Hixon Allotments Association

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Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 29th August 2017 
in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Alan Hartley, Mark Connell, Barry Williams, Joe Craen

8.17.1 Apologies:
 Karen Appleton, Chris Hilton, Rose Jones 

8.17.2 Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 12th July 2017 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman. 
Simon has sent the details of the end-boards to Catherine. Weed-killing on the public areas of the site was to have been done in July/August, but this will now be done later to protect growing crops.
The minutes of the AGM (14th July 2017) were read and approved and will be put on the website in draft form.
Simon has cut the hedge at the bottom right of the site and he will check the hedge on the left of the entrance.
The boundary fence is beginning to lean because some of the posts are rotten and Jane will email Catherine about it. SEJG

8.17.3 Financial report.
Account balance - £2,279.90 (11th August 2017) which includes donations of £925.00 towards the rail disaster memorial. 

8.17.4 Rail Crash Memorial.
The site is coming on well and the plants are becoming established. Joe will put a note in the Compass thanking all the donors and giving an up-date on progress. The committee felt that the plaque and stone should be bigger than that proposed, so that it does not become lost as the planting covers the area. It was suggested that the size of the plaque be increased to A3 and the stone increased proportionately. Joe will talk to Tim. It is intended that a bench be bought to be sited near the memorial, but as yet Tim has not found out who owns the field next to the church. Joe will contact Janet Hopkins to ask if she would like to be part of the unveiling of the memorial. Maurice Blisson was a journalist at the time of the accident and he is working with the BBC in Manchester to publicise the anniversary. There is likely to be a small amount of money left after the costs have been met, but this will be used for on-going maintenance. Simon again thanked Joe for all that he is doing. JC

8.17.5 Vacant plots and actions.
One plot has been taken by a lady from Weston, so 6 now remain empty. Most of these have been strimmed and covered, but one double plot still needs dealing with. Jane will contact Catherine to find out if details of the vacant plots have been circulated to Weston and Gayton. We will leaflet Weston at the end of the year or in January. JG

8.17.6 New Tenancy Agreements.
Simon will try to get examples of agreements from other allotment societies and asked the committee to look for some too. He will work on producing a relevant but simple format. SE

8.17.7 Open day/Barbecue.
The committee reluctantly decided to postpone the event for 12 months as there is very little time and several members of the committee are unavailable on the day. It will be planned in advance next year with plenty of advertising and involvement from plot holders. Jane will let plot holders know. JG

8.17.8 AOB.
– Ian has been round and found evidence of rats around the compost bays. He has baited both boxes and will come back in a couple of weeks to check. Jane will contact him to see if she can meet him next time as there is evidence on other parts of the site. JG

Next meeting: Tuesday 31st October 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Wednesday 12th July 2017 in the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Alan Hartley, Rose Jones.

7.17.1 Apologies:
Mark Connell, Joe Craen, Barry Williams .

7.17.2 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 18th May 2017 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
New tenancy agreements – The wording of the new tenancy agreements will be worked on over the next few months in consultation with the Parish Council to ensure that they are relevant. 

7.17.3 Financial report.
One plot holder did not pay the full amount so their cheque was returned. We are still waiting for payment. Another plot-holder has not paid but has not worked on the plot for approximately 12 months. Letters have been sent but there has been no response so the tenancy is now ended. 7 half plots are therefore now vacant. The running costs for 2017/18 are estimated to be approximately £500.00 and if we need to buy more covers for empty plots it will be over £600.00. However, it was agreed that we should use some of the funds to subsidise this and leave the running costs as of last year. There will therefore be no increase in the charges to plot-holders for 2018/19, except that based on the RPI. 

7.17.4 Rail Crash Memorial.
Joe has written and delivered letters to local all local businesses and several sizeable donations have been received and also from individuals. The total so far is £645.00. 
The site was cleared by Simon, Barry, Joe and Tim Moss before being rotovated. Much of the planting has now been done and Tim and Barry have put kerb stones along the edge of the path. 
The stone will be ordered once the final size has been agreed upon. There is probably now enough money to provide a bench, but this will be decided on at a later date. 
Simon thanked Joe and Tim for all that they have done so far.

