Harwich Town Council

The Guildhall,
Church Street,
Harwich. CO12 3DS

t: 01255 507211
e: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk
Hours: 9.30am – 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Allotments Minutes 26th July 2012

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE held at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich on Thursday 26th July 2012 commencing at 7pm

HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211

Present: Cllrs C Callender, Fowler, J Henderson and Thompson

In the Chair: Cllr King

Co-opted Members: Mr M Button, Mr S O’Hara, Mr N Inglis, Mr T Steward, Mr B McCoy and Miss J Clark

Clerk: Assistant Clerk Mrs M Townsend

Also present: Cllrs McLeod and Thurlow, 2 members of the public and no press

No questions

A13/12 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from Cllrs Todd and Gibbins and Co-opted Member

Mr F Mesher

A14/12 DECLARATION OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None.

A15/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 21st May 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
RESOLVED: that the confidential minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 21st May 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

A16/12 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Growing Together – The Chair informed members that the Growing Together event was well attended and expressed her thanks to the Mayor and Mayoress for their assistance with refreshments and fund raising for the Mayoress’ appeal.

Anti-Slip Paint – Following investigation, the Clerk confirmed that is not an option to utilise anti-slip paint at any site.

A17/12 VACANT PLOTS/WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Clerk informed members that there is 1 vacant plot in need of clearing, 30 people on the waiting list and 2 Notice to Quits issued since the last meeting.

A18/12 NO TRESPASSING SIGNAGE
Members discussed the legal advice given by The National Allotment Society in relation to trespassers on allotment sites. It was agreed that any signage should not only cover a warning of hidden dangers, but state no trespassing, no unauthorised dog walking and no unaccompanied children. It was suggested that installing a gate at The Redoubt would help alleviate the problems of trespassers at this site.
RESOLVED: Clerk to produce signage for all allotment sites to cover hidden dangers, no trespassing, no unauthorised dog walking and no unaccompanied children.

FURTHER RESOLVED: Clerk to review options for securing The Redoubt allotment site with Co-opted member N Inglis and gain quotes for installing a gate.

A19/12 KEEPING OF PIGEONS ON ALLOTMENT PLOTS
Members discussed the feasibility and implications of plot holders keeping pigeons on their allotment plots.
RESOLVED: To abide by our existing tenancy agreement which states no livestock or poultry of any kind shall be kept upon the Allotment Garden other than reasonable numbers of hens or rabbits for the tenant’s own domestic consumption.

A20/12 PLOT 53 – THE REDOUBT
Members discussed the condition of plot 53 and that it is unable to be utilised as an allotment plot due to the trees and large bushes now growing. The clerk made members aware of the plot holder’s wishes to utilise this plot as parking. It was agreed that the condition of this plot is not acceptable and needs to be cleared and used as a cultivated plot or possible parking ground for Redoubt visitors and allotment holders.
RESOLVED: The Clerk to investigate:
Approval for transferring use of allotment land to space for car parking.
Gain confirmation as to whether planning permission necessary.
Negotiate and confirm that the plot holder will cover all costs incurred to clearing site and erecting a fence/wall and gate.

A21/12 ACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF CULTIVATION
Members discussed clear guidelines and acceptable terms of cultivation for new and existing plot holders. It was agreed that covering a plot does not help control, or eradicate, fungal diseases.
RESOLVED: Clerk to produce posters detailing the following agreed guidelines for acceptable levels of cultivation:

New Plot Holders: a minimum of 50% to be cultivated in the 1st year

A minimum of 75% to be cultivated by the end of the 2nd year

Existing Plot Holders: a minimum of 75% to be cultivated

In both instances, any part of an allotment plot which is not cultivated, is to be covered or kept weed free.

A22/12 REPORTS OF CO-OPTED MEMBERS
Mr N Inglis informed members that plot 11 wishes to give up half his plot, however members were unable to agree as the plot is only 5 rods.

Mr M Button confirmed that plot 40 and 40a were cultivated to an acceptable condition. Plot 34a is covered in mares tail and will need eradicating before the plot can be reallocated. Mr Button obtained costs for a sprayer and chemicals and agreed to undertaken the work.
RESOLVED: Clerk to obtain guidance from TDC and purchase relevant equipment.

Mr McCoy confirmed there was nothing to report other than the plots highlighted during a recent site inspection.

Mr O’Hara informed members that he felt the shed on plot 19 was not suitable to home the notice board should it be repositioned.

Mr Steward confirmed that there was nothing to report at Abdy Avenue.

Miss Clark – confirmed that most of the barbed wire had been removed but will contact Clerk if she is not able to remove completely from the allotment site.
RESOLVED: Clerk to request TDC to move bin which currently aids people to gain access over the fence.

A23/12 MATTERS RECEIVED IN POST OR INFORMATION RAISED BY MEMBERS
Councillor J Henderson requested a polite reminder to be issued to plot holders to number their plots.
RESLOVED: Clerk to include request with the yearly rent requests due to be issued in September 2012.

Following the recent site inspections, Councillor McLeod noted that the boundaries and pathways needed to be defined and reinstated at Willow Way.
RESOLVED: Clerk to gains quotations for work to be discussed at the next meeting.

A24/12 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 25th September 2012 at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.18pm