Chinnor Allotment and Garden Association's 2018 Annual General Meeting will be held on 10th October 2018 at 7.30pm for 8pm start. It will be held in the Chiltern Room at the Village Centre.
Minutes of C.A.G.A. Annual General Meeting on 10th October 2018
Present: Ged Wells (Chairman); Stuart Harding (Treasurer); Diane Troye (Secretary)
The minutes of last year’s AGM were agreed as a true and correct record, proposed by Frans and seconded by Stuart. There were no matters arising. The Chairman welcomed Martin Wright a representative from Chinnor Parish Council to the AGM.
Attendance: 31 members approximately
Main Gate & Drive:
The entrance gate from Station Road to the Distribution Centre (DC) has been repaired and moved some 20 yards further up the driveway. A substantial heavy duty new gate has been fitted and has been funded by Chinnor Parish Council (CPC). Thanks go to CPC for this. The new gate is working well.
A reminder was given to all plot holders to lock the gate last thing
All plot holders need to be careful when exiting out on to Station Road as exit is not clear due to large tree and fence inhibiting vision.
It is the Committee’s intention to improve the notice board at the Scout Hut car park and will look to fit a lockable weatherproof notice board as soon as possible. This will allow the monthly Committee Meeting Minutes to be posted there.
Allotment Centre Road:
This is to be closed at the end of October as usual. All plot holders are reminded not to park along the road, it is to be used only for dropping off.
Two stand pipes are now in need of attention following damage by cars knocking them. These will be attended to as soon as possible. Plot holders are reminded that when driving down the centre road to be careful not to knock the stand pipes / taps.
Plot 30 – Compost Heap
This has been mis-used but following the efforts of Allan Braun who took on the job of monitoring it and maintaining it, the heap is now better organised and our thanks go to him for the work he has done. Plot holders are reminded to comply with the rules of use and to take note of any notices placed on the heap. The heap will need to be turned every so often and volunteers will be called for as and when this is due so everyone’s help is vital if this is to work efficiently.
A range of equipment is available for plot holders to use. Plot holders are reminded that care should be exercised when using equipment supplied by CAGA, especially the large rotavator. Any damage upon return will need to be paid for by the user. All that is asked is the item be returned in a clean condition and a donation be made towards up keep and petrol.
The tractor has been repaired however the rotavator attachment still needs to be tested to see if it works following an attempt to repair it. Therefore if the repair is not successful then a replacement may be needed. The committee will review the viability of the tractor and rotavator at this time.
Volunteer working parties are essential in maintaining the Allotment as a whole. Getting plot holders to volunteer has proved difficult with only a small band of usual plot holders coming forward. These have been run on a Saturday morning.
The working parties have been responsible for clearing rubbish from abandoned plots and a big thank you goes out to all those who gave up their time to do this. Plot holders are reminded of their responsibility to remove any rubbish from their plots and take to the tip.
There has been one complaint this year from a nearby resident of Cherry Tree Road. Plot holders are reminded that bonfires are allowed depending on the wind direction on the day. If blowing in the direction of the houses then please do not light fires. A common sense approach is called for.
Maintenance / removal of boundary shrubs and trees:
A quote was obtained this year to carry out such work which was felt to be expensive. This work cannot be carried out between the months of March and September due to rules about nesting birds. So this year the committee will look into the cost of hiring a wood chipper/shredder and organising a working party to undertake the job or if not possible will look to take on an outside contractor to undertake clearance of the boundaries.
Rent paid by Plot Holders is for the maintenance of the overall site historically. This was seconded by Robert Davis who agreed rent paid is not for the land but for maintenance.
Work is needed in the orchard area and a quote for clearance of overgrown trees and shrubs was obtained costing £1,500 which was felt to be expensive. Instead will look to see if a working party can be raised to undertake the work however as the work involved is going to be heavy it is not fair to expect the same small band of volunteers to do this. Further consideration of an outside contractor is to be considered.
Annual Plot Judging:
The date this year was put back to the start of July following a request from plot holders to allow sufficient time for growing crops and to be in line with the Chinnor Flower Show at the end of August. The date of the Annual Summer BBQ was also moved in line with the prize-giving process.
The committee will be discussing making the Annual Plot Judging Competition an opt in process, as not all plot holders wish to partake in the competition. This will benefit the independent judge who gives up valuable time in judging every plot.
Annual Summer BBQ:
This took place at the end of July. Sadly it did not make much money as expected and attendance was down. Beer bought from Long Crendon Brewery was found to be off which resulted in beer having to be bought at full retail cost from nearby shops.
The Distribution Centre:
The D.C is over 30 years old and is in need of repairs and maintenance. Thanks go out to Jeanette Hyland, Peter Bowler and Peter Greenway for undertaking a clean and tidy up of the D.C. The shop area is now better organised.
Updating the toilet facilities was also looked at. Jeanette obtained a costing for this but was unable to go ahead as repair to the rear hut wall was needed first. A thank you goes to Brian Collier for work he has done on making the rear wall secure.
A subsequent quote for updating the toilets has been obtained for £1,000 but felt this was too expensive and has therefore been put to one side as repairs to the building are more important. A grant for £500 was received from Chinnor Open Gardens to go towards building repairs so this will now be channelled towards the D.C repairs as these are more of a priority.
