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AGM 2018

Binswood Allotment Society


Binswood Allotment Society

Minutes of the 97th Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 15th April 2018, 11.00am

Community Hut, Binswood Allotment




M.Atkins, , J.Bradley, P.Burtonshaw, S.Buckingham, A,Cathcart, R.Cathcart, K.Dehnen-Schmutz, , P.Griffin, , N.Hopcraft, S.Hopcraft, M.Hurst,  M.King, R.King, B. Landsborough, K.Gasser-Lawrence, C.Levack, A.McCormack, J.Nicholls, R.Parkins, S.Rasmussen, T.Stephens, J.Stone, H.Tudge, M.van Rooyen



1 Welcome

2 Apologies

3 Minutes of 2017 meeting

4 Matters Arising

5 Chair’s Report

6 Treasurer’s Report

7 Membership Secretary’s Report

8 John Shuttleworth Cup


10 Close of meeting

The meeting will be followed by an informative talk by Alexander McCormack: “A Look at Plant Diseases and Possible Cures”.


1 Welcome

Kristen Lawrence welcomed everyone to the Community Hut for the 97th and her inaugural AGM as Chair. Welcome especially to all new members.

2 Apologies

R.Beal, N. Bond, D.Bradley, J.Carrier, S.Cawthorne, T.Parsons, L.Philips, C.Seaton, E.Seymour

3 Minutes of 2017 AGM meeting

No comments about 2017 minutes.  Acceptance of the minutes was proposed by R.Cathcart and seconded by R.King.

4 Matters Arising

No matters arising from 2017 minutes.

5 Chair’s Report – Kristen Lawrence

5.1 Growing season

A synopsis of the previous growing season: there was a dry and mild winter with a warm spring – the warmest in over 350 years. Above average rainfall in Summer months.  Pretty good growing for most people over all.

5.2 Major Activities for 2017/2018

5.2.1 Plot Clearance- In order to re-let plots, several major plots were cleared which required the hiring and filling of several skips.

5.2.2 New Gates at Borrowdale Drive- New gates and a combination lock were installed meaning Craig and Jean Seaton no longer have to close them every evening.  Please remember to close the gates after leaving the site.

5.2.3 New Notice Boards- New notice boards at the Borrowdale Drive entrance were put up.  Signs for plot vacancies and dogs on leads are to be added.

5.2.4 New Mower- A lightweight mower was purchased this year to add to our equipment for hire list.

5.2.5 Community Hut Roof – Emergency repairs to the Community hut were made by Phil Heritage following storm damage and we are currently looking at ways of keeping birds out of the hut.  We are going to fill the gaps with proprietary sealant to prevent the birds from coming in, volunteers to see Pete.

5.2.6 Volunteer Survey-  In June, a volunteer survey was sent out by email with a list of tasks.  A good number of responses were collected which will be used going forward.  We are asking for each plot holder to volunteer in some capacity twice a year.

5.2.7 Members Guide- A members guide of key facts has just been finalised, with information for existing and new members regarding such things as plot rental, water, AGM, seeds, manure, the shop etc.  This will soon be emailed to existing members and given to new members when they join to give them a grounding in what they can and cannot do on the site.

5.3 Grants

  1. The application for the Leamington Town Council grant was successful again this year.
  2. The grant comes from the Council which uses the rents from four allotment societies within Leamington and then redistributes the money through the grant.
  3. Leamington Town Council grants for last year totaled £1,725 and was spent as follows:
  4. Borrowdale Drive Gates
  5. Five skip hires for rubbish removal.
  6. This year we applied for £2,500 for the following items:
  7. New secure building to house the rental equipment for storage and a workshop area. So in 2018/2019 a central location for an equipment shed will be identified and will house the Society’s strimmer, large rotavator, lawnmower, light lawnmower and smaller rotavator. These will be rented out for a nominal fee to plot holders. The equipment shed will improve security and the  accessibility of the equipment.


