ALLY PALLY ALLOTMENTS ASSOCIATION

Draft Minutes of Annual General Meeting Saturday 14 July 2018

 

PRESENT: Alison Liney, Sally Chubb, Bob Hare, Peter Campbell, John Wilkinson, Jill Ellis, Annie Elliott-Evans, Pam Jackson, Anne Whalley, Steve Shaw, Cathy Brogan, Julie Parker, Jacquie Sawford, Sara Liney, Pamela Harling, Elizabeth Sagar

APOLOGIES: Angela Silva-Jones, David Till, Christine Heath, Roland Ward, Jan and Ian Hall, Jenny Bourne Taylor, Jim and Ros Jenks, Hilary Thomas

MINUTES OF AGM 2017: Minutes approved. Proposed John Wilkinson, Seconded Jill Ellis

Matters Arising: Hedgehogs – the scrapes that have been deliberately made beneath the new fence by the top gate for hedgehogs to move between the allotments and the park, are regularly being filled in! We need to keep them open.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

CHAIR - BOB HARE

Thanks: On everyone’s behalf I’d like to thank committee members and plot holders who together help make our site work, and help make it a special and friendly place. We owe particular thanks to Alison as Site Secretary and Peter Campbell who not only manages the Trading Shed, but also helps with numerous site functions including inspections, organising the Potato Day and has been behind our training sessions on soil improvement for instance, and the Orchard Project. Peter grew many plants and co-ordinated everyone else who helped grow them for our Plant Sale. The committee normally hold 4 meetings a year plus this AGM. There is a turnover of members, so we do need plot holders to come forward to help. It is not an arduous task and you can choose how much you do. Contact a committee member if you decide you would like to join the committee. Committee members this year have been: Alison Liney, Angela Silva Jones (co-opted), Annie Elliot-Evans, Christine Heath, David Craig, Jill Ellis, John Wilkinson, Michael Harrison (now resigned), Pam Jackson, Peter Campbell and Sally Chubb.

The Plant Sale: It was a Herculean task this year with poor weather early on complicating the task of getting the plants ready in time. Selling the plants before and after the Sale on the site has proved very successful. Many thanks to all those involved in sowing and growing on the plants.

Allotment Cafe: Our first Sunday Cafes are very lovely occasions that happen because of the efforts of Annie, Sally, Pam, Evelyn and Jill with help from Karen and Nigel and others.

Site repairs and improvements: Many thanks to Tommy Amooty and Peter Falzon who have helped with heavy work. Tommy has emulated a JCB, excavating an enormous and extended hole to try to discover the source of a serious water leak on the site. Peter, amongst other tasks, has helped pave the top path with slabs brought over from the Garden Centre by Robbie Griffiths. Thanks to Stavros Nicolaou who has been involved in plumbing repairs and also with Yusef Gilgil, he grew hundreds of plants for the plant sale. Thanks to Dick Tomlinson who felled 6 trees which were inappropriate for an allotment, on the corner plot. There was also a work party to clear this plot and thanks to all who took part. Peter Campbell and Peter Falzon with help from Robbie Griffiths spent several days on the gigantic task of clearing Plot 2 A.P.. They burned a huge quantity of scrap wood and separated out two truck loads of metal which we gave to a scrap dealer. We are waiting for the council to arrange a collection of the remaining rubbish.

Allotments Forum: Alison, who is on the steering committee, and Sally attend the Allotments Forum.

BBQ: Thanks, yet again, to Stavros, Yusef and Peter for organising our BBQ after the AGM last year. It’s also a lesson that we should all take advantage of our events when they happen, because they’re put on by volunteers, and we can’t expect that amount of thought and planning to just be done every year. This year, we cannot run the BBQ.

Dehydrating Toilet: Thanks to Alison and Annie for keeping the Loo clean and tidy and to John who masterminds monitoring and deals with the manufacturer when there are problems due to the heavy use of the toilet.

Thanks to Suzie and Peter for hosting the December Committee Meeting.

Hedgehogs: Researcher Chris Carbone continues to survey our hedgehogs. A good crowd attended a presentation of results given by Rebecca his research student, and Chris.

