Present: Chris Clifford (Chair); Jon Willis; Alison Gridley; Julian Stern; Pat Mansfield (Minutes), Sarah Pollard, Stewart Young, Antoine Flett; Bridget Henderson, AnnHelen Parker
Apologies: Jane Nimmo-Smith; Mike Harris; John Cropper; Jane Millar; Josie Powell, Chris Parker
Minutes of last meeting – approved
Matters Arising: None separate from agenda items
12 plots of mixed sizes available for rent but only 2 people on the waiting list. AnnHelen will notify the Council of the vacancies and start advertising.
Roughly the same amount in the bank accounts as last month. Change over of cheque signatories still ongoing because Barclays said that the form that the new signatories had signed was not the correct one.
Savings account – this has not yet been changed. Chris suggested getting Andy to close the account with Scottish Widows first and then Jon open an interest bearing account with some other organisation. Signatories would be Jon, Stewart and Pat. Approx £3k to be kept as a nest-egg/emergency fund.
The Whitehouse Project had now paid the electricity bill but were refusing to pay the water standing charge on the basis that they had not used any water last year. Sarah informed Jon that standing charges do not relate to usage and recommended that he keep billing the Whitehouse.
Stewart to act as a contact point for the committee and share out tasks among the Vice-Ps as they come up. Work parties will be organised by the vice-Presidents but involvement in the social events will be up to individual Vice-Ps because other members might want to organise them.
Suggested having them in late October; mid to late-January and Mid-May to early June each year. Each work party would be from 10-12 on both days of the weekend. 2 of the Vice-Ps would responsible for planning and preparing these events; arranging publicity to all members via the secretary; deciding on appropriate tasks; suggesting tools for members to bring and arranging skip hire if necessary.
Tasks can be divided into 2 categories:
- Recurring/seasonal – rubbish clearance; pruning and vegetation clearance in car parks; gateways and on the cycle track.; management of notice boards;
- Infrastructure improvement – shop development; raising plot levels; possible help with buffer zones and paths through the extensions.
This January’s work parties to be next weekend (18/19th Jan): to be co-ordinated by John Cropper and Julian Stern. Stewart to order skip for Thursday delivery. The second work party will be on 8th /9th March and will be co-ordinated by Chris Parker and Stewart. Possibly start work on shop development then.
Social events – Early May – Spring gathering involving food/picnic/barbecue; seed exchange; children’s games; music
Early September – Harvest event, involving food, competition, games, music and publicity for the AGM.
The Shop Building
The shop working party met before Xmas and agreed on the jobs that needed doing –
- 1. New electrics – replace wiring and replace existing lumineers by energy efficient fluorescent lights and get energy efficient heating.
- insulation – put a false ceiling over the sales section so that all the heat does not escape through the roof. This would also allow for extra storage space. The cost would be approximately £500. Chris will get quotes.
- Install a new sink area and possibly include a water heater – depend on costings.
The work will be done in 3 stages:
- Joinery for the ceiling: this can be done in stages as people have time
- Clearance of the building by section and redecorate – possibly a work party job.
The shop working party will look into getting things on Freecycle/ex-shop display or from Wood Recycling organisation.
The asbestos from the roof repair has still not been removed. Chris will contact a Councillor for help because no action has resulted from contacting the relevant officers.
Seeds should arrive soon: they had been ordered but, due to a mix-up at their end, Kings originally
treated the order as a credit note.
Potatoes; onions and shallots are due to be delivered in the week beginning 10th February.
More mypex will be ordered. Agreed that we would try to get the widest available to make covering plot 1 easier. Chris suggested buying the mypex in bulk if it was cheaper.
Alison will send out an email to let people know what is available and to ask members if there is anything else that they want the shop to stock. But only to buy things that are likely to sell well: not things that only one or two people want.
Agreed that the shop committee will try to get some shelving to stack the rolls of mypex and plastic on.
The State of the Site
The outer entrance (nearest Howard St) has a large pot-hole just in the gateway and some fencing between the two gates has collapsed. The fencing issue will have to be postponed but we will ask the Council to repair the pot-hole because the land is public
Antoine will take the strimmers and mowers for service after agreeing a date with JJ Bark. Stewart and Sarah will help with transport because Antoine’s car is too small for some of the machinery.
Agreed that the Association will resume renting out the petrol strimmers if Antoine is willing to take responsibility. Antoine to let the committee know at the next meeting.
Chris has contacted Ian Haynes re the non-completion of the OUWG work under the joint agreement. He has requested a meeting to discuss further action. John Nicholls had pushed a letter under the shop door with his cheque for the electricity. He requested a meeting to resolve issues and also included correspondence between him and the National Association of Allotment Holders. He is trying to hold onto the mini plots next to his area, although they were taken back by the Association for the same reason that any individual plot-holder loses their plot: non or inadequate cultivation. Because of all the problems the Association has had with the Whitehouse Project over the years, it was agreed that John Nicholls would be told to arrange his own electricity supply once the Association was ready to start re-wiring.