in London by an aggrieved gardener. There was an added message, which celebrated the fact that this had happened to someone who had displeased an allotment holder, and implied that the Committee member could expect the same. It was, therefore, an implicit death threat.

The police have naturally been informed. They have taken the matter very seriously. The plastic cover and its contents have been examined for fingerprints, and they will act on any relevant information which might arise.

The Council take a similar view.

The Committee interpret any threat to any member as one to all, since the volunteer targeted was doing no more than carrying out duties agreed by, and backed by the rest, and in accordance both with PPAA’s Constitution, and with the Council’s rules.

The police would be grateful for any assistance that anyone might be able to give. For its part, the Committee will treat any approaches made with the strictest confidence. If the perpetrator can be identified, then besides facing a police prosecution, their allotment tenancy appears certain to be terminated.

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 06/02/19, at 1910, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Communal compost heaps. Work to tidy them is ongoing. Alex proposed that weed control would be needed, and offered to do that, along with such work elsewhere on site. The Committee thanked Alex.

Water trough clean-outs. The Committee thank Gary for cleaning the trough near his plot, and anyone else who might have done this. 

Shop. There was a discussion, during which a number of points arose or became clear. Thanks to the cleaning, sorting, and tidying work by Ian, Ray and Richard, it now appears that the shop is in better condition than first feared, and that quite a lot of the stock is useful and saleable. There would also seem to be enough volunteer effort available to consider realistically its operation. Various practical suggestions were made re that, along with stocking, and so on. Richard suggested solar panels to provide electric lighting, and it was agreed that a costed proposal would be submitted in writing, to be put to a vote at the next meeting. AP Richard

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reported that there are two new plot holders, and she will be seeing a further five interested people during the coming week. There are at present seven vacant plots. 

The Committee warmly welcome the new tenants.

Sue reported that utilities staff are investigating a water leak, which they deduce is probably on the allotments site. It accounts for some £12,000 per year to the Council’s costs, so it is a serious matter.

Sue said that after careful consideration, she sees no reason for her not to stand again as Site Secretary, for another year, at the AGM.

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Malicious communication received by Committee member. The Committee were appalled to hear, that a member had discovered a weatherproofed newspaper cutting affixed on their plot, relating to the brutal murder of an allotment volunteer in London by an aggrieved gardener. There was an added message, which celebrated the fact that this had happened to someone who had displeased an allotment holder, and implied that the Committee member could expect the same. It was, therefore, an implicit death threat.

The police have naturally been informed. They have taken the matter very seriously. The plastic cover and its contents have been examined for fingerprints, and they will act on any relevant information which might arise.

The Council take a similar view.

The Committee interpret any threat to any member as one to all, since the volunteer targeted was doing no more than carrying out duties agreed by, and backed by the rest, and in accordance both with PPAA’s Constitution, and with the Council’s rules.

The police would be grateful for any assistance that anyone might be able to give. For its part, the Committee will treat any approaches made with the strictest confidence. If the perpetrator can be identified, then besides facing a police prosecution, their allotment tenancy appears certain to be terminated.

Any Other Business

Land restoration behind poly tunnel – Ray. Ray proposed making a “to do” list to enable work to proceed, including gaining access over the apparently unattended – Sue is dealing – plot to the west. There were suggestions re plant hire and contractors for tree stump removal etc., and Alex also offered to address weed control. The Committee were dismayed to hear that after volunteers and paid contractors had cleared the site of rubbish last year, some plot holders have apparently immediately resumed fly-tipping on it. AP Ray, Alex, Sue.

It costs hundreds of pounds for every visit by rubbish removal firms, never mind the waste of volunteers’ time and energy. Fly-tipping around the site is expressly forbidden under the terms of tenancy, and it is very likely to result in loss of tenancy if the offenders are identified. They may also face prosecution.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2017.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 6th March, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

Any Other Business

Land restoration behind poly tunnel – Ray. Ray proposed making a “to do” list to enable work to proceed, including gaining access over the apparently unattended – Sue is dealing – plot to the west. There were suggestions re plant hire and contractors for tree stump removal etc., and Alex also offered to address weed control. The Committee were dismayed to hear that after volunteers and paid contractors had cleared the site of rubbish last year, some plot holders have apparently immediately resumed fly-tipping on it. AP Ray, Alex, Sue.

It costs hundreds of pounds for every visit by rubbish removal firms, never mind the waste of volunteers’ time and energy. Fly-tipping around the site is expressly forbidden under the terms of tenancy, and it is very likely to result in loss of tenancy if the offenders are identified. They may also face prosecution.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2017.

The next PPAA meeting will be on Wednesday, 6th March, at the Butcher’s Arms, Canton, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 09 01 19

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 09/01/19, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Litter pick – Ray. Ray reported that this had been a successful day. However, he was disappointed to note, that much of the rubbish on the park side of the fence was clearly allotment waste, and had obviously been thrown over the fence by plot holders.

Plot holders are reminded that such actions are grossly in breach of their terms of tenancy, as well as being offences under general law. They also weaken the case for the continuation of the whole site as allotments. Accordingly, the Committee take a very serious view of them. Please remove all unwanted materials from site completely, for disposal at a municipal waste facility.

The Committee heartily thank Ray, Dave King, Ian and Richard for their efforts on the day.

Communal compost heaps – Ian. Ian said that he and Dave King would be doing some tidying work soon. AP Ian.

Site plan – Ian. Ian said that his needed updating – and assumed that the rest were similar – particularly as to split plots. Sue to assist. AP Sue, Ian.

Poly tunnel – Sue. Sue said that the bed allocations had been made. Ian pointed out that there was a spare bed, and proposed to use it to grow seed crops for the sale to plotholders. That was supported.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue reminded the Committee that PPAA subs, £5, are now due. Ian proposed reminder notices at the manure pens. Martin offered to laminate those. AP Martin.

Plot holders are encouraged to pay their subs by direct debit.

PPAA BANK DETAILS: Important. Please quote your plot number in the reference (sometimes “comment”.) 

account number:      02568231

sort code:                 309894

Alternatively cash may be handed to a Committee member, or posted through Sue’s letterbox. Don’t forget your plot number!

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Shop – Ian. Ian said that between the Committee and general plot holders, there were about six volunteers willing to share the running of a shop operation. On that basis he suggested that the idea was viable, and he proposed that by the next meeting there would be a paper, of firm proposals, on which, it is to be hoped, the full Committee could vote. AP Ian et al.

AGM 2019 – Jenny. Jenny reminded the Committee that the AGM was now not that far off, and invited members to consider items for its agenda.

Any Other Business

Plot inspections – Sue. Sue said that she would recommence plot inspections, for abandoned or neglected plots etc. in the early spring.

Plant sale sowings – Ian. Ian said that he would soon be sowing for the spring plant sale.

Any plot holder, who has a particular preference or suggestion, as to what subjects they would like, is cordially invited by Ian to pass on that helpful information to him. Ian can be emailed on: ian.douglas@wno.org.uk

Water trough clean-outs – Ray. Ray suggested, that the remaining time that the water supply was turned off would be the only opportunity to clean out the troughs for some time. A dedicated day in February was provisionally agreed. AP all.

General volunteers are invited to inspect the troughs nearby, and any help that they might give in cleaning them would be very gratefully received by the Committee, as were their fine efforts in 2018.

Ray also proposed encouraging plot holders to participate in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch – re birds on their plots – and suggested that if Alex were able, then further publicity be given on the website.

Anyone interested at this point should cut-and-paste this link into their browser:

https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/everything-you-need-to-know-about-big-garden-birdwatch/

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1947. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 05/02/2019, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 03 10 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 03/10/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

This meeting was chaired by Sue Jones.

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Sue.

Owl nesting boxes – Richard.  Ray has found a likely preferential quote. Whatever the outcome however, the installation is to go ahead without further delay, either on that or on an earlier one. AP Richard, Ray.

