Minutes of the Management Committee meeting held on
Wednesday 11th October 2006 at Spa Hill Allotments
Pete Newbury Park Hill Chairman
Jack Dudley Swale Spa Hill/ SHOGG Vice Chairman
Steve Clements President
Rosemarie Green Selhurst & South Norwood
Roger Green Selhurst & South Norwood
Joyce Fisher Norbury Park
Valerie Jarvis Norbury Park
Harold Lockwood Biggin Wood
Margaret Jones Bensham Manor
Anita Macro South Norwood Allotment Holders
Tim Gundry White Spa Hill
David Ackland Midday Sun
Robert Ramsey Thornton Heath & Norbury
Janet Hammond Thornton Heath & Norbury
Apologies for absence
Melanie Gingell (Secretary), Anne Coram (Treasurer), David Coram (South Croydon), Jeanne Mitchell (Biggin Wood), Tony Lewington (SNAHA), Chris Hewson (AWS), Sid Bashford (Pampisford Road)
Minutes of last meeting
Had not been circulated. PN apologised and will send with these.
PN reported no meetings had been held with the Council since the last meeting. No response had been received from Helen Lomasney on the requested proposals for devolved management at Midday Sun and Pampisford Road.
PN asked if societies had contacted their respective police Safer Neighbourhood teams following on from his letter to the borough commander. Generally no action had been taken. PN asked if societies could make contact, even if there was nothing specific to report. Societies reported previous dealings with police as follows – Norbury Park, Park Hill, Midday Sun and Spa Hill were good. S&SN was poor.
PN would request an urgent meeting with the Council to get an update to report at the AGM. This would include a reminder to them to update the Allotments Development Plan which was now out of date (2002-2005).
Sale of Allotment Land
PN reported the only response so far received to the letter written to the Council in July was one from the Legal Department asking for copies of the papers concerned. The letter also indicated the Council were still seeking legal opinion.
Some discussion followed as to the best course of further action. The following actions were agreed –
PN to contact Councillor Steven Hollands asking for his input to progress matters
PN to write to the NSALG asking for their support and seeking advice on the next move
If no progress had been made by the AGM, the story would be given to the local press and a possible protest made to the Mayor. David Ackland agreed to write the press release.
The Local Ombudsman would be contacted about the extreme delay on this issue to apply pressure to the Council
At the end of the financial year the bank balance stands at £2,513. There was a surplus for the year of £152, largely due to the donation from the Council for the Amenity Competition. There would have been a loss of £102 without this. An increase in subs of 10p per member would avoid this. The detailed accounts would be available at the AGM. PN had requested a similar donation for this year.
It was noted that again no Council events had been available to promote allotments and to allow sale of plants or produce for Federation funds.
It was also noted that the 2005 AGM agreed an increase in subs of 5p for 2007 and a further 5p for 2008. This should be reviewed at the AGM this year.
The main event outstanding for 2006 was the AGM. This would be held on Saturday 18th November at 1230pm in the Town Hall with the Mayor presenting the prizes. Would all societies please ensure a good turnout by reminding their plotholders that all members are welcome to attend. The local press would be contacted to report the event - the story and photos would be sent retrospectively if no reporter was present.
SC suggested by having the AGM in the Town Hall we are too reliant on the Council and would it be better elsewhere, especially in view of the dispute over money. PN disagreed as a great deal of work had been put into restoring the prominence of the prizegiving with the mayor involved over the last three years. The meeting decided to review the situation next year.
PN reminded the meeting a cup would be required for the Best Small Plot competition introduced this year. Agreed the Federation to purchase a cup for around £100 and retrospective sponsorship be sought. Sponsorship also suggested for the Amenity Competition. Anita Macro agreed to try and find sponsors.
Reports from Societies
Park Hill – fully let with a good waiting list. Open Day held on very hot day in July, not as well attended as previously, but still £350 made. Composting toilet under construction. Approached by phone company about mast on site - £4000-5000 per annum on offer – further details being sought.
Norbury Park – Rent collection currently in progress. Two sales had taken place raising over £200.
SNAHA – fully let with 10 on waiting list. Shredder purchased with Lottery money. Works continuing on communal area. BBQ held. Members pleased with Amenity Competition result. Rules revision adopted.
Bensham Manor – plant sale had raised over £400. Successful Caribbean evening. Bonfire night event to be held. Xmas Fayre to be repeated Sunday 3 December. Communal garden works continuing. Successful contact with local special needs school – allotment in school grounds and lessons on site. Pathways improved with shreddings. Donations had allowed improvements to kitchen.
Biggin Wood – open event had raised £125 for St Christopher’s Hospice. Fully let with 15 on waiting list. Member had been caught stealing vegetables – HL asked about best method dealing with this as rules not very comprehensive at present. JDS suggested escort member off site and only allow return with committee member – this had worked at Spa Hill.
Midday Sun – successful summer BBQ held. Recent vandalism included damage to hut, glass broken, netting slashed, strimmer stolen. Culprits recognised and confronted – reparations to be paid, police involved. Still outstanding issues with purchaser of adjacent land – difference of stated responsibilities between story told to him and allotment society on water supply, repair of fencing etc. [This issue to be added to agenda for next Allotments Consultative Panel meeting with specific request for Mike Close of Estates Dept to be present to answer questions]
TH&N – BBQ held which was well organised and attended with families present. Pot holes in tracks repaired. Water supply on site extended. Some “weedy” letters sent. Two plotholders asked to leave – one went OK – other protested and given reprieve until January as last chance.
S&SN – rent collection in progress, overall figures expected to remain static. Minor vandalism continues on usual scale. Plots for disabled people nearing completion, most works completed, Horticultural Probation team on site. Party held for 100th birthday of society president. Possible Xmas Fayre. Talks held with developer on adjacent site.
Spa Hill – waiting list now 22 for people within 1km, but 128 for people within maximum 4km limit. Several fundraising events held. A member ejected for theft. Some standpipes and over 200m of water piping replaced. Repairs needed to bank supporting Dale Park Road. Pond works continuing – now half dug. Training events to be held again in 2007.
South Croydon – fully let with over 30 on waiting list. This figure checked every month to ensure interest is maintained. Rents in progress – over 50% already paid. Open Day raised £490 for St Christopher’s Hospice – over 100 people attended – good advert for allotments. Charity “Mind” has taken on one of old orchard plots and paid for trees and stumps to be removed (£1,500) – plot to be used by their clients under supervision – good for society and community. AGM 6th November.
PN suggested an extension to the best plot competitions for 2007, perhaps by a winter inspection. This was rejected due to the difficulty of getting the same judge for both occasions. The meeting favoured the idea of a Best Newcomer as an additional prize to be awarded to someone with less than 18 months on the plot. Care to be taken to ensure this did not include experienced gardeners moving to a new site. This idea would be reviewed again at the next ordinary meeting in February 2007.
JDS reported having seen draft of a worrying GLA document on allotments – many controversial issues such as London-wide waiting lists, etc. - how this might apply to self-managed sites is not clear. Delegates asked to look out for document issue.
PN apologised as it was clear promised combined rules document had also not been sent out after July meeting. This to be rectified asap.
AGM Saturday 18th November – 1230pm at Town Hall, Katherine Street
Next Meeting Wednesday 28th February 2007 - 8pm at Spa Hill Allotments