Committee Minutes

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Pontcanna Permanent Allotment Association

Meeting Tuesday 9th March 2020

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

Apologies Sue Jones, Martin Pasek, Alex Brown 

2. Site Secretary’s Report

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

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

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

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

3. The bottom road

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

4. AGM and Plant Fair

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

5. Shop

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

6. Committee Members

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

7. Polytunnel Damage

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

8. Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 7th April, 7pm, Butchers Arms

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.

2019 AGM Minutes

Please find below a copy of the minutes for the last AGM.