Hixon Allotments Association

Latest News.

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Wednesday 27th March 2019 in the Bank House.

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

3.19.1 Apologies:
Rose Jones, Mark Connell.

3.19.2 Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 5th December 2018 were approved by the committee and signed by the chairman.
Simon introduced Suzanne and Nick and welcomed them to the meeting.
Cattle troughs An 8' galvanised trough can be bought for about 100.00, but we will have to check that they are deep enough to take a watering can. Chris will find out the measurements of the troughs at Colwich.
Report to Parish Council Simon attended the December meeting and reported on the allotments over the past year.
Glyphosate There seems to be a great deal of conflicting evidence about the use of Glyphosate. Chris offered to do some more research and to contact NSALG for their advice. CH

3.19.3 Financial report.
The account balance was 4,262.24 on 13th March. This includes the money received from rents which will be paid to the Parish Council in May. The accounts are healthy and we can therefore spend some money on the storage area and possibly a shed.
40.00 from the memorial fund was spent on a wreath for 6th January, leaving 69.25 in the fund.

3.19.4 Vacant plots/waiting list.
There are no vacant plots and two people are on the waiting list.

3.19.5 Tenancy agreement update.
There are still two agreements as yet unsigned.

3.19.6 Site maintenance.
John has offered to help with the storage area, but the concrete slabs will need cutting. There will be a meeting at the site on Saturday (30th March) with John, to plan the next moves.
Unsuitable material is still being put into the compost bays. A talk on composting might be useful.
The woodchip has been used so Alan will ask for some more.

3.19.7 Social/fundraising.
There will be another quiz in the Bank House on Sunday 12th May. Entry will be 2.00 per person and there will be a raffle. Jane will email plot holders to let them know the date and ask for raffle prizes.
Jane has found a speaker who gives talks on composting, but Chris has also heard of some speakers who are both entertaining and informative, so he will find out more. JG. CH.

3.19.8 Memorial Garden rota.
Joe has sent out a new rota for the upkeep of the Memorial Garden. At present it seems to need very little maintenance.

3.19.9 NSALG
It is still difficult to know whether the NSALG subscriptions offer value for money. Simon will contact NSALG to discuss the benefits. Chris will find out whether Colwich allotments are affiliated to any organisation or if they manage without. SE.CH

3.19.10 AOB
Church fete This will be held on May 4th and they have asked if plotholders would donate any spare plants for the plant stall. Jane will contact the organisers for further details nearer the time.
Village spring clean This will be on the weekend of 13th/14th April and Nigel has asked for volunteers. He will send more details later.
Compost bins There are several compost bins at the bottom of the site. Jane will email plotholders saying that they are spare and can be used. If no-one wants them they will be disposed of.
Plastic There is still a large amount of plastic waste around the site which blows onto the neighbouring fields. Plotholders will be reminded again to take any that they find home.

Next meeting: Tuesday 30th April in the Bank House, at 7.30. (An informal meeting to prepare for the Quiz)

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Wednesday 5th December 2018 at The Granary, Egg Lane

Present: Simon Ellin, Jane Garner, Alan Hartley, Chris Hilton, Karen Appleton, Mark Connell + Mick Kelly from PC.

12.18.1 Apologies:
Barry Williams, Rose Jones.

12.18.2 Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 26th September 2018 were approved by the committee and signed by the chairman.
Memorial stone The new stone is now in place near to the bridge and the site of the accident. It is now insured by the PC.
NSALG We still need to look at possible alternatives to the NSALG.
Cattle troughs Chris has been to look at the cattle troughs on Haywood allotments. They are made of zinc and are about 5 feet long. We will look at prices (e.g. Wynnstay, Burtons, Carwarden?) and sizes.
Quiz There was little response to the proposed quiz, so we will try to arrange another one in the pub, in January. Karen will speak to the Bank House with a possible date of 27th January.
New committee members Jane will write to Nick Brookes who seemed quite interested. Carole Lawrence will also be approached. All, JG, KA, JG.

12.18.3 Financial report.
The account balance was 2,625.24 on 13th November, but the new memorial stone has now been paid for. There is now only 109.25 held from the memorial fund and some of this this will be used to buy a wreath which will be laid on 6th January next year. Money will also be needed to replace plants as time goes on.
Alan has donated the money to pay for the domain name for the next 3 years. Simon thanked Alan for his generosity.
We need to talk to John Martin about payment for the concrete slabs for the storage area. We also need to find out how to cut them to size.
It is still hoped to purchase a storage shed. SE.

12.18.4 Vacant plots/waiting list.
There are at present no vacant plots, but also no-one is on the waiting list. It is hoped to install some cold frames on the small plot at the bottom of the site (31/32R), but Michelle Ellin will take on whatever is left.

12.18.5 PC items (Mick Kelly)
Annual report - Mick reminded Simon of the annual allotment report to the PC. Simon is more than happy to report to the next meeting but asked that Catherine send him a formal invitation.
Invoicing Some members of the PC feel that the invoices should show all the details of the components of the rent. It was agreed that this can make the invoices very confusing and so just basic information about the rents will be shown on the individual invoices. However, a full breakdown of all the costs will be presented at the AGM and the extra details will be posted on the website and the notice board. Karen will send the breakdown to Alan. SE, KA.

