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AGM 2014 Minutes

ALLY PALLY ALLOTMENTS ASSOCIATION

Draft Minutes of Annual General Meeting Sunday 6th July 2014

 

PRESENT: Alison Liney, Sally Chubb, Bob Hare, Peter Campbell, John Wilkinson, Jill Pullan, Liz Woodford, Evelyn Regan, Fred Clark, Jenny Bourne Taylor, Sandy Walker, Fred Fitzke, Susanna McKnight, Jill Ellis, Pamela Harling, Angela Silva-Jones, Annie Elliott-Evans, Pam Jackson, Sara Leviten, Arthur Leigh.

APOLOGIES: Teresa Ball and Pete Oliver

MINUTES OF AGM 2013: Minutes agreed. Proposed by Fred Fitzke, seconded by Alison Liney

MATTERS ARISING: None

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Chair - Bob Hare

The Committee has held 3 meetings since our 2013 AGM. These and this AGM are the financial and legal basis of managing these allotments on behalf of plot holders and the Council.

AGMs are always the time at which the officers and committee report to members what they've done over the year. However, this year, we would all like our reports to be very brief. They will all be put onto our website by tomorrow, indeed, a couple already have been or have been emailed to everyone. What I'd like to give time for is for you to give the committee your comments and views, questions or issues. I hope some new people will join the committee to help with everyday tasks and/or to take good ideas forward, That discussion is scheduled after the committee reports and before the election of the new committee.

Thanks - These thanks are recorded on behalf of everyone who has a plot here.

Colin again gets the first mention, for doing so many of the necessary tasks – from plumbing to repairing our community sheds and to doing a lot of smaller things too such as fitting out our simple kitchen area in our 'Top Shed'.

Peter Campbell runs the Trading Shed, organised our apple pressing days last year. Thanks also to the team on the Trading Shed rota with Peter - Ron, Liz, Sally and Pamela.

Peter and Sally, ran a 'Soil and compost' workshop earlier this year.

Peter also helps Alison with plot inspections. Our 'coffee' club started shortly after last year's AGM, and has become a monthly must-attend event. For that, we are very grateful to Annie Evans, and her team who include Sally, Pamela, Evelyn and others. Everything is done with a style and panache which have made it a fabulous success.

Our plant sale this year achieved what seemed impossible, to do better than last year! This was almost entirely down to the huge effort of planning and rearing – not just sowing but potting on and nurturing - thousands of plants by Colin and Angela. Others also contributed plants, and on the day, very many people helped run the sale. It simply would not have happened without all those helpers. The monies raised give us the opportunity of doing other things to benefit plot-holders. The biggest of the outcomes from the plant sale was our investment in a high quality polytunnel. The building of this on part of Colin's plot was itself a large task, with many people helping both during and at the last stage of weighing down and making the poly cover taut.

Now, following the plant sale, Colin and Angela are gearing up to produce plants for sale at the Chadahs Show in September. At the same time, Angela has been producing plants for sale at good value to plot-holders. Allotment vegetable growing is greatly assisted by having a good range of young plants at reasonable prices ready to put into your ground. It has been Angela's initiative to sell plants outside the Trading Shed on Sundays.

Alison, as site secretary, carries by far the greatest part of the everyday tasks of – well – everything to do with the site - and does it very efficiently.

Alison also keeps an eye on our composting loo and John keeps an eye on the compost it produces.

Tommy is always willing to help with jobs.

Neal fitted beautiful new handles to the shovels we use for wood chip.

I've been repairing old wheelbarrows. A blue wheelbarrow with APAA painted on it has been missing for sometime. If anyone knows of it's whereabouts please return it. When they go missing, we wonder if it is worth maintaining them.

On the 'Bee Plot' (Haringey Teaching Apiary), Fred Clark and Sara Leviten continue to run the introduction to bee-keeping course, and to manage their hives. They have reported separately.

So, you can see that a lot of people are involved in things both large and small for our site– and I will have missed names, for which I apologise.

Last but not least, I want to thank on your behalf all members of the past year’s Committee – Alison (Site Secretary), Sally (Minutes), Peter (Treasurer), Arthur, Jill, Evelyn, Jessica.

Evelyn has also been our representative on the Alexandra Palace and Park Consultative Committee – AP is our landlord, and the APPCC is the main means by which it hears from its users.

