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 29th April 2014

MINUTES of the Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Wednesday 29th April 2014 at 7.00pm

Present:
In the Chair: Councillor A Todd
Clerk: Michelle Townsend
Also present: Site Representatives, Mr McCoy, Mr Edmunds, Mr Button and Miss Clark
2 members of the public and no members of the press

Pursuant to Standing order 5.vi, the Chairman notified Members that item 7 on the agenda will now be discussed following item 2.

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

Mrs Dalton-Brockwell raised concerns regarding the access to Boatswains Call allotment site being blocked by the developers working at the old clinic site.  Members did not enter into discussions as this was not an item on the agenda, however as Ward Councillor, Councillor King agreed to look into this matter.

A82/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Nicholson and Site Representatives Mr O’Hara, Mr Mesher and Mrs Steward
A83/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
A84/13 TDCLAND ADJOINING LONG MEADOWS
Councillor Calver passed on apologies from Paul Price, Corporate Director, TDC who was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances.    On his behalf, Cllr Calver advised members that TDC have agreed to clear the piece of land, fence the area and offer land to HTC to utilise as an additional plot subject to a long term lease with a nominal rent.  It was agreed that wood fencing would be preferable and Members thanked Councillor J Henderson for her time and efforts negotiating with TDC.RESOLVED:  To accept TDC’s offer and refer item to Finance & General Purposes Committee to negotiate and finalise the lease.
A85/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 18th February 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.FURTHER RESOLVED: that the confidential minutes of the Allotments meeting held on
18th February 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
A86/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
The Chairman confirmed that the cost for updating and publishing the amended allotment maps was £55 which will be paid from the Council’s IT budget.
A87/13 VACANT PLOTS/ WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Clerk advised members of the following:

  • 18 people on the waiting list (most are waiting for specific sites or plots)
  • No NTQs issued since the last meeting
  • No vacant plots
    The Clerk confirmed that the promotion via the Town Guide had been positive with attracting interest.
A88/13 SITE REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
Mr Button – Repair work to the gate has still not been carried out leaving the site unsecure.  The Clerk agreed to chase.  Members were made aware that the contractor carrying out work for the Council had been approached by a plot holder who expressed concerns with the contractor’s health and safety which led to the contractor leaving the site.  Members agreed that all necessary measures had been put in place, prior to the work being carried out.
Mr Edmunds – No issues at the Redoubt.
Mr McCoy – Nothing to report.
Miss Clark – Nothing to report.Councillor Calver gave an update on behalf of the Dunns Meadow Site Representative.  Concerns over trees have been raised and this area would need to be reviewed during the next site visit.
A89/13 LEASE AGREEMENT FOR THE ASSOCIATION HUT – DUNNS MEADOW
Members noted the recently completed lease agreement with Stanford Home and Gardens.
A90/13 THE REDOUBT SITE
The Clerk confirmed that following the submission of comparable quotations, the Harwich Society’s grant application to update the CCTV coverage at the Redoubt Fort was ratified at the last Full Council meeting and that work will take place shortly.Members reviewed the existing signage and scrutinised quotations received.  It was agreed for the new signage to replace the two ‘Allotment Holders Only’ signs with the wording – PrivateLand, One Way System in Operation and No Dog Walking with anti- graffiti film.PROPOSED:  Clerk to design signs and place order for two signs at a cost of £274.85 inc VAT.
A91/13 WILLOW WAY
Following the regular vandalism of the fencing which adjoins the TDC play area, members considered suitable measures which could be put in place.
RESOLVED: Write to TDC to ask them to consider erecting a 15ft fencearound the allotment site.FURTHER RESOLVED:  Clerk to ascertain ownership and write to request that the fencing at the rear of the two flats in Willow Way which back on to the site is replaced.
A92/13 ALLOTMENT RENTS
RESOLVED: To increase allotment rents in September 2015 by 30p per rod but maintain the discount for plot holders in receipt of state pension.  Plot holders to be informed of the increase with their invoice/rent requests in September 2014.
A93/13 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
The Chairman expressed his thanks to the Site Representatives and Committee Members for their assistance and time given over the last year.Councillor Calver highlighted the concerns which have been raised about the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, examining plans to free Local Authorities from a 103-year-old obligation to provide plots of public land for cultivation by gardeners.  This will be raised at the next Full Council meeting however the Clerk agreed to produce posters to be displayed at each site and on HTC’s website and Facebook to promote the HM Government e-petition which can be signed to protest against the proposals.
A94/13 TO RESOLVE TO PERMIT SITE REPRESENTATIVES TO REMAIN IN THE MEETING DURING CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS
RESOLVED:  To permit the Site Representatives to remain in the meeting during confidential business.
A95/13 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To be advised

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.15pm.