The BHAS Allotment Society AGM was held on 16th June 2018. The minutes of the meeting can be found below. Also available to download are the AGM Agenda, Annual Report, Treasurer’s Report, BHAS Code of Conduct and list of Committee members.

AGM MINUTES

BARNES HORTICULTURAL AND ALLOTMENT SOCIETY

Saturday 16th June 2018; Hertford Avenue

Present:

Isobel Kimber Lucy Blostone Pam Islip
Percy Kimber Donal Douglas Rachel Walker
Hans Weisskopf Peter Low Janet Lavender
Karin Weisskopf Flicky Low Bob Drummond
John Hynd Richard Ward Ronnie Bendall
Derek Lawrence Brown Emily Jacob Michael Halford
Diane McLellan David Abel Desmond Millen
Fiona Heath Jo Childs Maureen Millen
Alastair Kennedy Sally Field John Bentham
Jenny Jefferies Paul Edelin Helen Lawrence
Terence Farrer John Edgar Mark Gourlay
Brenda Lattimer Susan Moore Aileen Izett
David Izett Mary Enache Julie Kendrick
Myra Harte Tracey Richardson Nadia Mackenzie
Janet Bostock Sophie Parrett John Padgett
  • Welcome and apologies for absence

The Chair, John Padgett welcomed everybody.

Apologies received from: Sheena Clark,  Alex Clarke, Tally & David Foster, Deborah Genders, Halina Kessler, Paul Crompton and Harriet Graham

  • Minutes of the AGM 17th June 2017

It was proposed (Derek Lawrence-Brown) and seconded (Mark Gourlay) that the minutes of the last meeting be accepted as a true record and adopted

  • Matters Arising

The 2017 AGM asked the Committee to draw up a society ‘Code of Conduct’ for adoption. This is to be covered under item 5 on the agenda.

  • Reports

John Padgett (JP) read the Chair’s report (attached).

JP was asked to give description of the Allotment Secretary role – this is outlined below:

* Letting vacant plots: The Council is trying to align all allotment areas in the way they are run.  Council holds waiting lists, gives Allotment Secretary (AS) next names on list when a vacancy arises.  The AS shows plot to prospective tenant(s).  If accepted, AS gives a registration form which is sent to the council, together with payment for key(s).

* The letting visit includes joining new plot holders to BHAS and explaining the customs of the allotment.

* Liaising with the Council:  AS is the first point of contact with the Council e.g. for water leaks, broken gates/fences etc.

* Plot inspections: Site representatives in each area flag up neglected plots.  AS, in liaison with the Council, inspect all plots across the 5 allotment sites and document neglected plots with notes/photographs.  Only the council can terminate an allotment tenancy.  This is the part of the job which can be sensitive.

Request from Pam Islip that an approximate number of contacts made each year with council be given to show how much time involved. (Albeit a small sample, between April – June 2018 an average of 3 emails and one phone call per week)

Request from Brenda Lattimer that job descriptions of all committee roles be circulated.         (Attached with minutes)

Priory site:  Number of individual plots has risen to 90.  In future more  8 – 10 rod plots may be split as they become vacant due to the council policy to reduce the waiting list.

There will be 3 site reps as this will give Priory plot holders better representation and be more manageable for each site rep.  Volunteers needed for two of the areas. (Following the AGM, 3 people from Priory volunteered for the Site Rep roles and the Committee appointed, Nadia Mackenzie and Diane McLellan & Fiona Heath job-sharing – as interim Site Reps for Priory).

Aileen Izett asked that Susan Moore’s role as BRAG committee member (compiling the BHAS response to the Council’s Allotment Strategy) and representing BRAG to the Council.  The Chair agreed with this.

Treasurers’ report:  2017-18 Accounts were presented.  Attached.

Sophie Parrett (SP) asked for suggestions for ways to spend our funds to improve the allotments.  Last year a toilet was suggested but not deemed practical – cleaning rota might be difficult to fill.

Derek Lawrence-Brown (DLB) suggested a strimmer is needed.

