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 8th July 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Monday 8th July 2013 at 7.00pm

Present: Councillors J Henderson, King, Morrison, Thompson, Fowler and McLeod,
In the Chair: Councillor A Todd
Clerk: Michelle Townsend
Also present: Site Representatives Mr McCoy and Mr O’Hara
Absent: There were no members of the public present and no members of the press
Site Representatives Mr Mesher, Mr Steward and Mr Button

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

Mr Russell wished to highlight the need for a clear grievance procedure when collating the new tenancy agreement following a recent incident that he was witness to.   On Behalf of the plot holders at Boatswains Call, he wished to express sincere thanks to Mick Button, the Site Representative, for his time and assistance when the break-ins occurred recently.

A01/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Calver substituted by Cllr Fowler
Site Representatives Miss Clark and Mr Inglis
A02/13 ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR
RESOLVED: To appoint Cllr J Henderson as Vice-Chair of the Allotments Committee
A03/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
A04/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 21st March 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the minutes of the extraordinary Allotments meeting held on 17th April 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
A05/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
None
A06/13 VACANT PLOTS/ WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Clerk advised members of the following:

  • 17 people on the waiting list
  • 1 NTQ issued since the last meeting
  • 3 vacant plots which have been offered to new tenants
A07/13 SITE REPS REPORT
Mr McCoy – Confirmed that plot 3 was now vacant.
Mr O’Hara- Informed members that plot 8 and 8a have not been worked.
A08/13 RENT DEPOSIT SCHEME
The Clerk updated the Committee with feedback from NSALG confirming that it was not advisable to proceed with a rent deposit scheme. Members debated the advice and suggestions given for managing plots effectively.
RESOLVED: Item to be placed on the next meeting’s agenda to formalise decision not to proceed.
A09/13 DRAFT TENANCY AGREEMENT
The Committee reviewed the draft tenancy agreement recommended by the working party and agreed that it provided clearer guidance for plot holders. Members discussed the use of bonfires on allotments sites and agreed that they should only be allowed after 6pm in the Summer, and after 5pm in the Winter (when clocks go back)
RESOLVED: To release the draft tenancy agreement, with the agreed amendment, for consultation with all plot holders.   All feedback to be reviewed at the next meeting.
A10/13 ADDITIONAL LAND AT KING GEORGES AVENUE
The Clerk informed members of the reply received from TDC confirming that the land is classified as Open Space. TDC are therefore considering how to deal with the possible transfer of this land without the requirement for HTC to provide an alternative parcel of open space land as compensation.
A11/13 BEE HIVES ON THE REDOUBT ALLOTMENT SITE
The Clerk confirmed that both hives on the Redoubt allotment site are now populated and all conditions stated in HTC’s Bee Policy have been carried out. Feedback from the recent consultation undertaken with the plot holders on this site was mainly positive and following the decision of the Allotments Committee on 17th April 2013, there will be a trial period of 6 month in order to determine how well received the hives are.
A12/13 NUMBERING OF PLOT
The Committee discussed current difficulties with identification of plots and the need for clear signage in order to navigate around the sites and in particular in the event that emergency services are called to attend an incident.
RESOLVED:   This issue to be placed on the agenda for discussion at next meeting following further investigation by Clerk.
A13/13 WEED CONTROL
Members agreed that it would be advantageous to provide adequate covering to manage vacant plots and plots which are overgrown.   Plot holders will be able to contact the office and request temporary use of the covering whilst their plot is being cleared and cultivated.
RESOLVED: To purchase 2 x 25m rolls of heavy duty black plastic from Jewsons at a cost of £37.50 plus VAT per roll plus £18 delivery.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To contact local haulage companies to ask if they are able to provide tarpaulin that is surplus to their requirements.
A14/13 DISPLAY APPROVED MINUTES
RESOLVED: Site Representatives to display approved minutes on the site notice board.
A15/13 HUT – DUNNS MEADOW
RESOLVED: To instruct John Fowlers LLP, at a cost of no more than £450 plus VAT to formulate the lease agreement for the hut on Dunns Meadow.
A16/13 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST
Friends of the Earth – At present members felt that there were no adequate pockets of land available on HTC’s allotment sites but would actively encourage each plot holder to plant bee friendly plants.
RESOLVED: Clerk to write to Mr Preece thanking him for his interest.
A17/13 TO RESOLVE TO PERMIT SITE REPRESENTATIVES TO REMAIN IN THE MEETING DURING CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS
RESOLVED: To permit the Site Representative to remain in the meeting during confidential business.
A18/13 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich on Tuesday 27th August 2013 at 7pm
A19/13 EXCLUSION OF PRESS & PUBLIC
pursuant to Sub-Section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting is closed to the press and public for the transaction of under-mentioned business.

  • To review and act upon quotations for securing gates at Dunns Meadow
  • To review and act upon quotations for clearing the mound at Long Meadows
  • To review and act upon quotations for cutting the grass path and hedge at The Redoubt

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.33pm