Allotment Minutes – 20th August 2020
HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211
MINUTES of the Remote Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
Thursday 20th August 2020 at 7pm
|Present:||Councillors Calver, Chant, Davidson, Richardson and D Smith|
|In the Chair:||Councillor Todd|
|Also present:||Site Representatives Mr Edmunds and Mrs Feaviour
One member of the public and no members of the press
|Absent:||Cllrs Fay, Morrison and I Henderson|
The Chairman agreed to take an emergency item, ‘COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN’
PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:
|A01/20||APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from:
Site Representative Nick Botterill
|A02/20||DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTEREST
|A03/20||ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIR
RESOLVED: To appoint Councillor David Smith as vice-chair of the Allotments Committee.
|A04/20||MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 7th November 2019 (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 7th November 2019 (previously circulated) be approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
|A05/20||MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
A44/19 – Association Hut – Electrical supply has been disconnected and the hut
demolished. A part refund of £231 has been received from UK Power Networks due to incomplete work. An agreement has been made to pay £150 to Marvan’s Tree &
Landscaping Services as a contribution towards the cost for transforming the land
(DM29A) to a useable allotment plot. Both newly created plots (DM29 and DM29A) have been allocated to tenants.
A37/19 – Vacant Plot Maintenance – A separate budget of £300 has now been created.
|A06/20||MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
Redoubt Hedge and Footpath – Investigation regarding ownership of the Redoubt site is being carried out under the allotment key priority and that on completion this will be passed to the Finance & General Purposes Committee to determine what needs to be achieved regarding asset management.
|A07/20||BUSINESS AUTHORISED THROUGH DELEGATED AUTHORITY
RESOLVED: To ratify the decisions made through delegated authority during Covid-19 (detailed on schedule circulated separately).
Councillors wished to record their thanks to Shannon and Michelle for their continued work with the management of the allotment sites during Covid.
|A08/20||VACANT PLOTS/WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Clerk advised members of the following:
• 36 people on the waiting list (most are waiting for specific sites or plots)
• 2 vacant plots
• 1 NTQ issued since the last meeting (BC36A) due to non-compliance of the
|A09/20||SITE REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
Mrs Feaviour – It has been an unusual 6 months with Covid and weather conditions (high temperatures) but the site is ticking over.
Mr Edmunds – All going well on the site. Fish and chip papers are being left on site regularly but as yet, no one has been caught in the act.
|A10/20||REQUEST TO INSTALL A POND
RESOLVED: Approval given for a pond to be installed on DM29A.
|A11/20||INSTALLATION OF SECOND TAP ON LONG MEADOWS ALLOTMENT SITE
Members reviewed the request and suggested recommendations made by the Estate Supervisor.
RESOLVED: To approve the installation of a second tap subject to;
– There being no cost to the council
– All conditions set out by the Estate Supervisor to be followed
– Pipework to be laid under the communal footpath and that the grassed pathway is restored after the installation.
|A12/20||ADDITIONS TO HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL’S ALLOTMENT TENANCY AGREEMENT
Members considered the Clerk’s recommendations.
RESOLVED: To approve the additions to the schedule with effect from 30th September 2020 (with slight amendments to the wording). Plot holders to be notified with their annual invoice, sent at the beginning of September 2020.
|A13/20||ANNUAL WATER CHARGE
The Clerk provided details of the current system used to calculate and apportion the water charges to plot holders. Due to the increasing cost of fixed charges, it is now evident that smaller sites are paying a disproportionate amount for their water compared to plot holders on larger sites.
RESOLVED: The amount charged to each plot holder will be the total water bill received by Harwich Town Council divided by the total number of plot holders. To come into effect Sept 2020.
|A14/20||VOLUNTARY SITE REPRESENTATIVE POSITON – REDOUBT ALLOTMENT SITE
Brian Edmunds advised members that he is due to move in the near future and therefore will be resigning as Site Representative. Brian has been an asset to the committee and will be sadly missed by the council and plot holders at the site. Members wished to thank him for his dedication, positive contribution and assistance over the years.
RESOLVED: Clerk to send a letter of thanks to Mr Edmunds from the Chairman and members of the committee.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Vacancies for Site Representatives at Redoubt, Long Meadows, Dunns Meadow and Boatswains Call allotment sites to be advertised on site notice boards and with the annual invoices.
The Clerk briefed members on the current financial position of the allotments budget:
Allotments Maintenance Budget – £1700.00
Total expenditure to date
Petrol – grass cut (Redoubt) £188.70 £ 4.68
|A16/20||MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST, BE REPORTED OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
•Letter from BC39A – noted
|A17/20||COVID-19 RECOVERY PLAN
The Clerk advised members that plots holders known to be shielding from Covid-19 had not been chased regarding any lack of plot maintenance. The vast majority of plot holders have maintained their plots throughout the pandemic, and we are now in a situation where there are around 6 or 7 plots which are becoming a concern. As the shielding requirements have now been relaxed by the Government, the committee was being asked if it now believed it appropriate to ask the remaining plot holders to either begin maintaining their plots or to obtain assistance in order to comply with the tenancy agreement. Members agreed that in order to avoid this small number of plots becoming unworkable, or a nuisance to neighbouring plots, it was now once again appropriate to contact these plot holders to request that they comply with their tenancy agreement.
|A18/20||TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next remote meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held at 7pm on Thursday 5th November 2020
The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.45pm