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Folly Lane Allotment Group
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Membership Subscriptions are due for 2019 so please renew your today.


FOLLY LANE ALLOTMENTS GROUP ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Held 4th Jan 2019 in St Michaels Parish Room at 7.45

 

Present Anne Macdonald, Richard Cloutman, Bob Grover, A Henderson, Ken Kenward, Rob Edlin, Nigel Gale, Malcolm Hull, Brian Songhurst, Malachy Pakenham, Helen Ives-Rose, Rebecca Hart, Darren Hart, Nick Lemon, Ann Rogers, Juliet Voisey.

Apologies from Barry Cropper, Richard Field, Denise Perchaud, Maurice Lyon, Guy Marshall, Sohan Bissoonanth, John Dixon.

 

Chair Report (Bob Grover)

2018 has been a relatively quiet year. We have had a couple of bonfires (the Autumn one brought the Fire Brigade to check we were in control...), some early Working Parties,  a good September BBQ (Thanks Brian and the Chef Team), a big order for bags of compost etc from Ayletts (Thanks Ann for organising and coordinating). 

The Council have put through an Allotment Rules Revision which includes a ‘smoother and faster NonCultivation/NoticeToQuit’ procedure. We hope this will improve the current very slow process. There will be another all-site meeting with the Council in Autumn 2019 to review the effect of the new Rules.

 

Treasurer/Membership Report (Richard Cloutman).

At the end of 2018 we had 63 members, an all time record, and just over £300 in the bank. Subs remain at £7.50 which includes third party insurance via Shield Insurance, and your NSALG membership. Main items of expenditure for 2018 were; a manure order at the start if the year, web-site fees, insurance and NSALGs fees plus minor expenditures on mower and strimmer repairs. FLAG received £105 in donations from various members, in addition to their individual subscriptions. 

 

Site Steward Report (Anne Macdonald).

The usual maintenance work has been done on signs for plots and particularly for the Green Waste Tips (Thanks Nigel).

We have four new plotholders in 2018, lower than usual turnover.

We have bought in one load of stable manure early in 2018, we plan to get two loads in early 2019. 

There have been no reports of Vandalism in 2018, we think the relations with Oysterfields people are much better since the new gate was put in.

Some Plotholders are not happy with the way adjacent plots are being allowed to become derelict. Anne has drafted a way for to complain about this, to our Council Allotment Officer Phil Bruce-Green, and to their Councillor. See below....

 

Tool Report (Bran Songhurst). Brian looks after the tools in the Steel shed and organises repairs as needed. FLAG owns the three petrol movers (one a bit narrower for paths) and two petrol Rotavators. 

 

Any FLAG member can use them. Brian asks PLEASE if anything goes wrong with a tool, do let me know and I can get something done about it; Don’t just leave it for someone else to find out ! If you need a key for the shed, contact Brian.

 

There are 4 strimmers in the shed – we are not completely sure whose they are!

IF YOU HAVE A STRIMMER IN THE SHED PLEASE MARK IT WITH YOUR NAME AND PLOT NUMBER.

 

Web site and Social Media.

We have a FLAG website which Richard occasionally maintains. Rebecca Hart offered to set up an entry-level Social Media presence and tell us all how we can use it. We hope this might increase the awareness of our site (and of Allotments in St Albans generally).

 

Election of Officers.

Bob and Richard and Anne are our Officers (with signing responsibility for cheques).

There were no offers for these posts and they were re-elected.

Additionally we have Nigel and Brian as Committee members who support Anne (primarily) around the site. More assistance is always very welcome, our Working Parties are the best way to get involved for the general benefit of a few hours time. The site always looks better after these!

 

That was the end of official business for the AGM.

 

Other Business.

 

Working Party suggestions:   Offers please to head one of these and pick a date for it. Then we will circulate information and make it happen.

·       Hedge trimming to improve access at the Town End of the site. We think we can borrow a petrol hedge-trimmer to make it easier work. We will try a mid-week time for this, to see who that suits.

·       Hedge laying. Malcolm is interested to have a go at this, the hedges between us and Oysterfields are ripe for us to try this. It would improve our site security in due course if we can get it going. We would need hand choppers and axes, ideally billhooks. Offers to Malcolm please.

·       Bonfire is due again, the pile is big enough now, it would be even bigger after doing the two previous WPs! 

·       Get the Rubbish tidied up at the lower end so it can be all cleared by council contractors. We have several full bags already, please put any rubbish in the appropriate bag or into a new one. ACTION: Brian will remind PBG of his offer to get them cleared. All – some extra builders’ bags please.

 

Sustainability St Albans. This initiative getting bigger every year. We agreed it a good idea to participate in at least a small way to spread the ides and benefits of Allotmenting more widely. Even though we have a waiting list, some St Albans sites are much easier to join. We would suggest an Open Day.

ACTION : BOB to try to coordinate dates with other sites and formally apply to the Sustainability organisers for a spot. Our Open Day would probably offer ‘Informal Guided visits around the site and friendly discussions about what is it is really like to do Allotmenting’.

 

Larks in the Parks 2019. Juliet Voisey has offered to run a stall for FLAG in Victoria Playing Fields again. 

 

SITE GATES – REMINDER – PLEASE SHUT THE GATES BEHIND YOU EVERY TIME WHEN YOU COME ON TO SITE (even if you don’t lock them)

 

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When you have an adjacent neglected plot which has been left for too long, what can you do?

 

Firstly TELL ANNE to make sure FLAG knows about the problem. 

Then we will try to contact the plot tenant and ask if there is anything that can be done to help them, or if they are ready to give up the plot. 

If that fails, Anne has produced a model letter to send to the appropriate Councillor (and Phil Bruce-Green). It will quote from Anne’s records of past NonCultivation and NoticeToQuit  Orders to show there is a long-standing problem with the plot and ask for Council action. Please talk to Anne about this to make sure we do it right.

 

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Kings Seeds catalogues are still available in the clubhouse, take one and send your order in now using the green form placed in each catalogue.

All Flag members are automatically members of NAS https://www.nsalg.org.uk/ so you can benefit from cheaper seeds via Kings.
We’ve taken delivery of several piles of leaves.

Please put any stones removed from your plot onto the main path/driveway, it gets very slippery in Winter!

Remember to throw all green waste to the back of the pile as rubbish is spilling back onto the pathway again.

Better still, compost your waste at one end of your plot.


Please email FLAG at flagmail@btinternet.com if you have any news items you would like to post on this site.