Hixon Allotments Association

Latest News.
Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 5th July 2022
at the Bank House.

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

7.22.1 Apologies: Chris Hilton

7.22.2 Previous minutes. (May 31st) and matters arising
The minutes from 31st May were agreed and signed by the chairman. There were no matters arising.

7.22.3 Financial report.
Account balance (13th June): 4951.00 (which includes 399.25 for the Memorial Fund)
There have been no expenses paid since the last report.
The NASLG fees have been paid and will show on the next report, as will the payments of rent to the PC.

7.22.4 Setting rents.
The rent paid to the PC has increased by 11% RPI, but this has been more than offset by a water charge which is considerably lower than last years'. There will be a small surfeit, but it was agreed that the rents be frozen for the next year.

7.22.5 Planning for site improvement project.
Simon has spoken to the plot holder who has worked the area needed for the storage shed and toilet and he has no objections to the project.
The costings for the shed and toilet remain the same at present.
Chris will survey the site with Pete Appleton and they will work out costings for the concrete base.
The site will then be cleared, (once fruit bushes have been moved).
Volunteers will be needed to help with the construction.
Simon will inform the PC and plot holders about the proposals in his AGM report. CH, SE.

7.22.6 Grant funding.
Mark has started an application for funding. It was agreed that we ought to contribute at least 20% of any funding that might be awarded. He will submit a copy of the audited accounts with the application.
7.22.7 Vacant plots and waiting list
There are no vacant plots and there are four people on the waiting list.

7.22.8 Neglected/untidy plots.
Simon and Chris undertook a plot inspection on 24th June. While most plots are being well cultivated, some are causing concern and a few need monitoring. Letters have been sent to four plot holders. Two people have been asked to remove weeds and begin cultivation, or their plots will be repossessed. The other two were asked to do some work on their plots, but were also offered some help.
As a result, one person has given up their allotment and there is now a new tenant.
Further emails and letters will be sent to the plot holders who have not responded.
There will be another inspection in the next couple of weeks.

7.22.9 Tree sale.
Alan has 30 or so trees which are potted and will be ready for sale by September, before the leaves drop. We will therefore hold a tree sale outside the Hall, on September 10th. Other plants will be available and Karen will email Joy to see if she would like to sell flowers. AH, KA.

7.22.10 Compost bays.
The sides of the bays are disintegrating and will need replacing before too long so that the earth sides don't collapse. It is difficult to know with what they could be replaced so Karen will ask Pete for suggestions. KA

7.22.11 Meeting with Dan Wheatley.
Dan did not attend.

7.22.12 AOB.
Fundraising ideas It was agreed that we compile a list of fundraising ideas and devise a programme, as with the improvement plan.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Tuesday 31st May 2022
at the Bank House.

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

5.22.1(2) Apologies: None
5.22.2 (2) Previous minutes. (March 29th) and matters arising.
Tarpaulin This has been moved from Plot 30R and is now by the compost bays.
Ramp Simon has fixed the non-slip tape to the compost ramp.
Plot holder survey This is no longer needed as the focus for the project has been agreed.
Shed application form This has been changed.

5.22.3(2) Financial report. (13th May)
Account balance: 4847.60. (which includes 399.25 for the Memorial Fund)
The accounts are now with the accountant and the receipts from the plant sale will be shown on the next report.
The Quiz made 158.00.
The plant sale made 372.77, which includes a donation of 50.00 from Kathleen Newbould.

5.22.4(2) Quiz and Plant Sale.
Simon thanked Alan for all his hard work in preparing so many plants for the sale.
The quiz and sale raised approximately 500.00 towards the improvement project and it was suggested that we hold another quiz in October.

5.22.5 (2) Site improvement project.
The rationales for the storage shed and toilet were discussed and it was agreed that we work to develop both.
The location needs to be agreed and so Simon will talk to the plot holder who has been using the extra strip of land at the bottom of the site.
Chris has begun to work out a timeline and plan for the Parish Council, with risk assessments and he will talk to Pete about plans for a concrete base.
The boarding on the sides of the compost bays is disintegrating and so we need to work out a long-term solution for which we might have to pay. SE. CH.

5.22.6(2) Vacant plots and waiting list.
There is now one vacant plot and 5 people on the waiting list.