12.18.6 Tenancy agreement update.
Simon has tweaked the revised Tenancy Agreement to incorporate The GDPR as an appendix, and so any new tenants will, by signing, accept the WFA GDPR policy. SE.

12.18.7 GDPR update.
There are still 3 forms outstanding, (Simon Cull, Mark Trickett, Adrian Smallwood). Jane and Simon will talk to those concerned when they next see them. SE, JG.

12.18.8 Site maintenance.
Neglected plots - After the plot inspection, letters were sent to Andy Teague, Brendan McKeown and Michelle Jordan-Davis. Andy apologised and said that he and his father-in-law hoped to get on top of things by the end of the year, but a new baby had arrived and he is rather busy. Brendan also said that he would sort the plot before the new year but Michelle said that she could no longer maintain her allotment because of a bad back. New tenants have now been found for this plot.
Fence posts John has managed to straighten some of the posts which were leaning.
Compost bays The retaining boards on the compost bays are beginning to disintegrate.
Woodchip Alan will try to order some more as it is being used quite quickly.

12.18.9 Social/fundraising.
It is hoped to have a quiz in the Bank House in January.
Jane has found a speaker who is willing to come and talk about different aspects of composting. She is waiting to hear back from him. JG.

12.18.10 Manure.
Jane has spoken to the wife of the manure man and they are quite happy to keep delivering, but her husband has recently had an operation and so has been unable to fill the bags. They will bring some more as soon as possible and don't need contributions towards the cost of the bags.

12.18.11 Invoicing.
The invoices will be sent out in January, one month before the rent is due.
As agreed at the AGM, the rents have been frozen for another year.

12.18.12 AOB
Memorial rota Joe has sent everyone a continuation of the rota for the next few months, but it's unlikely that anything will need doing now until the spring. We could possibly put some spring flowers around the new memorial. A wreath will be laid on 6th January and this will be paid for from the fund.
Newsletter Alan has offered to produce the next newsletter and he would like ideas for items for inclusion.
Water The water needs to be turned off before the bad weather. Karen will talk to Alan.
Glyphosate There is plenty of research but it's difficult to interpret. We will look at it more carefully over the next few months and it will be discussed at the AGM, along with organic slug pellets etc. KA,AH.

Next meeting: TBC but before the Quiz (27th January)

Minutes of the Committee meeting held on Wednesday 26th September 2018 
at The Granary, Egg Lane.

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

9.18.1 Apologies: 
Barry Williams, Rose Jones, Mark Connell 

9.18.2 Minutes of previous meetings and matters arising.
The minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 26th June 2018 were approved by the committee and signed by Chris.
Memorial Garden
A memorial, which will be sited near the scene of the accident has been ordered and the PC have agreed to insure it as it will be near to the road. This will use most of the ring-fenced memorial money, leaving only a small amount in the WFA account.
BBQ The barbecue didn't take place for a variety of reasons, but a working party was held on 15th September and the overgrown plot was cleared.
NSALG The committee were not sure that the NSALG subscriptions provided value for money. We will therefore look into other possibilities before next year's AGM.
Cattle troughs The committee looked at examples of different troughs which could be used to replace the taps. It was difficult to judge from photos, so Chris offered to go and look at the troughs on Colwich Allotments. All CH

9.18.3 Financial report.
The account balance was 2,582.39 on 13th September, but after the ring-fenced rent and memorial fund monies have been taken out there will be 1857.14 available for projects. A site visit was therefore arranged to discuss the possibility of some sort of storage facility for tools etc. and an area for compost, wood chip and manure. This might be a good use of the site of the old RAF building, but it would need a proper base and retaining walls. The wildlife area would then be sited elsewhere. 

9.18.4 Vacant plots/waiting list.
There are at present no vacant plots, but also no-one is on the waiting list.

9.18.5 Tenancy agreement update.
There are still two tenancy agreements outstanding. Simon will write to the tenants concerned. SE

9.18.6 GDPR update.
Simon will add a line to the tenancy agreement relating to GDPR, so that by signing tenants are agreeing to our GDPR process. Jane will send the existing GDPR form to the new tenants. SEJG

9.18.7 Site maintenance.
A plot inspection was held on 23rd September. Most plots seem to have been well looked after, but a few have been very neglected. Jane will write to the tenants. JG

9.18.8 Social/fundraising.
It was agreed that a barbecue would be planned for early summer next year, giving scope for re-scheduling if the weather is against us. This year we will have a Pre-Christmas Feast and Quiz with a provisional date of 30th November. Plot holders will be asked to contribute a plate of food and bring own drinks. There will be a raffle and entry will be 2.00 per person. Jane will arrange a speaker for next spring. JG
9.18.9 New committee members It was agreed that we need new committee members and it is hoped that some of the new tenants might be prepared to join. 

9.18.10 AOB.
Rats There is evidence of some rat activity near to the compost area. Ian (from SBC)has put some bait in the box.
Glyphosate There is now some doubt about the safety of Glyphosate after a recent court ruling in America. Jane offered to look into current research and possible alternatives. JG

Next meeting: Monday 12th November (TBC)

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