Hixon Allotments Association

Wellington Fields Allotment A.G.M. - 29th May 2012

1.      Welcome – Orson Blewitt.

The meeting was opened at 20.05; Orson introduced himself as Chair, welcomed and thanked everyone for attending.

2.      Chair’s Report – Orson Blewitt.

§        This was our first AGM since the formation of the association.

§        Previous minutes from the EGM held on 9/6/11 were available to view on the website at: www.the-site.name/hixon/hixonpages/egm2011.htm

§        Brief Outline of the history of the allotment association was given

v     Almost 2 years ago HPC agreed 50 year lease for the allotment land with local farmer John Martin and subsequently arranged for the construction of the site.

v     See notice board on derelict building at bottom of allotments for all those who contributed to this effort and to whom we are extremely grateful.

v     The allotment Association was formed and we pay rent to HPC for use of the allotments.

v     A committee was then formed (who I will introduce in a moment) to manage the day to day running of the allotments and we eventually occupied the site on 17th May 2011.

§        Introductions to the rest of the current Committee

o       Karen Appleton – Treasurer

o       Dave Jones – Secretary

o       Alan Hartley

o       Joy Ashford

o       Wendy Field

o       Chris Hall

o       Colin Hutchinson

§        Committee meets approx every two months to conduct the affairs of the Association. A synopsis of the minutes is placed on the website for viewing.

§        Currently 8 members on the committee, as we have had 2 resignations during the past 12 months – Anita Howard and Linda Craen who were thanked for their hard work whilst serving as committee members.

§        It was decided at the formation of the committee that there would be 10 members, so 2 vacancies exist. Members were asked to consider whether they want to serve on the committee at the elections section later were committee members for the next 12 months will be elected. If there were no nominations the committee will continue in current format with 8 members and 2 vacancies.

§        Orson – We meet with HPC next month to deliver an Annual Report on the past years management of the site. There will be several issues to discuss so if you have any suggestions please let committee know during Q & A towards the end of the meeting.

3.      Treasurer’s Report – Karen Appleton

·           A detailed report was given of all revenue and costs.

·           The bank balance is currently looking healthy at £1304.24 at our financial year end audited accounts.

·           This did include a significant contribution from a donation received from Air & Ground Aviation £712.75, plus £100 from website advertising. And for the coming 12 months this additional funding may not be available again.

4.      Secretary’s Report – Dave Jones

·        Plot holders 41 currently, 5 plot holders over the year have resigned their plot, expect this to be slightly more static this coming year as the tenants become a more established.

·        Currently 8 people on the waiting list

·        Please update secretary with any updates to contact names / numbers / email addresses etc, some have been received some already.

·        Site security – had a couple reports of the gate being open and no-one on site – please remind people to ensure if last one off site then please ensure the gate is closed. If person is the last car going & others still on site, out of courtesy please ask if they want the gate to be left open.

·        Several sheds erected, if anyone else considering a shed please contact the secretary for a form, which will be forwarded to HPC for approval under permitted development and decisions will be notified back to the tenant.

·        Planting of trees – reminder max 2m high on a dwarfing rootstock & planted away from the boundary of neighboring plot & consideration also given to any shade cast. Trees must be removed if plot is surrendered. Unless by agreement with subsequent tenant.

·        Fencing between plots max 2’ high & open construction, again consideration & speak to your neighbors

·        Plot Maintenance – most are very well maintained, despite the weeds being quite persistent. Ask that you please keep on top of weeds, or at least take steps to cover them and keep in check, this does form part of condition 2 of the tenancy agreement.

·        Whilst it may seem a while off – Water will be switched off for the winter period. When this is switched off a notice will go in the notice board. Last year was discovered it had been switched back on, fortunately quite mild, so risk of burst was minimised. When switched on in spring notice will also be displayed.

·        Loose Stone at the entrance to the site will be discussed with HPC outside of this meeting to see what can be improved there.

·        4th June we will have stall at the Jubilee Celebrations – Karen gave further details and asked for donations of seeds / plants / chutneys etc. Any not sold will be taken to the allotment for plot holders to take.

