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 Allotment Committee Minutes 20 September 2012


Minutes of the Allotments Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on

Thursday 20 September 2012 at 6.00 pm

PRESENT:       
North Ward:    Councillor Mrs M Fulford
South Ward    Councillor R W Vanstone (Chairman)
                     Councillor D Howell
                     Councillor S G Inch

Pollyfield:    Mrs D Godfrey-Smith
                  Mr D Kersey
Tricks:        Mr A Marlow

IN ATTENDANCE:    Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
                              Mrs C Scott (Assistant Town Clerk)


013 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Mrs S Andronik (Tricks Allotments – illness)
Councillor Mrs E A Brenton (North Ward – Personal)
Councillor D G Brenton (South Ward – Personal).

014 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

None.

015    PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION

None.

016 MINUTES

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2012 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

017 ORDER OF BUSINESS

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone, and seconded
RESOLVED: That part of agenda item 11 concerning Tricks allotments be taken ahead of agenda item 5.

(Vote: For 7, Against 0)

018 TRICKS SITE UPDATE

Alan Marlow, Tricks Allotment Association representative, informed the Committee of the preparation of part of plot 33 to take bee hives in the Autumn, highlighting the following points:
•    There would be 2 hives on the site, placed near trees at the back.
•    The plot will be surrounded by a 6ft high fence.
•    The plot will be ‘softened’ by growing runner beans on the outside in season.
•    No loss of revenue as the remaining part of the plot is still a full plot size.
•    There has been a general consultation of holders and no formal objections.
•    The beekeeper will supply a ‘stem’ product in case anyone is stung and this will be kept at all times in an accessible box near the plot.
•    The beekeeper has supplied certificates of competence and liability insurance.

The Councillors proposed to raise the item at the next full Town Council meeting and took a vote of support for the bee-keeping project, which was unanimous.

019 UPDATE ON ITEMS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING

a. Repair and provision of level access on approach to the Pollyfield site and the path within:

•    There is currently no Council - employed handyman to undertake the task.
•    Pollyfield Allotment Association hoped Strongvox, as part of their purchase of land adjacent to the allotments, would either assist with the cost or construct the entrance and path.
•    The Association was prepared to wait for a professional job.
1.   
It was agreed that a letter be sent by the Deputy Town Clerk to Strongvox concerning possible storm water capture from the development, and improvements to the allotment site including a new central path and widening and leveling the main entrance.

b.    Security issue at the Marland Allotment site:

•    The Allotment Association is meeting in October and will discuss this issue.
•    It was felt that the Heras fencing was too industrial.

It was agreed that the Deputy Town Clerk could liaise with the Association.

c.    Preparation of the Handy Cross Allotment site two:

The Deputy Town Clerk explained that the Bridge Trust had agreed to the proposals for the second part of Handy Cross Allotments and that the Association had decided each tenant should clear their own plot once marked out. There are issues with the awkward entrance to the site though, a nearby business owner has complained that tenants use his property to turn their vehicles and it was agreed that part of the preparation of the future site should include improving the general access. All tenants have been advised not to use the neighbouring entrance to turn their vehicles.  The situation continues to be monitored; this item will be revisited in the Spring.

FUNDING FOR PREPARATION OF LAND FOR HANDY CROSS SITE TWO:

The Deputy Town Clerk will contact the Bridge Trust to obtain their agreement in principle to the re-siting of the main gate when preparing the site.

Proposed by Councillor Vanstone

RESOLVED: That the Council will put aside £1000 as a contingency fund for the development of Handy Cross Site Two and the main entrance, to be utilised by 31 March 2014.

(Vote -  For: 7, Against: 0)


020 ANNUAL ALLOTMENT RENT COLLECTION

The Committee considered various options for changing the current date for collecting the rents from allotment tenants. It was felt that March was not a good time to collect the rents because of the end of the financial year and the other commitments on the administration staff at that time.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Council keep the date for rent collection for allotments as September.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

021 LEVEL OF RENT FROM 2013/14

Committee members felt the level of rents for Bideford Allotments were reasonable when compared to the national average, but should be reviewed for 2014/2015.

Proposed by Councillor Howell, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Council maintain the current level of rents for the 2013/2014 year at £25 for a full plot and £12.50 for a half plot.

(Vote – For: 7, Against: 0)

Mr Marlow left the meeting.


022 PRESENTATION OF TROPHIES AND COMMENDATION CERTIFICATES

The Deputy Town Clerk suggested that the trophies be presented during the Signing of the Lease ceremony, to be held at the Pannier Market on Saturday 8 December 2012. He advised Members about the event.

Proposed by Councillor Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Mayor presents the commendation certificates and winning trophies for Best Allotment plots at the Signing the Lease Ceremony, to be held on Saturday 8 December 2012.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

023 CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE BUDGET FOR 2013/14

After a discussion on the needs of the individual sites in the coming year including tree maintenance and contingency amounts, it was

Proposed by Councillor S G  Inch, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Committee recommends the new budget of £2500 for 2013/2014 (as explained on the spreadsheet) to the Town Council.

(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)

024 POLLYFIELD SITE UPDATE

Mrs Godfrey- Smith explained that the children from East-The-Water Primary School will be attending the allotment site to help dig up potatoes and that in the long term the Association are hoping that the children will be working on the communal plot with the tenants as a joint project. Allotment members will also be visiting the school to help on various projects.

025 ITEMS FOR NEXT AGENDA

Next meeting proposed for the Spring. Agenda items to be emailed or sent in to the Council.

The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the Committee for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 19.49pm.


Signature of Town Mayor:…………………………………   Date:……………………............


Signature of Chairman: ……………………………………   Date: ……………………….......


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