7.17.5 Vacant plots and actions.
There are currently 7 vacant half plots. 4 of these have been strimmed and covered and Karen has bought some landscaping fabric which will cover most of the others. There will be a working party on Tuesday 18th July at 7.30pm to do this. The lady from Weston is still interested in taking a plot, now that it has been agreed that plots can be offered to people from Weston, Gayton and Stowe. She is coming to have a look on Saturday. Advertising flyers were taken to Stowe Fete and the organiser of Sandon Fete has offered to have some too. Jane will check with Brendan that this is ok. It was agreed that we will leaflet houses in Weston in the Autumn. JG

7.17.6 AGM.
This will be held on 14th July at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall. The agenda was agreed with the addition of the review of dogs on the site and there are no motions which will need a vote. We will meet at 7.00 to put out the chairs etc. SE

7.17.7 Improvement plan.
Building – We still need to keep all possibilities in mind.
Tenancies – We need to aim for full tenancy and perhaps devise a marketing plan. Plot holders will be encouraged to keep plots tidy.
Jobs for the month – Chris will look into sending out a monthly newsletter with ideas for each month.
Social events – These need developing further and it is hoped to hold an open/day barbecue in September JG

7.17.8 AOB.
Edging boards – Catherine needs to know how many boards are required. As some plots are already edged we will count up at the working party on Tuesday and let her know after that.
NSALG – An inquiry has been made about using the Hall as a venue for an NSALG event. Karen will respond, saying that the Hall would be available and letting them know the rates. SEKA

Next meeting: Tuesday 29th August 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Thursday 18th May 2017 in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Alan Hartley, Rose Jones, Joe Craen.

5.17.1 Apologies: 
Mark Connell, John Martin 

5.17.2 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 14th March 2017 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman. 

5.17.3 Meeting with Hixon Parish Council.
Brendan has contacted Simon and they had a very amicable meeting at which they discussed the issues which had been causing difficulties and agreed to bury the history and move on. The points discussed were later ratified at a meeting with representatives from The PC and WFAA (Brendan McKeown, Mick Kelly, Andy Murdoch, Simon Ellin, Karen Appleton and Mark Connell). The points agreed were:· Individual plot rents will be set annually by dividing the amount required by HPC (rent and water) plus WFA running costs, by the number of occupied plots. If there is extra revenue from increased occupancy in the year, there will be a reduction in rents for the following year. Likewise, if there is reduced revenue from decreased occupancy, there will be an increase in rents the following year.· HPC will send their figures to WFAA before the AGM and the rents will be set and agreed at the AGM for the following year.· The Chairman will report to the PC annually, in November.· Invoices will be sent out in November so that plot-holders have time to decide whether they want to carry on.· It was agreed that a maximum of 6 allotments may be offered to people from Weston, Gayton and Stowe. If there are vacant plots, 3 will always be kept for people living in Hixon.· The PC will help with the marketing of the plots to the other Parish Councils. 

5.17.4 Financial report.
Account balance: £3,231.91 (as of 12th May) The working balance in the account is currently £1,836.94.The accounts have been audited. The rent element required by the PC is the same as last year and so the rent element to be divided by the number of plot holders will remain the same. 

5.17.5 Vacant plots and actions. 
There are currently 5 vacant half plots and 1 vacant small plot. Several other plots have been neglected and are becoming very overgrown, so there will be a plot inspection in the next few weeks. The vacant plots will be covered with black plastic sheets or potato cloths (if we can buy some from John). There will be a working party at 11.00am on Saturday 20th May to look at the vacant plots and strim the weeds before covering them. 

5.17.6 AGM.
This will be held on 14th July at 7.00pm in the Memorial Hall. It is hoped to issue new tenancy agreements to all plot-holders at the AGM to ensure that the wording is relevant. Karen has suggested a few changes and Simon will also have a look. SE

5.17.7 Memorial Garden.
The site has been cleared but has not yet been rotovated. Graham Turner is advising on planting. We now need some prices for the plaque for the stone and Barry will make enquiries. Joe has had a meeting with Malcolm and two reporters who covered the accident. They hope to write articles for local papers nearer the anniversary. Joe has contacted BBC Radio Manchester to see if there is any interest. Some money has been donated but more is needed, so it was suggested that Joe write to local shops, businesses and organisations, letting them know about the anniversary and the Memorial Garden and letting people know that they can contribute. The quiz has been postponed, but will be be held later in the year, with proceeds going to the Memorial. The Hall has been booked for the weekend of 6th - 8th January for an exhibition and talk by Malcolm. The Memorial Garden will be opened during the weekend. BWJC

5.17.18 AOB
Compost – One of the compost bays has been covered.
Toolstore – Jane will email the tenant who gave up their plot but left a toolstore. JG

Next meeting: Wednesday 12th July 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Tuesday 14th March 2017 in the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Alan Hartley, Rose Jones (+ Tim Moss for first item)

