Minutes of the Management Committee meeting held on
Wednesday 5th July 2006 at Spa Hill Allotments
Pete Newbury Park Hill Chairman
Jack Dudley Swale Spa Hill/ SHOGG Vice Chairman
Anne Coram South Croydon Treasurer
Steve Clements President
David Coram South Croydon Vice President
Rosemarie Green Selhurst & South Norwood
Sid Bashford Pampisford Road
Charlie Box Pampisford Road
Joyce Fisher Norbury Park
Valerie Jarvis Norbury Park
Jeanne Mitchell Biggin Wood
Harold Lockwood Biggin Wood
Margaret Jones Bensham Manor
Chris Hewson Addiscombe Woodside & Shirley
Jill Chennell Addiscombe Woodside & Shirley
Anita Macro South Norwood Allotment Holders
Tim Gundry White Spa Hill
David Ackland Midday Sun
Robert Ramsey Thornton Heath & Norbury
Lynn Grant Thornton Heath & Norbury
Janet Hammond Thornton Heath & Norbury
Apologies for absence
Melanie Gingell (Secretary), Doug Oliver (Sanderstead), Roger Green (S&SN), Tony Lewington (SNAHA), Anne Pfaff (Vice President)
Minutes of last meeting
Agreed and signed
PN reported on the Allotments Consultative Panel meeting that had finally taken place on 24th April. It was attended only by Barry Lambton, PN, JDS and MG. A list of questions had been submitted in advance in the hope of saving time in obtaining answers.
Minutes of meeting of 12 July 2005 – this was the meeting where the legal department agreed with our interpretation of the 1908 Act that all money to be for allotments, but which was not properly recorded. BL would consult Don Faircloth as he was not at the meeting himself.
Sale of Allotment Land – BL indicated the decision was still awaited from the finance department. Allotment department had added to list submitted by CFAGS and were in favour of all money being available. Legal department still agree all money to be available. PN said if there was a contrary decision, CFAGS would need it in writing and, in conjunction with the NSALG, would seek a judicial review. PN agreed money could be made available over a number of years. Money would not be available for projects already done. Money would be administered by Allotment department and probably be subject to Council’s standard procurement procedures.
New allotment site review – Pollards Hill, wrong place. Nettlefolds Field, unlikely as included in main Norwood Grove project for Heritage Lottery funding. Love Lane, compulsory purchase but for open space not allotments. South Norwood Lake, most likely site. PN asked for decision in view of urgent demand.
Pampisford Road – PN asked when hut would be replaced. BL said awaiting insurance settlement. Needs following up as society had successful claim for shop stock from same insurers. Site security to be improved by removal of broken and fallen branches from trees on boundary acting as bridges into site. Brambles recently cleared to improve visibility.
Midday Sun – Council asked to confirm new owner of land as it is thought to be different from previous understanding. Name only forthcoming from Estates department. BL to follow up. On leylandii planting, BL reported nothing against this in terms of sale or planning rules. Could be challenged if a nuisance develops.
Aylesford Avenue site – clarification sought about transfer from Bromley. Correspondence on subject between CEO’s of Councils. Site is leased to Beckenham society, but unknown whether individually or as one of a group of sites. Latter situation would make transfer tricky. Estates department checking if any legal measure available to force improvement of site before handover. Very few plots let, needs considerable work to bring to acceptable standard.
S&SN – in view of recent burglary, BL to raise site security as an issue at next police liaison meeting. Incident was not vandalism but planned theft. Spraying of hedging on boundary also discussed. Difference between Council and society as to detail. Further meeting on site required to settle disputed areas.
Direct Let sites – PN asked for more involvement for societies at Pampisford Road and Midday Sun. Council should consider a society on a direct let site a bonus and be prepared to devolve more management, particularly on letting of plots. BL to investigate internally and report back. PN asked why direct let plot rents collected late if at all. Notices should be sent out in September. BL agreed to investigate further.
AOB – BL reported on activities of Allotment department. More clearance at Mickleham Way. Warning letters sent at Sanderstead. Only 18 plots now vacant at Hartley Down, further inspection due.
PN reported AWSLG now rejoined CFAGS. All societies now represented.
PN asked why allotments section of Croydon website changed to remove all reference to leasehold sites and CFAGS. Gives misleading picture of situation. Also map link given for location of Midday Sun is incorrect and actually Smitham! BL agreed to investigate further.
subject was not discussed at the ACP meeting due to pressure on the agenda, but will be at the next opportunity.
AM asked if Enmore Road could be included in the scheme.
CH asked how the system worked.
BD reported an apparent new system without set times.
