Camberwell and District Allotment Society
Draft Minutes of 2015 Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Section was held at 10.30 am on Sunday November 1, 2015 in the Scout HQ, Grove Lane, SE21.
Philip Milner (Chairman) welcomed 40 plotholders to the meeting and declared it quorate.
Apologies for absence
Received from Steve Caitlin, Lucy Lloyd-Davies, Maggie Jarman, Armorel Weston
- Confirmation of minutes of 2014 AGM (these had been circulated with the notice of the meeting)
Chris Hyde pointed out that a third person (Phil Heeps) had been appointed to the Appeals Committee.
The minutes were otherwise confirmed as providing a correct record.
There were none that were not to be discussed as agenda items.
- Chairman’s report
PM had tabled a written report, and drew attention to the following issues.
- Planings: one delivery had been dumped in the wrong place, despite adequate instructions having been provided. A lengthy correspondence, to which Adrian Hill (Chairman, CDAS) had contributed, eventually resulted in a free load being delivered (in the right place). Members were encouraged to use this to fill potholes.
- Drainage: in order to shift the misdelivered planings, a JCB had been hired, and the opportunity taken to dig out the ditch along the southern edge of the site with a view to improving drainage.
- Project Well: this had raised £220 by the end of July
- Theft of bees: Several colonies had been stolen. The police had been informed but appeared reluctant to take action. Photographs had been taken of the alleged perpetrator but the beekeeper had refused to release them.
- Items for discussion
- Communal polytunnel: Monika Cenarska was not present to introduce this item. Although it was considered that this could be an asset, various problems were highlighted, e.g. responsibility, security etc. After discussion, it was decided to defer the matter until next year for further discussion.
- Advice for new plotholders: Glyn Secker asked if a group of people could be identified who could advise new plotholders on aspects of cultivation, etc. Linda Craig offered to do this. It was pointed out that there were usually people willing to help in the shop area on Sunday mornings.
- Use of email: Eugene O’Donnell reported that he had identified a new provider for the service, which would be better suited to the sending of mass emails. He was also hoping to revamp the web site and if possible allow members to update their contact details through a private area.
- Volunteering: John Hodges spoke to his paper on this topic, aimed at encouraging plotholders to be aware of the need to keep paths clear for the mowing team, return barrows to the storage areas, and use the skip correctly.
- Inspections: Jane Taylor spoke to her paper, describing the aims and methods of the inspection team. She emphasised the important aspects: trees not to be more than 8 feet (2.4 m) high; edges to be kept cut; drainage channels clear, and plots to be generally maintained to a good standard of cultivation, and weed free.
- Apple press: Bill Wood suggested that we might purchase an apple press to make juice. He had identified a nearly new one costing £100. This was approved. Sid Purcell offered to be responsible for the press.
- Security: it was reported that there was a recurring problem with theft of produce (though some of this may be a result of predation) and equipment. Members were urged to lock the gate when leaving the site after dusk or 5.00 pm, whichever was earlier, even if there were still people working on the site.
- Skips: a new provider of skips had been found, and the cost for two skips this year had been £854 cf. £1292 in the previous year. Because of the expense, it was agreed that only two skips would be hired per year. Members were urged to place only acceptable items in the skips. Patrick McCabe and Ed Doherty had volunteered to keep the skips tidy and consolidate the contents.
- Surplus/wasted produce: Bob Wood thanked those who had contributed items to the food bank. John Hodges pointed out that there appeared to be a lot of produce that was not being harvested and could be given to the food bank. Bob confirmed that items with short shelf lives (i.e. salads) are not useful; root vegetables are particularly welcome. Items are usually collected on Sunday evenings.
The Chairman thanked all those who had introduced items and contributed to the discussion, and the many volunteers without whom the site could not be operated so successfully for the benefit of all members
- Treasurer’s report and annual accounts
Kathy Heeps (Treasurer) presented these. In the year to 30 September, total income had been £9554 with expenditure £9154, thus adding £400 to the balance sheet, which stood at £3497. The shop income had been £6176 (2014: £5941) and cost of material for sale £5667 (£4847): the current balance was £2091 (£1555). Kathy reported that on the basis of the budget for 2015-2016, there would be no need to increase rents, which, she pointed out, were lower than at the Grange Lane site. She reported that she had opened new accounts for the section and shop, together with a deposit account, with Lloyds Bank, which would greatly simplify overall financial management and in particular the transfer of funds between accounts.
- Site Manager’s report
Nelly Tee reported that following the inspection, some plots had become available and the waiting list reduced somewhat. It now stood at 165, representing a wait of approximately
5 ½ years. She emphasised the need to keep edges trimmed, both from the point of view of safety (long grass could hide drainage ditches) and to provide a free passage for the mowers. She asked that bay trees and Christmas trees be planted in containers to limit their growth.
- Shop report
Philip Milner reported that the shop continued to trade well, as demonstrated by the financial report. Potatoes had been ordered and the invoices paid. He thanked the volunteers who staffed the shop.
- Election of Committee
There were no proposals for new members. The present committee was re-elected en bloc, nem con.
- Election of officers
The officers had declared themselves willing to be re-elected and the committee had approved this at its meeting immediately before the AGM. The Chairman indicated that it was his intention to stand down next year.
- Any other competent business
- It was reported that the grey cat that had appeared to take up residence on the site was microchipped and had a home in Peckaman’s wood, which it visited at least once a day. It was reported that the cat was a good mouser.
- Date of next meeting
2016, November 6
The Chairman then closed the meeting, thanking those who had attended, and reminded members of the barbecue to be held afterwards, and bonfire and fireworks in the evening