Shop and power tool hire – Richard. There has been no further feedback from plot holders generally, to enable the available volunteer effort to run a shop to be ascertained. However, Ian, Richard and Ray expressed enthusiasm for such an operation, and suggested that if the appearance of the premises were made more attractive and business-like, then that would perhaps inspire demand and interest on the site. Ian proposed some improvements, and Site Secretary said that given the uncertainties, this expenditure would probably amount to “risk capital”. She proposed raising a spending ceiling on this, as an agenda item at the next Meeting.

PPAA funds are public money, and so the Committee are required to show Due Diligence, before investing in any business operation.

Having had them serviced and safety-checked, Richard has now finalised the viable power tools for the next growing season, and it was agreed to sell the surplus. Any hire or loan to plot holders remains subject to the necessary insurance and staffing availability, however. AP Richard, Wendy.

Litter pick and Committee walk-about – Ray. Ray proposed both of these activities for the weekend of 17th-18th November. AP Ray. 

New Agenda Items – Sue.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue said that the Council’s allotments officer had visited site, and that there had been a helpful and constructive conversation on all issues. In particular, what the Committee hope are temporary difficulties were identified, as a reason for some of the problems recently experienced.

Water meter readings will be taken, and the water turned off at the end of October. AP Sue.

Any Other Business

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1935. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 07/11//2018, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 05 09 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 05/09/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Owing to limits of time, and to the absence of the relevant Committee members, it was proposed and agreed to roll over much of this topic to the next meeting. However, Richard Masterman sent a detailed email, and his main points were:

Owl nesting boxes – Richard has been in discussion with a plot holder, who has direct experience of installation, and is hopeful that a more competitive quote may be finalised shortly. AP Richard.

Shop and power tool hire – Richard has identified viable plant for hire, and sent a detailed list of constructive suggestions for what might be offered by a shop operation, and what would be needed to facilitate that.

However, all of that would be contingent on sufficient volunteer effort stepping forward. See later shop item.

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue said that there are two new plot holders on plots 41 and 109a. She has also received three notices of intention to surrender plots. Sue said that it greatly simplified their re-letting when this happened, and allowed plots to be handed on before they became overgrown with weeds. AP Sue.

The Committee cordially welcome the two new tenants. On the other hand, plot holders who may be considering finishing their tenancies are encouraged to let the Committee know as soon as they are settled in that decision. The savings in scarce volunteer effort are considerable, and such assistance in those savings will be sincerely appreciated.

Sue explained that recent weeks have been difficult for her, owing to a heavy burden of care for a family member. However, she is willing to continue as Site Secretary until the next AGM, subject to sufficient continuing help from the Committee with her various activities in this rôle, for which she expressed her sincere gratitude. There was a discussion as to what individual Committee members might be able to do, and how this could best be arranged. AP all.

The Committee thanked Sue for her offer to continue.

Sue detailed a particular problem however, which has added to her difficulties. It is that of non-replies from the Council on matters that she has raised with them. For instance, since June, Sue has sent three requests for Notices Of Termination Of Tenancy, among other enquiries, and yet she has heard nothing to this day. Nor have repeat emails been answered. Given that Site Secretaries save the Council many thousands of pounds worth of man-hours each year, the Committee were at a loss, as to why they should be put in such a demoralising position. Accordingly, Sue has emailed the Allotments’ Champion Councillor, Jane Henshaw, and Cllr. Henshaw has now taken up the matter.

Additionally, the Committee politely remind plot holders, that the correct channel of communication with the Site Secretary for substantial matters is in writing. Email, text, or a letter, handed to a Committee member are all suitable. When the Committee are tending their own plots for relaxation and so on, they enjoy a chat about matters of general interest as much as anyone else. However, for any formal business, it would be sincerely appreciated, if plot holders could adhere to the above procedure. Please remember that your Committee are all unpaid volunteers, and with other demands on their time. Thank you.

Any Other Business

Shop – Ian. Ian revisited this topic, to report that he had received some number of enquiries, as to what was happening about the shop, so the Committee inferred that there is significant demand. There have been offers of help too, from a small number of plot holders. When the extent of the available volunteer effort has been properly ascertained, a decision as to the scope of a shop operation – if any – should be possible. AP all.

Hedgehog boxes – Sue. Sue reminded all that these had now been bought, and the Committee assumed that they were now sited. On that basis they thanked Alex.

Poly tunnel draw – Sue.  Sue reminds all plot holders that it is not long now until November, when the draw for the bed allocations for 2019 will be held.

Litter pick and Committee walk-about – Ray. Ray proposed both of these activities for after the end of the present growing season. AP Ray.

Theft of wood chip and manure – Ray. There have been sightings and reports, of vans being loaded with these materials and then driven off site.

Plot holders are asked to be vigilant, and to note registration numbers in relation to such incidents. The manure is paid for from PPAA members’ subscriptions, for use exclusively by them on site.

Obstructed paths hindering visually impaired plot holders – Ray. 

Plot holders are reminded, that they and their neighbours are required, under their Terms Of Tenancy, to keep clear the paths that they share. Please bear in mind the problems that failure to do this causes to others.

Theft of produce – Ian. Ian reported that a plot holder had been identified, acting suspiciously, on a plot not his own, and carrying a bag. He had not actually taken anything at that point however, and left.

Plot holders are asked again to be vigilant, especially at quiet times on site. Try to get to know who is normally where.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1955. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 03/10/2018, at 1900 sharp.

PPAA Committee Meeting 25 07 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 25/07/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Owl nesting boxes. Richard said that he has obtained a quote from a tree surgery contractor to install the two boxes at £320, and with the likely cost of the boxes, this would come to roughly £500 total. He understood that Council consent is required, but has received no responses from several enquiries that he has made so far. The Committee proposed to view this non-response as acquiescence after a reasonable period has elapsed. AP Richard. 

Legacy power tools. Richard said that his work re servicing and safety checking the tools was ongoing. AP Richard.

Following Sue’s enquiry to the Council re possible future tool hire, she learned that other sites do not charge hire, but that Association membership fees cover access to power tools. There is a nominal sum towards fuel and maintenance too. A liability waiver must also be signed by the user. Membership fees in these cases were higher than PPAA’s £5. AP Sue. 

It was agreed that when appropriate, the surplus PPAA tools would be offered to PPAA members for first refusal. AP Dan, Richard.

New Agenda Items – Jenny.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue said that there are two new plot holders on 109B and on 113A. She attended the Brick Shed Working Group meeting on 05/07/18. However, she reported that matters are at a standstill, until the Council’s surveyor has assessed the condition of all cubicles. Dan suggested that, on whatever basis control of them might subsequently be handed to PPAA, the Council arrange for the removal of all remaining asbestos from the roofs first. AP Sue.

The Committee cordially welcome the two new tenants.

Shop – Ian. Ian has spent quite some time sorting through the shop contents, and several issues have been identified. The building is an unpleasant and probably unsafe environment in which to be. There is evidence of a serious rodent problem. There is insufficient light to work safely. There is likely a hazardous fungal spore burden in the air. 

The Committee agreed that whilst it might be possible to resolve these problems, until the scope of demand for a shop among plot holders becomes clear, it would be unwise to commit extensive resources to doing this. Sue will publicise on FB etc. AP Sue.

It was agreed that Committee members should think widely about possible ways forward and put these in writing to the Committee Chair by 31st August for distribution to the Committee before the meeting. Any written comments from other plot holders would also be welcome and taken into account. AP all.

The Committee thank Ian, along with Ray and Dan, for their work in connection with the shop. 

Any Other Business

Dogs loose on site – Wendy. Wendy said that she had seen two rampaging about people’s plots, but that they perhaps did not belong to a plot holder. Rather they might have been a dog walker’s in the park, and entered, perhaps under a gate.

Plot holders are encouraged to be vigilant, and to try to identify the owners of any loose animals causing problems.

