Hixon Allotments Association

Archived News

Brief Summary Of Committee Meeting 27th June 2012.

  1. Last Tuesday it was the Hixon Parish Council Meeting to which the 3 senior Committee members went. Orson presented them with an annual report as well as a schedule of works that need to be dealt with and several points followed from that meeting.
  2. The Committee’s main concern is still the entrance path where people are slipping on the loose stones and it was pointed out that it is worse for people walking than drivers in cars. From this the committee have various questions of procedure with regards an accident book and reporting incidents to the PCC for insurance claims etc. The question also arose over visitors and liability for the general Public as although the site is technically private land we don’t want to restrict other villagers from going on to it. The Councils insurance must cover any incidents, but would we be accepting some legal part in procedures in any claim by keeping an accident book etc. Karen is going to seek advice from the N.S.A.L.G. etc. It could be that we need to put up “No Liability …” signs.
  3. The difference in the amount paid by the Allotments and the amount that the Council pay the Landowner is still a thorny issue, but Hixon P.C.C. are liable for any insurance and maintenance problems and that would be a lot of hassle for the allotments to deal with ourselves. 
  4. It was mentioned by someone attending the HPCC meeting that he thought it was a general byelaw that no dogs were allowed on any allotments, but the “No dogs,” signs have still not arrived yet.
  5. Again it was thought that no hoses should be permitted on allotments as it would be asking for trouble anyway with potential abuse and problems over the water pressure. Plotholders would like bonfires and the general advice given on other allotment sites seems to be that as long as people are sensible there is not a problem. We are not in a smoke free area, but fires must be supervised at all times and the plotholder must have a bucket of water handy - not a hosepipe!
  6. The stone are not being collected at the moment because Mr Martin has just had a new tractor and the old bucket doesn’t fit it, but he will collect them again in due course.
  7. Colin said that some of the members were not happy with the way the committee were re-elected en bloc, but it was pointed out that at the time nobody objected to the procedure and there was only one challenger for a place on the committee anyway. It would have needed at least 2 more challengers before anybody would have been forced off the committee, but it was out first A.G.M. and consideration will be made for next year as to how the process could be improved, but still keep it simple. Colin said that other members had said that they didn’t like the fact that the finance statement was not printed and handed out for people to take away with them and study at home. All figures were read out by the treasurer at the time, but it was agreed that it should have been printed and will be at the next A.G.M.
  8. A question was raised about someone applying for a plot on behalf of a friend and it was clarified that an application for plots must only be for oneself and any other person should go back on the list.
  9. Several plots that were untended have now been cleared, with the exception of one near the gate, that it was thought had been let, but the new plot holder has not paid, or signed yet, so it was decided that it should be handed over to the next on the waiting list. Another couple of names have also been added to the list. An up to date plot holders list will be put on the notice board along with committee members contact details.
  10. With regards to plots getting unruly, because of the ill health of holders etc, it was decided to price up, and then buy, a Scythe, that will be stored under lock and key on the site.
  11. The Secretary, Dave, presented the committee with some draft weed (advice/warning) and plot allocation letters for their approval after which followed an English lesson for all the committee by a committee member/teacher!
  12. The subject of the existence of Organic Slug Pellets was mentioned, as was Organic approved weed killer, for use on the paths such as is used on the Haywood site. It is thought to be systemic and breaks down on contact with soil, but is specifically designed for use with crops.
  13. There are no outstanding problems with any rents.
  14. All the adverts are to be removed and hopefully replaced with new ones, except for Air & Ground which will be left on as they made a sizable donation last year.

The next Meeting will be Wednesday 26th September at 7pm in the Bankhouse.

Brief Summary of Committee Meeting 29/5/12 Pre A.G.M.

  1. It was confirmed that there are only 8 out of the original 10 committee members still wishing to stand at the following A.G.M. and there would definitely be 2 vacant committee places.
  1. A person next in line on the waiting list wanted a half plot, but there was only a ¼ available, so it was decided to offer it and if refused they could go back on to the bottom of the list and hope for a bigger one next time it was their turn, or accept it and simply go back on the list for more. It was decided it was better to offer something to as many as possible rather than specifically trying to fulfill everyone’s exact requirements.
  1. The flexible heat sealed plastic “No Dogs,” are being torn off too easily by the wind, so more permanent no dogs signs being made at some cost.
  1. The question of hosepipes came up again and the N.S.A.L.G. say that they are banned on most allotments as they can lead to conflicts over their usage. If no one else was on the site there might not be any problems, but it would be impossible at other times as people queue for the taps to fill cans when it is busy now. Furthermore, if they were allowed, somebody may well want to use seep hoses that might be left on permanently.
  1. The question of a difference between the fee the parish council pays the landowner and what they charge the allotment association was brought up. This was clarified as being set aside by the parish council to be used for maintenance of things like the perimeter fences, paths, driveway and entrance etc. With this in mind the dangerous state of the loose stones at the entrance was pointed out. One person has already had a bad fall and one of the plot holders has a disabled son in a wheelchair that would be impossible to push up or down the loose stones on the steep slope if they had to walk home.
  1. The committee were asked to mention to as many plot holders as possible that plant and produce donations were wanted for the stall at the Jubilee Celebrations on the Village Millenium Green on Monday 4rth June.
  1. The next Committee meeting will be on Wed 27th June.