5.22.7(2) Neglected/untidy plots.
The vacant plot has large filled tubs which need removing. Alan and Nick will have a look later this week and then John might be asked to help with his tele-handler.
There are a few plots which are untidy with weeds spreading. Jane will send a general letter to all plot holders, reminding them that plots should be fully cultivated and kept free from weeds, and announcing a plot inspection at the end of the month. AH. NB. JG.

5.22.8(2) Risk assessments.
These are now in place

5.22.9(2) Fund raising ideas.
We hope to arrange a quiz for October.
Alan is growing some trees which will be for sale at some point.
Next year's plant sale will be at the Memorial Hall next year and might therefore attract more people. There will also be scope for selling teas and coffees and having more sales tables.

5.22.10(2) Newsletter items.
Chris will advertise the Enviromesh and there will be more recipes. CH

5.22.11(2) AOB.
Awards for All - Mark is looking into possible funding from Awards for All and he will need an allotment email address which Jane will set up.
AGM Tuesday 12th July at 7.30 in the Memorial Hall. There will be a Committee meeting on Tuesday 5th July at 7.30 in the Bank House. MC. JG.

Next meeting Tuesday 5th July at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the additional Committee meeting held on Tuesday 3rd May 2022
at the Bank House

(to discuss the plant sale and improvement project)

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Chris Hilton, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley, Nick Brookes, Mark Connell

5.22.1 Apologies:
Suzanne O'Farrell .

5.22.2 Plant sale.
Tables Simon will collect the tables from the Hall on Saturday morning. The tables will be positioned along the main access path to encourage people to walk up and look at the site.
Advertising Plot holders have been emailed and will be sent a reminder at the end of the week. There have been posts on Facebook and Colwich allotments have been invited.
Plants Alan has been growing lots of plants specifically for the sale and will need some help to transport them. He also has collected trays and crates for people to use .
Stalls There will be a cake stall and a book/tool stall and it is hoped that there will be donations from plot holders.

5.22.3 Improvement project.
The survey of plot holders at the AGM resulted in the following suggestions:
Storage facility
Composting toilet
Improvement to paths between plots
Small pond
Table for free vegetables/plants
Bee-attracting plants
Trees around the perimeter
Wild area
Regular deliveries of woodchip and manure
Celebration of the setting up of the allotments

The committee unanimously agreed that a storage shed and composting toilet were most needed and would therefore be the focus of the next site improvement project.

Rationale for the shed:
1. To store communal tools
2. To store plants and materials
3. To create a space to share/exchange excess produce
4. To create a space to sell mesh/seeds etc.
5. To create a place to make drinks or shelter from rain

The composting toilet would be a facility for use by all plot holders.

Karen estimates that at present we will have about 1700.00 once the rents have been paid to the Parish Council. We will leave a contingency fund of 200.00, so 1500.00 can be used now.

1. To develop a hard standing area with a shed and toilet, as part of one project, or
2. Develop both, but within two financial years
1. Establish the location and ensure that all permissions are gained from Parish Council and any plot holders
2. Develop a timeline for the project, with costings and fund raising-activities in place
3. Establish a team to work on the project
4. Move forward at pace to show plot holders that we are working on their key priorities

The proposal and process were agreed by the committee and work on the project would begin immediately.

Next meeting Tuesday 31st May at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 29th March 2022
at the Bank House.

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Chris Hilton, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley

3.22.1 Apologies:
Nick Brookes, Suzanne O'Farrell, Mark Connell

3.22.2 Previous minutes and matters arising. (7th February)
Tarpaulin Simon will take the cover and fold and store it safely.
Compost John has emptied the large compost bay and turned the new compost.
Ramp Simon will clean the ramp and attach the non-slip tape this weekend.
Survey Suzanne has looked into creating a plot holder-survey and feels it will be quite straightforward.
Composting toilet Colwich allotments have a composting toilet and Chris will arrange for a couple of committee members to go and have a look.
Risk assessments Use of power tools has now been included, as has a section on lone-working.

3.22.3 Financial report. (29th March 2022)
Account balance: 4,568.88 which includes 399.25 held for the Memorial fund.
There have been no transactions since the previous report.
All rents were paid by the due date.
The rents will be paid to the Parish Council in April, leaving approximately 2200.00 in the account.