3.17.1 Rail crash memorial.
On advice from the stonemason, Derbyshire grit-stone seems to be the most suitable material for the stone, with a metal plaque attached. Malcolm Garner has put forward a couple of suggestions for the wording on the plaque. It is hoped that this would be sited near to the left hand side of the church wall, with an identical plaque fixed to the bridge over the railway. Tim is dealing with the ecclesiastical side of things and needs definite ideas before he speaks to the Archdeacon so Joe will see the stonemason again to get some idea of size. Simon will email the new contact from ALSTOM and all local organisations will be invited to be involved in the project. Tim Moss left the meeting. JCSE

3.17.2 Apologies:
Barry Williams, Mark Connell, John Martin, Jane Martin 

3.17.3 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 24th January 2017 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
Composting – Inappropriate debris is still being put into the compost. Chris will be distribute the information sheet to plot-holders as soon as possible. 
Newsletter – Jane now has the newsletter template from Mark P. CH

3.17.4 Financial report.
Account balance: £2,057.66 (as of 13th February)£186.00 has been paid to SBC for pest control. Karen has bought a new lock for the gate as the old one had seized up and the invoice has been sent to Catherine. Some new tubs for the taps have also been bought. Income from the rents has been paid into the bank, but there are still a couple of invoices outstanding and Karen will write to the plot holders. A letter has been received from a plot holder querying the rent increase and charges and pointing out that the original tenancy agreements have a different end of year date from the current ones. The plot holder enclosed a cheque for an incorrect amount, so Simon will draft a response explaining that should all plots be taken, the rents will be reduced next year. The cheque will be returned. It was agreed that we need to look at the tenancy agreements again and try to sort out the difficulties caused by our invoicing date now being out of step with the date when the PC invoices us. This will be discussed at the AGM and possibly with the PC. We will also provide a detailed breakdown of how the running costs have been calculated. Karen will send late payments letters to plot holders who have not yet paid. SEKA

3.17.5 Building questionnaire.
A number of plot holders had responded to the questionnaire and they would like a building to include storage space, a kitchen, shelter and a toilet. MC

3.17.6 Vacant plots and actions.
Simon will post another item on the Hixon FB forum. Jane will ask for the advert to be in the next Compass magazine for the next two months. Joe and Rose will deliver leaflets to the new houses on Blenheim Manor and will put them in the shops and village notice boards. (Simon will print more if necessary.) Chris will reconstruct the WFA FB page and will include photos of the site and individual allotments, and will link it to the forum. A lady from Weston has emailed as she is interested in having an allotment. Jane has been corresponding with Catherine and the Parish Councillors asking if an exception might be made to the 'only people from the parish of Hixon' rule, as the lady's sister lives in Hixon and there are no allotments in Weston. The issue will be discussed at the next PC meeting. SEJGJCRJCHJG

3.17.7 Access Path.
he PC have offered to supply boarding to edge the allotments which border the access path and to spray the access path with weed killer twice a year. The committee were agreed that the boarding was a good idea and they would be happy to work with plot-holders to install the boards. Concerns were expressed about the weed killing and possible risk of damage to crops. Jane will write to Catherine, expressing these concerns, but thanking the PC for the offer of the boards. JG

3.17.8 Improvement Plan.
A great deal has been achieved but there is more to be done. The areas which we will be working on include: Paths, biodiversity, review of rents, bids and match-funding, fundraising (e.g. summer barbecue), risk assessments, first aid, working with other allotment associations, fact sheets and social events. CH

3.17.9 Quiz.
A date has been fixed for Sunday 21st May. Joe has booked the Bank House and Simon will devise the questions. SE

3.17.10 AOB.
Email from Brendan McKeown. An email has been received from Brendan expressing concerns that WFAA are over-stepping their responsibilities. Simon will respond, inviting representatives from the PC to the next meeting so that issues such as the building and invoices can be discussed.
Water – The water has been turned on today.
Tool store on empty plot – Karen has emailed the owner of a tool store left when the plot was vacated but has had as yet, no response.
Insurance – The PC have paid this year's premium from the ring-fenced money.
Rats – Ian Hughes, the pest control officer has visited but seen no sign of any problem. Jane will contact him and will ask to meet him next time he comes.
Compass – It was agreed that we give a donation of £10.00 towards the work of the Compass magazine. SEKAJG

Next meeting: Thursday 18th May 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 24th January 2017 in the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Alan Hartley, Rose Jones, John Martin, Jane Martin

1.17.1 Apologies: Joe Craen 

1.17.2 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Monday 14th November 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman. 
Newsletters – Jane has been in touch with Mark Pearce. His format for the newsletters was created in Microsoft Publisher and he is more than happy to pass it over to us. Jane will contact Mark again.
Composting – Chris has finished the information sheet and it will be distributed in the spring.
Notice Board – Barry has had a frame constructed for the original notice board and he and Simon have installed it in the corner of Plot 1R. The committee thanked Barry very much for all his work on the notice board, which looks good and has saved the committee a considerable amount of money. Barry will pass on our thanks to Tony, the owner of Form Fabs, who kindly constructed the framework free of charge. CH

