Hixon Allotments Association

Latest News.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday 30th August 2021
at the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Suzanne O'Farrell, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley, Mark Connell, Nick Brookes

8.21.1 Apologies: Suzanne O'Farrell

8.21.2 Previous minutes and matters arising. (26th July March)
COVID guidance – Chris has looked at the current guidance from NAS and there seem to be few changes. Chris will re-do the posters for the site, based on the guidance and will encourage people to use common sense and to be aware of 'hands, face, space and fresh air'.
Car park – The repairs have been completed and it now looks much better. Simon again thanked Pete Appleton for all the time and effort he has given for the construction of the compost storage area and the car park repairs.

8.21.3 Financial report. (13th August 2021)
Account balance: Ģ2,057.50
Some payments from earlier in the year had not been processed and they show on the report.
Finance policy
The committee looked at a finance policy from another allotments association and agreed on the points which should be included, and that any purchase over Ģ50 would need to be agreed in advance by the whole committee. Karen will draft a policy for WFA and will send it to the committee for agreement, before the AGM. KA

8.21.4 Vacant plots and waiting list.
One plot has become vacant and this has been taken. The new tenant has already been working hard to clear it. There are six people on the waiting list.

8.21.5 Untidy plots.
The large plot at the bottom of the site has now been strimmed by Simon and the plot holder has begun working to clear it.
There are a couple of other plots which have been rather neglected and Jane will write to the plot holders concerned.

8.21.6 Water usage.
The last water bill was much higher than previous ones, but the meter has been checked and there don't seem to be any obvious leaks. It is therefore presumed that as the troughs have made watering so much easier, more water is being used. The usage will continue to be monitored and rents might have to be increased to take account of the higher costs.

8.21.7 Memorial garden update and naming of train.
The rota for work on the garden is still working well and there are now new volunteers from the railway organisations.
The train-naming went well, with press and television coverage and several mentions for Joe Craen and the part he and the allotments have played in creating the memorials.
Simon will write to John Robson, thanking him for all that he has done. SE

8.21.8 Tarpaulins.
There is a large potato cover which was given to the allotments by John Martin. This, and other items should be available for the committee to lend to plot holders and so we need to be aware of where the items are and to whom they have been lent. An asset list will therefore be drawn up.

8.21.9 AGM.
The date has been changed to Monday 1st November at 8.00pm in the Memorial Hall. There will be a pre-meeting on Tuesday 12th October, at 7.30pm in the Bank House, to discuss the budget. Jane will email Catherine to find out about the ring-fenced money held by the PC.
Jane will email plot holders to let them know the date and will send out the agenda nearer the time.

8.21.10 10th Anniversary barbecue.
We will provide food but will ask plot holders to bring their own drink. Jane will email plot holders to get some idea of numbers.
If the weather is bad, we will meet in the pub instead.

8.21.11 Regular date for meetings.
It was decided that a regular date for meetings would make it easier for people to attend. The next ordinary committee meeting will therefore be on Monday 6th December in the Bank House and thereafter bi-monthly, on the first Monday of the month.

8.21.11 AOB.

Next meeting
Pre-meeting before AGM on Tuesday 12th October at 7.30 in the Bank House.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday 26th July 2021 at the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Suzanne O'Farrell, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley.

7.21.1 Apologies: Mark Connell, Nick Brookes.

7.21.2 Previous minutes and matters arising (15th March)
First aid box – Karen will check the contents and we will continue to look at the possibility of an outside box.

7.21.3 Financial report (13th July 2021)
Account balance: Ģ2,502.57
The rent and water bills have been paid, but the water bill seems very high so Karen will compare it with previous years'. KA

7.21.4 COVID up-date.
The signs are still up and could do with reviewing and up-dating. Chris offered to contact NAS to see if there is any new guidance. CH

7.21.5 Improvements to the car park.
This is due to be done on Saturday 7th August and the site will be closed while the work is in progress. Jane will let people know. JG

7.21.6 Vacant plots and waiting list.
There are no vacant plots and 7 people on the waiting list.

7.21.7 Untidy plots.
One plot has been neglected and is now overgrown. Jane has written to the plot holder and Simon has spoken to the person concerned and offered to help. The plot holder has assured Simon that they will work on it in August.
Jane will write to two other plot holders and ask them to clear weeds. JG

7.21.8 Memorial garden up-date and naming of train.
The Memorial Garden is looking good and the rota is working well.
A train is being named 'Hixon' on 19th August at Stafford Station and those who have been involved in maintaining the garden have been invited to attend.