 Brief Summary of Hixon Allotments Committee Meeting 3rd May 2012.

  1. One of the first things to be raised was the question of unkempt plots, either where plots have been abandoned, or the plot-holders have health or family/work difficulties. Several plots have recently changed hands and are now being cultivated, but one or two still remain a problem with things like Dandelions coming to seed. It was suggested that family members and friends might like to help out those with genuine difficulties to prevent plots from becoming a nuisance to others.
  2. The “No Dogs,” signs are going to be replaced with stronger, more permanent ones, as it appears the wind is tearing them off.
  3. There are some rules on the “Tenancy Agreement,” but it has been decided to “Post,” a full list of “Site Rules,” or “Do’s and Don’ts,” on the notice board and website, after they have been clarified.
  4. A local Pub/Restauarant has again asked the allotments to supply them with surplus vegetables, but the “not for profit,” allotments rules are quite clear and specific, apart from the total impracticality of such a scheme.
  5. Everyone should note that the adverts on the introductory page of the official website cost £25 each and are renewed annually. They are about to be changed and anybody who would like an advert for any business is more than welcome to contact the committee.
  6. The 4th of June will see the Millenium/Village Hall Celebrations fundraiser where the Hixon Allotments have agreed to have a plant/vegetable stall. Any plant donations or assistance will be very welcome. Donations can be made on the day to the stall which will be manned between about 1-30pm  - 3-30pm?
  7. Rents are due on the 17th May (Although reminders have already gone out) and plot-holders have 2 weeks to pay.
  8. The rents are the same as last year based on £40 for a half plot and £20 for a quarter plus a Service charge of £12 applicable to everyone to pay for things like water and the N.S.A.L.G. membership which is £2 annually for each plot-holder on the site.
  9. The Tenancy Agreements that we all signed last year are actually open-ended and don’t need to be renewed (Except for new plot-holders)
  10. Rents can be paid at the A.G.M. which will be on Tuesday 29th May in the Village Hall after a Committee meeting which will be held beforehand.
  11. For those interested there may well be room for 1 or 2 replacement committee members to make up for those who have left, although of course any plot-holder can seek to be elected for any position on the committee at the A.G.M. as the whole committee will have to be re-elected annually.

Brief Summary of Hixon Allotments Meeting 21st March.

  1. The “No Dogs,” signs have now been put up on the gate etc and a notice board erected on the side of the building. It was pointed out that people could use this enclosed board to place notices for seed or plant swaps if they want. It is advised that people don’t put too many personal details.
  2. The subject of compost bins for all plot holders came up again and was rejected as not being practical at the moment on the grounds of cost as we would need over 40, unless the council do an offer, of very cheap, subsidised bins, again.
  3. It was pointed out that the tap at the top of the site, needed to be repaired, because it had been damaged. As a relatively minor job it was decided that one of the committee could fix it.
  4. The allotment bills will be sent out on the 1st May.
  5. The AGM will be held on the 29th May at 8 pm in the Village Hall.
  6. The Committee are still waiting for an accurate water bill that may possibly affect the plot rental charges slightly for the year after next.
  7. Several people have now officially changed plots.
  8. There are 10 people still on the waiting list that will soon be posted on the notice board to enable people to see exactly where they stand in line. This is so that allocations can be seen to be fair. (No personal details will be posted.)
  9. There was a problem over the planting of some fruit trees. It had originally been decided to allow tree planting as long as they were kept below 2 metres. However the trees in question were not on a dwarfing root-stock, as they should have been, and would have grown very large. Any tree must be planted with consideration for others as regards, shade and the roots robbing the soil on an adjacent plot.
  10. The water was turned back on earlier than anticipated, but people should be aware that it will be turned off every winter in the future to avoid frost damage.
  11. One of the parish councillors was present for part of the meeting to discuss the possibilities and progress regarding the derelict building at the entrance to the site. There will be some unforeseen problems to overcome, but generally speaking the building doesn’t appear to be going to going to be as much of a problem, or cost as much to resurrect, as first thought, although it will not be cheap. There was some talk of installing solar panels for free and obtaining grants for other work.
  12. There is still the possibility of being involved in a fundraiser of some sort with the Millennium Green/Village Hall and ideas would be welcome.

Brief Summary of Hixon Allotments Meeting 11th January.

The names of plot holders have changed quite a bit, so the plot listing on the web site will be updated after the Spring renewal.

Several people have asked about having bonfires and especially Braziers, but the committee are still waiting for advice from the National Garden Leisure and Allotments Society.

As a follow up to the NO DOGS ruling some “No Dogs” signs have been made and are going to be put up everywhere so that people can’t miss them!

As previously advised the water has now been turned off for the winter! If anybody wants to water in new winter plantings they will have to use the water out of the tubs for a few weeks.

Air & Ground of Shirleywich were thanked for their splendid sponsor donation of £712.75 for which they will have an advert on the introduction page of the allotments website.