PPAA membership engagement – Dan. Dan expressed concern, that he sometimes perceived a detachment from PPAA as an entity among plot holders. He invited proposals as to how to address this, and suggested events and social functions. Other suggestions included colourful banners or flags on site (as displayed by the RCG) publicising the body and its websites etc. AP all.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1942. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 05/09/2018, at 1900 sharp. (There will be no meeting in August).

PPAA Committee Meeting 13 06 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 13/06/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

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

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Increased notice board space. Dan has investigated the pricing and availability of various sizes of board for the purposes discussed. It would cost up to £800 per gate to affix the boards to both sides. It was agreed that the 8 x A4 size would be most suitable. Concern was expressed that they might assist intruders to climb over the gates however. The Western Avenue gate would appear to be least susceptible to this, and so it was proposed to do this one first. It was proposed to invite input from RCG as to their sharing the boards. Sue said that she would approach Celia Hart re repairing the locks on the existing boards. AP Dan, Ray, Sue.

Shop. There have been two expressions of interest re assisting with the running of a proposed site shop, in addition to the Committee members’ initiation offers.

New Agenda Items – Jenny. 

Owl nesting boxes / hedgehog boxes. Richard said that these were available from £75 each. They need to be fixed in pairs, at between 3.5m and 7m height in quiet locations. It was proposed to site them on the trees near to the old clubhouse, and to use a tree surgeon to do the necessary work in fixing the boxes. There is only one suitable species, tawny owls. Alex also suggested the purchase of four hedgehog boxes and that was agreed. AP Richard, Alex, Ray. 

Legacy power tools. Richard has made a schedule. Two tillers and two strimmers have been identified as suitable for possible future hire to plot holders. Cardiff Mowers will inspect a machine for £20 per piece to assess safety etc. It was proposed to sell or to retain the other gear as appropriate. Sue will consult the Council as to safety matters etc. AP Richard, Dan, Sue.

Shop contents. The stocktake has not yet been completed. Sue said that she will consult the Council as to any restricted chemicals etc. AP Ian, Alex, Ray, Sue.

Site Secretary’s report. Sue said that there are three vacant plots, four current Clean-Or-Quit Notices, and that ten Pre-notice Letters have been sent. She has had a new lock fitted at the Western Avenue gate, and one is due to be installed at the other one soon. There is to be a visit on Saturday, by a delegation from the Highfields site to see how our poly tunnel is managed and assigned.

If plot holders with worn keys experience difficulties with the new locks, then please approach the Site Secretary in the usual way for a replacement exchange.

Accounts queries. Wendy reported that she has received very detailed and time-consuming requests for financial information from a plot holder, with which she has reasonably complied.

The Committee note that the accounts were audited for presentation at the AGM, that there were no questions raised by those present, and that they have been duly accepted by the Council. On that basis this year’s grant has been awarded.

The plot holder concerned did not attend the AGM, and nor has the same attended any other Committee meeting, as all are free to do.

It is self-evident, that the correct time and place to raise such queries is at the AGM, or failing that, at an ordinary Committee meeting.

It is unclear to the Committee what the reason for the requests was. If anyone had any suspicion of impropriety, then the correct procedure would be to raise that with Council, and to supply the evidence for that suspicion.

Parking on access tracks. Complaints continue to received from plot holders hindered by others parking on the tracks. (See speeding item).

Please use the car parks only. Blocking the tracks is Antisocial Behaviour and a breach of tenancy terms.

Criminal damage. A plot holders’s bird feeders have allegedly been repeatedly destroyed. If the perpetrator is identified, then they will very likely lose their tenancy.

Speeding. The Committee note with interest, the “identify-and-shame” approach taken by some plot holders, on the general Facebook account, towards speeding vehicles.

Plot holders are reminded that there are 5mph roundels as soon as one turns off Western Avenue into the park, and that this is the site limit too. Repeat offenders put at risk their tenancy.

Fires. Sue has had to point out to a plot holder that fires are expressly forbidden under tenancy terms.

Hedge trimming. Richard noted that some hedges are encroaching onto tracks. All plot holders are encouraged to use hand tools, even if just in passing, during the nesting season, to keep encroachments under control. AP all. 

Any Other Business

Plant sale – Ian. Ian handed over receipts and cash. The profit provisionally stands at about £530. Thanks to Ian.

Land behind polytunnel – Alex. Alex has sprayed this. Other parts of the site require treatment too. AP Alex.

Footpaths between plots – Wendy. Wendy reported that some people are failing to keep these clear as required by their tenancy, and sometimes even fly-tipping on them.  

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2038. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 25/07/2018, at 1900 sharp.

PPAA Committee Meeting 16 05 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 16/05/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Jenny Howell (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Dan Phillips, Richard Masterman, Ian Douglas, Ray Edwards, Alex Brown,Martin Pasek (Operational Support), Mike Pitt (plot holder). Apologies: none received.

The Committee welcome the presence and the contribution of Mike Pitt.

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising – Jenny.

Rescheduled litter pick. Owing to concerns re disturbing nesting birds, Ray proposed that this would now have to wait until autumn. AP Ray.

Increased notice board space. Ray and Dan have investigated the practicalities of attaching two-sided boards to both gates, so as to be visible on entering and on leaving the site. Their work will continue. AP Ray, Dan.

Shop – Jenny. Sue explained that the Executor has now handed the contents of the shop to PPAA. A number of questions were identified. Should there be a shop operation at all? If so, who would run it? What is to happen about the existing stock? What about the machinery hire aspect?

A vote was held, and by six votes to two the Committee decided that in principle there should be a site shop.

Alex and Ian offered to work as initiators for a limited period, with a view to attracting sufficient volunteers to run the shop permanently on a rota basis. They also offered to do a stock check.

The Committee warmly invite any plot holder who might be interested in sharing this operation to come forward.

Ray and Dan offered to run up the machinery, but it is not proposed to offer hire until staffing, safety, and insurance matters have been properly resolved.

Sue has had sets of keys for the units cut, and she mentioned that she learned at the CAHA meeting that other sites co-operate in syndicated buying to stock their shops.

Wood Chippings – Jenny. The position is that there are two authorised suppliers, the Council, and Mike Boyer. To avoid a repeat of the serious problems of the past, that is, the car park’s becoming filled with rotting, unwanted material, the suppliers are encouraged only to deliver when the pens are pretty well empty.

It appears that one or more plot holders had been contacting contractors independently, and inviting deliveries from them, which threw the system into confusion. This now seems to have been stopped.

Only the Committee are authorised to arrange such deliveries to the communal pens. Under no circumstances must plot holders do this, and it will be viewed as their abetting fly-tipping if they do. However, they are completely free to arrange private deliveries to their own plots, provided that the contractors are escorted throughout. Once again, gardeners are encouraged to make good use of these supplies when they are plentiful, that is, from October to March. Supplies are limited by wildlife protection during nesting season. 

Payments for manure deliveries – Wendy  No one was able to identify a responsible contact with whom to discuss any aspect of these deliveries, nor even to ascertain whether they had happened for sure. The convention has been that a donation was made to the riding school on each occasion, but owing to the uncertainty, Sue proposed that a quarterly donation of £30 be made instead. That was agreed.

Owl Nesting Boxes – Mike. The Committee warmly received Mike’s suggestion that these could help deal with the problem of mice and such vermin on the site. Ray mentioned the specified height for these. Ian offered a double ladder if needed. Alex proposed that hedgehog boxes could be included in the same expenditure item. The Committee offered Mike all the help that they could give, and Mike said that he would do some further research.