Compost - We have now had 3 deliveries of compost to our car park. This has required the help of the Alexandra Park contractor and his heavy equipment – digger, tractor, trailer, and at least two park staff. We have willingly made 3 substantial donations to the Gardeners' Benevolent Fund on behalf of the contractor, John O'Connor Ltd, and again, I'd like to record our thanks to them in this report. I'd also like to thank Angela for over-seeing the last delivery when I was away, and collecting money regularly from the box. We hope to be able to resume deliveries from autumn to early spring.

Events- Weekly CHADAHS Trading Shed, Peter's Art Group (Fridays), Polytunnel plants sale (Sundays), and Monthly (1st Sunday)  Cafe with Teas, coffees & home-made cakes. 

Saturday 13 September CHADAHS Annual Show at Moravian Church Hall

Sunday 13 July - next weekend - CHADAHS Trip

Other Shows - will try to put into our google calendar on our website.

Open gardens locally - there's quite a lot, but if someone is interested in helping, they could be put into our google calendar.

Presentations - In recognition of huge efforts towards the plant sale, certificates designed and produced by Peter, and specially-designed mugs were presented to Angela and Annie. Colin will receive his certificate and mug later.

Elections - 3 committee members are standing down: Jess, Pamela, Evelyn. Pamela and Evelyn have both been particularly actively involved with the coffee club outside the committee, and Evelyn has been our representative on the APPCC, so we will need a new APPCC representative.

Website / News email list / Google calendar - view on website, or incorporate into your google calendar.

Twitter Pamela has set this up. It would be good if we had a committee member who has the aptitude for these things and could take on managing some or all of them.

Site Secretary - Alison Liney

Waiting List - Now stands at 194. Those 5 people on the Long List who have come to the top and will contact me when they are ready to take a plot, are now at the top of the ordinary waiting list. They should contact me to renew their interest annually. Excluding those 5, the list has moved 25 places since my last report. I am now on March 2006. 10 people from the waiting list and 1 from the long list have taken plots, so there has been a wastage of 15, of whom some no longer want a plot, and some have moved away. There is one vacant plot at the moment so the contacting process begins again. We have 150 plots altogether, ranging from 250sqm to 75sqm in size.

We welcome these new tenants: Lizzy Crewe, Anthony and Tangjie Ward, Christine Heath, Jill Ellis, Roland Ward, in Alexandra Park, Joanna Kelly, Alberta Gutteridge and Shona Golightly in the Nursery and Jeremy Traynor in Grove Lodge Meadow. There are also 3 probationers who will shortly come to the end of their trial period.

Security - There has been a certain amount of pilfering but no major break-in. In September, metal frames were taken from the bee plot, and a row of potatoes from plot 5 The Nursery. Bags of compost, unplanted roses, attractive paving stones, unpicked fruit, ripening onions can all be removed, not always by outsiders. Don't leave anything you value lying around and net crops if you can. The Council got a quote of £1,677.00 for a metal insert to strengthen the main gate. Since it would still be possible to get in with a pair of bolt cutters it doesn't seem worth it. However, we have done our best to make it difficult to climb into the site and I'm concerned that a path has been cleared through the brambles to our fence on the left as you go down to the bottom gate.

Maintenance - We continue to employ Pete Oliver to keep back the foliage along the top path. Peter Falzon cleared it back even further and this is a width I would like to maintain. Graham Thompson supplied some paving stones for the boggy area by the top gate and Tommy Amooty laid them. Thanks to all three of them. We are fortunate to have Colin Roberts to deal with plumbing and are grateful for his gift of a new tap and tank beside the Top Shed. 

Trees - The oak in the Nursery has been pruned and potentially dangerous dead wood has been removed from the one in the car park. A dead elm was taken away from Grove Lodge Meadow and the oak on 22 GLM will be pruned very soon.

10% Cards -I am is getting more of these printed shortly.

Bonfires - All tenants have been sent a letter about the partial bonfire ban on all allotment sites in the Borough. The ban started this year from July 1st until the end of September. Next year it will start on April 1st.

Rubbish Collections - The two annual rubbish collections went off successfully, the last one involving four men and three lorry loads. Much heavy metal was removed – where are the metal thieves when you need them? However, it continues to amaze the committee that so many allotment holders fail to understand the meaning of 'no plant matter'. If you don't what a plant is by now …...

Treasurer - Peter Campbell

Peter presented the accounts for the year ending March 2014. Peter explained that the Fixed Assets included items such as the Gazebo, the Cooker and the Polytunnel. There was an assumed 20% depreciation each year. This year the Plant Sale profits were approximately £1400 and the Council Grant received was £966. These amounts were received after the close of the financial year 2013-2014 and not included in the accounts. Many thanks indeed to Harry Pullan for helping Peter with balancing the books.