1.17.3 Financial report.
Account balance (13.1.17): £1,677.68 

1.17.4 Memorial.
Joe and Simon have visited a stonemason to get some idea of costs. We have had no response to the letter and email to Rail-Track and ALSTOM, but we have been given the name of the MD of the Transformer department at GE. Malcolm Garner has offered to help write a letter, giving the details of the accident and we hope to send this in the next couple of weeks. JC

1.17.5 Vacant plots.
There are now 7 vacant plots, even though 3 new tenants have recently come forward. Jane will write to the Parish Council again, explaining all the actions we have taken to try to fill the vacant plots and asking them to consider offering a couple of plots to people outside the parish. It was noted that fewer people generally seem to be wanting an allotment and that Stafford Borough Council are currently advertising vacant plots on some of their allotment sites, even though there has always been a long wait for an allotment in the past. One person has come forward because of the recent Facebook posting. Rose has offered to deliver leaflets to all the new houses on Blenheim Manor. The person who has taken Wayne's plot would like to buy the shed and Karen is currently trying to contact Wayne's partner to discuss this. JGRJKA

1.17.6 Building.
Mark brought some brochures with examples of garden buildings and the committee discussed what might be needed against what might be possible financially. It would probably be best sited on the footprint of the original building, but decisions about size need to be made. Mark offered to devise a questionnaire to find out the views of plot holders before the committee make any decisions. MC

1.17.7 Invoicing.
The PC have sent a letter which they have asked to be sent out to plot-holders, giving a breakdown of the allotment rents. It was felt that the letter was rather confusing and should come from WFAA, instead of the PC. Simon has therefore changed the letter and will send it to the PC, along with our proposed format for the individual invoices, stating that it is our intention to send the invoices out in this form. A separate sheet will show a table of charges for the different sized plots. There was some discussion about the letters but this course of action was passed with 7 votes for and 1 abstention. Simon will email the documents to Catherine. SE

1.17.8 AOB.
Access path - John Martin reported that the PC are considering offering boarding for the edges of the allotments along the main access path, to make weed-killing easier. The committee will discuss this with the PC.
Quiz – Sunday 12th March was a provisional date for the next quiz. 

Next meeting: Tuesday 14th March 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Monday 14th November 2016 in the Bank House

11.16.1 Apologies: Rose Jones, John Martin 

11.16.2 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 21st September 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
Newsletters – Jane will contact Mark Pearce and ask whether we can use the format which he devised.
Kings Seeds – Karen has been in touch with Kings Seeds and they are sending some catalogues, but any orders will have to be in quite soon. JG

11.16.3 Financial report.
There have been no transactions since the previous meeting. A meeting is needed before Christmas to look at the figures and discuss next year's rents before the invoicing date in February. Simon is now a signatory on the bank account. 

11.16.4 Improvement Plan.
Chris has updated the Plan and used a traffic lights system to show how much has been achieved. There are still some items which are current, including the building and paths, and Chris is working on the starter pack for new plot holders. Other things need developing e.g. risk assessments, empty plots, visits, shop, open days etc. Future newsletters will be printed and delivered to plot holders and copies left in the shop for anyone who might be interested. The new Plan will be sent to all plot holders. Simon thanked Chris for all the work involved in the IP. CH

11.16.5 Memorial Garden.
A letter has been sent to Railtrack and an email to ALSTOM, informing them of the project and asking them to consider offering some financial support. If nothing has been heard by the end of the month, Simon will phone Railtrack and ALSTOM. Joe and Simon are visiting the stonemason on Friday to get a clearer idea of costs. It has been suggested that it might be cheaper to have a metal plaque inscribed with the names of those who died and attached to a memorial stone, rather than carved inscriptions. SEJCSE

11.16.6 Building.
Plans have previously been passed for a new building on the footprint of the previous one but Mark thinks that minor changes to these would probably be accepted. Mark felt that a large shed might need planning permission and that problems might arise if the building was moved from the original site. We now need to decide what sort and size of building would be most appropriate and Mark offered to draw up a list of things to be considered and possible solutions e.g. a metal building, a container or a wooden building, electricity and water supplies etc. with some costings. These will be discussed at the next meeting. Grants or Lottery funding will also be explored. MC

11.16.7 Composting.
Chris will finalise the composting notice for all plot holders, but the present system with John removing items which cannot be composted, seems to working well. CH