Spending Plan Outline 2018/9 – Wendy. Wendy brought printouts. To summarise the items are:

Brick cublcle work                                                  £5,000

Behind polytunnel clearing phase one                   £1,000

Track remediation work                                          £1,500

Shop renovation etc.                                              £1,000

Wildlife boxes                                                         TBA

AOB 

Abusive behaviour – Ray.  There have, regrettably, been such incidents recently. The Committee agreed with Ray, that such conduct is absolutely unacceptable, whether between plot holders, or between them and the general public, or towards Committee members, who are working unpaid on behalf of all.

Plot holders are reminded that their tenancy is at risk, if they are found to have been abusive towards any other person on the site.

Data Protection Act re website etc. – Dan. Sue said that there are as yet no Council guidelines, but Alex agreed to follow general practice, and to issue a group email requesting express consent in the relevant areas. 

Gate Left Open – Wendy. There are still occasions when this happens, and Wendy reported an incidence of theft, perhaps related.

All users of the site are reminded that they are required under their tenancy to lock the gate at all times behind them, even if they are expecting visitors shorty, or are awaiting guests to leave. 

Fruit tree planting – Ian Ian proposed using the potentially vacant space between the two southernmost sets of cubicles for dwarf root stock fruit trees, and for seed crops of beans etc. for the shop. This was agreed. Sue mentioned that the planting of such trees has always been on the Council’s list of matters for which permission is required, and will soon be added to the shed and greenhouse application forms. These forms will be available from Sue, Site Secretary.

Site Secretaries Duties – Sue. Sue said that there is now only one vacant plot, which will be let over the next few weeks. The waiting list stands at fifty-six. Sue has issued twelve Pre Notice Letters. 

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2016. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 13/06/2018, at 1900 sharp.

PPAA AGM 22 04 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA AGM, held on 22/04/2018, at 1100, Pontcanna Allotments

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Richard Masterman, Jenny Howell (plot holder, Chair candidate), Frank Berry (Riverside Community Gardens rep.) Mel Evans, (plot 39b,) Geoff Edwards, (plot 76,) Roger Phillips, Monica Nobrega, (plot 62a,) Liz Pengilly (plot 10b,) Lewis Evans, (plot 88b) Richard Waters, (plot 103,) Stephen Pearse (plot 52a,) Wyn Williams, (plots 97b, 99a,)Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips, Alex Brown, Jane Williams, Nerys Lloyd-Pearce.

Chairman’s Welcome and Introduction – Tim

Tim reminded the meeting of the recent passing of Adrian Walsh and Alan Turner, of their many years of service to the community of gardeners at the site, and as key figures in the PPAA Committee. He briefly outlined the position re the shop operation under Harlech Gardening Club. That is, that the matter of winding it up has been passed to the Council for their opinion, and that until this is settled, a new system for running a shop could not be put in place. 

Tim announced that he would be standing down as Chair, and the assembled expressed their thanks.

Site Secretary’s Speech – Sue

Sue said that there were currently no plots vacant, but expected that some would become available through non-payment. 

Sue also said that the problem with rubbish or junk on site had improved, and emphasised that the best way for the problem to be avoided would be for plot holders not to bring materials to site on the off chance that they might be useful at some time. Geoff Edwards expressed the feeling that understanding and some patience needed to be shown towards plot holders, who either might have a practical difficulty in removing such items, or still be considering whether they had a use. His point was accepted. 

Sue went on to say that the letting of the brick cubicles was progressing well, and that all the usable ones were now let, with particular interest among new plot holders. She invited anyone who had skills relevant to their refurbishment, or who wished to tender for such work to come forward.

The Committee invite any plot holder(s), in a position to refurbish any or all of those brick cubicles still in disrepair, to let us know their terms for the specification TBC. 

PPAA Accounts – 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 explained that the number of categories has been increased, so as to make identification of items easier, and so to improve transparency.

There were no questions.

Return of Officers and Election of new Chair – Tim

Officers were proposed and seconded by attendees.

Sue Jones was returned as Site Secretary. 

Wendy Gunter was returned as Treasurer. 

Jenny Howell was elected as the new Chair. 

The rest of the Committee were also returned.

AOB

Roger Phillips asked what was going to happen to the delivery of seed potatoes, onion sets, and so on, which had been made for the shop. A discussion arose, during which it was mentioned that PPAA did not have the authority to dispose of the property of Harlech Gardening Club. However, it was also suggested that if the social community of gardeners on the Pontcanna site, (as Alan’s and as Adrian’s acquaintances), acted reasonably, then those items probably could be used, especially since the bereaved had apparently declined to be involved with them. It was proposed that gardeners distribute them amongst themselves, and contribute a reasonable sum to a kitty, which would then be passed to the relevant estates, or to HGC as appropriate. However, no particular person who would oversee such actions was identified at this meeting.

Richard Waters mentioned that he had received an email questionnaire from the Council, as to satisfaction with the job being done by the Committee under the Local Management Agreement. He said that he felt that the questions were often loaded, perhaps in order to supply evidence, for a conclusion that had already been formed. He wondered if that might be to support the outsourcing of allotments management by the Council, and if that were the reason for its sending. Sue said that Council officers would probably consider it necessary to do such work from time-to-time, but Richard’s comment was noted.

Richard also remarked that the wood chips had all been used. Martin pointed out that the Council had made abundant deliveries during the winter, and would have made more, if the chips had been used up to create space. However it is now nesting season, and so work on trees is at a low level. Accordingly deliveries are few.

Plot holders are urged to make use of the more plentiful supplies of wood chips available between October and March.

Thanks to outgoing Chairman – Jenny

Jenny thanked Tim for his seven years as the Chair of PPAA, and in particular she expressed admiration for his unfaltering, steadying influence over the Committee. Tim was warmly applauded.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 1148.

PPAA Committee Meeting 04 04 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 04/04/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Dan Phillips, Richard Masterman, Jenny Howell (plot holder, observer), Frank Berry (Riverside Community Gardens rep.)Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Ian Douglas, Ray Edwards, Alex Brown.

The Committee welcomes new member Richard Masterman.

Sad News- Tim. The Committee were very sad to hear that Alan Turner, hitherto holder of plot 41, passed away recently.

The Committee extend their heartfelt sympathies to Alan’s family, and to his many friends and acquaintances that he made during his decades as a committed, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and industrious allotment gardener.

Riverside Community Gardens Fire, Theft, and Vandalism- Frank. The Committee were appalled to hear the details of the offences committed, but also heartened by the undaunted spirit of the volunteers in getting to work straight away with clearance and rebuilding. Frank expressed gratitude to Dave King, for removing debris from site to be incinerated. The feasibilities of various measures for improved security were discussed, including the possibility of shared funding for that with PPAA. Frank explained the insurance claim procedure, and the Committee wished him every success with that.

For reasons connected with the investigations into this matter, and with future security, not all points discussed are minuted here.

Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising- Tim.

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are no vacant plots at the moment. She has let four plots since the last meeting and the waiting list is still about thirty. She was also pleased to report that the number of holders in payment arrears is relatively few.

The Committee cordially welcome the new plot holders onto plots 10a, 19a, 35b, and 86.

Storage unit appearance. Alex was not available for an update.

Programme of works. The main items remain brick shed refurbishment, and the clearance of usable land, to which has been added flood relief for susceptible segments of track. As quotes for the first have been rather high, it was agreed to lower the specification, and to investigate off-the-shelf items such as exterior-grade doors.

Sue has a quote for a digger plus driver at £150 per day, which was agreed to be reasonable.

Asbestos. The material in the old club house has been removed by the Council’s newly-approved contractor.

Committee numbers. The Committee are pleased to welcome Richard Masterman as a new Member.

Sue reminded herself to change the wording of the welcome letter for new plot holders as agreed. AP Sue. 

Fly tipping. Owing to the recurring severe weather, the rescheduled Litter Pick also had to be cancelled. The Committee thank Ray for his efforts so far, and hope that a future event will be more fortunate. AP Ray.

We remind all plot holders, yet again, that their tenancy is at risk, and that they may be exposed to heavy fines, for fly-tipping around the site or over the fences.

