Submitted by Aimee on

#17365d;">Hayle Allotment Society AGM 4th April 2013 - MINUTES

#17365d;">Time: 7 pm

#17365d;">Venue:  The Old Vestry Phillack Church

#17365d;">Present:  Aimee, Joanna, Carol, Russell, Melvyn, Wendy, Sue, Steve, Nigel, Margaret Tanner (Hayle In Bloom)

#17365d;">Apologies:  Carole M, Simon A, Andrew

#17365d;">1.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Financial report#17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">

#17365d; font-size: small;">£524 in the bank

#17365d;">2.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Committee election

#17365d; font-size: small;">Chair – Nigel Powell 

#17365d; font-size: small;">Treasurer – Andrew Hollinshead

#17365d; font-size: small;">Secretary + membership – Simon Allen

#17365d; font-size: small;">Social Secretary – Joanna Kwiatkowska

#17365d; font-size: small;">Website – Carole Clarke

#17365d; font-size: small;">Fundraising – Aimee Middlemiss

#17365d;">3.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Membership fees#17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;"> –

#17365d; font-size: small;">Voted to abolish membership fees as they have not been collected effectively. To be a member, allotment holders just have to give contact details to the Secretary.

#17365d;">4.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">New contract response to Council

#17365d; font-size: small;">Discussed new points that have arisen in emails with Eleanor Giggal, Town Clerk, since the letter of 13th March was sent to tenants. Ellis has clarified that:

#17365d; font-size: small;">6d) the item saying tenants shall not bring animals to the allotments (dogs) has been removed

#17365d; font-size: small;">6f) There is no need for retrospective written permission about sheds and greenhouses, this refers to future tenants and Ellie is happy with current shed and greenhouse arrangements.

#17365d; font-size: small;">6h) refers to fences that the tenants have erected themselves not those erected by the Council

#17365d; font-size: small;">6j) does not now include shrubs, hedges, or bushes in the requirement for Council written permission

#17365d; font-size: small;">There is a mistake in item 10 – should refer to “the rules referred to in clause 6” (not 8)

#17365d;">Points raised by Society members regarding new contract:

#17365d; font-size: small;">All members present were unhappy that the Council is changing the rules again on the site. They dispute that this is a national standard contract, since actually there are multiple contracts in use nationally. Tenants on Allotment Plots who have signed 25 year contracts should not have to re-sign new ones. At most, they should be asked to sign codicils changing specific new rules. Could this new contract not apply to new tenants and old tenants be requested to sign relevant amendments?

#17365d; font-size: small;">It is not reasonable to ask tenants to sign up to clause 7, whereby the Council can change any rules they like whenever they like. We believe this to be a breach of EU consumer legislation since it is not acceptable to sign a contract whose terms can be redefined by one party unilaterally.

#17365d; font-size: small;">The Council is not fulfilling its side of the contract – for example, the bills have not been sent out in order to be paid on 1st April, so tenants are in danger of falling into arrears. Plots which are not being worked or where tenants are not keeping to the existing contact have seen no action by the Council, despite there being a waiting list. It seems that good tenants are being penalised by new rules and nothing happens to anyone else.

#17365d; font-size: small;">This new contract is confusing, not simpler as claimed in the letter of 13th March. What does the term “Allotment Garden” mean? Should be “Allotment plot” or “Garden plot”. There is confusion between the Allotment Site (the whole area) and the Allotment Plots which are let – the two are both referred to as Allotment Garden. Many clauses are unclear. For example, 6h and 6i need to refer to “the fences and gates / hedges that the Allotment Holder  has erected” (not those erected by the Council). 6k needs to refer to trees on the Allotment Site not Allotment Gardens (since tenants are not allowed to plant trees!).

#17365d; font-size: small;">Other points raised:

#17365d; font-size: small;">The Council claims that incidents of theft have decreased since the installation of the cameras – however, this is not the case and at least three incidents of theft have been reported to police over the winter.

#17365d;">In email correspondence regarding the new contract, the Town Clerk made the assertion that “#222222;">the Council is obliged to liaise and consult with every tenant equally and therefore it is not appropriate to seek the views of the Society in advance.  If the Society is minded to make a group comment this will be considered along with all other comments received.”.#17365d;"> This was felt by members present to be both dismissive of the society and its members, and uncooperative, and that this unfortunately characterises the Council’s interactions with the Society since the Lethlean Lane site was set up. The Society made valid and useful suggestions about the new contract in a spirit of cooperation.

#17365d;">In addition, the correspondence claims #222222;">“ there is no intention to withdraw their tenancies, but it is felt that it is reasonable, following this consultation, to request that allotment holders sign the revised agreement#17365d;">  . However, there has been no consultation about the new contract – the letter of 13th March assumes compliance and indeed threatens plot removal if the contracts are not signed, but does not consult.

#17365d;">Aimee to feed this back to the Council from the Society, Members to write separately to the Council since the Council will not treat the Society as a representative body. Follow up to be dealt with by Nigel as new Chair.

#17365d;">Nigel to investigate the legal position regarding signing of new contracts and to find out about support from the NSALG – do we need to join as a society?

#17365d;"> #17365d;">5.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Beekeeping

#17365d; font-size: small;">Voted to allow and support beekeeping on the Lethlean Lane site.

6.       #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Public Liability #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">The Society recommends that members join the South West Counties Allotment Association (at £5 per year) or the NSALG to obtain public liability insurance in light of  the Council’s new contract specifying liability (item 6k on the new contract).



#17365d;">7.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Hayle Community Celebration Day at King George’s Walk 23rd June (Hayle in Bloom) #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">– Margaret Tanner of Hayle in Bloom explained about their celebration day, the Society decided to have a stall again, at a cost of £15, and to ask members to donate produce, cakes etc for sale and to help man the stall on the day. Joanna and Aimee will be involved. Could any members who could help please let us know, as manning the stall will require more help than last year.


#17365d;">8.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Wildflowers update#17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">In collaboration with Hayle in Bloom, Aimee had a meeting with Chris Griffin the gardener from Paradise Park to discuss the cemetery extension site. Conclusion was that it is completely unsuitable for wildflower garden and have referred back to Council to see what they want to do about it since it is their site and only the goodwill of the Society meant there was any involvement by us. Margaret Tanner from HIB will liase with the council to try to get the thistles removed at the appropriate time and a wide path mown into the area to make it look better.

#17365d;">9.    #17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;">Plot 13 – Aimee to approach local councillors and Coop for funding after local elections.#17365d; mso-themecolor: text2; mso-themeshade: 191;"> Members present were keen on acquiring a shed for communal use, or possibly a container (more secure). Nigel to look into the Council’s opinion on a container.