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Committee Meeting notes 21 November 2016

Committee Meeting notes 21 November 2016

Binswood Allotment Society

Committee meeting action points

Date: 21st November 2016

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

Apologies: Jo Stone

Matters arising

  • Charitable donations have been paid as agreed.
  • The sign for “dogs on leads” is up.
  • The manure supply is continuing as normal.
  • Tristan reported that the website is under development.

Plot occupancy

We have 5 new members with one and a half plots free.  It was agreed that David Wright to email Martin, Pete and Tristan with details of the plot, the full name, phone number and email contacts of all new members.  This group are to meet up to discuss ideas of renaming plot references to make this process easier and to report back to the committee.

Financial situation

We have a healthy surplus of funds and another seed order process has been successfully completed.  Accounts will be ready and audited in time for the AGM.

Rent 2017

The recommendation from the committee to the AGM is that rent is not put up this year.

We agreed to put forward a proposal at the AGM.  Given the maintenance costs and labour involved, for new members, a £50 membership fee and £25 half-plot membership fee will be retained in a separate reserve fund to cover the cost of clearing plots.


The date of the AGM was agreed as 11am on Sunday 9th April with tea and cake available from 10.30am at the community hut.  There is a community hut planning meeting on 8th February in the Fat Pug.  We will hold a committee meeting to plan for the AGM on Monday 13th February 2017 at 7.30pm.  Tristan to circulate the usual notices and to add the AGM dates on the website.

Access road

The track is not repaired as yet and due to cost needs to be held off for now.  We are organising a quote to have the hedge and trees cut back on both sides to make access easier for lorries.

Robin has been keeping the Town Clerk and Planning Officer aware of the position on the fence for the new house against the track at the Northumberland Road entrance.

Voluntary work

  • David Wright is now coordinating maintenance work.  It was agreed that we should ask people if they would like to be involved in a volunteer maintenance group.  Tristan to email all members.
  • An electronic information pack needs creating for new members.  This will include information on volunteering expectations, the community hut group and allotment information.  Martin can then email the pack as a PDF to each new member. Tristan to send round his membership notes as the basis for a new membership pack. Meg and Kirsten to start compiling this pack.  We can then circulate for comment.
  • Tristan to put together a contact list for the committee to have emergency contacts for water, bees, lock combinations, gates and so on.  The main public contacts can then be put on the new notice boards.  Tristan will circulate a draft list for comment.
  • The idea of an online survey of members for volunteering ideas has been put on hold.
  • Given the size of the committee, the idea of dividing the allotments into 8 segments to aid communication with plot neighbours has been shelved.
  • Martin to email an up-to-date membership list round the committee.

The committee

Catherine Levack and Rosemary Beal have resigned from the committee due to other commitments.  Catherine has kindly agreed to carry on with the society Facebook page.  Rosemary has also kindly agreed to keep up maintenance of the butterfly area.  Robin to thank both committee members for all their help and support.   Robin to ask Catherine if she could continue with the annual newsletter.

Grants and other spending

Notice boards: We agreed to accept the quote for 3 x waterproof 1 m square glass fronted notice boards.  

Robin to order another 2 x skips to be placed by the community hut and by Borrowdale Drive entrance.  These will be available on a week day and at a weekend to be accessible to all members.  Dates to be announced.

The new main gate will form part of the next round of grant applications.  Martin to obtain a quote from a firm he has contact with.

Potential funding

The chair of St Mary’s Allotment Society has offered to share their knowledge on lottery and other funding applications.  They have been successful in applying for road resurfacing in particular.  This could lead to a joint application with the Old Milverton Society for proper drainage and re-surfacing of our access road. A volunteer is needed to lead on this work.


The environmental health dept have emailed the society to ask for their guidance on bonfires to be publicised.  Robin to pass this information on to Tristan who will add the details to the website.