The chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Apologies: Christine Guiver, Melanie Philpott, Jodi White.
2. Minutes of the previous meeting on 6 September 2021 were read and agreed.
3. Matters arising from the minutes:
- DR toilet repair has been completed.
- 2 x allotment strimmers are currently being serviced/repaired. On their return they will need to be run on super-unleaded fuel only. please can all plot holders who borrow the machines be aware of this.
- There is a pile of overgrowth/rubbish at the top of the Oakleigh path. Householders overlooking the site on the other side of the wall have reported that they are not very happy about this as, as the pile grows, the weeds overflow in to their gardens. It was mentioned at previous meetings that if cleared back, this may be a suitable place for a compost heap. It was discussed and decided that it would not be appropriate to have either a bonfire or compost heap there because of the impact on the neighbouring houses and also because of the access to the area. The pile will in any event need to be cleared back at some point so as to stop the weeds flowing over the boundary wall.
- The Society has received emails from a representative of the Sustainable Food Partnership. She would like PHGAS to collaborate in supplying spare food to the local foodbank. This is already set up in Torquay and apparently working well. The Chairman has met with her and it was discussed at the meeting whether this would be a viable thing to do. Committee Members generally reported that they do not tend to have spare produce and in any event, could not commit to a regular supply of produce as their crops were very much weather dependent. As we all only have half plots, it was not likely that there would be much surplus to give away. Chairman agreed to put posters up on each site and any donations would likely be on an individual basis rather than collectively from the ‘Society’.
- Sec has received a request from a plot holder on Derrell Road to have another plot on Lower Penns. There are none available and plot holders are reminded that we are only able to have one plot each, not least because the waiting list is currently so long.
5. Chairman’s Report:
- Chairman reported that there are broad beans for sale at £1.50 per 150 approx. Please see a site rep or email sec.
- Gary Buckingham on Oakleigh also has groundcover at £1 per running metre (2M wide)
6. Vice Chairman’s Report:
- VC reported that a greenhouse had been vandalised on the Oakleigh site near the gate. 4 Panes of glass were broken. Please can we be vigilant for strangers when on the site and keep the gate locked, especially from noon onwards,
7. Treasurer’s Report (not present):
- Bank balances:
- Current account: £3,498.01
- Deposit account: £2,368.44
- Concern was raised that the outlay on Lower Penns water was not being monitored. Last time the invoices were checked, the payment to South West Water was very high, but we have no info on what period the bill covered. Please could plot holders on Lower Penns collect rainwater where possible rather than use the mains supply of water, in an effort to reduce the water bill.
8. Site Reports:
- Derrell Road
- 4 - vacant - not big enough to be split into 2, so a 2/3 size plot
- 15 - vacant - to be split into 2 plots
- 3b - v overgrown. No cultivation at all. Sec to terminate lease in view of previous reminder letters.
- 6b - ?
- 7b - ?
- Lower Penns
- 21a - letter again to remove the discarded doors
- 20a - letter
- All sites
- We have had reports of produce being stolen – please can we be vigilant for strangers/non-members on the sites.
- It was suggested at the AGM last month that committee meetings be made bi-monthly and this was discussed and agreed. In future committee meetings will now be held on the first Monday of February, April, June, August, October (AGM) and December.
- Sec. can still be contacted by email any time if plot letters need to be sent out after plot inspections.
- Joe Wallis asked if there had been any progress with a possible repair to the boundary wall by the Jehovas Witness building off Derrell Road, as they reported that it would be inspected. Torbay Council were apparently aware of the issue and they should be contacted for an update.
- It was noted that the lock on the gate to 21 and 22 Derrell Road had been changed and so the Society no longer had access to these two plots. Sec is to request that the plotholders supply the Society with a key so as site inspections can take place and issues like the boundary wall can be dealt with. If they decline to provide a key, then the Society will have to reinstate the Council-supplied locks that should be on the gate In any event.
- It was discussed whether anything could be done about the waiting list for plots as it is currently so long.
Extract from the 1925 Allotments Act:
The council of every borough or urban district, any part of whose district is within the area of a town-planning scheme, shall take into consideration from time to time, but at least once in every year, the question whether any and, if so, what lands within the area of the scheme are needed for allotments, whether reserved for the purpose or not, and ought to be acquired under and in accordance with the provisions of the Allotments Acts, 1908 to 1922, as amended by this Act.
It would therefore be prudent for those on the waiting list, if they are not happy with the lengthy wait for a plot, to contact the Council to see what provisions are being made for additional allotment space within the town planning scheme. It was thought that if enough people contact the Council, more open spaces may be made available.
Sec has agreed to amend the reply letter sent to people making an initial enquiry to be put on the waiting list to reflect that they may wish to contact the council about this.
10. Date of next meeting:
- To be held on Monday 6 December at 7.30 pm at the RAOB Club.
Meeting closed at 8:15pm.