 

Biodiversity - Sally Chubb

Wildlife Spottings - There have been some wonderful wildlife spotted on the site this year. Looking back to the year 2012 to 2013, we had 4 dead hedgehogs reported, with 2 found drowned in a tank. This year there were 2 reported dead, which is still 2 dead hedgehogs too many. But several also seen very much alive on various plots. The hedgehog population in the UK has declined by 30% in the UK, they said on Spring watch, so we need to look after our hedgehogs. Please cover your water tanks if accessible to wildlife. Fox cubs were seen again on the site - 5 together. They kindly left Alison and I Kentucky fried chicken boxes on our plot - empty - and pulled out my leeks. The friendly pair of Mallard ducks appeared again for several weeks on the site and ate all the frog spawn in Annie's pond. They have been immortalised in one of this year's allotment greeting cards. Lots of birds have been spotted and there were not just one but two broods of baby robins reared in Zoe's shed which is amazing. There are some wonderful photos of them on the CHADAHS website (www.chadahs.org.uk). Red Admiral, Peacock and comma butterflies were spotted. Stag beetle larvae were reported found on the site - and I really hope they were stag beetles - but rose chafer larvae look very similar but are much smaller. I've put a couple of pictures up on the board to compare. Stag beetle larva can be 11cm long. We have had lots of frogs, which is great as on Springwatch they said there is an 80% decline in frog numbers in the UK because of a virus. So the more ponds the better and the number of ponds on the site has increased from 27 in 2011 to 34 in 2014. There are pictures and information in the Top Shed of the sort of wildlife we might see on the site. Do keep putting your spottings on the board, digging new ponds and planting flowers for the bees!! If any children would like to draw or paint a picture for the Top Shed, please do! 

Jenny Bourne Taylor recommended putting out saucers of water for hedgehogs.

 

Haringey Teaching Apiary - Sarah Leviten

This year we ran a class with three students focusing on keeping a hive and responsible bee keeping.

The apiary started with six hives. There are now four due to the disease, European Foul Brood which resulted in our destroying two hives. Three of the remaining are doing well. However the standstill order remains in site and no further hives are to be set up on the allotment site. The borough bee officer voiced a concern in the bee keeping world that people are taking a hive on without enough knowledge and experience. We would encourage all would be beekeepers to train first and volunteer after to avoid enthusiastically taking something on that needs, apart from a healthy budget, time, experience and expertise..

The relatively mild, but wet winter as usual plays some havoc with the bee cycle and copious amounts of sugar solution was fed to the bees alongside more intense products. We are working towards building a slightly larger, more protective fence.

Our beginners class year runs from January to September and consists of three classroom lessons and sixteen practical sessions on a Sunday morning. If you are interested for 2015, please write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The only thing to add is that we harvested 40lbs of honey last year and thanks to Fred.

DISCUSSION

Mentoring for new tenants: The Committee will consider this very good idea and how to implement it.

Courses or workshops in the Top Shed: Bob might be able to offer another grafting course if tenants are interested. A workshop on how to display exhibits at the Show was suggested and Gary Sycamore and Colin Roberts might be able to offer this.

Post Show BBQ: Bob suggested it was APAA's turn to host this event after the Show. We need to find some volunteers to organise it.

A sign for the Top Shed: Sally will send round an email inviting tenants to devise a sign for the Top Shed. There may be some children out there with some good ideas.

Top Shed: Annie asked, on Colin's behalf, whether we should re-roof the Top Shed as it urgently needs making waterproof. We will get some quotes for the roof and also repairs to the ceiling inside.

Apple Pressing: There will be another series of apple pressing days organised by Peter and Susie, although the apple harvest this year does not look to be quite as marvellous as last year's.

Bike rack: Pamela Harling requested a bike rack in the carpark. We will research costs.

Polytunnel help: Angela needs help in the Polytunnel. Sally and Sara Leviten offered to help when needed. If Angela sent out an email for help on a particular day this may produce some volunteers for sowing seeds and potting up etc.

ELECTIONS

Three members of the Committee have resigned this year. Jenny Bourne Taylor volunteered for the Committee and Angela Silva-Jones volunteered as a co-opted member. Proposed by Sandy Walker and Seconded by Fred Fitzke.

A.O.B.

Thanks to Bob Hare
Many thanks to Bob Hare for chairing APPA throughout the year and for Chairing the meeting.

 


 


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