Harwich Town Council

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Allotments Minutes 13th May 2010

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
HELD ON
13th May 2010 at 6.30pm
HELD AT THE PARK PAVILION BOARD ROOM, BARRACK LANE, HARWICH, ESSEX

Present: Chair: Councillor A Colbourne
Councillors: Councillor S Tyrer, Councillor D Rutson, Councillor G Calver, Councillor D McLeod
Co-opted Members: Mr Inglis, Mr Steward, Mr M Button, Mr W McCoy, Mr F Mesher and Mr S O’Hara

Assistant to the Clerk to the Council: Ms L Keeley

Also Present: Three members of the public

Public Question Time:
Mrs Brown (tenant at Boatswains Call) said that Plot 13a Boatswains Call is not being worked.
The Chairman informed Mrs Brown that Plot 13a is schedule for discussion in his Report
(Agenda number 9).

Mr Hill (tenant at Dunns Meadow) informed the Committee of a possible encroachment from
plot 3 onto the vacant adjacent plot (currently not let while Mr Heath brings to an acceptable
standard); fruit trees are planted and rampant type weeds are growing on plot 9; rubbish has
accumulated at an area at the end of plots 9 and 9a (currently used by Mr Heath where he has a
small shed); plot 35 was let earlier this year in an unusable condition and may it be noted how
hard the tenant is working to bring the allotment to become a usable plot.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to investigate and action where necessary.

A01/10 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from Councillors J Wares, J Brown and B Brown.

A02/10 APPOINTMENT OF VICE-CHAIRMAN
Councillor D McLeod is appointed as Vice Chairman – proposed by Councillor Calver and seconded by Councillor Tyrer
RESOLVED: Councillor McLeod is appointed Vice Chairman for the municipal year 2010/2011.

A03/10 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None.

A04/10 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Allotments Committee meeting held on 4th March 2010, (previously circulated), be accepted as a true record.

A05/10 KING GEORGES AVENUE ALLOTMENT SITE
Further to Minute A45/09 Councillor Calver reported that discussion with David Hall (Assistant Head of Leisure Services TDC) are ongoing and the matter is pending outcome.
RESOLVED: To follow-up matter with David Hall.

A06/10 PLOTS 42 AND 54 TOWER HILL
Further to Minute A48/09 Plot 42 is now re-let. The tenant at plot 54 informed the Clerk’s office that he was recovering from an operation on his hand and consequently unable to work his plot.

A07/10 LONG MEADOWS RIGHT OF WAY/BOUNDARY AND FLYTIPPING
The Assistant Clerk briefly read to the Committee a response from the (PRoW) Enforcement and Liaison Officer ECC informing the Committee that the right of way in question is access to numbers 40, 38 and 36 Long Meadows and the ECC plans show the garden at number 34 abuts the allotment fence. With regard to the gate at number 34, which opens directly onto the allotment site, it is a matter for HTC as owners of the allotment land.
RESOLVED: It was agreed that the no further action will be taken unless a change should occur to the current situation.

The Chairman has posted fly-tipping notices through the letter boxes of residents at Long Meadows.

A08/10 BOATSWAINS CALL BOUNDARY FENCE
The Assistant Clerk telephoned NE Essex Primary Care Trust, owners of the fence between the allotments and the disused Health Centre, soon after the last meeting on 4th March regarding need for repair. Mr Button said that repair had not been done to date.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to contact the Trust again.

A09/10 REPLACEMENT TAPS IN COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS
The Assistant Clerk has investigated options and cost for replacement taps with bib tap non return valves at Tower Hill/The Redoubt, Long Meadows, Dunns Meadow, King Georges Avenue and Willow Way. ote: Compliant taps are installed at Boatswains Call.

At open or partly secure sites, i.e., Tower Hill/Redoubt, Dunns Meadow and King Georges Avenue, it was decided to opt for bib taps with lockable covers. The initial cost is higher but the long-term benefit may outweigh cost of repair with regard to possible vandalism or if the tap left opened. Mr Inglis has spoken with many of the tenants at Tower Hill/Redoubt, Mr Mesher with all tenants at King Georges Avenue and Mr Hill/Mr O’Hara with many of the tenants at Dunns Meadow, for feedback because lockable covers will necessitate a need for each tenant to purchase their own key for these taps at a cost of approximately £5 per key. The benefits were appreciated and generally well received by the tenants to whom it was mentioned.

