The Vice-Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Apologies: Philip Moore, Liz Barnes, Jackie Green, Tracey Clarke, K Mason, Pat & Steve Marriott
2. Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved
3. Matters arising from the minutes:
- Unpaid plots – all letters went out last month. Treasurer confirmed that more rents had been received and Sec agreed to cross check to see if any remained unpaid.
- Children on site – no children had been seen since last month, but the Oakleigh gate had been vandalised by having some substance sprayed on it. It had since been cleared.
- Applications to join the waiting list
- A request to pay subs by standing order/direct debit had been received from LP plotholder – this was discussed and the Treasurer stated that it was not feasible due to the additional work that would be required. The bank statements would have to be checked to see if payments had been made. Plotholders may not return the tenancy agreements if direct payments were made. These were required to be signed as confirmation that the terms of the Society were accepted. The current system is a double-check that payments are made and terms accepted by all plotholders, so the suggestion was not to be taken up.
5. Chairman’s Report:
- The chairman had recently seen 2 people on site who were not plotholders. Plotholders were to be reminded not to divulge the gate code to non-members. It was discussed that the code could be changed regularly, but this posed difficulties in notifying plotholders who did not use email.
- A new combination lock is required at DR – it was agreed to keep using a combination lock as this is much easier than a key.
- The chairman had been looking into the issue of health and safety across the sites and expressed his concerns that the Society were in effect Landlords and plotholders, tenants. Insurance is in place to provide indemnity against prosecution for committee members, but there is no doubt that the Society owed a duty of care to its tenants.
- The scope of this was discussed at length and it was agreed that on each site an accident book would be required, a first aid kit, a first aider should be appointed; Society machinery should be regularly serviced and records of this kept; plotholders may be required to undertake training before borrowing society equipment and will have to sign to agree that they will wear safety equipment as provided; children would not be allowed on site unsupervised;
- Chairman wondered if it would be necessary to risk assess individual plots?
- JW provided an old booklet that was historically given to new members and it was agreed that if the information was updated, it may be a good idea to hand this to new members. PM agreed to take the booklet and copy-type it, in order that it may be amended and brought up to date.
- Chairman was concerned that the responsibilities on the Society were very onerous and he would look in to the health and safety issues for reporting to the committee in due course.
- It was agreed that the society had no choice but to follow such guidelines as were required.
- Chairman agreed to buy the notices required by H&S.
- Plotholders would be responsible for their own machinery.
- Volunteers would be required to act as first aiders on each site. A plotholder on DR has an allergy pen – the first aider must be aware of how to use this, although there was no guarantee that he would be on site at the time it may be required.
6. Vice Chairman’s Report:
- The path at Oakleigh needs to be sprayed to keep the grass/weeds down as the middle of the path was becoming overgrown and is a problem for the few disabled people using the site. VC is to price up the cost of weedkiller and arrange this.
- It was agreed that if the communal paths were to be sprayed with weedkiller, the person doing this should be trained in using toxic substances (see H&S issues above).
- Vice Chairman reported that on a few occasions when he attended the Oakleigh site first thing in the morning, the padlock was open, but there was no one on site. This meant that the gate had been left open all night.
- Plotholders are reminded to always lock the gate behind them if they are last off the site in the evening.
7. Treasurer’s Report
- Current account £91.23
- Deposit account: £3,249.02
- Allotment rents received to date: £3,743.00
- SW Water Lower penns road water £48.26
- Jewson Parts for Oakleigh toilet £7.96
- L Parker Fuel for DR equipment £12.39
- B&Q DR Padlock £9.74
All plots now let across the 3 sites, but concern was expressed about a few of the new plotholders, particularly on DR & LP sites as no work appeared to have been done.
Chicken pellets are still available on all 3 sites – please email Secretary or see a site rep.
- 3b plotholder is aware he has fallen behind – due to illness. He has offered greenhouse glass to anyone that wants it.
- 6a Letter 1
- 10b only partly cultivated – letter 1 re: intentions for the plot. Sec to ask if he wants to give up half the plot as it is a large plot.
- 15 only partly dug and no cultivation going on.
- 19 Has a rat infestation. Plotholder has asked the Society to provide rat poison. This was discussed and it was agreed that we need to find the source of the problem. This may involve demolishing some of the buildings on the site. Chairman will speak to plotholder.
- The ash trees on the site were becoming a problem. CG had spoken to a tree surgeon who had been on the site dealing with other trees at the request of the Council. The tree surgeon agreed that they could do with cutting back as they looked like a safety issue. CG agreed to contact the Council and maintain pressure.
- 19b No work has been done – letter 1 and ask intentions
- 20b No work has been done – letter 1 and ask intentions
- 3 Plotholder apologised for condition – due to holiday + will work on it
- 7 Plotholder was not keeping the side paths cleared and tidy. All Plotholders are reminded that they each have joint responsibility for the paths either side of their plot.
- 11 Plot needs to be cut back and the shed moved and then it can be relet. Plotholder has asked for a refund of subs paid. The tenancy agreement provides that plots must be left in a reasonable condition. Also, the plotholder has left it a long time before deciding to give up plot, so it is in a very bad condition. Committee agreed to allow her a half refund of subs paid as long as the locked shed was cleared by the end of July. Refund would be sent when shed cleared.
- 15b Has not been cultivated and has not paid. Tenancy has therefore been terminated and plot can be relet.
- The FUN vegetable show in August was discussed. It was agreed that it would be held on the Oakleigh site on 5th August from 11am. ALL WELCOME on the day.
- Committee would locate the various cups held by the Society before this time.
- CG asked if PHGAS would be interested in taking over the silverware from the Paignton Horticultural Society? It was agreed that this would be ideal if they were available. CG agreed to liaise. If PHGAS was to take these over, they must be added to the asset register.
10. Date of next meeting:
- To be held on Monday 3 August 2015 @ 7.30pm at the RAOB Club.
Meeting closed at 9.10pm!