Water supply. The water is back on, and Sue was pleased to report that there has been interest by plot holders in adopting the cleaning and maintenance reporting for nearby troughs.

The Committee cordially thank those volunteers, who have already cleared sediment from the troughs near to their plots. Thanks to their efforts and those of the Committee, all troughs have now been cleaned.

Shop. Following the recent further sad news, it was agreed by the Committee that the winding up of the present undertaking is not within its gift, and it was resolved to invite the Council to propose a solution.

The Committee understands that the shop was run by Harlech Gardening Club, and that any audits, accounts, and the like, would therefore be in the name of that entity. However, that is not entirely clear. Tim reported that as it stands, and at this difficult and sensitive time, he did not perceive any will amongst the recently bereaved to be involved in any way with this. However, if that were to change, then the Committee remain open to any such approaches that they might make with regard to winding up its affairs. (This is a necessary step, before any proposed shop operation could be brought back under PPAA control, which would be required by the Council for proper authorisation.)

AGM 2018. Wendy brought the accounts, and they are ready for presentation on22nd April 2018. However, it was agreed to move some major items, such as expenditure on waste clearance contractors, to their own line, rather than to include them under “general” or “other” expenditure. This is both in the interests of transparency, and also to publicise the specific actions taken by the Committee on behalf of plot holders.

Extending BACS payments for PPAA subs- Wendy. Wendy proposed handing the paper BACS details to new plot holders, (and, ideally, to anyone else who might not have them.) The Committee thanked Wendy for all her recent hard work, and under circumstantial difficulties. 

Plot holders are reminded that the PPAA subs do not just help to cover manure usage, but also contribute towards public liability insurance for them, running repairs, give entitlement to serve on the Committee, and so on. They are therefore urged to take advantage of the convenience offered by this payment method. Furthermore, for those who understandably wish to avoid “internet banking”, this method of payment can be set up over the counter, or often by telephone with the plot holder’s bank.

Plot holder injured in accident- Sue. Sue was pleased to report that a plot holder, Monica Nobrega, has offered to tend the injured plot holder’s allotment while she is unable to do so herself.

The Committee warmly commend Monica’s kindness and support.

Increased notice board space- Ray. Dan reported that he and Ray had discussed putting noticeboards on the gates, and this idea was met with the approval of all. AP Ray, Dan.

AOB 

AGM- Tim. Tim asked the Committee to confirm that the AGM would begin at 1100. (Carried.)

Plant sale-Tim. Ian has said that it will be on 19th May 2018.

Complaints by plot holders about PPAA Committee members- Sue. It was acknowledged that plot holders, naturally, are free to make criticisms about any or all, to whomever they might choose on the Committee, but that formal complaints must be addressed to the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart.

The Committee respectfully remind plot holders that they are all unpaid volunteers, and that they have to share their time in this regard with the same demands as those affecting everyone else.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2025. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 02/05/2018, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 07 03 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 07/03/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Alex Brown, Dan Phillips.Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Ian Douglas.

Minutes of January meeting and matters arising- Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are three vacant plots at the moment. She expects to let them over the next few weeks. She has let six plots since the last meeting and the waiting list is about thirty. AP Sue.

The Committee cordially welcome the new plot holders onto plots 156b, 157b, 68a, 45b, 35a, and 45a.

Storage unit appearance. Alex hopes to begin work before long. AP Alex.

Programme of works. Site Secretary was unable to attend the Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart, on Wednesday 14/02/18. However, Sue has since learnt that the Council have appointed a surveyor to evaluate any which should be demolished, but not before 2019 at the earliest. 

A number of potential expenditure allocations were discussed: resurfacing of the car park; proper bay construction; site security improvements; options for cubicle improvements; and the clearing of compost and waste.  

Asbestos. Awaiting removal by the Council’s newly-approved contractor.

Committee numbers. A probable new Committee member has been identified, and the Committee look forward to welcoming him to the next meeting.

Alex proposed that Sue explain to new plot holders, that they are entitled to be elected to the Committee from Day One of their tenure and PPAA membership.

Dan proposed that new tenants be asked as to any relevant knowledge or skills that they might have, and whether they might be willing to act in an advisory capacity to the Committee from time-to-time if nothing else.

Sue said that she would add something along these lines to the Welcome Letter. AP Sue. 

Fly tipping. Owing to the recent severe weather the Litter Pick had to be cancelled. Ray said that he will reschedule the event, if possible to coincide with another national or municipal campaign. AP Ray.

We remind all plot holders, yet again, that their tenancy is at risk, and that they may be exposed to heavy fines, for fly-tipping around the site or over the fences.

Water supply. A walkabout is proposed for Sunday, 25/03/18, at 1100, involving trough cleaning, and the water will be turned on afterwards. AP all.

Shop. Alex reported that he has received a number of questions as to the future of the shop, following the sad passing of Adrian, and Alan’s recent ill-health.

Background: At one time, the shop was run by PPAA Committee members. However, when the shopkeepers left the Committee, they continued to run it independently, as part of Harlech Gardening Club, but with no connection to PPAA at all. Our understanding is that this operation has not been on any basis authorised by the Council. However, the Council have not as yet indicated what action they might take, if any, in relation to that, although they have been considering the matter for some months now. (There is no will on the part of any of the present Committee members to take on the shop operation in the manner required to comply with the Council’s guidelines, to remove the aforesaid irregularity. There is certainly no will to continue what could turn out to be an unlawful operation either.)

However, if there should turn out to be plot holders, willing to run the shop in the manner required by the Council, then the Committee would be interested to hear from them. (Basically, that would mean that it would not be run for personal gain, and that proceeds would contribute to PPAA funds. Regular accounts would also have to be produced.)

AGM 2018 date. 22nd April 2018 is confirmed. Dave King has offered to audit the PPAA accounts. 

Hedge planting group. The day was a success. Whips have been planted alongside the security fencing in the southeast corner and filling in various gaps in the main hedge etc. 

AOB

Gate being left open- Wendy. The Committee were disappointed to hear that this problem has resurfaced. Those believed to be responsible are known, and they will be requested to observe the rules.

Extending BACS payments for PPAA subs- Wendy. This very simple and effective means of collecting PPAA subs could be extended by publicising the bank payment details for PPAA on FB and on the website.

Plot holders are reminded that the PPAA subs do not just help to cover manure usage, but also contribute towards public liability insurance for them, running repairs, give entitlement to serve on the Committee, and so on. They are therefore urged to take advantage of the convenience offered by this payment method.

Bring-and-Take” cubicle problems- Sue. The recent order from the Council means, in principle, that this should be let to a plot holder, rather than to be used as it presently is. However, the Committee recognise that this facility is enjoyed by many during harvest times.

Unfortunately, the will to continue this benefit has been tested recently, by some plot holders apparently using the shed as yet another place for what amounts to fly-tipping.

Please do not leave anything other than grown produce, or as-new-condition, purpose-made gardening sundries in this cubicle.

Under no circumstances leave reclaimed building and glazing materials, rotten wood, canes, split or perished plastic sundries, furniture, polythene, cardboard, rusty or damaged tools, or anything else which would normally be described as junk. We are very short of volunteer effort and of funds. People’s time and PPAA finances are being wasted in having to dispose of such materials. Please take them off site and to a Council recycling facility.

Plot holder injured in accident- Sue. The Committee are very concerned to hear that a plot holder has been seriously injured in a road accident as a cyclist, and we extend our most heartfelt wishes for her full recovery. We understand that this may take a long time however, and Sue proposes that another plot holder, or more than one, might tend her plot during this period in a mutually beneficial way. Details would be published on the website and on FB. AP Sue, Alex.

Increased notice board space- Ray. Ray noted, that whilst the existing boards can accommodate PPAA minutes and a few standing notices, there is not enough room for ad hoc ones relating to events and so on. He proposed fitting extra displays to the existing stands or otherwise. AP Ray.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2021. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 04/04/2018, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 06 02 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting, held on 06/02/2018, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ray Edwards, Ian Douglas,Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: Alex Brown, Dan Phillips.