Installation will be undertaken by a qualified person engaged through the Clerk’s office following costing comparisons for best value except for Tower Hill/Redoubt where Mr Inglis and a tenant (builder/plumber) will carry out replacement.

The bib taps are approximately £18 each plus VAT (similar to those recently installed at Boatswains Call) and lockable bib taps are approximately £27 plus VAT.
RESOLVED: It was decided to proceed accordingly but subject to Mr Inglis obtaining one of the lockable taps to test for quality and compatibility with the stand pipes at Tower Hill/Redoubt. He will then inform the Assistant Clerk of the outcome.

The Assistant Clerk to place order for new compliant taps (lockable covers where identified) subject to discussion with Mr Inglis.

A10/10 VACANT PLOTS/WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Assistant Clerk informed the Committee that there no vacant plots, the waiting list currently stands at 43 and there are no notices to quit.

A11/10 ALLOTMENT SOFTWARE
Further to Minute 46/09 the Assistant Clerk has begun transferring records onto an Excel
spreadsheet and maps have been updated. When checked and approved the current maps will be replaced on the HTC website and paper copies held at the office.

A12/10 CO-OPTED MEMBER FOR DUNNS MEADOW
Mr Shaun O’Hara has agreed to be the representative for this site and was welcomed by the Committee. Mr O’Hara asked the Assistant Clerk if he may have a copy of the site plan for ease of reference.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to pass a copy of the plan to Mr O’Hara.

A13/10 CO-OPTED MEMBERS REPORT

Boatswains Call
The Assistant Clerk said that appropriate communications had been made regarding the under worked condition of plots 13 and 13a. Mr Button will inform the Assistant Clerk regarding improvement.

Mr Button said that he has been asked by the Chairman, Mr Nick Jarrett, Wrabness Gardening Club, if he would pass on an invitation to Harwich Town Council allotment tenants if they may like to enter the Wrabness Gardening Show on 17th July 2010. Programmes and entry forms are available as from date of minutes and enquiries may be directed to Mr Jarrett (tel. 01255 880914).
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to produce and distribute WGC Show notices for boards at each site.

Tower Hill/Redoubt
Mr Inglis will obtain a sample tap from OS Locke, Colchester, to check quality and fit (see Minute A09/10.

Mr Inglis said he will speak to Brian Edmunds regarding clearance of plot 9 (currently overgrown and not let).

It has been reported to Mr Inglis of a possible encroachment onto plot 31.
RESOLVED: The Chairman asked Mr Inglis if he would speak to the persons involved.

Dunns Meadow
There has been no response or improvement to the condition of plot 13 since writing to the tenant on 13th April 2010. The Assistant Clerk said that this is the second letter to be sent to this tenant, the first was sent in July 2009, to which no response was received.
RESOLVED: It was agreed the tenant should be given notice to quit.

The two holes in the fence at the Vicarage Road side of the allotments to date have not been repaired by Dunninghams.
RESOLVED: The Assistant Clerk to telephone Dunninghams.

Long Meadows
Mr McCoy asked that a skip be hired for removal of rubbish at Plot 8. Together with Mr McCoy, Mr Heath (who is clearing a vacant plot on this site) and tenants at this site will move the rubbish into the skip. Hire is needed for just one day.
RESOLVED: It was agreed for the Assistant Clerk to liaise with Mr McCoy for hire of an appropriate skip.

A14/10 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Councillor Colbourne said that the tenant of Plot 13A Boatswains Call would like to exchange tenancy for Plot 3A (the tenant will not be renewing his tenancy in September because he is moving out of the Town). Councillor Colbourne said that he is aware of a similar exchange occurring in the past. Objections were raised by several members of the Committee in consideration that plot 13 is not to an acceptable standard and exchange would therefore not be like-for-like.

The tenant of plot 13a (Councillor Rutson) remained in the meeting while discussion ensued and stated that he will withdraw from tenancy of this plot.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to offer plot 13a to the next person on the waiting list.

A15/10 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR INFORMATION ITEMS RAISED BY MEMBERS
It was suggested good practise that all Committee members be given a copy of the 2010/2011 Committee members and co-opted members.
RESOLVED: Assistant Clerk to circulate a list of names and telephone numbers of the 2010/2011 Committee members and co-opted members.

A16/10 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held on Thursday, 10th June 2010 at the Park Pavilion Board Room, Barrack Lane at 6.30pm.

Meeting closed at 7.40 pm.

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