3.22.4 Site improvements.
The most appropriate site for a storage shed would be the small strip of land by the hedge at the bottom of the left hand side. At present it is being cultivated by a plot holder, but he has indicated that he would like to give it up.
Some committee members hope to go to see the composting toilet at Colwich Allotments and if appropriate, something similar will be included in a revised improvement plan. SO'F, CH.

3.22.5 Vacant plots and waiting list.
There are no vacant plots and 4/5 people on the waiting list.

3.22.6 Shed applications.
It's been noticed that the application form for sheds includes a section which will allow sheds on the plots next to the main access path. As this could cause problems with shade, the sentence will be removed. SE

3.22.7 Risk Assessments.
Chris has up-dated the risk assessments. He will highlight one or two of the health and safety issues in the next newsletter.
He has renewed the reverse parking notices. CH

3.22.8 Quiz. (April 10th at 7.30pm)
Simon will devise the quiz with 8 rounds.
There will be a maximum of 6 people per team and participants will pay 2 each.
There will be a raffle, with prizes from the committee and tickets at 1 per strip.
Simon offered to donate 20 towards the three prizes of 30, 15 and 5. Karen will provide a float.
Chris will create a poster for the notice boards and Face Book and Jane will email the plot holders.

3.22.9 Plant sale. (7th May)
This will be held from 10am -12pm. Jane will give advance notice in the Quiz email and more details will be given nearer the time.

3.22.10 New committee members.
Duncan Lowe will be asked if he might like to joint the committee.

3.22.11 AOB.
Enviromesh Karen has already had some orders and will be able to give a better idea of the price once all the orders are in.
Accident book Karen will check the accident book.
Woodchip We have had several loads of woodchip but the supply will begin to dry up now that trees are coming into leaf.
Taps Duncan Lowe has kindly replaced one of the taps which wasn't working properly. It was agreed that plot holders be asked to turn off the taps when not in use, to prevent leaks and wasted water. Jane will include this in the email.
Millennium Green Alan has been advising on trees for the Millennium Green. KA, JG.

Next meeting Tuesday 31st May at 7.30 in the Bank House (Last Tuesday of alternate months)

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Monday 7th February 2022
at the Bank House.

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

2.22.1 Apologies: Nick Brookes.

2.22.2 Previous minutes and matters arising (19th October)
Memorial Garden A meeting was held recently to discuss the new church window which is now just waiting for the go-ahead from the Diocese.
Tarpaulin The large cover is still on one of the plots, rolled up and unused. Simon will take it back and it will be stored safely.
Compost John has emptied the large compost bay. SE

2.22.3 Financial report. (13th January 2022)
Account balance: 2,785.88.
The payment to the Memorial Hall is for the AGM.
We have had some income from seed sales.
There are still some rents to be paid, but the deadline isn't until 17th February.
We have had some recent deliveries of woodchip but the tree people are now paid a small amount by the Council for biomass. It was suggested that we offer to pay a nominal amount per load, which might ensure a more regular supply, but it's difficult to contact the people concerned.
Karen is looking into the possibility of buying some environmesh in bulk, but it needs to be 5m wide to be of use. KA

2.22.4 Site improvements.
There were a few suggestions from the AGM as to possible ways to improve the site, but we now need to involve all the plot holders to ensure their involvement in any future projects. Suzanne offered to look at the possibility of developing an online survey to gauge opinions and Chris will investigate the prices of composting toilets.
A storage facility is still a priority and possible positions for a shed were discussed. SO'F, CH.

2.22.5 Vacant plots and waiting list.
Two plots have recently become vacant but now have new tenants. There are three people on the waiting list, with other plots possibly becoming vacant now that invoices have been sent out.