Minutes of January meeting and matters arising- Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are six vacant plots at the moment, and she expects to let them over the next few weeks. AP Sue.

Storage unit appearance. We await information from Alex. AP Alex.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. All bed holders have paid, and Ian has repaired a roof tear.

Programme of works. Sue will attend the next Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart, on Wednesday 14/02/18. More than one contractor has been identified to carry out improvements, and the initial estimates are encouraging. Sue is still identifying current users of the cubicles, but it is hoped that improvements can begin soon. AP Sue, Ian.

The Committee thanks those plot holders who have come forward as cubicle users. We appreciate that the notice served by the Council was arguably precipitous, and acknowledge the forbearance of all concerned.    

Asbestos. The Council now have an approved contractor, and so asbestos should soon be removed.

Committee numbers. As at the last meeting, there have been no volunteers as yet, but a few people had been identified, who had implied in conversation that they might be interested. AP all.

Tree waste dumping/manure/wood chip supplies/fly-tipping. Martin has spoken to Mike Boyer and identified the material which has been left by him. It seems that other deliveries are sometimes made by the Council’s workers when they are nearby. There is no evidence at the moment of fly-tipping of tree waste by anyone else. However, the problem remains of deliveries being made by the latter before the pens are empty, with a build-up of decaying material at the rear resulting.

If any plot holders are able to clear the backlog, by using this wood chip, then that help would be much appreciated.

The Committee regrets the damage to the southern manure pen, caused by the last delivery. It would appear that requests to the Council to advise care on the part of the contractors have had no effect.

There do not seem to have been any egregious instances of fly-tipping around the site since the last Meeting, but it is still happening.

We remind all plot holders, yet again, that their tenancy is at risk, and that they may be exposed to heavy fines, for fly-tipping around the site or over the fences.

Water supply. Any trough cleaning will need to be done before the water is turned on again in mid March. AP all.

Gardening Tutorials. Unfortunately, owing to a lack of response, these had to be cancelled. Ray will identify a list of subjects for an event later in the year, autumn. AP Ray.

Shop. As at last month, there is no further news from the Council on the formal position. However, please see AOB.

For the avoidance of doubt, the PPAA Committee clarify that there is no connection between its activities and the operation of the shop, which is independent of it.

Potentially usable land behind polytunnel. The clearing work has been started by Alex, Ian, and Sue, and good progress is being made. AP all. 

Spine road, fly-tipping over the fence. There is to be a Great British Tidy, in progress on March 3rd and/or 4th. Ray proposed a site event to coincide with this at the last meeting. It was now also proposed to clear rubbish tipped over the fence into the park. AP Ray et al.

All noticed that the Council have cut the hedge. This was unannounced as ever, and now leaves the site exposed to easy view by the general public. It is also now easier for fly-tippers to throw rubbish over it into the park. The Committee’s advice on this point would appear to have been ignored, therefore.

Budget Plan. Dan Phillips sent an email with a helpful list of projects and the likely expenditure, totalling £5,000-£8,000. It included the main item above, the cubicles refurbishment. 

The BACS system for payment of PPAA subscriptions is working well, and has resulted in a useful increase in revenues.

Plot holders are reminded that the PPAA subs do not just help to cover manure usage, but also contribute towards public liability insurance for them, running repairs, and so on.

Hedgehog release. Alex has released two since November, and as he said at the last meeting, he is waiting for better weather before releasing more on site. 

Gardeners could not have better friends, and we ask that plot holders make theirs as safe for them as they reasonably can. In particular abandoned coils of netting are a danger to them, and slug pellets, if used, should be in accordance with their instructions, that is, scattered only thinly. 

AOB

AGM 2018 date- Tim. 22nd April was provisionally proposed. 

Plant sale date- Ian. 12th May is proposed by Ian.

Hedge planting group- Ian. Sunday 18th Feb at 1100 is proposed. 

Clearing, weed killing- Ian. Ian proposed clearing between the southernmost two blocks of cubicles to enable renovation to begin, and anticipated enlisting the digger facility, available at very reasonable rates from Lady Mary Allotments, for this.

He also said that there is now a Glyphosate-free herbicide available for killing mares tails, and proposed that it be publicised on the website. AP Ian/Alex.

Sad news- Tim. Tim has heard that Adrian Walsh of plot five passed away recently. Tim understands that this was after his suffering a heart attack.

Further sad news is that Rob Searle of plot forty has also passed away.

The Committee extend their deepest sympathies to Adrian’s family and friends, and to those of Rob. We also understand that Alan Turner has been unwell, and that this means that there will be no shop operation for the foreseeable future. We wish Alan a full and speedy recovery.  

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2016. The next meeting will again be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on Wednesday 07/03/2018, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 09 01 18

Annotated Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting held on 09/01/2018, at 1908, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Alex Brown, Ray Edwards,Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips,Martin Pasek (Operational Support). Apologies: None.

Minutes of November meeting and matters arising- Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are 44 people on the waiting list and that the turnover is about 25 plots per year at the moment, with a wait of around a year. It was agreed that identifying untended plots during the winter is not easy, and that the re-division of the observation areas should be made before spring gets under way. AP Sue.

Storage unit. Alex expects to move on this fairly soon. AP Alex.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. The draw was conducted and all beds are now allocated.

Programme of works.

i) Bad weather and culvert flooding etc. have hampered general tidying. As and when, AP all.

ii) Sue will attend the Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart, tomorrow, 10/01/18. AP Sue.  

Asbestos. The Council still have no approved removal contractor.

Committee numbers. As at the last meeting, there have been no volunteers as yet, but a few people had been identified, who had implied in conversation that they might be interested. AP all.

Fly tipping/tree waste dumping/manure/woodchip supplies. It is still not entirely clear who is depositing woodchip, the Council, Mike, or someone else. There is a problem at the main car park, in that deliveries are being made before the pen is empty, and the unused material at the rear will soon rot. Martin will speak to Mike again.

If any plotholders are able to clear the backlog, by using this woodchip, then that help would be much appreciated.

Ian said that he has identified a plot holder, who is apparently responsible for much of the tipping over the fence by the spine road. It was agreed to remind the plotholder concerned of the likely consequences of continuing to do this. AP Ian.

We remind all plot holders, yet again, that their tenancy is at risk, and that they may be exposed to heavy fines, for fly-tipping around the site or over the fences.

Water supply. Any trough cleaning will need to be done before the water is turned on again in mid March. AP all.

Gardening Tutorials. Michele Fitzsimmons’ lecture and demonstrations are to be held on 04/02/18, from 1400-1600. A fee of £5 was proposed. Numbers will probably need to be kept to about 20, for one-to-one guidance. Publicity was recognised as being a matter to be addressed without delay. AP Ray.

Wendy Gunter is point of contact for those interested in attending, and to pay the fee. She may be contacted by email at the PPAA address: pontcannapermallotments@gmail.com  

Shop. As at last month, there is no further news from the Council.

Potentially usable land behind polytunnel. Ian and Alex proposed their preliminary hacking down of scrub to enable our gathering of loose rubbish and its removal by the waste contractors. AP all. 

Spine road. Fly-tipping over the fence. There is to be a Great British Tidy, in progress on March 4th. Ray proposed a site event to coincide with this. It was also proposed to invite the Community Gardens to become co-involved. AP Ray et al.

Budget Plan. It is anticipated that there will be significant outlay on the brick cubicles before long. There are also the boreholes project under consideration, along with on-going costs to private contractors for waste removal and for other site maintenance. Improving the boundary fencing was added. AP Wendy et al.

CAHA donation. Wendy said that the £50 donation had been gratefully received by CAHA.

Hedgehog release. Alex has released two since the last meeting, and is waiting for better weather before releasing more on site. 