Ming, the Allotment Cat: Thank you to all the feeders. Where would she be without you all?! Contact Sally if you could help with her feeding and be put on the google calendar cat feeding rota which sends you a reminder when to do it!

RHS Q and A session: Thanks to Alison and all who helped organise this interesting and enjoyable event, particularly the cafe team and those who obtained and organised the sound system on the day. We were pleased that many people came from other sites and of course Shepherds Hill.

 

SITE SECRETARY – ALISON LINEY

The waiting list: still stands at 131 including 12 on the long list i.e. those who have come to the top of the waiting list and will contact me when they have time to work a plot. I ask those people to renew their interest every January and have deleted 7 who did not do so this year.

The list has moved 27 places since my last report, though 8 of those are now on the long list. The next person to be contacted joined the list in July 2010. 8 plots have changed hands since my last report though not all tenancies are yet confirmed. The council is very behind with administration. In Alexandra Park we welcome Jacquie Sawford, Anna Blue and Elena Heywood, Lisa Moore and Adam Wren, Natalie La Vespa, and my daughter Sara Liney. In Grove Lodge Meadow, Andy Staite and Gillian de la Motte, and Tim and Nicola Webb-Jenkins are new and in Alexandra Park Nursery, North London Beekeepers have transformed plot 7B. There are four plots vacant at the moment. 

Security and site maintenance: We have a new wooden fence and gate between Grove Lodge Meadow and Alexandra Park. New fencing and gates at the vehicle entrance are in the pipeline. As already mentioned, we owe thanks to Robbie Griffiths, Tommy Amooty and Peter Falzon for the extended paved path by the top gate and for the cleared area outside it. We are trying to keep the hedgehog access by the top gate open but someone keeps filling it in!

We continue to employ Tim Laskey to do the green maintenance and the committee approved £400 worth of work on boundary trees that were shading plots in Grove Lodge Meadow. 

Peter, Stavros, Geoff Palmer and Tommy keep an eye on plumbing and leaks. We are currently trying to solve the problem of water leaking from a house in Springfield Avenue and other water seeping up through the ground on plot 44 GLM. It doesn’t help that the tap on 42 GLM has been left running overnight three times recently. Hence my email about disconnecting hoses and turning off taps even if there’s no water pressure.

Plot 39BC Alexandra Park: On the corner where the allotment road bends up to the car park, 39BC finally became vacant and was cleared by a working party of committee members plus Jim Jenks, Stavros, Yusuf and Dick Tomlinson. We are sorry to see the silver birches go but they are not approved in the Tenancy Agreement and they further shaded a plot which is already overlooked by large trees. Despite our policy of halving 10 pole plots whenever possible, the peculiar problems of 39BC make it difficult to split so we have agreed to leave it as it is. I anticipated that the continual hedge maintenance required would make it hard to let so I was relieved when Angela Silva Jones asked if she could swop over from 39A next door. Most of us know how Angela cleared the metre thick bramble hedge from round Pete Oliver’s old plot and how her new allotment garden rose out of the mud, so she is well qualified to deal with 39BC. 39A is now vacant.

Trees: Only fruit trees are allowed. You may be asked to remove anything else. Ash trees, in particular, seed like weeds. Please find out what they look like and deal with them.

Rubbish collections: There are no council collections. You are responsible for any rubbish on your plot and should take it away. Failure to do so will result in a Non Compliance Notice at the next inspection.

Plot 2 A.P. : This plot has still not been cleared although already mentioned Peter Falzon and Peter Campbell spent several freezing days in the snow burning the piles of wood. The council has agreed to pay for the removal of the rest of the rubbish and I am meeting with them and Veolia on the plot at 11am on Thursday 19th July.

Council Administration and Allotments Forum: At the moment all Haringey allotments are administered by two tree officers who are supposed to spend no more than a fifth of their time on allotments. Clare Pappalardo, our allotments officer, was ill for several months and has since retired from allotment work so the other two are doing their best. A temporary administrative assistant has just been appointed so new allotment agreements may now be sent out and unpaid rents could possibly have been advertised now Unite has agreed to the equal opportunities issues involved.