5.4 Community Hut

  1. The Community Hut continues to be a wonderful resource for members to get together throughout the year. It continues to be regularly used for social and educational events such as yesterday’s Pilates on the Plot session led by Helen Tudge.
  2. The events are organized by the Community Hut events group including Liz, Bonnie, Ann, Helen, ,Paula, Catherine, Sheila, Alison, Meg, Gemma, Tom and Sue.
  3. Liz has prepared guidance to make hosting an event easier.
  4. A program for future events will be posted on the notice boards and by email and we encourage people to attend.
  5. Liz Philips has done a fantastic job arranging the programming since the beginning of the Community Hut and we thank her for her work on this. She would like to step down as chief organizer for the hut events so if anyone would like to do that please get in touch.

5.5 Plans for next year

  1. Continue to pursue the volunteer resources and set up working parties throughout the year
  2. We plan to carry out two plot inspections throughout the year making it a little more formalised with the first one being on the 20th May and the second in the autumn. These are to help us take stock of the site and give us an overview of the site and to allow us to address problems before they get too big.  The reason being that there is always a pressure to keep the allotment fully used to deter developers.
  3. Further development of the Allotment website to make it more user friendly and give information about equipment hire and hut events.
  4. Binswood Ex-Servicemen’s Allotments turns 100 in 2020. This is a milestone that should be celebrated and marked and the Committee is interested in the creation of a Centenary group to think about how we should celebrate this event and pursue any avenues, such as grant funding, that may help us do so.


5.6 Thanks

  1. We sometimes forget the infrastructure that exists on the site and would like to give sincere thanks to all the volunteers who do so much work on the allotments, particularly Pete Griffin; Morris Atkins; David Wright, especially for the database; Mervin Payne; Phil Heritage; Craig and Joan Seton; Andy Brooks, David James, and everyone else.
  2. Rosemary Beal for the Butterfly Sanctuary
  3. The community hut volunteers for today’s tea and cake and Liz Philips for organizing the whole year.
  4. Bonny Landsborough for managing the seed scheme.
  5. Pete Griffin for the farmyard manure.
  6. Tristan Stephens for website.
  7. Catherine Levack for maintaining the Facebook page.
  8. Martin Hurst for hosting Committee meetings.
  9. The knowledge and support provided by members such as Pete and David and from the Committee members Martin, Meg, Jo and Tristan and especially Robin, the former Chairman, for his sensible points of view and his continuing committee membership.


  • Treasurer’s Report – Martin Hurst

Not shown on website version but available to Members on request.


7 Membership Secretary’s Report – Tristan Stephens

  1. Thanks to David Wright and Pete Griffin who have taken care of membership again this year.
  2. There have been 556 emails sent and received this year.
  3. 45 plot changes of new members and existing members changing plots
  4. There are 135 plotholders.
  5. Only one vacant plot.
  6. If anyone is going to leave the society, please let us know so we can pass on the plot.

8 John Shuttleworth Cup

  1. This cup was created in memory of Society member John Shuttleworth.
  2. Last year’s competition was for the best plot sign. The joint winners were Nick and Sonya Bond and Karen Stephenson.
  3. This year the competition is for the longest runner bean.
  4. Must have both ends attached and be straight
  5. Judging and the winner to be announced in September


  1. Please do not put any rubbish into the concrete bunkers, they are for chippings and bark only.
  2. It is not permitted to sub-let your plot. We need to know who is using the plot.
  3. Please close the Borrowdale Drive gates when you exit.
  4. Please do not give the gate combination to non-members.
  5. Request for more wood chips
  6. Question about composting toilet- St Mary’s cost !0k
  7. Burning of plastic not permitted.
  8. Skip hire question. May have to be at Borrowdale drive entrance.
  9. Speed of cars on site- please don’t drive too fast.
  10. Communications will be on AGM minutes
  11. Problem with neighboring garden ?


14 Close of meeting

  1. Meeting closed at 12:02.

Tristan Stephens

Binswood Allotment Society Secretary