5.      Election of Officials

·        Orson gave an overview of the election process.

o       We are affiliated members of NSALG (National Association of Allotment Gardeners) and proposed to conduct election of committee members in line with their advice and guidance.

o       If there are no challengers on the committee for either the Chairman, Secretary or Treasurers posts for the next 12 months and unless there were any nominations from the rest of the membership for either of these 3 posts the committee can be re-elected en-bloc.

o       If there are any nominations for one or all of these 3 posts we will need to conduct elections for which Colin Hutchinson will take charge as the Presiding Officer of the election process with Wendy Field acting as his assistant.

o       Election of officials will be done by a show of hands for each nominee.... A simple majority of votes is all that is required for any official to be confirmed. In the event of a tie the Chairman has the deciding vote (apart from the position Chair).

·        Orson asked the members if anyone wished to stand for the positions of Chair / Treasurer / Secretary.

o       No members wished to stand

·        Orson asked the members if anyone wished to stand for the positions of for becoming a committee member.

o       Michelle Creese-Ellin declared an interest. Mark Wilebur proposed Michelle as a Committee member and Jane Garner seconded this. Michelle is welcomed as a new Committee member.

o       No further interest was declared, therefore one vacant position on the committee remains available

·        Orson asked members if there were any objections to the Committee being voted in en-bloc

o       Non were declared from members

o       Paul Hopcroft proposed this and was seconded by Adrian Smallwood.

·        Committee for the coming twelve months is:

o       Orson Blewitt - Chair

o       Karen Appleton – Treasurer

o       Dave Jones – Secretary

o       Alan Hartley

o       Joy Ashford

o       Wendy Field

o       Chris Hall

o       Colin Hutchinson

o       Michelle Creese-Ellin

o       One Vacant position remains

6.      Building Update – Susan McKeown - Hixon Parish Council

·        Designs would need Allotment Committee Approval

·        Design would need approval by John Martin

·        HPC would then submit planning application and fund planning application fee.

·        Upon planning approval being granted then building regs would be required.

·        Brendan McKeown would apply for funding for the project.

·        Two options were presented to members with drawings.

o       Option 1 – Mono-pitch roof, existing footprint, secure area, plus open area enclosed on 3 sides with one open side consisting of polycarbonate structure. Potential for Solar panels. Approx £10k construction plus solar panels (although there may be an opportunity to source some free ones).

o       Option 2 – Apex roof, slightly larger footprint than existing, secure area, plus the addition of a conservatory. Approx £15k construction.

·        There may be an option to include a toilet facility, but concerns were raised regarding cleaning, a final decision would not be required at this stage.

·        A suggestion was made that water could be collected off the building roof.

·        Sue McKeown would also investigate the impact of any shading cast on plot 1R if the height was increased to facilitate a monopitch roof in option 1.

·        Orson asked for a show of hands from members to see which would be the desired design for HPC to pursue.

·        Option 1 – 26 votes

·        Option 2 – 0 votes

·        A copy of the design will be placed on the website by Alan

·        Susan will discuss the plan with John Martin prior to this.

7.      Q & A.

·        Weeds on plot 29L – This has now just been re-let out.

·        Path egdes crumbling – Committee will raise with HPC.

·        Hard surface treacherous, one member had taken a trip over some loose stone – Committee will raise with HPC.

·        Dogs on site – A query was raised on allowing dogs on site. Whilst the current no dogs rule still applied and the principle use of the site was for the growing fruit and veg, Orson advised Nigel that if he found there was a majority in support then this would be considered again.

·        Should Committee meetings be open? – After discussion there were 5 members for open meetings and 17 against. It was agreed that whilst minutes were placed on the website a notice will be placed on the notice board to advise of forthcoming committee meetings allowing members to raise anything required through committee members.

·        Names & Contac t details of Chair / Treasurer / Secretary would also be displayed on the notice board.

·        A suggestion was made that people wishing to give up there plots could do so earlier in the year to give new tenants the chance to keep the plot tidy.

·        The NSALG member’s area username (A7890) and password (440) will be displayed on the notice board.

·        Cigarette butts were reported as been in the water tubs; Orson asked that any smokers refrained from doing this.

8.      Meeting Close

·        Orson thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 21.30hrs.