The allotments A.G.M. will be held in the Spring by which all monies must be paid up to date. (Charges will be the same as the first year.)

Committee members are going to pursue ideas for dealing with our building more enthusiastically with the council.

Loose stones on the entrance slope are causing some minor problems, so plot holders are advised to be careful and not to “spin” any on the road, but to clear up any if they do.

On a light hearted note it was asked what would be the position if a shed blew off the allotments and caused damage locally. (After the recent strong winds anything could have blown about!) As many plot holders have plastic sheeting of one sort or another and bin lids that could easily blow about, it was decided to get the matter clarified.

The matter of an open forum was raised again and it was pointed out that an A.G.M. is really for open discussion; committee meetings are for the committee. Alternatively it was pointed out that comments/questions could be posted/discussed on the allotments website “Forum.”

The committee would like to celebrate the allotments first year with something like, an open day in Spring with possibly a big plant swap day for surplus seedlings/young plants, etc, or Maybe in Autumn with a produce sale of some sort, possibly sharing with the village fete/church fete, etc.

Brief Summary Of Allotment Committee Meeting 14th December.
Dogs, or at least the mess that some dogs are leaving behind on the allotments is becoming a real nuisance for some plot holders, so after several previous discussions, the committee have decided that NO DOGS will be allowed on the site at all. With regard to this issue it should be noted that unlike most other allotments, the site is privately owned and as such the issue of TRESPASS or PUBLIC NUISANCE may be brought up with offenders.

A reminder is also made to members concerning the shutting of the gates upon leaving the site. Some plot holders are walking onto the site and should not be expected to shut the gate after people with cars have left the site and left the gate open.

Plot holders should be aware that, as happens on many other allotment sites, the water will be turned off over the coming winter months to prevent expensive damage to the standpipes. If plot holders need a little water for winter planting, the large trugs, placed under the taps, will regularly be kept topped up.

Initially it had been said that the site should not become a building site with bricks and other hard materials on plots, but as weeds are starting to grow in the paths and weeding is making the edges of paths break up, it has now been decided that edging for paths will be allowed to retain their structure.

Also fencing on plots was not to be allowed, but now 2ft high fencing between plots will be permitted as long as it is not solid and is open in its construction. Furthermore, anyone contemplating fencing must speak to their immediate neighbour and agree where fencing should be placed to avoid any conflict between plot holders.

Many plot holders have been trying to share seeds and plants with other people and it has been suggested that some sort of advertised system of sharing/swapping could be implemented. Ideas so far suggested include people posting small notices within the notice board, (to be fitted on the site) and making use of the websites’ Forum.

The allotments are gradually gaining more interest amongst the villagers and the committee would like to point out that there are now 8 new people on a waiting list for an allotment plot as well as 4 more existing plot holders who have registered as wanting a little more. If people are offered a plot they must respond quickly, or else it may be offered to another person, as we don’t want any plots left empty for weeks on end, because plots will quickly weed up if left untended. The committee would like people to be aware that plots are in demand and waiting times elsewhere on other sites around the country can run into years! The rental cost of plots also varies at other sites, with some a little cheaper and some dearer. Indeed one large company, with a chain of commercial sites, currently offers them at £5 a week, or £10 a week with extras!

Council Green Awards
Just thought you would like to know that Hixon Parish Council's project to develop the Wellington Fields Allotments received a highly commended nomination in last night's, (Friday 21st October) Stafford Borough Council Green Awards - Community and Well-being Category. 
Got a nice framed certificate and a £50 Wolseley Centre voucher.
I'm going to suggest that the P.C. uses the voucher for something appropriate for the allotments.
Brendan McKeown.

Hixon Allotment Holders Invited To Haywoods Show!
Click Here For Info!


Late in the summer of 2010 the Hixon Parish Clerk, Mrs Gill sent out an email to all the local residents who had previously shown an interest in having an allotment in Hixon, inviting them to a meeting in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 12th October at 7.30pm.

The intention of the meeting was to announce details of the proposed site and size of the allotments and to explain the Parish Council’s progress in getting the project off the ground.

The email advised that everyone should be prepared to elect an Allotment Committee at the meeting and that that Committee would then sort out the finer details of the allotment working arrangements and have responsibility for the day to day running of the allotments.

First Meeting

On Tuesday the 12th October at 7.30pm a meeting was held in Hixon Memorial Hall that lasted about one hour. A total of about 50 households had expressed an interest in having an allotment and 30 attended the first meeting.

Members of the Hixon Parish Council gave a brief slide show explaining the proposed allotments and handed out copies of the planned layout and guidelines from the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Limited.

The plans for the South-facing site in Egg Lane proposed a layout of 15 standard plots each having the Allotments Society’s recommended size of 30m x 10m. The plans also proposed having adequate vehicle access to and egress from the site and a limited number of parking spaces of 5m x 2.5m for cars, with additional space available round the turning circle.

The date for a final handover to a new Allotments Committee, and occupation by the tenants, was provisionally set as April 2011. Approximately 12 people expressed an interest in being a committee member and were asked to attend a meeting on Tuesday 19th October at 7pm in the village hall to elect a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer.