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

Allotment Minutes – 5th November 2020

HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211
email: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk

MINUTES of the Remote Meeting of the ALLOTMENTS COMMITTEE
held on

Thursday 5th November 2020 at 7pm

 

Present: Councillors Calver, Chant, Davidson, Fay, Morrison, Richardson and D Smith
In the Chair: Councillor Todd
Clerk: Michelle Townsend
Also present: Site Representative Mrs Feaviour
No members of the public and no members of the press

 

 

PUBLIC QUESTION TIME:

None

A19/20 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from:

Site Representative Nick Botterill
Cllr I Henderson

A20/20 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTEREST
None
A21/20 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the Allotments meeting held on 20th August 2020 (previously circulated) be approved by the committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
A22/20 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

A11/20 – Installation of second tap – Long Meadows – Due to be installed within the next month under the supervision of the Estate Supervisor.
A12/20 – Additions to HTC’s Allotment Tenancy Agreement – Database has been
updated and the additions to the schedule were issued with the annual invoices.
A13/20 – Annual Water Charge – Plot holders were advised of the change of calculation via the Allotment Newsletter sent out with the annual invoices.

A23/20 MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES

Redoubt Hedge and Footpath – At the last meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee, members agreed to enter into negotiations with Tendring District Council about land ownership of all allotment land managed by Harwich Town Council.
A09/19 – Tree Liabilities – Next inspection is due March 2021.

A24/20 VACANT PLOTS/WAITING LIST/NOTICES TO QUIT
The Clerk advised members of the following:

•  24 people on the waiting list (most are waiting for specific sites or plots)
•  1 vacant plot
•  No NTQs issued since the last meeting

 

A25/20 SITE REPRESENTATIVE REPORTS
Mrs Feaviour – Looking tidy at Abdy.

Mr Botterill – (provided in writing as he was unable to attend the meeting) – He is not aware of any problems and the new tenant has made a good start.

 

A26/20 BUDGET UPDATE AND PROPOSED BUDGET FOR MUNICIPAL YEAR 2021/22

The Chairman and Clerk provided members with an update on budgets spent year to date and expenditure due to be incurred for 2020/21.  Members discussed possible future projects and proposed budgets for 2021/22.

 

RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: Budget for the Municipal Year 2021/22

GROUNDS MAINTENANCE                      2000
MANAGEMENT OF VACANT PLOTS         300

WATER RATES                                         2300
MAINTENANCE RESERVE FUND           4000 (transfer in 550)

 

Cllr Calver thanked the Clerk and Chairman for the way the budgets are managed.

 

A27/20 TO REVIEW THE ROLE OF THE SITE REPRESENTATIVE AND CONSIDER ANY NECESSARY CHANGES

Members agreed that it would be beneficial for the Estate Supervisor to undertake plot inspections of all sites for continuity with the management of allotments.  Site Representatives will continue to advise the office of plots that are not being adequately cultivated or any other site issues to allow appropriate intervention.

RESOLVED:  Clerk to amend ‘Role of Site Representative’ document to reflect the changes.

 

A28/20 NON-PAYMENT OF COSTS INCURRED BY THE COUNCIL FOR CLEARANCE OF A PLOT FOLLOWING THE TERMINATION OF THE TENANCY

The Clerk asked the committee to formalise the procedure to be followed, if the council are not reimbursed for costs incurred for the clearance of a plot. The Clerk confirmed that legal advice sought, advised that rule 15 and 18 of HTC’s tenancy agreement is sufficiently worded to allow the council to pursue plots holders for the funds via ADR or the courts.  Members felt that it was important to pursue every debt, however they wish to remain flexible with the process and offer payment plans to those who can only make payment in instalments.  Councillor Calver suggested amendments should be made to the tenancy agreement, if in effect, if you are in debt to the council, you cannot renew any tenancy you hold with the council for an allotment or go on the waiting list for another plot.  It was agreed for the Clerk to liaise with Cllr Calver to draft wording, seek legal advice and bring to the next committee meeting for consideration.

RESOLVED:  To adopt a policy of taking all necessary steps including the use of the small claims court to recover any costs incurred in clearing a plot where the committee considers it to be appropriate.  Any action taken to include seeking to work with plot holder to bring the matter to a mutually acceptable conclusion.  A process for how it will be administered was agreed by members.

A29/20 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST, BE REPORTED OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
•Annual invoices were calculated and sent out to plot holders early September and are now all paid.

•An allotment newsletter was produced this year and distributed with the annual invoices.  Members congratulated the Clerk for the professional but informative newsletter produced this year.

 

A30/20 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next remote meeting of the Allotments Committee will be held at 7pm on Thursday 25th March 2021.

A31/20 EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
Members RESOLVED: That Pursuant to Sub-Section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting was closed to the press and public for the transaction of the under-mentioned business:

  • Voluntary Site Representative Vacancies

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 7.55pm

 

CHAIRMAN:                                                             DATE:

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