11.16.8 Vacant/neglected plots.
Five plots are vacant at present and there will possibly be others in February. The site looks tidier thanks to John spraying some of the weeds and clearing the two plots which have been vacant for some time. He has removed the pile of composted material which hadn't been used and has also sown one of the plots with mustard seed to suppress weed growth. Simon thanked John for all that he has done. Joe has some black polythene which he offered to cover empty plots. Simon suggested that we must plan regular working parties next year and encourage all plot holders to join in to keep the site looking tidy. A social evening in the pub might help plot holders to get to know each other and perhaps encourage new people. We will leaflet the whole village again in January. JC

11.16.9 Notice board.
Barry has offered to get the original notice board repaired and perhaps fix it in some way on a post. Once there is a new building, the board could then be attached to a wall. BW

11.16.10 Quiz night.
This will be on Sunday 20th November at 7.30 for 8.00pm.Simon will write the quiz and will donate a cash prize for the winning team. The committee will all donate a raffle prize and Jane will ask Rose if she will organise the raffle on the night. Chris will put the poster on the Hixon Facebook page and Jane will put posters in the village notice boards. The Bank House has offered to provide a bowl of chips for each table. SERJCH

11.6.11 AOB.

Next meeting: Tuesday 24th January 2017, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 
Wednesday 21st September 2016 in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Alan Hartley, Rose Jones, John Martin, Jane Martin
Apologies: Mark Connell, Joe Craen

9.16.1 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 19th July 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman. 
Pest Control
– Jane met Ian Hughes at the site and has now changed the site plan to show where the bait boxes are now. Ian has not put bait into any of the boxes because there was no sign of any rats, however he will come immediately if there is a problem.
Chippings – Another load of chippings has been delivered. Simon thanked Alan for arranging this.
Watering rota – No-one asked for their plot to be watered, but several people had helped neighbours out while they were away.
Weed-burners – Karen has looked into the possibility of hiring an industrial burner, but it appears that systemic weed-killers are a better option. 

9.16.2 Financial report.
There have been no transactions since the previous meeting. 

9.16.3 Rules.
The rules have been condensed to fit one sheet of A4. Jane will send these out to plot holders and will emphasize the importance of keeping plots tidy and weeds under control. It will also be suggested that now is a good time to prune any fruit trees to ensure that they do not grow too high and cause a nuisance to neighbouring plots. A note will be added to the rule on the use of chemicals, to say that should plot holders wish to use a systemic weed-killer on their plot (rather than on the paths) they must first get permission from the committee. Chris's notes on composting will be included in the letter. JGCH

9.16.4 Notice board.
Karen has provided details of a weatherproof notice board, but it is very expensive and will need a frame as there is no building on which to attach it. The old notice board could possibly be re-used, with a frame, but any notices would have to be laminated. Simon will meet Barry and discuss the options. SE BW

9.16.5 Vacant plots.
There are now 4 vacant plots and others will possibly be given up next year. There is no-one on the waiting list. The new houses will be leafleted in the new year, and Jane will ask if a link to the website and Face Book page can be included on the PC website. At present the PC are not keen to offer plots to people outside the village. JG

9.16.6/7 Neglected plots.
Jane has written to people whose plots have been neglected but has had little response. It was agreed to have a working party on Sunday 25th September at12.30, to remove the covers and spray the weeds on the empty plots (weather permitting). The plots would then be sown with a green manure such as mustard, to prevent the weeds from growing back. 

9.16.8 Compost.
Simon thanked John for emptying one of the compost bays and turning the other. The composting is working well, especially as John has left the bucket in the car park for people to use for woody or blighted material. 

9.16.9 Memorial Garden.
Joe has done a great deal of work on the memorial. He has quotes from a monumental mason and is contacting Rail Track and Alstom to see if they would be prepared to make a donation towards the cost. A plan will have to be submitted to the Diocese for approval and Joe is hoping to involve the new vicar. JC

9.16.9 Fundraising.
The Quiz will now be held on November 20th in the Bank House. Jane will talk to Mary to make arrangements. Jane has spoken to Ray Bassett who is happy to give a gardening talk and answer questions in the new year. JG

9.16.10 Improvement Plan update.
Chris needs some new ideas from plot holders, but he feels that the main focus should be on the building, and marketing through social media. We should try to meet with other organisations such as Colwich Allotments before long. The growing guide needs completing. 

9.6.11 AOB.
Newsletter - Jane will ask Mark Pearce for the format for the newsletter so that we can continue to send them out. 
Seeds – Karen has not yet received the Kings catalogues. 
Next agenda – The Improvement Plan will be discussed at the beginning of the meeting. 

