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Ely Great Farm Allotment Association Annual General Meeting - Held at the Raffa Club - 3pm

Present Katie Luxton – Chair – plot 79 Matt Russell - Site Sec – plot 2 & 3 Adrian Williams - Mtgs Secretary plot 108a and 109a Spiro Psaila - General Committee Member – plot 67 John Littlewood – Treasurer – plot 6 Adam Wyner – Events – plot 113a & b Anna Wyner– Events – plot 113a & b Fiona Lynch – Comms – plot 118b Paul Mullen – Equipment – plot 97 a & b Janet Coakley – plot 80 Brian Thomas – plot 8 & 9 Deborah Simpson – plot 25 David Knight – plot 25 Suzanne McEwan – plot 122a & b Jo Hitchings – plot 117 a & b Jess Alexander – plot 29 Martin Alexander – plot 29 1 . Introduction - Katie Luxton: (Chair)

All attendees were welcomed to the AGM. Official AGM business will be done first, and then the meeting would consider wider issues, including the setting of ‘subs’ and the election or re-election of Committee members. Thanks was extended to all of those people who were involved in getting the Allotment Association set-up, and especially to Matt Russell (Site Sec) who has done a huge amount of work which has made a huge amount of difference. Thanks was also extended to ex-Committee members Brian Hughes, Mark Thomas and Jo Hitchings who all left the Committee during the year but played important roles in setting up or running the Association. The Chair drew people’s attention to the Allotment Association Constitution which sets out how the association is run and its purpose. The primary purpose is to manage the Allotments for the benefit of all and to be the interface with the landlord Cardiff Council. The membership of the Association is voluntary for all named plot holders, but encouraged as there are a number of benefits (see below)

2. Site overview – Matt Russel (Site Secretary):

- Of our 170 plots, only 4 are currently vacant. - There are currently 120 people on the waiting list, and all these have all been reviewed by Matt. - Approximately 45 people on the list have not responded to attempted contact - We are now in a much better position than previously although there will always be some degree of tenant turnover on site. - The site itself is now looking really good. - Katie will thank the Council Parks Team because they have put a lot of time and money into clearing the site and removing rubbish; a mixed waste specialist had to be brought in. - We don’t want to get back into that position. - Now that we have a fence around the entire perimeter, the site is more secure. - Matt, John and Katie organised a key exchange last year so only active plotholders now have a key. It is important that the site is locked at all times as we have had significant issues with dumping on the site when the gate is left open, even for a few minutes. - We are awaiting the delivery of 10 tonnes of stone chippings, to be used to repair the roads. - The roof of the ‘shop’ building near the site entrance needs to be replaced before we can use that building again and it is hoped that this work will take place in the Autumn 2022.

3. Financial report – John Littlewood (Treasurer):

- Our opening balance last year when the new Committee took over was £1,790.71. -Our current closing balance is £3,934.18 – a healthy account. - Matt Russell and John Littlewood have some petty cash in-hand to give to tenants if they are evicted and hand their keys back. John has £326.40 cash in-hand and Matt has £220.00 cash in-hand. Katie Luxton has £30 in hand for events/purchase of equipment from key returns. - We spent £93.60 on setting up the website. - We spent £21.93 on stationary. - We paid £24 towards secure compound around the apiary (this was 50% of the cost – other 50% paid by Jo Hitchings) - We have got receipts for everything.

4. The benefits of joining the allotment Association - Katie Luxton: (Chair) -The Council are our landlords but they do not have any staff to actively manage the site. It is expected that Allotment tenants form an Association to take on this role. The Council are in charge of major repairs/structural matters, but we are in charge of minor repairs and general upkeep - The Committee manages and supervises the site for the benefit of all tenants. - The Committee will also manage communication with Cardiff Council over investment in the site, new plot-holders and any plot-holder tenancy issues. - We are responsible for the organisation of effective communication e.g. via our website, WhatsApp, Facebook, and using the notice board. - We can promote and encourage allotment gardening, sharing skills and information on how to manage your allotment effectively. - Organise activities to share skills and social activities. We could also ‘buy in’ training if there is demand for certain skills. - We are able to promote the availability of allotments for community access e.g. to schools etc. - There is a small amount of shared equipment on site which can be loaned to plotholders for a small fee; we could use some of our money to purchase more. - As an Allotment association, this grants us purchasing power – to subsidise and enable group purchases e.g. if we want to collectively buy things together. - Over time we would also like to fundraise for improved site facilities. We are looking into compostable toilets, which require planning permission. We could communicate with other allotment associations to learn from them.