If it weren’t for the support of committee members I don’t know what I’d do!

RHS Q & A 23rd June: A great success. Thanks to everyone involved.



TREASURER – STEVE SHAW

Accounts 1st April 2017-31st March 2018: The accounts show an improved surplus (£6,519) over the previous year (£2,692), largely due to receipt of £5,000 from the wind up of CHADAHS. This is reflected in increased Net Assets (£14,761) over the previous year (£8,242). The 2017 plant sale generated a surplus of over £2000 together with a cafe surplus of £900 due to the efforts of dedicated teams of volunteers. With the wind up of CHADAHS we have taken over the running of the Trading Shed which has greatly increased the number of transactions going through the accounts but is intended to balance itself out over the year (estimated circa £4,500). On the expenditure side we have seen an increased expenditure in green maintenance, particularly in keeping the top path and common areas clear and dealing with larger trees. We have also acquired our own Apple Press for the established annual events. The Current Account had a balance of £8,266 at year end and the Reserve Account £5,612.

Recent period: The Annual Plant Sale again raised a surplus of over £2000. The Trading shed has been increasingly popular and is generating significant expenditure and receipts. We have bought an extra Gazebo and a small P.A. which was first used for the RHS Question time event.

The current account balance is £11,810. Reserve Account balance is £5,612.

Outlook : The main issues anticipated are

  • LB Haringey Grant: following this year’s rent increases the Borough’s Annual Grant (held at £966 for some time) is likely to increase.

  • Green maintenance: need to ensure plot holders take responsibility for their boundaries, trees within plots and accumulation of waste within plots.

  • Extension and refurbishment of the Top Shed

  • Long term condition of the road. The council are only responsible for providing pedestrian access to the site. If the road is not repaired we face having to ban vehicle access.

The Accounts have been audited, and were approved at the meeting, ( proposed by Peter Campbell and seconded by Liz Sagar).



TENANTS HANDBOOK - PETER CAMPBELL

We need 3 amendments to the Tenants Handbook:

Page 2. Introduction Delete item 8 (about arranging bagged rubbish and metal) and renumber remaining items. (Proposed by John Wilkinson, seconded by Alison Liney)

Page 3, replace the section titled CHADAHS with the following text:

APAA Trading Shed Plot-holders at Ally Pally are encouraged to pay the annual Trading subscription of £2, due in January each year. This entitles them to buy a range of gardening supplies from the Trading Shed at prices generally much lower than any commercial source, including seeds and seasonally appropriate live matter such as seed potatoes, onion and shallot sets. (Proposed by John Wilkinson, seconded by Alison Liney)

Page 7. 11 Rubbish Management Checking plots for unreasonable accumulations of rubbish that is not biodegradable is to be part of the inspection cycle. (Proposed Julie Parker, seconded Jill Ellis).



ALEXANDRA PALACE AND PARK CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE – JOHN WILKINSON

As the representative of APAA and other interested groups on the committee, I have a non voting role but I hear of information and events which affect us, such as the Kaleidoscope Festival, and access to the site. The make up of this committee is due to be changed in the future and we may no longer be invited to attend.



TRADING SHED – PETER CAMPBELL

The aims of the Trading Shed is to provide cheap horticultural supplies on site and spread good horticultural practice e.g. using manure instead of compost to improve your soil. We have this year sold 5 x 55 bag pallets of manure for instance, and slightly less compost. We promote good hygiene on the site, i.e. dealing with tomato and potato blight when it occurs and covering leeks with enviromesh to prevent allium leaf miner, now a problem on the site. Tenants come in to the shop with their queries and we have information in the shed to help with their problems. There is a good reference book on the counter. Suggestions for new lines are welcome and items not in stock can be pre-ordered from a catalogue and paid for e.g. wheelbarrows and other special items.

There are 68 paid up members of the Trading Shed this year which is the same number as last year. Please check that you have paid your subs of £2.00 a year. We have a team of volunteers who staff the shop each week on a monthly rota:

1st Sundays Liz Woodford & Jess York

2nd Sundays Sally Chubb, Annie Evans and Pamela Jackson

3rd Sundays Shelly Fennel a& Peter Campbell

4th Sundays Jill Ellis, Pamela Harling & Chris Fox

5th Sundays Christine Heath & Polly Mortimer

If any tenant would like to join the rota, do contact me.



BEE PLOT REPORT – JULIE PARKER

The hives were checked every week over the winter months for any damage and in early January the bees were treated for varroa and given some additional feed.

It was a very long winter and across the UK British Beekeepers suffered an average 25% colony loss. Our Alexandra Palace Allotment Colonies all survived and after a very slow start to the season have built up and are now thriving.

NLBs Education Officer Julie Parker is the Alexandra Palace Apiary Co-ordinator and Project Manager. Under her guidance a small group of NLB beekeepers have been looking after the colonies at Ally Pally since April. Our more experienced Beekeepers have been visiting and teaching on a regular basis to build knowledge and skills. Michael Lynch has been a key member of the team at our Ally Pally Apiary and continues to use his skills to improve and maintain our facilities on site.

Robert Carpenter-Turner a Bee Inspector from the National Bee Unit visited at the end of June and gave all of the colonies a clean bill of health. He was very complementary about the apiary and the hygiene and disease control methods NLB has put in place.

We are expecting a honey crop this year which is good for us and the bees

As promise we will be running a short Beekeeping Taster Session for up to five APAA members on Saturday July 28th at 10am – If you would like to book a place please contact Julie Parker via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North London Beekeepers – What we promised we would do:

 

Clear and level the site – completed

Apiary layout and number of hives assessed - This year : four colonies -completed

Old equipment burnt - completed

Shed sterilised and rebuilt - completed

Risk Assessment – In place and reviewed

Health & Safety Policy – In place and reviewed

Insurance – In Place

Seasonal Bee Inspector (from National Bee Unit) visiting the site and offering his advice - Completed with a Clean Bill of Health

Housing honey bee swarms collected during the summer period in the local area - No - we are using a smaller site in Highgate Woods for swarms

Permanent hives – In Place

Short ‘Taster Sessions in Beekeeping’ for APAA members - Planned for July 28th 2018

Sessions on ‘Forage for Bees & Bee friendly Planting in Urban Gardens and Allotments’ ---- Planned for Spring 2019

 

Julie was asked how the Apiary controlled varroa mite and she explained that they use an integrated pest management system with a mix of varroacides and biotechnical methods, e.g. icing sugar. Julie hopes they will have some honey available this year.

 

ELECTION OF COMMITTEE

The Chair asked if anyone would be interested in joining the committee. Please would tenants think about it and contact a committee member if they decide they would like to offer to join the committee. The committee was re-elected en masse, except for Michael Harrison who has stood down this year. (Proposed Julie Parker, seconded Ann Whalley).

 

A.O.B

Orchard Project: This project, co-ordinated by Peter, runs from April 2018 to March 2019, although it was a little slow starting because of the wet and cold weather. There were 2 x 2hr workshops in June on pruning fruit trees of the Prunus family. The trainer from Norwich who is a nationally renowned expert in his field delivered a very interesting and hands on course, which was really enjoyed by the participants. The next course will be on 1st September on summer pruning of apples and pears. There will be a winter pruning workshop later in the year. The apple crop is very sparse this year.

Filming: Tracey Ullman filmed an episode of her comedy show featuring herself as Jeremy Corbyn on his allotment, on our site. We were very pleased that Ming the allotment cat had a walk on part in the show. We were paid for the use of the site and Bob has asked Alexandra Palace to put us on their list of filming venues available, so that may lead to us earning more money. Julie Parker asked that the Bee Plot was not included at all in the filming as Bee hives are very vulnerable to thieves and the fewer people who know their whereabouts the better.

Hedge work party: There will be a hedge trimming work party advertised for October which will be advertised on the Allotment News email.

Vote of thanks: Jacquie Sawford proposed a vote of thanks to the Committee.