Next meeting: Tuesday 15th November 2016, at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 
Tuesday 19th July 2016 in the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Joe Craen, Alan Hartley, John Martin, Jane Martin

Apologies: Mark Connell, Rose Jones

7.16.1 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 18th May 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
Pest Control – Jane will contact the new pest control officer to enquire about the dangers of the bait for wildlife.
Chippings – There is still some compost left to at present there is no room for any more chippings.
Watering rota – Jane will remind plot-holders about the rota.
Strimming – Simon and Chris spent some time strimming the weeds on overgrown plots and some of the paths. Nigel Baxter proposed a vote of thanks for their hard work. Karen will look into the effectiveness of weed-burners, with a view to buying one from the funds. JGJGKA

7.16.2 Financial report.
There have been no transactions since the AGM and audited accounts. 

7.16.3 Matters arising from AGM.
Code of conduct for owners of dogs on the allotments site – This should include a warning that rat poison is being used and that dogs are there at the owners' risk. Jane will send a revised code of conduct to Simon before it is sent to plot-holders.
Rules – Karen has already looked at the rules and will email her findings to Jane, who will collate them into an accessible format.
Notice board – It was suggested that a free-standing notice board be sited near the entrance. Karen will research prices and will liaise with Barry over a backing and stand. JGKAJGKABW

7.16.4 Vacant/untidy plots.
At present there are 2 vacant plots with 2 more likely to become vacant, and several which have been neglected and are now rather overgrown. The vacant plots are unlikely to attract new tenants in their present state and so it was agreed that we use weed-killer (glyphosate) on the plots before re-covering them. Weed-killer will also be used on the overgrown paths. We will have a working party on September 3rd/4th as long as the weather is calm. Karen already has a pressure sprayer which we can use, but she will look into the cost of another one and face masks. John offered to provide the weed-killer and will invoice the committee. Jane will email Catherine to inquire about offering a couple of plots to people in neighbouring parishes, where there are waiting lists for allotments. Jane will send letters to tenants of neglected plots. KAJMJGJG

7.16.5 Compost.
Chris has nearly finished the code of conduct for composting. John offered to let people use the large bucket for debris that will not break down quickly. CH

7.16.6 Memorial Garden.
Joe and Tim have found an ideal site for the memorial in the churchyard. Tim suggests that any memorial should be in local stone and that a bench should not be a problem, but we will need to work with the diocese and the new vicar, who will be here in September. Joe will begin to make inquiries with monumental masons and will look into the cost of a bench. We will also approach Alstom and Railtrack. The Memorial Hall has been provisionally booked for the weekend of 5th/6th/7th January 2018, the anniversary of the rail crash, for a talk and exhibition. JC

7.16.7 Building.
As agreed at the AGM and for health and safety reasons, John tried to reduce the height of the walls of the building to 1m. This proved impossible because of the weakness of the building and so he demolished it and removed all the rubble. We will now work with the PC to decide on what sort of building will replace it and where it will be sited. This will be discussed at the next meeting. 

7.16.8 Fundraising.
Another quiz will be organised for Sunday October 9th.Jane will contact Ray Bassett to see if he would be prepared to come and give a talk and answer gardening questions in the new year. SEJG

7.16.9 Improvement Plan.
Much of the Improvement Plan has been achieved, so new targets are now needed. We are still working on producing a growing guide, or monthly tips which could be linked to the Face Book page. We need to resume contact with the Colwich Allotments for an informal chat. A visit to a local garden is planned. John offered to arrange a farm visit on 6th September, meeting at the MG car park at 7.00pm. There will be 32 places and Jane will let plot-holders know. Jane will ask plot-holders to send other suggestions for the IP to Chris. CHJMJGJG

7.16.10 AOB.
Beer for veg.

The Bank House offered to take surplus vegetables from the allotments in exchange for beer tokens. This was felt to be a very good idea and we will look into it further! 

Next meeting: Yet to be arranged

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 
Wednesday 18th May 2016 in the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Rose Jones, Chris Hilton, Barry Williams, Joe Craen
Apologies: Alan Hartley, Mark Pearce, Mark Connell

5.16.1 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 16th March 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
Building – The PC's response to our inquiry about the building suggested several options: 'The situation essentially remains the same now - the building could be repaired/restored and converted to a storage and shelter facility (as long as it is still viable to repair it, which may not be the case now) if the funding can be sourced, or it could be demolished.
Pest Control – Shaun has retired and there is now a new Pest Control Officer. He has recently been out and checked the boxes, and there is now a new one by the compost bays. Jane will up-date the plan for the website.
Risk Assessments – On-going. JGSE

5.16.2 Financial report.
Account balance: £3,050.36 (as of 13th May 2016)It was agreed that there will be no need for an increase in the running costs next year as there is no likelihood of any big expenditure. This will be announced at the AGM. KA

5.16.3 Vacant plots.
There are two vacant plots at present and both are covered to suppress weed growth. Hixon Pre School were interested in taking on a plot, but they have not been able to staff the project. We will deliver leaflets to the new houses in Church Road and New Road and the notice will be in the next Compass. There was concern about the state of one plot which has been neglected. Jane has emailed and hand-delivered a letter to the plot holder, asking that the weeds are dealt with or covered, but there has been no response. Simon spoke to the plot holder during the meeting and he assured Simon that he would tidy the plot. 

