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Committee Meeting Notes 6th November

Committee Meeting Notes 6th November

Binswood Allotment Society

Committee meeting action points


Date: 6th November 2017

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

Apologies: none


Matters arising

  • Kristen circulated the committee key information list which is for committee use only.
  • We agreed that the noticeboards inside the site should have relevant contacts for all members. Tristan to use generic allotment members email address in future. ACTION: Tristan to find the address and share this.
  • Borrowdale drive lock-up system is working fine. Email notification sent out to all members.  Gap by gates needs ties as possible to squeeze through.   We need to monitor whether a set of gates is needed at Northumberland Road entrance.
  • WhatsApp group up and running.
  • Meg has done first draft of the new member leaflet. ACTION: Kristen is reviewing still and nearly ready to send round for comment.
  • Noticeboard signage needs a notice on the outside of the entrance saying “Binswood Allotment Society-private” plus information on how to join the society. Kristen has obtained two quotes.  Robin to ACTION.
  • We have had two skips delivered as planned, but the lorry damaged its mirror so will no longer deliver any skips. Future skips will be available at Borrowdale Drive only.
  • The hedge has been cut back. Agreed a professional hedge cutting service should be obtained for Northumberland Road track.  Robin to ACTION.

Volunteer survey 

Meg has put this into Surveymonkey.  ACTION: Tristan to email members to complete the survey.  Tristan to email reminder to members to complete the survey with the annual rent email.

Shuttleworth cup

Kristen has made a press release to announce the winners.  ACTION: Tristan to add the winning photographs to the website and see if they can be added as a collage to the press release to email to members.

We can then ask Catherine to add the photos to the Facebook page.

ACTION: Kristen to send the press release to the Courier.


Equipment storage

There is no room to store the equipment in current shed arrangements.  We need a proper metal shed with sufficient space for storage and to carry out equipment maintenance.  3 quotes have been obtained.  We agreed to put in an application for the Town Council grant for £2,500.  We will need to decide where to site the shed and to consider insurance.

ACTION:  It was agreed that we will discuss possible sites for the equipment shed with the committees and plot holders before a decision is made.

ACTION:  Kristen to draft the proposal and send to Robin for comment.

ACTION:  Kristen and Martin to attend the council meeting on 23rd November 2017.

Plot occupancy

There is nearly full membership.  There will be termination notices sent to specific plot holders where there has been no adequate response to the notices already sent.

We will send an email to members reminding all that sub-letting without prior notification and approval from the Committee is prohibited. ACTION: Tristan to send group email.

ACTION: Kristen to discuss with David W the issue of how to handle multiple plots where these are not being maintained.



The 100 year anniversary of the Society is coming up.  We need to set up a sub-group to look at grant applications.  We will see if we get any volunteers to help with grants through the member survey responses.  There are lots of potential ideas, including an entirely new bird-free community hut.


ACTION: Robin to talk to Rob Wesson about a survey of the potential for restoring the track from Borrowdale Drive.




There has been a request from David and Pete for an allotment phone where members can ring and leave a message to hire equipment.  We will see if we get any volunteers to help with equipment hire through the member survey responses.

ACTION:  agreed in principle, subject to the results of the survey and how best to utilise the phone.




The AGM and last meeting notes are now on the website.  We discussed briefly a revamp of the website in 2018 as part of the communications strategy.


Allotments with gates to private housing


We discussed this issue as there is nothing in the byelaws prohibiting this practice.  It was agreed that where an adjoining house has an allotment, they are able to have a gate to the allotment. However, once they are no longer members of the society they lose the right to enter the allotments through the gate, as it is private land. ACTION:  Committee members to tour the Allotments to view the locations and types of private entries into the site and determine what, if any, actions need to be taken. An email to all members informing them of this policy should follow.


Financial situation


We have a healthy surplus of funds.  Accounts will be ready and audited in time for the AGM.  The seed order was the best year ever, with 54 orders!

ACTION:  Martin to chase the bank for an update on signature changes.


Rent 2018


It was agreed at the last meeting that the rents would stay the same in 2018.  ACTION:  Kristen to remind Tristan to send out rents notice.


Next meeting


We will hold the next meeting in the New Year to discuss the AGM.