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Committee meeting 4th September

Committee meeting 4th September

Binswood Allotment Society

Committee meeting action points


Date: 4th September 2017

Present: Robin Cathcart, Tristan Stephens; Meg van Rooyen, Martin Hurst, Kristen Lawrence, Jo Stone

Apologies: none


Matters arising

  • We still need a committee key information and public contacts list. Kristen has done a first draft of the committee list to send around for comment.
  • ACTION: Kristen to email each committee member in turn to ask for additions.
  • Meg to create committee WhatsApp group. DONE
  • Meg has done first draft of the new member leaflet. ACTION: Kristen to review and then send round for comment.
  • We have a new membership list from Dave Wright.
  • Robin created a list of maintenance tasks but not asked for volunteers yet.


Financial situation


We have a healthy surplus of funds.  Accounts will be ready and audited in time for the AGM.

ACTION:  Kristen to sign bank mandate

ACTION: Martin to renew the Coventry Building Society one year bond.  We will review whether the bond should continue after the next year.


Rent 2018


The recommendation from the committee is that rent is not put up this year. It will remain at £32 for a full plot and £16 for a half plot.  The £25 joining fee agreed at the AGM is per plot (not per person) and is retained to cover the cost of clearing plots when vacated.   There is an option to reduce or waive in cases of hardship.

ACTION: Kristen to check with Dave Wright if new members are now being charged the joining fee.

Plot occupancy

We have one plot free. There have been a number of warning and second warning letters sent out to members who are failing to keep up their plots.



The new gates at Borrowdale Drive have been installed.  This has provoked much comment.  An email has been sent to explain the new opening hours.  It was agreed that the gates will be kept closed in future as the gates can be opened from the inside and all members will receive the code for the gates in case of need.


ACTION:  A notice is to go on the gate immediately to explain how to use the gates and to access the code.

ACTION:  Kristen to include the new code in the email to membership that Dave Wright is sending to tell each plot holder their plot number.


Hedge clearing and skips


The old skip has now been removed following the skip company going into administration.  2 smaller skips have been hired to clear a plot following the death of a plot holder.   Large skips are unable to get past the hedge along the track from Northumberland Road.


ACTION:  Robin to ask WDC contractor to cut back the hedge along the track.

ACTION:  Robin to order two skips for weekends in October, to be placed near the Community Hut and closer to the Borrowdale Drive entrance.


Grant applications


Jo, Kristen and Robin went to visit the Chair of St Mary’s Allotments, Jim Layton, to talk about grant applications.


Ideas include:

  • Equipment storage
  • Track access and drainage
  • Eco loo
  • Solar panels on community hut to provide electricity source
  • New roof on community hut
  • New community hut!


Track access is a massive problem but unlikely to be solved by resurfacing the track from Northumberland Road due to drainage problems.

ACTION:  Tristan to check old maps to see if an old brick road is present under our allotments.

ACTION:  Kristen to email St Marys to invite them to the apple pressing event.



John Shuttleworth Cup


ACTION:  We set a deadline of 30th September for entries. Kristen is to ask some other plot holders to help her to judge entries to the competition in September.  The results will be announced at the Community Hut apple event in October.

ACTION:  Tristan to email members to remind everyone about the competition.



Volunteer Survey


Kristen has drafted a volunteer survey.  We need to include the option of increasing fees to pay for maintenance work instead of relying on volunteers.

ACTION:  Committee to provide feedback by email, with an aim of shortening the survey if possible.

ACTION:  Meg to turn draft into a surveymonkey.


Equipment storage


We need equipment storage as a central hub to rent equipment.  If we can use an existing hut this would be ideal.  We also need a guide to how to hire equipment.

ACTION:  Kristen to discuss with a specific plot holder whether this might be possible.


Next meeting


We will hold this at 7.30pm on Monday, November 6th at Martin’s house to discuss the town council grant application.




A request from a plot holder to install a conservatory was agreed on the proviso that this is not a permanent structure and this is put in writing.


ACTION:  Robin to discuss with the plot holder concerned.


We discussed co-opting a further committee member who is retired and may be present on weekdays at the allotments.


ACTION:  Robin to informally discuss this with the person in mind.