Binswood Allotment Society
Binswood Allotment Society
Minutes of the 96th Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 9th April 2017, 11.00am
Community Hut, Binswood Allotment
M.Astell, M.Atkins, R. Beal, D.Bradley, N.Bond, S.Bond, S.Buckingham, A,Cathcart, R.Cathcart, S.Cawthorne, G.Drummond-Smith, F.Fairbrain, P.Griffin, A.Haldone, M.Hurst, T.Hudson, R.King, B. Landsborough, K.Lawrence, C.Levack, , J.Nicholl, G.Parker, M.Payne, S.Rasmussen, C.Seton, J.Seton, E.Seymour, T.Stephens, K.Stephenson, J.Stone, A. Strange, M.van Rooyen
3 Minutes of 2016 meeting
4 Matters Arising
5 Chairman’s Report
6 Treasurer’s Report
7 Membership Secretary’s Report
11 Incoming Chair
12 Close of meeting
Robin Cathcart welcomed everyone to the open air beside the Community Hut.
P.Burtonshaw, J.Dean, H.Tudge, T.Pararsons, L.Philips, J.Morgan, R.Wessen
3 Minutes of 2016 AGM meeting
No comments about 2016 minutes. Acceptance of the minutes was proposed by P.Griffin and seconded by B.Landsborough.
4 Matters Arising
No matters arising from 2016 minutes.
5 Chair’s Report – Robin Cathcart
5.1 Growing season
A synopsis of the previous growing season: there was a wet winter with an early spring followed by very mixed weather for the rest of the year. Hopes are for a good year in 2017.
5.2 Major Activities for 2016/2017
- Cleared along Davis Close boundary which was appreciated by our neighbours.
- Cleared plots for re-let.
- Scrap metal removed from site.
- Emergency repairs to Community Hut roof following storm damage.
- The application for the Leamington Town Council grant was successful again this year.
- The grant comes from the Council which uses the rents from four allotment societies within Leamington and then redistributes the money through the grant.
- Leamington Town Council grants for last year totaled £1,600 and this was spent as follows:
- Brush Cutter
- Event Shelter
- Three new notice boards
- Three skip hires for rubbish removal
- This year we applied for £1,725 for the following items:
- New gates for the Borrowdale Drive entrance.
- The rental of a mini digger for a day to clear out drainage ditches.
- Two more skips due to constant demand for rubbish removal.
5.4 Donation to Old Milverton and Blackdown Parish Council
£200 was donated to Old Milverton and Blackdown Parish Council
- to fund in part the planning consultation inquiry. This was successful as now it is off the list of land for development and off the safeguarded land register and is to remain as Greenbelt land for the rest of this current plan.
- The allotment society must remain on guard as housing developers have kept options on land to allow access to the site in the future.
5.5 Community Hut
- The Community Hut continues to be a venue for events that bring members together for themed meetings with plenty of tea, cake and chat.
- The events are organized by the Community Hut events group, led by Liz, with the help of Bonnie, Catherine, Meg, Kristen, Mel, Lydia, Dinah, Sue and others.
- The group continues to grow and Liz has prepared guidance to make hosting an event easier.
- A program for future events will be posted on the notice board.
- Members are encouraged to join in and attend these events.
- Thanks to all the volunteers who do so much work on the allotments, particularly Pete Griffin, Maurice Atkins, David James, Mervin Payne, David Wright, Heritage, Craig and Joan Seton, Andy Brooks, Phil Heritage and everyone else.
- Rosemary Beal for the Butterfly Sanctuary
- Liz Philips for coordinating the Community Hut events.
- Community hut volunteers for today’s tea and cake.
- Bonny Landsborough for running the seed purchasing scheme through Kings.
- Pete Griffin for the farmyard manure.
These people all help make the society work and their contribution is much valued.
6 Treasurer’s Report – Martin Hurst
- Martin read out the report, which is available on request.
- The rent was due to increase by two pounds this year, after having been fixed for the past three years, in line with an expected Council rent increase. This increase did not occur so members’ rent will be held at £32.
- Martin explained that the purchase of seeds through the seed scheme with Kings is a good source of income for the society (£187 in 2016), and 30% cheaper than in the shops. The scheme is now run by Bonny who leaves the catalogues in a box by the Community Hut.
- The charge for water (£470) was 50% less than last year. It is not clear at this time what has caused this decrease and whether rates this year will be similar.
- There was a proposal to raise the joining fee for new members in a bid to build up revenue to be put towards the cost of clearing sites (£200 per skip) when members leave their plots in disarray. The amount was initially suggested to be £50 but this was thought too much by members and after discussion changed to £25. There was a vote, which was carried with two objections.
7 Membership Secretary’s Report – Tristan Stephens
- Thanks to David Wright and Pete Griffin who have taken care of membership this year.
- 140 plots are currently under cultivation made up of quarter, half and full plots.
- 137 members are in the email contact list – please remember that the membership secretary needs to be informed about email address changes in order to keep the contact list current.
- 2016/2017 was a good year with 21 plots rented out to new members.
- Currently the site has one half plot available and the eight people on the waiting list have been informed.
- If anyone is going to leave the society, please let us know so we can pass on the plot.
- 219 emails were sent/received this past year.
- The committee will continue to be rigorous with cultivation checking as it is important to show a well-used and well-maintained allotment if there are greenbelt threats.
- Thanks to Dave Elliot for doing the website which has now passed to Tristan. The URL is binswoodallotmentsociety.co.uk
- Thanks to Tim Way of Too Many Hats for migrating the website from Joomla to WordPress in February.
- We have a good Committee comprised of people with a variety of skills and abilities.
- This year Catherine Levack and Rosemary Beal have resigned due to other pressures. They have both made a considerable contribution over the years.
- Robin gave notice to quit as chairman after five years at the post.
- Kristen has agreed to take the Chair from now on. This was proposed by Robin and seconded by Bonny.
- To recognise their contribution, Catherine and Rosemary were each given a garden centre voucher.
- Mervyn was presented with a spirit level by Pete for his attention to detail during the Community Hut roof repairs. (The spirit level had no bubble!)
- The Shuttleworth Cup was won by Bridget Rendell for the tallest sunflower.
- This year’s Shuttleworth Cup will be for the best sign board for your plot. This decorative sign board will designate your plot with your choice of a plot name and/or number and should incorporate plants – e.g. flowers, vegetables – in some fashion. Judging will be in September/October and will be announced nearer to the time.
- Pete Griffin repeated the need to enforce the Society’s ban on the use of carpets and underlay in the allotments. Carpets should not be used as weed suppressants. Appropriate sheeting is available at the Cliffe Allotments shop.
- At least two skips are due this year for the site. There is an abandoned skip on site due to the company going bankrupt. The committee are attempting to have it removed.
- New gate notices will be put on the new gates along with a combination lock.
- Reminder for members not to dump rubbish in the bunkers near the Community Hut.
14 Incoming Chair
- Thanks to Kristen for becoming the new Chair. Goals for the upcoming year include surveying members about volunteering options and revamping membership materials to be more comprehensive and informative. Kristen thanked Robin for his dedicated leadership over the past five years.
14 Close of meeting
- Meeting closed at 12:02.
Binswood Allotment Society Secretary