Gardeners could not have better friends, and we ask that plot holders make theirs as safe for them as they reasonably can. In particular abandoned coils of netting are a danger to them, and slug pellets, if used, should be in accordance with their instructions, that is, scattered only thinly. 

AOB

Speeding vehicles- Sue. Sue said that she has had to speak to two drivers, who were clearly driving at considerably more than the 5mph (brisk walking speed) stipulated in the Tenancy Agreements.

Please observe the speed limit and comply with the terms of your Agreement. This is for everyone’s safety. It’s easy to forget, and the Committee know this, so if you should be reminded, then please try to respond with good humour.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2011. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 06 02 2018, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 07 11 17

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting held on 07 11 2017, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Alex Brown, Ray Edwards, Martin Pasek. Apologies: Ian Douglas, Dan Phillips.

Minutes of October meeting and matters arising: Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are five standing “Clear Or Quit” notices and three Non-renewals Of Tenancy. The waiting list stands at fifty-five. We welcome cordially one new plot holder and there is one empty plot. It was resolved that the site will be re-divided among the extant Committee for the purposes of monitoring for neglect etc. (Sue also attended the Cardiff Allotments Site Representatives’ meeting and the CAHA meeting in October). AP Sue.

Storage unit. Alex has offered to investigate possible funding from a company, which has an undertaking to make environmental offsets for some of its activities. That money would be used to lessen the unit’s impact on the local visual amenity, and on wildlife etc. AP Alex. 

Hedge Cutting. This is now finished for the season. Sincere thanks again to the volunteer.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. Sue has sent the letters to the current bed holders, informing them that the beds will be subject to a draw-by-lottery in December. (The beds will be allocated to the winners on a named-user-only, non-transferable basis). Sue has had several applications to date. She reminds plot holders that the closing date is the end of this month, November. AP Sue.

Programme of works.

i) It was agreed that the large communal compost bin near plot 48 and the old shop needs tidying. AP Alex.

Note: Ian messaged to say that he also intends to work on this during the next few weeks.

ii) The position re cubicles was discussed again. A quote has been obtained and is under consideration. However, we now have a date for the Brick Shed Working Group meeting, organised by the Council’s Allotments Officer, Celia Hart. It is to be on 10 01 18 and Sue will attend. We await further developments.  

Fires. The Council has not yet sent the letter to plot holders.

Asbestos. The Council still have no approved removal contractor.

Committee numbers. There have been no volunteers as yet, but a few people had been identified, who had implied in conversation that they might be interested. AP all.

Fly tipping/tree waste dumping/manure/woodchip supplies. We learn that Dave King has a contact at the Council, and that this officer may be able to arrange supplies of such material. We understand that Dave has said to him that PPAA would be very pleased to accept some of it. AP Tim.

There have been no serious incidents of unauthorised tipping of late.

Water supply. The water is now turned off for the winter. We warmly thank Gary Berriman for clearing the sediment in the trough near his plot. We would heartily encourage everyone to do this too. There is a report of a leak near plot 58A. It has been passed on to the Council. AP all.

Gardening Tutorials. Michele Fitzsimmons is available after February for tutorials on pruning fruit trees and bushes. She has quoted her fee. It was proposed to use the “orchard” area for these, and to extend the invitation to allotmenteers across Cardiff. A nominal attendance fee was proposed, to cover her quote and to firm up numbers. AP Ray.  

Shop. As at last month, the Council have still not clarified their position regarding the site shop operation. So as it stands PPAA, notably the signatories to the Local Management Agreement, cannot actively endorse any activities which might turn out to be unlawful.

Potentially usable land behind polytunnel. An approach for beginning clearance was discussed. AP Alex.

New Items

Rats: Sue. Tony Robinson has been liaising assiduously with the Council on this. He has shown Pest Control the affected areas, after gathering information from plot holders. We thank him cordially for his work.

We also remind all plot holders to report rats in accordance with the notices, originally written by Tony, on the noticeboards and on the website, and to follow carefully the advice for minimising their presence.

Spine road. Fly-tipping over the fence: Sue. Ian has affixed notices at particular problem points, but there is a large amount rubbish in the park, apparently from plot holders. Ray offered to organise another litter pick next month. AP Ray.

Note: Ray has since organised a Litter Pick of Site. He has contacted Dave King, and the latter will make available all the kit. He will arrange for the waste to be picked up afterwards. It will be on Sunday 10th December. Meet at 10.00 am, at the lock up next to the shop. All volunteers will be warmly welcomed! 

Plot holders are reminded again that such actions are a serious breach of the terms of tenancy.

Budget Plan: received from Dan. It is anticipated that there will be significant outlay on the brick cubicles before long. There is also the boreholes project under consideration, along with on-going costs to private contractors for waste removal and for other site maintenance.

CAHA donation: Sue. CAHA are a self-funding group of volunteers, who assist all allotment sites and associations across Cardiff. Last year they were instrumental in helping us to secure our LMA Grant which was under threat, and being withheld. It was unanimously agreed that a donation of £50 was the least that we could do to express our gratitude and support. AP Wendy.

CAHA are having a Skittles Night in January. Final date TBA.

CAHA Secretary Lynne Lewis is retiring, and they are looking for someone to replace her.

Hedgehog release: Alex. In his work with the Hedgehog Helpline, Alex has been releasing these rescued animals on site. Gardeners could not have better friends, and we ask that plot holders make theirs as safe for them as they reasonably can. In particular abandoned coils of netting are a danger to them, and slug pellets, if used, should be in accordance with their instructions, that is, scattered only thinly. 

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2022. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 05 12 17, at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 03 10 17

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting held on 03 10 2017, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Alex Brown, Ray Edwards, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek. Apologies: None received.

Minutes of August meeting and matters arising – Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. Sue said that there are two standing “Clear Or Quit” notices and two Terminations of Tenancy. The waiting list stands at sixty-five with a waiting time of about fifteen months. Tim asked Sue if Committee members had reported anything to her but she shook her head. AP all.

Storage unit. No news on the eco roof, but see under AOB.

Hedge Cutting. The Committee were pleased to hear that an independent volunteer plot holder had apparently taken matters in hand to some extent, and all said that they were ready to give the necessary guidance and support. Sue to contact with thanks.

Treasurer’s hand-over. Wendy said that the Council now had updated its payment particulars to enable payment straight to the PPAA account.

LMA Grant Year 2017/18. Wendy said re insurance that a quote from Zurich came in £67.35 cheaper than that from Shield, including personal liability. Aspects of risk assessment were discussed. It was resolved to go with the quote.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. Sue said that she needed to send letters to the seven current bed holders, informing them that the beds will be subject to a draw-by-lottery in December. The beds will be allocated to the winners on a named-user-only, non-transferable basis. AP Sue.

Programme of works. There have been no suggestions from plot holders. A re-scheduled walkabout on Sunday, 15.10.17 has been proposed for the Committee, and to include canvassing. AP all.

Fires. No one mentioned having received the letter from the Council as yet.

Asbestos. No news from the Council.

Brick cubicles. The Council Working Group still has yet to meet. There has been little local interest among plot holders in self-help solutions so far. The situation is to be assessed on the walkabout. The Committee resolved to spend funds on improvements if there is no action by the Council soon. Ways to obtain best VFM were discussed. 

Committee numbers. There were a few reports of plot holders expressing interest, but not many. Members said that they would continue to ask round. Sue clarified her position as being willing to stand again as Site Secretary, provided that the burdens of the rôle were not unreasonable. The Committee asked Sue to inform them of any ways in which they could share the workload of matters incidental to, but not central to the Site Secretary’s function. AP all.

