MINUTES – HARPERS LANE ALLOTMENTS SOCIETY – 14.05.2014
Present: Gill Chamberlain (Chair), Margaret Jackson (Secretary), David Jackson (Treasurer), Barry Savage, Tom Liptrott, Pev Evans, Kath Worsley, Keith Worsley
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of last meeting – were read out by Margaret Jackson and agreed
- Site Management –
a) Tipping Signs - Margaret has erected signs “No Fly-tipping” behind the Amenities Hut and on the road.
b) Weeds - It was agreed that the tipping area by the playing field wall is now effectively full and that plot-holders should be advised either to compost weeds on their plots or to take their waste home. Plot-holders should also be aware that tipping waste of any kind in the wooded areas below the bottom road is seen by the Council as a breach of tenancy.
c) Unlocked Gates – plot-holders are continuing to leave the gates open and / or unlocked – unauthorised persons have already been apprehended on the site – plot-holders should be aware that it is a condition of their tenancy that they keep the gates locked.
d) Weed-killing – Margaret has done some of the necessary weed-killing work – please note that we have Giant Hogweed along the bottom road – this is a toxic plant – its sap causes blistering and is harmful to children and adults – we would remind all plot-holders that it is their responsibility to make sure children and visitors are properly supervised. We are also trying to tackle the Japanese Knot-weed infestation. We can expect no help form the Council despite their legal responsibility to deal with this.
- Update on Monthly Report – MJ provided a copy of the May monthly report to the Council. It was agreed that the next Committee inspection will be on Wednesday 21st May at 6.30 p.m.
- Follow-up to Malcolm Russell’s Site Visit – MJ reviewed the action points following MR’s recent visit – there has been no positive action by the Council on any issue.
- Visit to Sapling Rd – MJ was asked to arrange a visit to Sapling Rd allotments
- Feedback from ABAS meeting 12.05.2014 – and the ABAS Committee’s meeting with Malcolm Russell 12.05.2014 – it is abundantly clear that site societies are on their own – the Council want us to do the paperwork etc. but we can expect no physical help other than with urgent Health and Safety matters. There is some encouragement about a possible school involvement on the site – Pev to continue to contact Church Rd. Kath to speak to Church Rd mentor.
- Operational management Agreement – it was agreed to accept the OMA as sent (on the grounds that it’s all that’s on offer)
- Projects approved in OMA
Spring on plot 41 – MJ reported that the flooding is back on plot 40 as well. We will attempt a cheap and cheerful solution. DJ to price up hire of a digger for three days plus acquiring some water troughs. Possible bundling in of other jobs on individual plots (for which plot-holder would pay) to defray costs. If finances are feasible we would need to organise a working party.
Poly-tunnel at end of middle row – Council has agreed to Anthony setting up a poly-tunnel at the Riefield end of the middle row. This will be used for the growing of medicinal and culinary herbs. This is regarded as an experiment, if in October 2015 it has proved feasible, then the area will be designated a plot and the plot-holder will pay rent.
Beekeeping in woodlands – the Lumwood Beekeepers Group has been properly formed. The group will now seek funding to establish hives on the designated area in the woodlands.
- OPEN DAY –
It was agreed that MJ should issue an invitation to Julie Hilling MP to open Open Day
It was agreed to ask plot-holders to plant poppy seeds along their frontages and verges as an alternative to the usual competition
The Secretary will post a notice calling for an Open Day meeting at 2.00 p.m.on June 8th. We need to stress that Open Day is vital to the finances of the Society.
If there is not an adequate response from members to that notice then we may not be able to hold Open Day this year.
The Treasurer will write to local businesses seeking sponsorship and support for Open Day.
a) It was agreed that the CVS bid should be made and that it should cover (part of) the costs of the annual programme of events – this comprises a) Open Day 2014 b) Bonfire Celebration 2014 c) Spring Event 2015
b) Future of Plot 1 – beyond 01.10.2014 – it was agreed that this should remain the Society plot – even if the Society does have to pay rent from 01/10/2014. The poly-tunnel should be used for intensive salad growing (including tomatoes). The Society will evaluate the feasibility of opening a stall every Sunday which will sell plants and produce with all profits going to the Society for collective projects. The Committee were reminded that for many years it was the practice to sell tomatoes in the summer and Chrysanthemums in the Autumn.
- WORK-PARTIES / PROJECTS
a) Water management of plot 41 – this is a major undertaking and needs a mechanical digger. The Secretary has asked that the Committee include a survey in their site inspection on 21/05/2014 to assure the practicality of undertaking this work. We have already had a complaint that it is a Health and Safety Issue.
b) Repositioning gutters at Amenities Hut – a date will be posted for a work party
c) Moving van body from plot 34 to the D to be used as a wood store. This will require at least 8 fit and able people – the Secretary wonders if we can get that many together at any one time! Need to reassess once the plot-holders have removed the floor and the rubbish (17/5/2014)
d) Wild-flower meadow on D area – it was agreed that the D should become a wild flower meadow
e) Future of top fields – the promised chestnut paling which we were to erect as a fence has not been delivered as promised by the Council. The top field will be mown for Open Day (and left as meadow until then). A portion of the top field may be pegged and dug over if the school plot project takes off.
- Any Other Business
It was confirmed that dog-training may be done on the top field, but that any dog must be on a lead once it goes onto the site beyond the upper boundary of plot 1.
The lock on the Ladies toilet door needs attention – DJ/MJ to remove lock and take it for repair.
There remains a need for a large prominent Notice Board – any offers to make one?
- Date of Next Meeting – the next meeting will be in the Finishers at 7.30 p.m. on 11th June.