Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2017

1.              

Apologies for absence

  Received from Sarah Pearce, Donna Sallows, Messrs Evans, Mason, Randell and Waring and from Belmont Lane.

The Chairman welcomed Messrs Duffy and Munro, from Eynsford Close and Bourne Vale respectively, to their first meeting.

2.              

Minutes of previous meeting

  Minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2017 were agreed and signed.
3.              

Matters arising

Differences and discrepancies regarding boundary fencing ownership and liability are likely to be resolved by means of the new site leases.
4.              

Consultative Panel meeting 19 July 2017

 

It was agreed to defer this item until the end of the meeting.

It was agreed later that we would raise the following:

  • A report on some of the current community activities being undertaken – in part to help to dispel the image which some may hold of allotment sites.
  • Problems of disposal of green waste.
  • Idverde representation at Federation meetings and any contact changes.
  • Process for renewal of site leases.

·         Competition and reception update.

5.              

Chairman’s report

  It was apparent that, following a specific enquiry from one Association, disposal of green waste can be problematic.  Bins for communal use on sites can become full very quickly; some sites successfully use a communal compost heap and bonfire area; West Wickham reported that they hire a skip for clean-up days and tenants can use that.  Agreed that we raise the matter at the Panel Meeting.
6.              

Secretary’s report

  The Secretary gave contact details for Surrey Sharpeners: info@surreysharpeners.co.uk.  They are willing to arrange tool-sharpening trial days at a discount.  Members to report back if they use them.

Lower Road wished to publicise their open day on 8 July.

7.              

Treasurer’s report

  The Treasurer reported a balance of £4,109.54 in the deposit account, £9,438.62 in the current account and 23p in cash.  In addition the Treasurer was holding £769.41 to be banked.  Of these amounts, however, approximately £8,500 would be paid over to the Council for site rents and levy.

Nine associations had still to make their payments; they had been sent reminders in early June and financial penalties would be due if payments were not made by 1 July 2017.

The balance in the Competition Account was £1,806.74, and in the Reception Account £908.31.  Idverde had promised sponsorship of £350 for the Reception and the cheque had apparently been despatched.

8.              

Matters brought forward / for review

i) Website & Publicity Initiatives – The Secretary would take up with Tim Lund questions relating to updating of the website.
ii) WC Provision on Site – Chelsfield reported that they had been told that their grant application (under the Awards for All scheme) had been approved but the process had taken a long time and the Association did not consider that it had received a great deal of assistance from idverde.

Members discussed the position regarding the need for planning permission for WCs.  The Secretary advised that the strict legal position, and the Federation’s advice, is that planning permission should be obtained but it is possible that in some circumstances planning officers may consider this to be a minor development for which permission is not needed (eg where WCs are housed in small sheds).  However, if advised that planning permission is required then associations should make the necessary application, and applications for grant assistance require confirmation of whether or not planning permission has been obtained.

9.               Competition and Reception
  Mary Cooke advised that the deadline for entries had been 18 June 2017 but had been extended to this evening.  Caitlin Herrington had agreed to act as judge again this year; Stephen Tickner had left idverde and was on holiday but had undertaken to help if no one else could be found, and Patrick Phillips had kindly undertaken to provide another judge from idverde if Stephen were unable to do it.  Mary Cooke will let site contacts know when judges are due to visit.  Association representatives should ask any of their members holding cups to ensure that these are returned to Mary Cooke before 7 September 2017.

Marion Spicer and Sheila Simner had met 10 days earlier and an A4 “invitation” to the Reception would be passed to the Secretary for circulation.  Invitations would also be sent direct to the Mayor and other invited guests.  Gratitude was expressed to idverde for the £350 donation which they had made.  A speaker had now been arranged, at a cost of £100 – Chris O’Donogue, a former potter at Poole Pottery now involved with the RHS.  Few ‘non-paying guests had been invited as the event needs to be self-financing.  Sheila Simner emphasised that she would like both the names of guests and payment for the tickets to be with her in advance of the evening – cheques to be made out to BALGF.  Helpers will be needed on the day from 4pm onwards, and help with loading a car to take food etc to the venue and with packing up food afterwards.  Arrangements will be confirmed at the meeting on 7 September 2017.

10.             Site management issues
  Members were asked whether Associations have probationary periods for new plot holders.  Lower Road reported that they operate a 3-month period and expect plots to be ready for sowing and planting by March each year.

11.            
Community Benefits
  Lower Road reported that their project with Nash College was gathering momentum.  Raised beds suitable for wheelchair users were being provided from a separate charity, “Men in Sheds”, who both make and deliver these.  In addition a Teddy Bears’ Picnic had been arranged for that day for local pre-school groups, and a visit for dementia sufferers was being arranged.

West Wickham have let two plots to Mencap and received good feedback; some allotment holders are working with local children’s groups and schools.

Halls Farm suggested that association secretaries provide details of any voluntary groups and charities who may be interested in linking up with other associations.

Farnborough held a successful evening with a local Brownies group and worked with them on the gardener’s badge; would like them to visit again.

 

 

12.             Association reports
  West Wickham – Awaiting delivery of saplings from the Woodlands Trust.

Halls Farm – Received a donation for the cost of new hedging.  Displayed a map of allotment sites in Bromley via local shopkeepers and have received enquiries from this.

Bull Lane – 5 beehives recently installed.  The threat of re-development for the new school had receded.

Lower Road – New fencing had been put up, road surfacing completed and a new WC was on order.  Work had been partly funded by a lottery grant.  Open day 8 July 2017 – all welcome.  This will include charity stalls.

Sandford Road – 4 plots were recently let.

Beck Lane – Reported that those applying for plots through the website rarely provide their address or postcode.  It would be helpful if this could be stated as a requirement.

Lower Road – Have completed the work financed by the Awards for All grant including a new Ecoloo.

Roslyn Way – Now have a waiting list, the first for quite some time.

Bromley Common – Barbecue being held on 8 July 2017

Farnborough – Open morning to be held on 5 August 2017 from 10am to 12noon.  A tree leaning over the site boundary has been cut down after some 3 years.

13.             Horticultural issues
  It was reported that garlic spray proves effective against most types of aphid.
14.             AOB
  It was not yet known who would be taking over from Stephen Tickner at idverde.  It was agreed that we should send him a card from the Federation – Marion Spicer undertook to do this.

Laurence Evans, Jim Summers and Sheila Simner had attended the June Bromley Biodiversity Partnership meeting.

Bromley had now outsourced its property function and the renewal of leases had been passed to Cushman & Wakefield.

 

THE NEXT MEETINGS OF THE FEDERATION ARE ARRANGED FOR:

Thursday 7th September, 7.30pm at Dorset Road Site

Wednesday 15th  November, 7.3pm at the Civic Centre

 

Agenda for next meeting:

 

1.   Apologies for absence ·       New site leases
2.   Minutes of previous meeting 9.   Competition and Reception
3.   Matters arising 10. Site management issues
4.   Report of Consultative Panel Meeting

      19 July 2017

11. Community benefits
5.   Chairman’s Report 12. Associations’ reports
6.   Secretary’s Report 13. Horticultural issues
7.   Treasurer’s Report   14. Any other business
8.   Matters brought forward / for review

·         Website & publicity initiatives

·         WC provision on sites

·         Waiting lists and vacancies