2.22.6 Untidy plots.
These have now been tidied.

2.22.7 Risk Assessments and insurance.
The insurance has been renewed. Simon checked that any accidents due to the use of power tools would be included in the cover. This was correct, as long as users had read the handbook for the item and proper PPE was used. It was decided that Simon would be the only person to use the WFA strimmer, especially as it seems to be rather temperamental. We will let plot holders know the situation, through the next newsletter and an email.
Chris has up-dated the Health and Safety policy, the handbook and the risk assessments after a plot holder slipped on the ramp by the compost bays. Plot holders need to be aware of these documents and especially the lone-working guidance and it would be good to focus on different aspects throughout the year. A copy will be sent out to everybody and they will be highlighted in the next newsletter.
Simon has bought some non-slip tape which he will fix to the ramp and the ramp will only be used when the bay is more that half full.
Chris will add a section about power tools to the Risk Assessment. He will also highlight the no-pesticide rule in the handbook and will include a reference to the WFA website.
Simon thanked Chris for all the work he has put into these documents.
Simon and Chris will conduct another risk assessment of the site in the near future. JG, CH, SE, CH, SE , CH.

2.22.8 Plant sale and other fundraising ideas.
We will have another plant sale at the site on Saturday 7th May, with a cake stall.
We hope to have a quiz in the Bank House on Sunday 10th April, but this has yet to be confirmed with the pub. CH, KA.

2.22.9 Woodchip.
We will try to let plot holders know when there is a delivery of woodchip so that everyone can access it.
There is still plenty of manure at Bishton and this will be collected when volunteers have time.

2.22.10 New committee members.
We could do with some new people on the committee. There were a couple of suggestions of people who might be interested and they will be asked.

2.22.11 AOB.
Date for meetings It was agreed that the meetings will now be held on the last Tuesday of every other month, beginning on 29th March.

Next meeting Tuesday 29th March at 7.30 in the Bank House

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on
Tuesday 19th October 2021
at the Bank House

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Chris Hilton, Karen Appleton, Alan Hartley, Nick Brookes

10.21.1 Apologies: Suzanne O'Farrell, Mark Connell
Barry Williams has resigned from the committee

10.21.2 Previous minutes and matters arising (30th August)
COVID guidance Chris has updated the COVID notices around the site.
Untidy plots Jane has written to the plot-holders concerned. One has had personal issues to deal with and Simon has offered to strim and tidy it. The other plot-holder has done some work, although there is more to do. It has been noticed that the path along the side of one plot has become very uneven as if debris from the plot has spilled over onto it. Jane will write to the plot-holder and a couple of committee members have offered to help by scraping off the weeds. Simon will strim the edges the site at some point, to tidy it up before the winter.
Memorial Garden Volunteers from the rail organisations have spent a day at the garden and have made a huge difference. They have set the edging stones properly, laid a proper base for the bench and completely cleared the untidy area at the back.
Tarpaulin The large cover is still on one of the plots. Simon will have a word with the plotholder and remind him that it belongs to the association. JG. SE

10.21.3 Financial report. (13th September 2021)
Account balance: 2,346.50.
It was felt that we should use some of this money to improve the site further and that a storage shed would be useful. Chris and Alan offered to look at possible spaces and costings before the AGM, but we would also ask plot-holders for other suggestions for site improvements.
399.25 is being held from the Memorial fund. This includes a donation of 250.00 from Wynns Ltd.
Alan has donated the cost of the domain name for the next 5 years. The committee thanked Alan for his generosity.

10.21.4 Finance Policy.
The amended Finance policy was agreed.

10.21.5 AGM. and budget.
The budget was put to the committee. There will be a small increase in the rents due to the RPI and the increased water usage. There will also be an increase in the running costs, which have been capped for the past 3 years.
At present we hold 227.00 as a ring-fenced amount against future empty plots.
It was agreed that we appoint a vice-chair at the AGM.

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

10.21.7 Parish Council liaison person.
We have been asked to invite the liaison person to the AGM, but while we very much welcome the idea, we have not yet agreed on who that person should be. It has been suggested that Simon will meet Brendan informally next month to discuss the issue.

10.21.8 WFA Asset list.
Strimmer + safety helmet, gloves and harness
2 wheelbarrows
First aid box
Compost storage area
Troughs + plumbing
2 large tarpaulins
Compost ramp
Notice board
Jane will keep a copy which will be amended as necessary. JG

10.21.9 Compost.
There is still a lot of compost in the storage area and the bin needs emptying. John will level the storage area and add to it.
There is plenty of manure to be collected from the riding school and this will be done fairly soon.

10.21.10 AOB.
John Martin has large bags of organic slug pellets. He will give the details to Karen and we might be able to bulk buy some from him.

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