The chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Apologies: Kay Mason, Liz Barnes.
2. Minutes of the previous meeting in December 2019 were read and approved.
3. Matters arising from the minutes:
- 16a DR – no contact at all.
- Oakleigh Noticeboard? – is underway but not yet sited
- A former plotholder has asked to return to the Society. She has asked for her old plot back but this has been let. It was discussed whether she could be offered an alternate plot without waiting, but agreed that this would not be fair and she must rejoin the waiting list. Sec has therefore put her back on the waiting list.
5. Chairman’s Report:
- Chairman thanked everyone who turned up to help with the bonfire on LP and also thanks to Lorraine for being able to use her plot. It was agreed that they would try and make this an annual event.
- The Society insurance has been redirected to the new chairman.
- The LP ‘multi tool’ is now on site and available for plotholders to borrow. Please see a site rep if you want to use the hedge trimmer/strimmer.
- The Oakleigh hedge trimming has been done and the Chairman proposed thanks to everyone who helped, in particular Ian for the loan of his equipment on site.
6. Vice Chairman’s Report:
- VC Reported on behalf of the Social Committee - the quiz night was well received by those who attended. Many thanks to Jonty and ?? for arranging the questions.
- The evening made a profit of £12 from the raffle and it was discussed that maybe the next one could be on a different night. The VC agreed to look at all the options, including venue hire on different days.
- Details of a scarecrow competition will be announced nearer the time with judging to take place around Easter (end of April) . Chairman confirmed that he may be able to arrange someone from local TV to attend and judge the competition.
7. Treasurer’s Report (not present):
- Monies in the bank:
- Current account: £892.65
- Deposit account: £3,162.75
- Shield insurance paid for year - £529.39.
- Derrell Road
- 1a looks unkempt but it has been relet during winter months, so early days.
- Any news on the matting? Sec to ask Steve Fry. The ground must be wet when it is laid, so possibly now would be a good time.
- Could a working party be arranged to help with the work in laying the matting?
- The strimmer has been serviced and returned to the shed. The lock has been changed and a charge of £2 will now be levied on anyone borrowing it as the Society will provide the fuel. It is NOT to be refuelled by plotholders. The fuel is better quality and therefore more expensive, but it is anticipated that the wear and tear on the machinery will be less.
- Gary has bought more rat poison supplies.
- Some of the plots are quite overgrown so Sec was asked to send reminders that inspections will be made this month. Christine has phoned the Council re trees on LP. The upshot is that that several trees need looking at and they will inspect the site soon.
- Lower Penns
- Phil confirmed that a large dead snake had been found in the undergrowth at LP. This was the second one in 2 years.
- It was reported that there is a cockerel on site and Sec has been asked to write to the plotholder to request that it is removed as under the terms of the tenancy/lease, they are not allowed to be kept.
- Discussion took place about ordering seeds from Kings in future. The Society would have an account and orders could be placed by individual plotholders online directly through this account and they would then be delivered. The Society would earn commission on any sales and it would avoid the need to hold stock and all the time it took to package it and sell it. There would be no wastage and thus no loss to the Society. Seed quality and prices were excellent. This was to be investigated further with a view to putting it in place for next autumn (2020).
- Seeds from last year were still available across all the sites – please see a site rep if any plotholders want any. Most seeds were still available and would be half price to clear them. Please see a site rep or email sec if seeds are required.
- Melanie, wildlife rep, asked about the possibility of bees being kept on any of the sites as they are so good for wildlife and the environment. Discussion took place and a few plots were suggested on each site. The difficulties being that plotholder safety had to be assured. The bee plot on Derrell Road was a ready made enclosure but currently empty of bees, so enquiries would be made and the plotholder approached as to the possibility of sharing the plot with someone who had approached the Society with a view to keeping them. Full indemnity insurances would be required in accordance with the individual tenancy agreement and lease with the Council.
- Vice chairman asked about the possibility of arranging a Polish translator to translate the tenancy agreement so the various Polish tenants would be able to see the full extent of the Society terms and conditions.
- Sec was to ask in a general email if anyone would be prepared to do this.
10. Date of next committee meeting:
- To be held on Monday 2 March at 7.30 pm at the RAOB Club. (apologies in advance from the Sec)
Meeting closed at 8.30pm.