5.16.4 Memorial Garden Committee members met at the proposed site on 11th May, but agreed that it would be very difficult to maintain. There is also a possibility that the road by the bridge might soon be gated and closed to the public. It was therefore suggested that the churchyard might be a better position for a memorial, with a plaque or notice on the bridge, and also possibly a plaque in the Memorial Hall. Joe has spoken to Tim Moss about churchyard regulations and will find out from Tim whom we should approach from the Diocese to discuss plans. Joe will email Janet Hopkins to let her know. JC

5.16.5 Compost.
The compost bays are being used more as a way for plot holders to dispose of rubbish than to produce compost. Chris offered to adapt the original rules for composting which will be emailed to all plot holders and also printed out and put up near the bays. CH

5.16.6 Chippings.
The chippings were used up very quickly, but Alan has arranged for another load to be delivered. AH

5.16.7 Holiday watering.
Jane will email plot holders suggesting that they ask a neighbour to water while they are away or let a member of the committee know. They will be asked to reciprocate and a rota can then be drawn up. JG

5.16.8 AGM.
This will be held on Saturday 2nd July at 11.00, with a committee meeting at 10.00, in the Memorial Hall. Any agenda items or proposals must be received 14 days before the meeting (by 18th June). The agenda will then be sent out to plot holders 7 days before the meeting (25th June).There will be 10 committee members as decided at the formation of the association. New members will be invited to put their names forward, otherwise the committee will be re-elected en bloc. 

5.16.9 Fund raising.
The Quiz Night was a great success with £90.00 raised from entry fees and £38.00 from the raffle. It was agreed that we hold another Quiz Night later in the year. It was suggested that we arrange a gardeners' question time or gardening talk, in the new year, with Ray Bassett being asked to take part. We will offer to run a plant sale at the fete on June 11th and Jane will contact Brendan. Plot holders will be asked to donate plants for the stall. It is hoped to organise a barbecue at the allotments later in the year. We will contact Steve Rabjohn to take up his offer of a produce auction at the Green Man. JG

5.16.10 Improvement Plan.
Chris is very pleased with the way the actions on the Improvement Plan are being achieved. At the AGM he will outline the progress and will repeat last year's exercise to consult plot holders on the next steps.A notice board for the site is now needed. Barry offered to look into this and Karen will send him details of the notice board being bought by the Memorial Hall. CHBWKA

5.16.11 AOB.
Strimming service - The weeds on the paths are becoming a problem. Simon offered a 'strimming service' on Sunday 5th June. Jane will email plot holders to let them know and ask them to meet Simon at 11.00 at the allotments if they would like to take him up on his offer.
Weed burner – Karen will find out more about the efficiency of weed burners to see if one would be useful and if it is worth buying one from the funds.
Colwich Allotments Association – Jane has spoken to Roy Hill-Baldwin, the Chairman of Colwich Allotments. He was very enthusiastic about making links and so we will let him know the date of the next committee meeting. SE JGKAJG

Next meeting: 
Saturday 2nd July 2016 at 10.00 am in the Memorial Hall (pre meeting before the AGM.)


The AGM will be held on Saturday 2nd July 2016 at 11.00am in the Memorial Hall.

Please let Jane know if there is anything you would like included in the agenda, 14 days prior to the meeting (i.e. by 18th June). Similarly, if you want to propose a motion for a vote or any change to the rules, please send it to Jane, signed by a proposer and seconder 14 days prior to the meeting.

The agenda will be sent out to everyone 7 days before the meeting.