BD asked if mesh sided rubbish truck could be supplied occasionally to Bert Road site where skip lorry is unable to access. PN – good idea as this would also be useful at Smitham for the same reason.
JDS – anyone with problems should contact head of department Mike Scoley who usually resolves issues.
Sale of Allotment Land
The bank balance is £2926. All subs now received for this year.
Amenity Competition Sunday 9th July – societies provided a list of judges totalling 20. A greater number than for many years. Rosemarie Green I kindly providing lunch at S&SN allotments. Judges to meet at Spa Hill at 8am or Midday Sun at 8.30am
Best Plot Competition
It was decided to extend the competition to two categories – small (5 rod) and large (10 rod). The Council will be asked to provide an additional cup. One is to hand for temporary use if new not available in time. All nominations to be received for final judging will take place on Wednesday 19th July.
Official opening of Spa Hill wind turbine still not fixed due to pressure on the Minister’s diary. BBQ and opening event to be held on Saturday 3rd June regardless.
Biggin Wood open day 5th September
Reports from Societies
Norbury Park – fully let with seven on waiting list. Two recent water leaks which proved very costly – fundraising now in hand.
Pampisford Road – fully let. BBQ to be held soon, no date set.
Enmore Road – fully let with six on waiting list. Communal area being created from shaded vacant plot. Toilet to be built – mains version too expensive, investigate composting. Fundraising activities set. Site looking good. Open Day in June – date TBA. New section of fence erected – hoping to build new path. To encourage cultivation carpets used to keep weeds down may only be used in winter.
[PN noted research previously carried out into composting toilets. Best solution considered to be Envirolet waterless self contained unit. This now purchased by S&SN and shortly to be installed]
Glenthorne Avenue – recent change of chairman. Grounds Steward suspended and being investigated by police for fraud. Lots of new members. Problems with vandalism. Skip costs high, revised system needed. Main building regularly used for outside events, includes bar, but high maintenance costs - £6k for windows, as much as £20k needed for rewiring. Membership fees increased, mowers hired out, large trading hut including greenhouse. High insurance bill, hoping to reduce this by joining Federation scheme. Problems getting volunteers to help with management. New constitution needed to bring it into 21st century. Enmore Road offered help as theirs recently done. No show had been held last year, judges needed to stage one, help finding them would be appreciated.
Biggin Wood – 100% of rents collected. Cleared original waiting list, two new people wanting plots. No vandalism. Large tree on boundary blown down, Council’s responsibility to clear, contacted, but no action yet. AGM 14th May, PN invited to attend. Open day 3 September.
S&SN – Grow/Cook scheme disbanded due to lack of funding. Promised grant money not forthcoming. Four plots thus available to let. One plot let recently to person sent from Spa Hill, thanks to JDS. RG reported on “Sewage Abatement” on water bill. This is refund for using water but not sewage. Has anyone else had one? All may be entitled. Not apparently regular.
Bensham Manor – two vacant plots at Bert Road. Small waiting list. Communal area behind trading hut being built. Plant sale 14th May. See Kitchen Garden magazine June issue for spread on winning plot.
Spa Hill – eight plots changing hands. 22 on waiting list in 1km radius. 80+ on waiting list in total. Successful recent school visit. Income from hall being booked out regularly and used daily as café.
South Croydon – email report – “The site now has a waiting list of 26 which has recently been checked. Warning letters have been sent to 10 plotholders. There was a working party weekend with a good turnout which cleared a load of rubbish from 3 plots, we paid for a skip privately as this was easier to organise. The site is looking busy which is a good sign.”
Park Hill – fully let with 9 on waiting list. Small number of weedy letters sent. Open day on Mela weekend 15th July.
Hosepipe ban -
Does hosepipe ban apply to allotments? Some discussion on legalities. JDS agreed to enquire of Thames Water officially as London Allotments Net. Result to be passed on when available. Societies please note – all sites south of South Croydon are in area covered by Sutton & East Surrey Water who may have different rules. Societies affected are recommended to make their own enquiries.
Decision on sale of allotment land –
President expressed view we may have missed an opportunity for lobbying councillors prior to elections next week. Actions so far had been based on agreement of previous meeting. Some discussion on possible further actions followed. Meeting agreed to a proposal from SNAHA for official letter to be sent to Councillor Karen Jewitt immediately after election asking for decision before 31st May, after which major lobbying would begin if not forthcoming.
[In view of change in control of Council following election on 4 May, letter to be sent to Councillor Chris Wright instead]
Next Meeting Wednesday 11th October 2006 - 8pm at Spa Hill Allotments