Harwich Town Council

The Guildhall,
Church Street,
Harwich. CO12 3DS

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Allotments Minutes 17th April 2013

MINUTES of the Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Wednesday, 17th April 2013 at 10.00am

Present: Councillors J Henderson, Todd, Calver, Thompson
In the Chair: Councillor King
Clerk: Kate Mayhew
Also present: Cllr McLeod & Site Reps: J Steward, B McCoy & N Inglis

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME: None

A74/12 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs C Callender, M Fowler, J Thurlow
A75/12 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
A76/12 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 21st March 2013 (previously circulated) were approved by the Committee but will not be discussed or signed until the next meeting when all Members could attend. It was agreed that as this meeting was called to discuss an emergency item it would not be appropriate to discuss matters arising from the last minutes.
A77/12 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Not discussed.
A78/12 BEE HIVES ON ALLOTMENT SITES
Members discussed the report of an empty bee hive being placed on Plot 13, Redoubt and the subsequent request from a local bee keeper to populate the hive before the summer. Members discussed their recent visit to the site to look at the hive and the request from another tenant who would also be happy to have a hive on his plot. Members had all received the advice from the NSALG regarding bees on allotments and were generally supportive of the request but felt there was a need for further discussion. Cllr Henderson raised the matter of positioning on the plot and that it should follow the NSALG’s advice to be near a hedge/tree. Cllr Thompson raised the issue of access and potential vandalism of the hive and whose responsibility would it be. It was agreed that the tenant would have to accept responsibility for having the hive on his/her plotIt was agreed to let the other tenants know of the proposal and have the opportunity to give their comments. It was also agreed that a policy would have to be established which would be incorporated into the tenancy agreement and Members agreed the following conditions for this purpose:

  1. No bee hives on plots without the express permission of Harwich Town Council.
  2. All applications to be in writing and will be considered on an individual basis and subject to individual condition.
  3. Tenants must accept full responsibility in writing for the hive and either the tenant or the beekeeper must produce valid insurance and evidence they are suitably qualified to take care of a hive.
  4. The Tenant/Beekeeper is to remove the hive/s if requested to do so by Harwich Town Council and, if circumstances dictate, without notice.

Cllr Calver proposed the new policy be adopted, Seconded by Cllr McLeod, all in favour. Cllr Calver proposed the request be accepted as a 6 months trial period, during which no other applications for hives would be considered. This was seconded by Cllr McLeod, all in favour.

It was further agreed to place something on the allotments page of the HTC website advising of this new policy and a letter be sent to all tenants of the Redoubt and Tower Hill sites inviting their comments/feedback on the proposal.

A79/12 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETINGThe next meeting of the Allotments Committee is to be advised.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 11.13am