7.21.9 AGM.
A provisonal date was set for Monday 11th October in the Memorial Hall at 7.00pm.

7.21.10 10th Anniversary event.
The date for the barbecue has been changed to 18th September. We will need another meeting nearer the time to plan this.

7.21.11 AOB.
Woodchip – It is proving difficult to find a source of woodchip – Jane will ask plot holders if anyone has any contacts.
Manure – There is still plenty of manure at the riding school at Bishton, but it needs fetching. Simon offered to borrow a trailer and collect some.

Next meeting: 30th August at 7.45pm

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 1st June 2021 (Zoom meeting)

Present: Simon Ellin, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley

6.21.1 Apologies:
Mark Connell, Jane Garner, Nick Brookes, Suzanne O'Farrell

6.21.2 Previous minutes and matters arising (Monday 15th March 2021 )
Repair to the gate-
Simon reported that this had been completed quickly and an excellent job had been done.
Action- We must check the drain regularly to prevent water building up leading to the gate posts rotting.
Jane to email the Parish Council thanking them for their prompt action.
First Aid Course-
Actions – 1) To check with Joe re the possibility of joining the Hixon Green and Clean team on a first aid course.
2) Simon to check the first aid boxes.
The minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting. JG. SE.

6.21.3 Financial report (1st June 2021)
Account balance: Ģ4,145.95
Plant sale Ģ397.48 – To be banked with any further donations.
Alan made significant donations of plants and material that we received gratefully- Thank you.
Simon will need to buy blades and fuel for the strimmer. He will liaise with Karen re the costs for this.
Action- We need to discuss future priorities for spending as a committee at the next meeting.
The Chair thanked Karen Appleton for financial report.

6.21.4 Plant Sale-
An extremely successful event with the sale raising three times the amount from previous years. Our thanks to Alan Hartley who grew the majority of plants and collected the tools. The cakes, jams and book sale added to our sales further. A big thank you to all involved and for the many donations that we received.
Action- To make this a regular event within our fund raising activities. All.

6.21.5 Improvements to the car park.
A potential date has been arranged for the work to go ahead. Monday 19th July.
Action- When the date is confirmed then we should notify plot holders that the site will be closed from 9.00 am until 5.00 pm. PA to confirm the date with JG- (An email communication to be sent out.) PA/JG

6.21.6 Vacant plots and waiting list.
There are no vacant plots and 6 people on the waiting list.

6.21.7 Condition of the Plots-
Simon reported that many of the plots are well cared for.
Actions- We suggested that Simon should speak to one plot holder to offer support and suggested that part of the plot should be covered. SE and CH to arrange a site survey during June. SE/CH.

6.21.8 Memorial Garden Update-
The Plaques for the locomotives are ready. (3) Two to go on the locomotive and it was suggested that one should should be placed in the Hixon Memorial Hall. The naming of the locomotive will take place on 19th August.
Action- Barry to keep the committee informed about developments.
SE to email Mark Farrington re the Plaque in the Village Hall so that the committee can discuss. JG. SE.

6.21.9 Water Troughs-
Barry has checked the pipes and he feels that they are not leaking and that the troughs seem not to be over flowing.
Action- An email to be sent out to plot holders saying that if they water late at the site then they should turn off each trough. JG

6.21.10 10th Anniversary Event.
We hope to have a barbecue for plot holders. It was suggested that this should take place on Saturday 11th September. We would have meat/fish and vegetarian options. Some drinks to be purchased.
Action- To see if Claire Murdock /Community Association has a BBQ that we can borrow. An email to be sent to Claire Murdock.
We suggested that the Parish Council and John Martin should be invited.
We would discuss this further at our meeting on Monday 26th July. JG

6.21.10 AOB
Compost Area-
Actions- Wood chip- To see if there are any local suppliers that we can encourage to provide us with more wood chip.
To ask on the facebook forums if people are aware of suppliers.
An email to be sent to John Martin asking if he can move the next batch of compost to the bins. AH, CH, JG.

