Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association
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.]
Minutes for PPAA AGM, held on 06/09/2020, at 1100, Pontcanna Allotments Site
Committee: Sue Jones (Site Representative – “Site Secretary”), Jenny Howell (Chair), Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Ian Douglas, Martin Pasek (Operational Support).
Plot holders: Richard Waters, (plot 103), Alan Coombs (plot 48a), Roger Benson (plot 127b), James Matthews (plot 24b), Mrs. J. Mohammed (plot 76a tbc), Philip Reardon (tbc).
Apologies: Richard Masterman, Jane Williams.
Chair’s Welcome and Introduction – Jenny
Jenny welcomed all to the AGM, and gave a summary of the meeting’s business. She emphasised the good fortune of plot holders in having access to their gardens during the covid19 restrictions, and thanked the Committee for their work since the last AGM.
Jenny announced that she would be stepping down as chair, but remaining on the Committee, subject to approval at the meeting.
Site Secretary’s Speech – Sue
Sue explained that since the start of the covid19 restrictions, the Council have placed a moratorium on all letting of plots, and also on the issuing of Clean Or Quit notices. This means that where plots have become overgrown due to the holder’s sheltering and non-attendance, there is understandably no action to be taken. She has not been sent any waiting lists or vacant plots lists, and so cannot report on them.
Sue announced that she would be stepping down as Site Representative (“Site Secretary”) but remaining on the Committee, and thanked Philip Reardon for offering to assume that position.
Sue thanked Jenny for her work as Chair.
PPAA Accounts – Treasurer’s Report – Wendy
Wendy brought printed copies for the attendees. She confirmed that Dave King, plot holder, had audited the accounts, and that he was content.
Wendy said that the Grant has been approved and is on its way, but remarked that dealing with the Council is awkward owing to covid19 measures at the moment.
She said that the shop operation – based on online pre-payment and collect/delivery – is working well, but asked that people please identify for what their payments are, i.e. Shop, or for Subs, or for both, or for whatever, along with their plot number – space permitting.
Richard Masterman sent an email detailing the shop’s business. Good progress has been made clearing old stock. Total sales for 2019/2020 were £709.70p, and £544.80p has been invested in new stock.
Election/Appointment of Officers – Jenny
Officers were proposed by Ian Douglas and seconded by Roger Benson. There were only single candidates for each position.
Philip Reardon was appointed unopposed as the new Site Representative (“Site Secretary”)
Wendy Gunter was re-appointed unopposed as Treasurer.
Richard Masterman was appointed unopposed as the new Chair
Election/Appointment of Committee – Jenny
Jenny invited anyone present who was interested to join the Committee. Mrs. Jamila Mohammed kindly volunteered.
James Matthews proposed all existing Committee members who wished to continue to do so, and for Mrs. Mohammed also to be placed on the Committee. Ian Douglas seconded and all were appointed or re-appointed unopposed.
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.
Meeting Tuesday 9th March 2020
1. Present: Ian Douglas, Wendy Gunter (Treasurer), Jenny Howell (Chair), Richard Masterman, Daniel Phillips,
Apologies Sue Jones, Martin Pasek, Alex Brown
2. Site Secretary’s Report
Wendy read out Sue’s report. We have 9 new plotholders and 4 plots still to fill. The waiting list is around 80 and the waiting time around 18 months.
One of the available plots, 26b, has a lot of rubbish on it which needs removing before it can be let. Richard has agreed to have a look at removal along with the remedial works to the road (see below). It is possible it may need to be removed by volunteers. AP: RM
There is a lot of rubbish building up in the sheds. It has been agreed that a temporary solution is to board up the sheds. Wendy will look into this. Once we have a date for the work to be done, we will arrange for a skip to be delivered so that we can clear the rubbish first. AP: WG
It was agreed that plotholders should be reminded of their responsibility to keep their plots clean and remove their own rubbish. Jenny to put a note on the website to this effect. AP: JH
3. The bottom road
Richard gave us an update on the situation with the road nearest the shop. The contractor has deposited hardcore which he claimed was perfectly acceptable for this kind of work. In fact, the road has some glass and other items which are not appropriate as a top surface. It was agreed that with a suitable top surface, it would be fine to leave the existing material in place. Dan offered to seek the advice of a friend of his who is a civil engineer on the best way forward. Richard is happy to continue to manage the work going forward. It was agreed that at the same time, a price should be sought to improve the road across the top of Llandaff Fields, and along the boundary fence with WJEC. This work may need to be phased. AP: DP and RM
4. AGM and Plant Fair
The date of the plant fair has been set for Saturday 16th May. We decided to have the AGM on Sunday 17th May at 11am so that we can continue to sell unsold plants at the same time.
Richard and Ian have very kindly offered to open the shop on the first Sunday of each month, starting on 3rd May and finishing in September. AP: ID and RM
6. Committee Members
Dan commented on the lack of committee members, and felt that more people might be happy to contribute if they felt their commitment was not too great and open ended. An example was taking the monthly minutes, or showing people around their plot for the first time. He has offered to write something that we can use on Facebook, the website and before the AGM that might encourage new people to step forward. AP: DP
7. Polytunnel Damage
Ian said that the high winds had caused irreparable damage to the plastic covering on the polytunnel. He was happy to do some running emergency repairs to get us through to the plant sale. However he felt that a new cover should be bought and fixed during the summer months. It would cost around £300 – £400. It was agreed this could go ahead. AP: ID
8. Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 7th April, 7pm, Butchers Arms
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.
Please find below a copy of the minutes for the last AGM.