These are some of the benefits that membership of the Allotment Association is buying. If your name is on a plot, each named person is entitled to join the Association. Following discussion last year, it was suggested that £20.00 could be payable by each plot holder.

Matt Russel: If they don’t want to join, that’s okay its voluntary. The idea of charging for membership is to put more money into our account. However, if you are not a member then you cannot vote in the AGM

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROPOSAL: Katie Luxton – I propose that we ask every named plot holder who would like to join the Association to pay £20.00.

15 in favour

2 abstentions

None against

MOTION CARRIED. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. The Committee - Katie Luxton: (Chair)

The following Committee members volunteer to stand again/are supported by proposing members:

Katie Luxton – Chair – plot 79 Matt Russell - Site Sec – plot 2 & 3 Adrian Williams - Mtgs Secretary plot 108a and 109a John Littlewood – Treasurer – plot 6 Spiro Psaila - General Committee Member – plot 67 Steve Jones – General Committee Member – plot 69 and 70 Fiona Lynch – Comms – plot 118b -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONSENT TO VOTE: Katie Luxton: Are you happy to vote on these people to stand again?

The attendees indicated that they were happy to vote on this.

The vote took place.

All in favour. (17)

No abstentions

None against

MOTION CARRIED. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In addition we have a number of new people who have been coopted onto the Committee in the last year, and are now standing formally to join the Committee. PROPOSAL: Katie Luxton: I nominate Paul Mullen to be our equipment officer.

All in favour. (17)

No abstentions

None against

MOTION CARRIED. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PROPOSAL: Katie Luxton: I nominate Adam Wyner and Anna Wyner to be our events officers.

All in favour. (17)

No abstentions

None against

MOTION CARRIED. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Katie Luxton: This concludes the formal section of this AGM.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Events – Adam Wyner: - We would like to do several things throughout the year; there is some money in the budget for this.

- Any ideas are welcomed. - I’ve been thinking about a spring seed and plant swap. - There are lots of new people who could use some pointers etc. - We could have an event with refreshments – some kind of Summer festival – mid-end of June – something fun, colourful. - We could invite experts/consultation. - We could host visits from other allotment associations. - We could hold events geared towards families/children. - Anna and I would need/appreciate some help/deputies. - We need to hold some work parties for the benefit of all, and we will periodically announce/ask for volunteers e.g. to clear areas for parking, storage etc. - Any suggestions?

Paul Mullen:

- It would be nice to have a ‘get to know you event’ such as a BBQ; something simple. - Build a smoker. - For work parties it would be nice to almost have an agenda of what we are all doing as a community, so that everybody knows what will be cleared. We don’t all have to go down together, as long as we know the plan. - A lot of it starts with everybody socialising and starting the comradery; more of a community. - There is also the issue of people not working on their plots; there should be a timeline to take photos and send them to the Council who will send a non-cultivation letter.

Matt Russell:

- We are going to give people an opportunity to cultivate their plots. - Some of thee plots have not been cultivated for 10 years. - Some people have taken on plots but their circumstances have changed.

Paul Mullen:

- Why can’t the Committee use some of this money to hire a skip to get rid of junk?

Matt Russell:

- The issue is that skips need to be managed, so that people don’t bring items to dump. --We also don’t want to get into situation where the Association is expected to sort out dumped rubbish repeatedly.

Katie Luxton:

- Material would need to be sorted through, and we would need someone to manage this; this is not sustainable in the long term. - John has organised glass and metal collection but everything else people need to remove form the site themselves. - Tenants can have a small brazier on site but they cannot burn plastic. - People can make their own arrangements to remove rubbish, as opposed to collective dumping.

Suzanne McEwan:

- Some people didn’t know about the AGM because they don’t have access to WhatsApp, Facebook, the website etc. - We could have a whiteboard which has been protected form the weather; there would be no cost. Spiro Psaila is making a new notice board for the central carpark.

Paul Mullen:

- I suggest that we put a notice on the gate where everybody will see it on entry.


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