Next meeting: Monday 26th July 8.00 pm, possibly the Bankhouse.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Monday 15th March 2021
(Zoom meeting)

Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Barry Williams, Chris Hilton, Suzanne O'Farrell, Nick Brookes, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley

3.21.1 Apologies: Mark Connell

3.21.2 Previous minutes and matters arising (10th December 2020)
Memorial garden update – There is little new to report, but it is hoped that the naming of the locomotive will take place on or around the weekend of 29th June (St Peter's Day). Joe is still waiting to hear from the Diocese about permission for the new stained glass window in the church.
Rents – Simon presented his annual report to the PC in January and outlined the fact that we were able to freeze the rents for a further year. Simon felt that it was a very positive meeting.
Untidy plots – It looks as if most plot holders have begun to work their plots and as it is early in the season, an inspection won't be needed for some time. Jane will have a look round however and any concerns will be highlighted.
Troughs – One of the taps has sheared off and until it has been replaced, the water cannot be turned on. It was suggested that the troughs be plumbed in permanently to reduce the risk of the joints failing. Chris, Barry and Pete will meet at the site to have a look and decide how to proceed.
Fencing – The fencing on the left-hand side of the site is beginning to lean in a similar way to that on the right. John Martin has had a look and suggests that it will need 12 posts, at Ģ5.00 each. Jane will contact Catherine with the details. JG. CH. BW. PA. JG.

3.21.3 Financial report (15th March 2021)
Account balance: Ģ4,145.95
All rents were paid on time (for the first time ever!)
One plot holder has given up half of their plot, but generously didn't want a refund. A new tenant has already begun work.

3.21.4 Management of compost area.
Compost - The compost in the covered bay is now ready to be transferred to the storage area and the new compost needs turning. Jane will ask John to do this and to check the linings of the bays which will need replacing before too long.
Woodchip - Alan has sourced some more woodchip and there is the possibility of more from Rail Track.
Manure – We still receive bagged manure, although we can't predict when supplies will arrive. There is another local source, but it would need bagging and a trailer to transport it.
Risk assessment – The insurance was renewed in February. We informed the company of the new storage area and sent copies of the plans. There were no changes to the premium, but they asked that we review all the risk assessments. Chris has done this and will arrange to meet Simon at the site to sign them off. JG. CH. SE.

3.21.5 Improvements to the car park.
Pete met Adam Campbell and identified about 30mē which needs attention. Adam has given a verbal quote of Ģ400.00, for digging out the area , refilling and levelling it. This just includes materials at cost, and labour. He is supplying a written quote for the PC.

3.21.6 Vacant plots and waiting list.
There are no vacant plots and 4 people on the waiting list.

3.21.7 Plant sale.
This is being planned for Saturday 22nd May at 11 o'clock.
Alan has lots of plants, cuttings and seedlings and others will have plants to donate as well.
Alan has some second-hand tools for a separate stall and gardening books.
We could also sell cakes, jams and chutneys.
The sale will be opened up to the whole village and will be part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations.
Any leftover plants will be taken to Colwich Allotments, as happened last year.

3.21.8 10th Anniversary Event.
We hope to have a barbecue for plot holders later in the year. This could possibly be arranged at fairly short notice, depending on the weather and how many people might be around.

3.21.9 First Aid Course.
Joe Craen is hoping to arrange a first aid course for those involved in Hixon Green and Clean, and wondered if WFA might be interested in joining them. This was felt to be a good idea and Jane will reply to Joe.
Simon offered to look at first aid kits whch could be installed in a more obvious place, but in the mean time Karen will put additional signs on her shed. JG

3.21.10 AOB.

Next meeting: Monday 10th May at 7.45

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