AOB

Fly tipping/tree waste dumping-Sue. Background (as minuted earlier this year): Following years of unrestricted dumping of tree waste by a contractor, a large part of the car park became unuseable, and filled with rotted material that no one wanted to use. That has now been cleared. PPAA now has just one authorised supplier, Mike Boyer, and the previous contractor has been instructed to cease. The Council have requested by letter the return of their key. Mike Boyer is contacted whenever a bay becomes empty, but not before. However, it appears that unauthorised dumping has still been taking place. There also appeared to be a vexatious tipping of rubble and of other waste in the pen, now cleared by volunteer effort. A plot holder recently informed a Committee representative when asked, that from time-to-time he would contact the previous supplier, and ask him to deposit tree shreddings for him, and that this might be in the pen. The plot holder was asked please not to do this again. A letter to him, explaining the formal position (that is, that he is arguably asking an agent to fly-tip on his behalf) was resolved. All plot holders are reminded, that if they request a delivery of any kind from a contractor, then it must be to their plot and to nowhere else, and that they must supervise the arrival and the departure of people and of vehicles in person.

Marker posts removal-Wendy. Wendy remarked that those near her plot had been taken and used for stakes. She has replaced them. Ian offered to replace any others found missing.

Water supply-Tim. In the interests of keeping the bill down, it was agreed that the water could now be turned off by Friday. AP Tim.

Containers’ appearance-Alex. There were suggestions as to how to improve this, including by hiding with hedging, by painting with landscape colours, or by decorating with artwork. Alex is to speak to Dave King.

Gardening Tutorials-Dan. Michele Fitzsimmons is already offering courses, as publicised on the PPAA website. Dan and Ray offered to approach her re specific courses for PPAA, including topics such as fruit tree pruning. AP Dan, Ray.  

Unauthorised adverts etc.-Ray. The Council have still not clarified their position regarding the site shop operation. So as it stands PPAA, notably the signatories to the Local Management Agreement, cannot actively endorse any activities which might turn out to be unlawful.

Potentially usable land behind polytunnel-Ian. Ian proposed a working party, to apply weedkiller, and to dig out, and to sort the rubbish, prior to its removal by a contractor, as a cost-saver. He also offered to approach the Council about the large diseased tree overhanging from the park. The ideas were approved.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2012. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 07/11/2017 at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 08 08 17

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting held on 08 08 2017, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn (Chair), Sue Jones (Site Secretary), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Alex Brown, Martin Pasek. Apologies: Ray Edwards, Dan Phillips.

Minutes of July meeting and matters arising – Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. We warmly welcome five new tenants. There are four standing “Clear Or Quit” notices. The waiting list stands at fifty. Sue reminded the Committee to look out for untended plots and to keep her informed. AP all.

Storage unit. Dave King is pursuing a grant for the eco roof.

Hedge Cutting. Dave King’s associate (Anthony) has done this. The results were similar to last year. See AOB.

Treasurer’s hand-over. Wendy said that the on line banking was now up-and-running and a Good Thing. It was suggested that Dave King be invited to audit next year’s accounts.

LMA Grant Year 2017/18-Sue. Matters appear to be progressing normally. Re insurance, Tim said that CAHA’s enquiries potentially promise significant savings through a Group Policy for all sites.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. There has already been some interest in the November draw. A proper form and notice will be forthcoming. AP Sue.

Programme of works. There have been no suggestions from plot holders. A walkabout on Sunday, 27 08 17 has been proposed for the Committee, and to include canvassing. AP all.

Council Site Representatives’ meeting-Sue:

Fires. Following a serious explosion at a site (caused by criminals burning a shed containing a gas canister) the Council are to send a letter to all plot holders, reminding tenants of their terms. That is, no fires nor storage of such materials on site are permitted.

Boreholes. Forest Farm report that theirs is working well. The Council are monitoring with a view to extending across sites.

Asbestos. The Council are still waiting for a reliable tender. Until one is found, there can be no removal.

Promotion. There is a scheme at Rhydypennau, where single raised beds are let out to newcomers, or to others who are not sure as to their aptitude to encourage them to try. There was a discussion as to similar possibilities for PPAA.

Brick cubicles. The Council Working Group has yet to meet. This is expected in September. There was a discussion about various “self-help” possibilities.

AOB

Hedge cutting and wildlife issues. Background: In July 2016 Anthony (Dave King’s associate) cut the hedge using a small generator and electric hedge trimmer. There was no evidence of any harm to wildlife, and no complaints were received. He was invited by Tim to do the same this year on the assumption that he would do a similar job. The proposal has been in the previous two months’ Committee minutes, and no objections to it were received. However, an email has since been received from a plotholder, claiming that wildlife has been harmed by the recent use of a petrol cutter. A Committee volunteer has inspected the hedge carefully, and no conclusive evidence that this season’s nests were disturbed was found by him. However, we accept that such disturbance is still possible. The complainant was invited by the Site Secretary to attend this meeting but did not. The Committee take wildlife conservation seriously. The use of the petrol cutter was not anticipated. Next year the cut will not take place until mid-August at the earliest, along RSPB guidelines. The contractor will be given a detailed brief. Those concerned by overgrowth in the meantime (e.g. car drivers) are urged to volunteer for the interim hand prunings, indeed, to organise themselves in this regard.

Committee numbers- Tim. The Committee were very sorry to hear Tim say that he will not be standing for Chair again at the next AGM. Along with Gary’s resignation, and with Martin’s redesignation, this means that there is a need to increase numbers serving. There was a discussion as to potential nominees for the posts, and as to ways to stimulate interest generally. Alex proposed a role for someone, as a Social Secretary to promote a sense of community and engagement on the site. AP all.

There was no further business, and the meeting ended at 2020. The next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 26/09/2017 at 1900.

PPAA Committee Meeting 11 07 2017

Minutes for PPAA Committee meeting held on 11 07 2017, at 1900, Butcher’s Arms, Canton

Present: Tim Llewellyn, Sue Jones, Wendy Gunter, Ian Douglas, Alex Brown, Gary Reed. Apologies: Ray Edwards, Dan Phillips, Martin Pasek.

Minutes of June meeting and matters arising – Tim

Site Secretary’s Duties. See AOB report.

Storage unit. Tim is still to hear from Dave King re progress on the eco-friendly roof. AP Tim.

Hedge Cutting. Dave King’s associate (Anthony) is to do this, and a date is to be set. He is also to be asked re suppressing the sycamores overwhelming the hedge. AP Tim.

Treasurer’s hand-over. Wendy is setting up on-line banking. AP Wendy.

Comment from plot holder re Committee and Constitution. It was agreed that a vote to change the Constitution should be held at the next AGM, to make possible better use of the goodwill, and of the abilities, of all of those associated with PPAA. The particulars of that mechanism, and the wording of the envisaged resolution are yet to be discussed in detail.

LMA Grant Year 2017/18-Sue. There has been no news from Celia, but all our information was sent at the end of May. Sue has sent email to ask as to progress. Tim will contact CAHA for help. He will also seek advice on getting the best insurance deal. AP Sue, Tim.

New Items

Financial accountability, spending limits. It was resolved that the Site Secretary can spend no more than £250 per occasion without prior Committee approval, and that other Committee members may spend no more than £20 without consultation. However, they may spend up to £40 with consultation. Receipts are to be produced in all cases.

Polytunnel bed allocation 2018. A draw is to be held in November 2017, on the basis of all the beds being equally available to all PPAA plot holders. The tenures will start from 01 01 2018. AP TBA.

AOB

Resignation. Gary Reed is to resign from the Committee, to take a two-year post in China. We thank him cordially for all his work and help, and wish him the very best in his venture.

Site Secretary’s update. We are very pleased to welcome seven new plot holders. There are six extant Clean-Or-Quit notices. The waiting list is now down to thirty-eight.

Two-year programme of works. Further to Ian’s invitation at the AGM, it was envisaged that ideas would have crystallised by the August meeting. Plotholders are reminded that their suggestions are welcomed.

There was no further business, and the next meeting will be at the Butcher’s Arms Canton, on 08/08/2017 at 1900.