EWAA Committee Meeting Minutes

14 May 2015, 7.30pm

Attending: Julian Stern (Chair), Josie Powell, Stewart Young, Bridget Henderson, George Murray, Jane Nimmo-Smith, Sarah Pollard, Peter Corcutt, Pat Mansfield, Jon Willis, Clare Ferguson


  1. Apologies: Helen Edwards, Jane Millar, Mike Harris, Meryl Wilford, Tony Flett


  1. Minutes of last meeting:
  • Still need a volunteer to mow middle road.
  • ACTION: Bridget to do notice in shop for the ‘manure man’ Paul.
  • Tree matters – Stuart, George and Clare undertook a tree inspection and found that one plot in middle road had a high tree. Team agreed that plots back onto each other and there’s no buffer zone, so plotholders are responsible for maintenance. ACTION: George will write to alert them. Question raised whether we could we put forward funds for tree maintenance once we’ve explored whether the council would help, particularly where they border public areas.
  1. Matters arising
  1. Treasurer report: £7K in bank. Exceeded target for rental income. Spent grant on noticeboards. Shop sales in decline. Agreed to start a promotion to get rid of potatoes and onions.
  1. Membership report:

151 plots let with 9 people on waiting list (5 on external list, 4 internal looking for nearby plots). 85% of plots are let. New members are very engaged in the community.

Plot inspection needs to be done in May.

The idea of a road warden to keep an eye on each road was proposed. Agreed by committee, but dependent on volunteers. Anyone interested to get in touch with George.

  1. Report from ODFAA and matters arising

Insurance – The ODFAA gave strong words of advice on tightening up on H&S, briefings and maintenance records for equipment. They advised that machinery is no longer ‘hired out’, but donations can be taken for borrowing. We need to provide manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that use is at borrowers risk so we don’t invalidate insurance. Stewart advised that we don’t have all the instructions. ACTION: look for instructions online. ACTION: Produce forms for users to sign to say they recognise the risk – George and Julian to discuss.

  • Julian put in for grants this year for security, waterharesting, plot clearance, general waste solution, accessibility.
  • Competition-deadline today
  • Council looking for sites to deposit compost for community use. Agreed that Julian could offer the car park for 10×5 m pile.
  • Tina Mould met Julian on 27 April to discuss WHP. She has a copy of the lease which is in holdover mode. Their next step is to invite John Nicol to a meeting.  We’ve expressed reserves about security and want to be involved on any decisions. Julian to keep in monthly touch.
  1. Machinery report

New strimmer head not functional – impossible to remove head. ACTION: Stewart to research new types and buy an alternative. Committee agreed. Mowers and electric strimmer both working fine.

  1. Road Wardens & Complaints

Julian suggested instigating a complaints procedure for persistent issues. In the past the membership secretary would have written a warning and it was agreed that people should have a right to reply before more serious action is taken such as eviction. This led to a discussion of recent allegations of theft of bean poles from another plot. ACTION: Julian to speak with him, establish facts.

  1. Site maintenance and work parties

A more coordinated approach is needed with someone dedicated to keeping an eye on maintenance and scheduling a work party or employing external help.  Peter volunteered to be coordinator. Generally there are two work parties in autumn and two in spring.  All members should be obliged to do at least one work party and should be notified/or sign up on rent day (with a fee imposed for non compliance?). Advised that one is needed now to cut back brambles, roses etc. Peter suggested that the road wardens ask people for help with easily identifiable, quick jobs to build sense of community. ACTION: Peter to build a list of things that need doing and report back at next meeting.

Immediate jobs identified:

  • Trim or remove trees on middle Road buffer plot so it doesn’t’ get too overgrown
    • Install noticeboards
    • Tap and water butt- mark holes to be filled
    • Clear rubbish from car parks


  1. Communications
    • Website- Julian to migrate to new site, with community forum etc.
    • Noticeboard notices-others up, last one to go up at Boundary Brook Road.
    • Communications officer? Meryl volunteered to be comms person to help maintain boards and website
    • Elder Stubbs festival – should we have a table to recruit people and sell stuff from the shop. ACTION: Stewart to book it and coordinate a rota. Sarah suggested selling associate memberships – need to check cost (50p?)
    • Planning contact – Bridget agreed to keep an eye on planning issues for us and the federation.
  1. AOB
    • Death of Neville King – died 9 May. Ideas to mark his presence include: whipround for wreath, bench in play area or plaque, flowers for the family or donatation to their charity. Julian will add something to website if someone will write. ACTION: Bridget and Stewart to liaise with the family.
    • Social events. Due to lack of community interest lately, decided not to pursue events. See if anyone else wants to volunteer by putting notice on website.
    • Manure options – discussed above.
    • Mowing rota – middle road needed. ACTION: Julian to put on website and put sign on noticeboard.
    • OUWG-no update.
    • Jane was worried about a cherry tree leaning over onto pathway and that we would be liable if it fell.
EWAA Committee Meeting Minutes – 14 May 2015

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