Hope to see you there

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 
Wednesday 16th March 2016 in the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin (Chair), Jane Garner (Secretary), Karen Appleton (Treasurer), Rose Jones, Chris Hilton, Mark Pearce, Barry Williams, Alan Hartley, Mark Connell
Apologies: Joe Craen

3.16.1 Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 26th January 2016 were approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman.
Entrance – The work on the entrance has been completed quickly and to a high standard. Access to the allotments is now much safer for cars and pedestrians.
Building – The state of the building is still causing concern. Jane will write to the PC expressing this concern and asking if the walls could possibly be reduced in height, as a temporary measure. 
Insurance – Public liability insurance has now been taken out, paid for by the PC.
Pest control – Shaun has visited and has refilled the boxes with bait and replaced two missing boxes. A plan of the position of the boxes is now on the website. 
Risk Assessments – Still on-going. JGSE

3.16.2 HPC situation.
Simon, Jane and Karen met representatives of the PC on 10th February and in an amicable meeting agreed the format for future invoices, which will show a detailed breakdown of the different charges from the PC and WFA. As the WFA invoices had been sent out and several plot-holders had already paid, it was agreed that invoices in the new format would be sent to plot-holders for information only. The committee is very pleased that a resolution has now been reached and that they can now look forward to developing further the partnership with the PC for the benefit of the allotments and the plot-holders. 

3.16.3 New invoicing system and feedback.
There had been some minor confusion over the two sets of invoices but the committee are confident that things will run smoothly next year. 

3.16.4 Financial report.
Account balance: £2,116.60 (as of 11th March 2016)£180.00 has been paid for the annual pest control contract. 

3.16.5 Late payments.
Five plot-holders have not yet paid. Karen will write a reminder. KA

3.16.6 Vacant plots.
At present there are three vacant plots. The Pre-School organisers have expressed an interest, but have not yet been in touch. If these are not taken we could discuss with the PC whether we could offer a small number of plots to people outside the Parish boundary. The advert will be put in the Compass again and leaflets will be delivered to the New Road estate once it has been completed. The A4 posters will be put on the village notice boards. JGJG

3.16.7 NSALG membership fees.
A plot-holder had enquired about the recent increases in membership fees. These are due to rise again to £3.00 next January. Jane had written to NSALG and they said that no further increases were planned, but the committee wanted to know what benefits we receive apart from some income from Kings Seeds and a small reduction in insurance costs. Simon will write to NSALG asking for further details and membership will be reviewed when renewal is due. SE

3.16.8 Memorial Garden.
Janet Hopkins has been in touch with Joe and she would like to be involved in, and contribute to, the development of a memorial garden. Joe has been making enquiries into who owns the land around the bridge with a view to getting permission for a garden. Malcolm Garner has also been in touch with Janet and would very much like to give his talk on the rail crash as part of any 50th anniversary commemorations. JC

3.16.9 Quiz.
This will be on the 10th April at 7.30 in the Bank House, with teams of 5-6. Simon will devise the quiz and will donate a cash prize of £20.00. Karen will talk to Simon at the Bank House to check that the date is booked. It is hoped that they will provide some simple snacks during the evening. Rose will organise a raffle with prizes from the committee. Mark P will put it in the newsletter and Jane will email the plot-holders and Parish Councillors nearer the time. Chris will advertise it on the Hixon Facebook page and Mark P will create a poster to be put up around the village. There will be a pre-meeting at 7.30 on 5th April in the Bank House. SEKARJMPJGCH

3.16.10 Dogs.
There have been previous discussions about whether or not dogs should be allowed on the allotments, but it was suggested that it be put on the agenda for the AGM so that all plot-holders could be involved in the discussions. 

3.16.11 Compost.
The compost needs turning so John will be asked to have a look. Once turned one bay will be covered. Some people have been putting unsuitable material in the compost bays so a list of 'dos and don'ts' will be laminated and sited near to the bays. These could also be added to the next email to plot-holders 

3.16.12 Improvement Plan.
The Improvement Plan is working well, with several items now completed and many aspects being worked on. Chris gave a brief resume:· Building/shelter – being addressed· 
Fundraising – Quiz planned but more needed· Compost – done· 
Drive – completed· 
Maintaining paths – will be on a future agenda· Taps – will be turned back on (KA & AH)· 
Bark – waiting for more · 
Risk assessments – ongoing and then invest in more equipment· 
First Aid – Mark P and Simon now trained· 
Supportive checks – ongoing· 
Watering rota – on agenda for next meeting + notice board· Partnership with PC – ongoing· 
Links with other allotment societies – invite chair of Haywoods Allotments to next meeting· 
Annual planner for website – Karen is working on it and will send PDF document to Mark C · 
Newsletters – two issues so far· 
Social events – Quiz planned and a possible open day in the summer· 
Memorial Garden – links established with the relative of one of the victims and enquiries being made as to possible site KAAH

3.16.13 AOB.
Steve Rabjohn offered to hold a produce auction in the Green Man in August or September. Simon thanked Steve and we will discuss this further at the next meeting. 

Next meeting: Tuesday 6th April 2016 at 7.30pm in the Bank House (Pre-meeting before the quiz)

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