EWAA Committee Meeting Agenda
15 May 2014, 7.30pm
Chair: Julian Stern
Attending: Josie Eade, Stuart Young, Jon Willis, Alison Gridley, Bridget Henderson, Sarah Pollard, Jane Nimmo-Smith, Peter Corcutt.

  • Apologies – Jane Millar, AnnHelen Parker, Antoine Flett,
  • Minutes of last meeting – approved
  • Matters arising – none
  • Beehives: Elly Patullo, a plotholder and beekeeper kindly joined the meeting to explain some of the considerations of keeping bees after the committee received a request from a plotholder to keep bees on his allotment. Though she explained that bees were valuable to any plot there were some considerations including siting the hives, proximity to humans, swarming, and experience of keepers. Committee agreed that in this instance we would not allow the bees, but we might consider it in principal at another time with more information. ACTION: AnnHelen to respond to the plotholder with the decision.
  • Treasurer’s report Total balance is £8,488. Shop sales since 1st September – £1,648, – Shop purchases since 1st September – £1,484. (£857 on seeds/potatoes/onions etc £468 on mypex, £160 on manure)
  • Membership report/Plot inspections. Stuart reported on the recent plot inspections as a result of which 6-8 plotholders were contacted regarding lack of activity and cultivation. Stuart noted his appreciation of the hard work of AnnHelen and the dedication to the roles she has taken on over the years, this was echoed by the whole committee who will be sad to see her go. Short discussion on Neville’s plot and whether to offer it to someone before it becomes unworkable, offering him a smaller plot in return. Sarah suggested the plot could be halved so he could keep the part with the shed.
  • Plot rotation Peter suggested that as an associated we should help people out on their plots rather than leave them too long so they become unworkable. It was agreed that rather than offer physical help we should offer people better advice on managing a plot – covering areas at appropriate time to stop encroachment of weeds, particularly newcomers who don’t realise the work needed. It was suggested that plot inspections could be beefed up and perhaps more regular. Julian asked Peter if he would consider taking on the membership secretary role when it becomes available – he was interested it came with the appropriate support. Other ideas, could we give out advice sheets to new members.ACTION: Peter to speak with AnnHelen to come up with a plan for membership support going forward.
  • Feedback/action from Federation meeting. Mike kindly sent an overview of the meetings which the committee had read. Noted that there was a small increase in rent which was based on hectare. There are grants available and the committee questioned whether we would be eligible for a grant for signage. ACTION: talk to Mike about the grant. City competition: No action as deadline was the day after the meeting.
  • Spring gathering. Josie to organise logistics but can’t attend the event itself. Agreed that there will be a BBQ, seed swap, cakes, kid’s activities but that it will be very informal with people bringing their own food etc. ACTION: Josie to look for entertainers and promote the event.
  • Work Party details. Stuart and Julian to run the weekend which is all planned. Moved onto a discussion about the chippings and to ask that no more are delivered until further notice. ACTION: Josie to make sign to stop deliveries, committee to ask Chris Gamblin if he knows who delivers the chippings so we/or he can contact them.
  • Shop ordering. ACTION: Alison to do a stocktake, return unwanted seeds and look at the situation with potatoes. Agreed that we should run a promotion on some shop items such as potatoes and grow bags. Other items requested: bamboo canes (4/7/8 foot), sapona, organic slug pellets.
  • Shop/building  improvement work/agree specification for the updating of the shop electrics/ machinery shed roof. Further work in the shop deferred until August when the shop is closed. Party to look at machinery roof during the work party to see if overhanging tree could be pruned back or whether we could ask Chris Gamblin to take a look.
  • Loss of 2 officers. Could the committee manage with the loss of Chris and John? Agreed that we could manage to the next AGM. It was noted that the community isn’t as strong as it could be at the site – the same people turn up for work parties etc and we should reinforce message to members about work parties being part of their membership.
  • Machinery. Stuart was unsure where to find the original paperwork. ACTION: Josie to look on memory stick. Stuart suggested we buy a new head for Honda strimmer – committee voted in favour. The cost will be between £60-80. Rotovator – probably not suitable to rent out as it’s old and rickety but a decision on what to do held off until next year after the shop renovation when we can assess the available budget.
  • Front noticeboar, Can we improve this one/get a new one? Need to agree what should go on it.
  • UWG – coppice material; buffer zones. Pat mentioned that coppiced birch is available in the woodlands between road 1 and middle road. ACTION: Josie to send message to members. It was noted that the buffer zones need to be strimmed: ACTION: Chris P. to apply diplomatic pressure to get the job done.
  • Update on Whitehouse project. No news. John owes £20-30
  • Committee meeting dates – next was due on Saturday 12th July: 10.30am-12pm. Voted to change to Thursday evenings every other month. Next meetings: July 10th 7.30pm, Sept 11th, AGM: 25th Sept. Rent days after AGM.
  • AOB:
EWAA Committee meeting minutes – 15 May 2014

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