D.C Alarm System:
This is in need of servicing and or replacement. This will be undertaken in the winter months.
Committee Member Photos:
Members photos are now posted on the website for those who have given permission.
Review of Allotment Shed Policy:
With a lot more new people moving into the village and taking up plots requests have been made to consider allowing sheds. The Chairman therefore made a request for plot holders present at the AGM to speak out about their opinions for or against this.
Comments expressed were against a policy change, sighting that they would eventually deteriorate and fall down making the allotments look unsightly. As there would be no conformity in appearance this would also look unsightly. They could also attract burglars, rats and squatters.
The Chairman asked for a show of hands – the outcome was overwhelmingly against sheds, so motion to change policy was defeated.
It should be noted that greenhouses are permitted subject to agreement by the CAGA committee.
Questions From The Floor:
Q: A suggestion from the floor was made to run the volunteer working parties on a Sunday morning instead of a Saturday as more plot holders may be around at that time.
A: This will be considered by the committee going forward.
Q: Can the Annual BBQ be held during an afternoon instead of an evening and can children be included too?
A: This will be considered by the Committee going forward.
Q: Could CAGA look at contacting building firms currently building new homes in the village to see if they have no further use for a Porta-cabin which could be used to replace the D.C?
A: This will be considered by the committee going forward.
Q: Some residents of Cherry Tree Road have put gates on their rear fences enabling them to gain entry into the allotments. Is this allowed?
A: This is not permitted. Those residents who have done so have been contacted and told to remove the gates. This will be followed up again by the Committee.
Council to be contacted re; their obligations with respect to the Boundary fence.
Shop Income is up on 2017 at £4929.00.
Electricity and heating has stabilised at under £300.00
CPC has also increased the annual rent once again to £650.00
Total expenditure has increased to £3,909.00 up from £3319.00 in 2017
Total assets are good at £12,625.00
A new line entry in the accounts has been added called Allotment Up Keep
Plot Rent Increase:
Rents have been increased for all plots wef October 2017. Last rent increase undertaken was over 6 years ago and was increased by 100% at that time. Rent level remains in line with all other Allotment Society rents and is looked upon as excellent value for money. David Shaw gave a summary of other allotment societies rent levels in the area. Plot holders are reminded that under the constitution it is the Committee that make the decision on setting the rent levels and not individual plot holders.
Associate Member Fees have accordingly been reviewed and have increased from £2 per annum to £3 per annum. The due date for payment of these fees has also been brought in line with plot rent due dates that being in October each year.
Questions From The Floor:
Shop Manager Report:
Due to absence of Shop Manager no report was given
Plot Letting Secretary Report & Website / Online Status Update:
Report given by Frans Lytzen.
During 2017/18 11 new plot holders have joined.
This is Frans first full year of taking on the role of Plot Letter.
Up to 3 plot holders have had their tenancies terminated and others have had warnings of termination. A 30 day notice is now given out. Ideally a longer waiting list of up to 20 people is required so that a happy balance between termination and new lets can be achieved if plots are not to get into a poor state.
More half plots are being let currently and are looking at doing more quarter size plots as these are becoming more popular.
It is acknowledged that more work is needed to be undertaken to Plot 13 to bring it back in to cultivation and make it lettable – this is a key priority for the Committee.
Frans has been marketing the plots in his monthly newsletters, emails and on the website. There are currently 100 people on the CAGA email list. It is important that all email addresses are kept up to date so all plot holders need to inform Frans if their email address changes.
The website is now up and running and fully functional. It is the main means of marketing the Allotments with lots of information on there and attracting new plot holders. The Allotments are also on Google Maps.
Communication is best done by Email and Facebook. There is now a forum on Facebook for people to talk about their plot. It should be noted that Facebook should not be used as a means of running the allotment. It is there for people to share and add notes and tips about their produce growing experiences.
Emails will be sent out more frequently in respect of volunteer working parties, meeting minutes and social events like the annual BBQ, Christmas lunch etc.
Emails will come directly from the Committee as opposed from an individual so all plot holders are asked to check their spam folders to make sure they are getting them.
Chinnor Pump is also used as a means of promoting the allotments.
Election of Officers:
In the absence of new nominees the existing Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary are duly re-elected.
Currently the committee is short of members so a request is made for more people to come forward and volunteer.
The current committee is made up of Ged Wells, Stuart Harding, Diane Troye, David Shaw, Peter Bowler, Mike Ibbot, Frans Lytzen, Stephen Colley and Steve Bowker (Shop Manager)
Tony has decided to give up his allotment with effect from this month after many many years of being a plot holder. Ged is therefore looking to arrange a “get together” to say good bye. The date and time of this event will be advertised and everyone is welcome to attend. On behalf of all those who have known Tony a warm wish of thanks goes out to him in his retirement.
Thanks are given to the Church for allowing the Association to use their chairs and benches
Thanks are given to all those who helped erect the marquee for the Summer BBQ and thanks to Ali and Oli for cooking the wonderful food once again.
Thanks was expressed by Robert Davis to the Chair and the rest of the Committee for their hard work.
Meeting was then drawn to a close and was followed by refreshments.