Camberwell and District Allotment Society
The Annual General Meeting of the Section was held at 10.00 am on 6 November 2016 in the Scout HQ, Grove Lane, SE21.
Philip Milner (chairman) welcomed (29) plotholders to the meeting and declared it quorate.
1. Apologies for absence
Bruce and Carol Cowen, Eleanor Mitchiner , William Marshall, Anne Revell, James and Hilary Burtt, Clare Unwin, Mark Dudley, Christopher and Clare Thomson, Sue Prochnik.
2. Confirmation of minutes of 2015 AGM
Confirmed as a correct record.
3. Matters arising
Potholes: To date works on potholes sufficient.
Second JCB hired to help create a ‘swale’ to deal with drainage problems.
Missing bees: none this year
Commmunal poly tunnel: no further action required, no interest shown.
Mentoring: Lynda: volunteers will be brought up to speed as to whether people want mentoring. No one has yet asked for mentoring help. Nina will post on the Gunsite facebook page.
Plotholder list: Eugene is in the process of updating the list with use of website. Emails being blocked by ISPs has been solved.
Inspections: Jane: in future if plots are not kept in a good state there will be more robust action taken. A letter will be sent if plots are not of the required standard and if drainage channels are not dug. Currently, inspections are held in May and August – phone calls will be abandoned as route of contacting people.
Apples falling: please speak to Philip in regard to future policy.
Food bank fine, Bob Reaves not present to report
4. Chairman’s report
Drainage problems. There is a need for all plots to have ditches surrounding the entire plot. Tenancies will be terminated if ditches are not appropriately dug. pipes may be needed for bottom plots to help the flow out to the golf courses, support may be needed to be provided for this to happen.
5. Items for discussion:
a. Managing the waiting list: Liz Brunton. There were 160 people on the waiting list, a stable number for several years. This makes the waiting time for a plot 6 years. Other waiting lists for allotments seem to be closing. The inspections will help this issue to an extent. This item engendered considerable discussion, with various possible solutions being put forward e.g. offering a reward for downsizing and establishing community plots but no consensus was reached. It was pointed out that it can be disheartening for someone voluntary to give up a plot only to see it not adequately cultivated by the next tenant.
b. Protection from golf balls: Glyn Secker. Glyn was not present, but had suggested that a net be erected to protect those with plots near the golf course. Those present generally thought that this would not practicable.
c. Windfall apples: Philip Milner. There was discussion as to whether people should be allowed to pick up apples from the paths as they were otherwise wasted. This was supported.
d. Gate Security: Eugene O’Donnell. The current gate is inadequate as pedestrians can walk round or climb over it. Suggestion of installing a more appropriate gate, including a key pad to open and close the gate, which swings shut itself. Further research needs to be done to see if Dulwich Estate will allow it and perhaps help with the cost; and to establish a cost for purchase and installation of the gate and maintenance costs. Plotholders were asked to ensure that they always take their gate key with and lock the gate when it gets dark or they are the last to leave the site. There is a possibility that Southwark may install a CCTV camera.
e. Pesticides: Robert Holden. It was agreed that organic pesticides should be trialled in the shop. Robert will provide a list of suitable pesticides. Plotholders were urged to take steps to attract predators (e.g. hedgehogs, toads) to help deal with slugs instead of using pesticides
Concerns were expressed about the use of glyphosate. [Note by the Secretary: the EU has determined that glyphosate can continue to be sold and used as there is no clear evidence that it is harmful to humans. It has been used successfully to control both mare’s tail and Japanese knotweed on the site.]
6. Treasurer’s report and annual accounts
These are included with these papers as a separate document.
7. Site Manager’s Report
Nelly Tee thanked all those who provided support, including mowers, fence repairers, skip monitors and others. On behalf of the meeting, the Chairman thanked Nelly for her devoted work as Site Manager.
8. Shop report
PM reported that a staging has been constructed to reduce the rotting of stock. The shop was trading well and making an 11% gross profit. Takings this year were £6462 (approx. £126 per week)
9. Election of committee: the present committee members have offered to continue to serve for another year. No new nominations had been received by the previously published deadline.
The meeting re-elected the present members.
10. Election of officers: the present officers have offered to continue to serve for a further year. No new nominations were received by the previously published deadline.
The Chairman announced that he, Nelly and William would be retiring next year. Nominations for replacements would therefore be required.
11. Any other competent business.
Toilets: it was suggested that a toilet be installed on the site. The cost of a Portaloo (£40 a week) was considered to be too much. Even a compost toilet would require someone to take on responsibility for cleaning and maintaining it. PM pointed out that members are allowed to use the scouts’ facilities when they are open (they are rarely closed).
12. Date of next meeting: November 5, 2017