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Allotment Sub Committee Meeting 28.04.2021
April 28, 2021 @ 19:00 - 21:00
Agenda & meeting papers can be accessed in the PDF pack above.
Members of the public can view the meeting on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/-OqMspNpEjs
MINUTES of a REMOTE Meeting of the Allotments Sub-Committee held on Wednesday 28 April 2021 at 7.00pm
Simon Nicholson – Spital Hill (Chairman)
Councillor Dennis Dannatt
Councillor David Dobbie
Rachel Allbones Deputy Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer
Sean Alcock Operations Manager
Jessica Flowers Admin Support Officer
Also Present: Councillor Paul Key
Message of thanks, from Simon Nicholson.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Councillor Harry Clarke
Carol Richardson – Showfields
Graham Thomas – North Warren
Richard Parkin – Love Lane
Gary Spencer – Secretary of Foxby Hill Allotment Association
2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Simon Nicolson declared a pecuniary interest as a Spital Hill allotment holder, but it was agreed that he would stay in the meeting to advise of any issues on his site. The Deputy Clerk granted a dispensation for this purpose.
3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING (Paper A)
Minutes of the meeting of Allotments Sub-Committee Wednesday 27 January 2021.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Allotments Sub-Committee held on Wednesday 27 January 2021 were approved as a correct record.
4. ALLOTMENT SITE REPORTS (Paper B)
i. FOXBY HILL
No report submitted.
ii. LOVE LANE
No report submitted.
iii. NORTH WARREN
The secretary thanked the Council for the fence, and requested for it to be looked into to having the water supply back on site. Also advised that Mr Smith had not received his letter of thanks from the Council.
Cllr Key advised he spoken with a plot holder and there was an issue with the keys for the gate locks on site.
Following report was submitted: –
Requested a letter be sent to remind plot holders about locking the gate as they have had issues with it being left open, and to not leave rubbish around the skip once it is full.
Requested that the ledger book is returned to her once the Council has logged all the details.
Requested that all correspondence from the office to allotment holders is also sent to secretaries as this year some information has been missed.
v. SPITAL HILL
Thanked the Grounds team for clearing some plots over the winter months.
Feedback from plot holders following receipt of letters and survey’s. Confusion and upset regarding optional BACS payments and site inspections, confusion regarding surveys and felt it was an invasion of privacy.
Raised issues regarding a report for Community Services committee regarding plot numbers and sizes.
5. ALLOTMENT BUDGETS (Paper C)
Members NOTED the budget update as provided.
6. TOWN COUNCIL STRUCTURE AND ARRANGEMENTS (Paper D)
The Sub-committee NOTED the resolution of Full Council on 2nd March.
RESOLVED to approve the proposal set out in section three of the report and for the matter to be considered again at the April 2021 meeting of Full Council.
Members considered the proposed draft of the new Structure and Functions document, with particular reference to allotment management and the role and function of Site Secretaries.
The Chairman raised concerns that the current ‘The Guide to Terms and Conditions used in our Allotment Tenancy Agreement’ refers to an Allotment Sub-Committee, and believes the Council are in breach of the agreement if the Sub-committee is dissolved.
7. NEW ALLOTMENT TENANCY AGREEMENT
The Sub-committee NOTED the resolution of Community Services Committee on 9 February 2021.
RESOLVED to approve of the new Agreement as set out at option 1 of the report, as follows:
- The new Agreement would be issued to all new plot holders from the date it is adopted;
- Foxby Hill Allotment Garden plot holders would be moved to the new Agreement from 1 April 2021 after it ceases to be self-managed, and;
- Use of the new Agreement for all existing plot holders would start on Wednesday 17 March 2022 (one week before the allotment rent collection date).
- Notice would be given to existing plot holders by letter and email where possible. Notices would also be placed at each site, on social media and on the Council’s website.
The Sub-committee considered initial feedback from new and existing plot holders.
- Allegedly proper notice has not been given, plot holders haven’t been notified correctly that it is a change in the allotment tenancy agreement, as the letter states new terms and conditions
- Inspections, wording has been changed from the National Allotment Society template tenancy agreement. Must be mutually agreed between both parties.
- Covenant – 8.1, only the Council and land owner have sight of the lease document on the land
- Fire arms on allotments – 11.4, this section is not included in the National Allotment Society template, the Council do not have a policy for Fire arms on allotments nor has a risk assessment been carried out
- Policy – The Council does not have policy on inspections, enforcement or on taking any disciplinary action against site secretaries
8. ALLOTMENT RENT REVIEW 2022/2023
Sub-Committee NOTED the resolution made at Management and Finance Committee on Tuesday 16 February 2021:
“RESOLVED that a 2% rent increase be set for 2022/2023”
However, due to an administration error, plot holders were not given the 12month notice, therefore the 2022/2023 rent will remain the same as 2021/2022.
9. PIGEON POLICY (Paper E)
Sub-Committee NOTED the resolution made at Full Council on Tuesday 2 March 2021:
“RESOLVED to adopt the Pigeon Policy with the inclusion of Cllr Dannatt’s amendments.”
10. REQUESTS FOR WRITTEN PERMISION
Both requests were brought before Allotments Sub-Committee on 27 January 2021
Committee NOTED the resolutions made at Community Services Committee on Tuesday 9 February 2021:
Love Lane Site
“RESOLVED to give retrospective written permission for the 1m high fence and for the area to be recognised as a plot, subject to the condition that an appropriate access arrangement being agreed with the Operations Manager.”
This request was initially for the Love Lane Site at the last meeting the Sub-Committee “RESOLVED to defer any decision to a future meeting once the Pigeon Policy is in place.” However, the plot holder chose to move to the North Warren Site.
“RESOLVED to provide written permission to keep pigeons and install a pigeon loft at the North Warren Allotment Garden site on the proviso the dimensions comply with the draft Pigeon lofts and Keeping Pigeons Policy, furthermore, clearance works be approved providing they be kept within the existing allotment budget.”
11. ALLOTMENT RENT COLLECTION
Sub-Committee NOTED the resolution made at a meeting of the Management and Finance Committee on Tuesday 16 February 2021:
“RESOLVED to defer the collection of rents until 25 May 2021, Management and Finance Committee to review at May 2021 meeting.”
Simon Nicolson made a statement and advised that once a meeting of the Spital Hill Allotment Association could be called and the future of the water supply ascertain he would be resigning his post as plot secretary for Spital Hill allotments
The meeting concluded at 7.59pm.