The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Apologies: Jacqueline Green, Lin Cane, Pat Messenger
2. Minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
3. Matters arising from the minutes:
- Site issues dealt with by site below
- Chairman reported that whilst they had cleared a lot of rubbish, the two 6 ton skips had not completely cleared the DR and O sites. He thought that probably one more skip between the two sites would clear the remainder, but he was reluctant to incur the cost. After much discussion it was agreed that we would arrange for one more skip to be delivered on Saturday 6 September to the DR site and that bags of rubbish would be passed over the hedge from Oakleigh so that both sites could be cleared.
- PHGAS were classed as a business, so it would cost us for the Council to collect rubbish (freezer etc) from the site. Rubbish had accumulated since we took over running the sites from the Council. It was agreed that site reps would monitor new plotholders where possible and look out for any rubbish being brought on to the site that was not allotment-related!
- Several requests to be added to waiting list. Secretary replied to all.
- Sec has received an email from 3a/b Oakleigh to say that fly-tipping appears to have started again as plotholder reports things coming over the wall from houses in St Michaels Road. Plotholder asked if he should report to the Council. We discussed this and agreed that he should contact the police and report it as fly-tipping.
5. Chairman’s report:
- Chairman confirmed that he would have to liaise with Colin Weymouth about the insurance claim form for the stolen strimmer as dates etc. need to be entered.
- In view of the recent fly-tipping and behaviour of children near the sites, the Chairman agreed to research who is the PCSO for the St Michaels area.
- The PHGAS leases are due to expire in 2015 and sec was asked to email Ian Williams at Torbay Council in advance, to discuss renewals.
- Chairman had asked the council if there were any padlocks available as DR no longer had a loo padlock and the gate padlock was falling apart. Council confirmed that no padlocks were available and so we discussed replacing existing padlocks with either new combination locks or padlocks.
- Given the ongoing cost of replacing keys when plotholders left etc. it was agreed to replace locks with combination padlocks. 3 were required for the DR site.
6. Vice Chairman’s report:
- Work had started on the ramp for the toilet. 1 bag of stones was still required and Gary B agreed to make enquiries as to delivery of this to the site asap.
7. Treasurer’s report:
- Current account £109.88
- Deposit account £2,294.27
- Skip Hire £412.80
- 10b – no reply to request for key to be returned. Press for key return and relet the plot as it must be cultivated.
- 20 – complaints re: overgrowth. It was noted that there had been minimal cultivation this season and Sec. was aked to write to plotholder to notify him of complaints and possible termination of lease.
- 25b letter 1 – no reply from letter last month
- 19 – still no cultivation despite assurances from the plotholder. (Reluctantly) terminate lease as it had been 2 years since any cultivation and the plot was extremely overgrown and impacting on neighbour plots. Loads of complaints received about the condition of the plot considering the waiting list for plots is so long.
- 20b – letter 1 as not much progress since they had taken the plot over some time ago.
- 7a - a little progress had been made
- 7b – as above
- 13 – ask intentions as plot overgrown
- 41/42 – a lot of bindweed from this plot is spreading to the neighbouring plot. Again, not much cultivation going on – only fruit trees/bushes with nothing actually put in the ground. Sec was asked to send letter 2 and confirm again that Society may reclaim one plot.
9. Any Other Business:
- Vice president has requested use of room at RAOB for committee meetings next year.
- A Plotholder asked about a key for the gate at Lower Penns so that they could access with a vehicle when required. Again, it was agreed that they would move to a combination lock and the chairman said he would organise at the same time as the other locks.
- A Plotholder mentioned the condition of 19 and asked if there was any way to speed up the process of terminating leases. This was discussed and we agreed that this plotholder in particular had been given a substantial amount of grace as he is the Webmaster and we were trying to accommodate him.
- Usually, the Society operates a letter 1, 2 and 3 system by month, and so in addition to the time for a plot to become untidy, it should take around 6 months to terminate a lease. It was agreed that the site reps would monitor the position a bit closer in future and the sec would refer plotholders to the constitution when letting them know their obligations from the outset.
- There was a proposal to amend the constitution to reflect this probationary period and this is to be discussed at the AGM next month.
- Sec. was to confirm that plots would be let on an initial 6 months probation period in order to see whether any progress was being made. This may be a little flexible depending on the time of year that the plot was taken over.
- Payment of annual rent by two installments was discussed in order to get past the probationary period, but it was considered unworkable and involve too much admin in collecting rents in twice a year.
10. Date of next meeting:
- ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING to be held on Monday 6 OCTOBER 2014 @ 7.30pm at the RAOB Club.
Meeting closed at 8.45pm