John Hynd (JH) said 3 strimmers and a lawn mower were stolen from the shed when also the shed door was badly damaged.

Mary Enache: A secure lockable shed needed for large valuable equipment such as the lawn mower.  Mary added that this could be made to look ordinary so that it would not attract the attention of would be thieves.

JH: A strimmer had to be in a separate secure lock-up.  JH recommended that people who wished to use it should be trained in its use before it is loaned.

A further suggestion:  Have a day when people with strimmers come to cut overgrown communal areas.

Janet Bostock (JB) – some areas, at the path edge, which need cutting back are part of overgrown plots and are the responsibility of the plot holder.

An extra non green bin: could one be provided only for the summer months?  Lucy Blostone.
JP said an extra bin costs £1,000+.  The one we have is provided free by the Council.  People should preferably take away from the allotment site items no longer needed.

Skips: these have been hired but have been abused as rubbish arrived from outside of the allotment sites.  SP

Monies held in BHAS account: could this be put into a high interest account?  SP – explained that interest rates are low everywhere currently.  Our present bank, Nat West, has closed its East Sheen branch.  SP is looking to open an account with Santander.

Membership report: In notes attached.

Question asked – have non-members been asked why they do not join BHAS?  Has it been explained that benefits (tree cutting, path mowing, wood chip) are benefits to all?

JB – yes it is explained in membership letter each May.  Some say they do not use shed or Adrian Hall so not worth joining.

Question asked about how many plot holders on each allotment site were members of BHAS.  The Membership Secretary undertook to check the current status – see figures at the end of these Minutes.

Donations to Charity.  JP explained that donations can only be made from event profits, not from BHAS membership money.

Suggestions please for a charity?  Local charities were suggested.  JP to make a short list of some local charities for members to vote for a charity.  Amount to be given:  last year £500 to Grenfell disaster fund.  Same amount would be suitable.

Should BHAS give £500 to a chosen charity (or charities) this year?  Proposed David Abel, seconded John Bentham. Accepted by the meeting.

  • Enhancing the BHAS Constitution.

Resolution 1:  The code of conduct. 

JP –at the AGM 2017 the committee was asked to draw up a code of conduct.  This was drafted by Susan Moore and presented by the Chair, who also informed the meeting that all current BHAS Committee members had signed it.

Michael Halford (MH) expressed his concern that as the draft had not been circulated in good time for plot holders to read and comment that this meeting should not accept it.  To do so would not be democratic.  Could a vote be taken by email to include a greater number of plot holders?

Aileen Izett agreed that the draft should have been sent out well before the meeting.

MH – was concerned that the committee could terminate tenants and had the last word on what might be deemed “inflammatory” language.  JP assured him that the committee cannot terminate a tenancy – this is the role of the Council Allotment Officer.  All serious breaches have to be referred to the council officer.

Helen Lawrence asked to whom would the Code of Conduct apply?  JP – only to BHAS members but the Council is looking to include it in their Terms & Conditions.

John Bentham said it is sad that we need such a document as we should all behave in a polite manner.  However, it is normal in most areas of society and business to have such codes.  They cover the few people and occasions where it might be needed.

SP asked if we could get on and adopt the code as it was requested last year.  If necessary, future amendments can be made to ensure the Code evolves to suit ongoing need.

Proposal to accept the code of conduct proposed by Sophie Parrett,  seconded by Janet Bostock.  22 in favour, 9 against, 5 abstentions.  Motion accepted.

JP asked for amendment suggestions to be forwarded to him.

Resolution 2:  Alteration to job titles in the Constitution, (see agenda attached).

Brenda Lattimer suggested adding “Interim” to the role titles for those people joining the committee mid-term.  This was accepted.

The alterations were accepted with 1 abstention.

  • Appointment of Committee members:

See notes attached – most standing for re-election.  Block vote proposed by Mary Enache, 2nd Terence Farrer – all accepted.

2 Priory reps needed. (Posts subsequently filled immediately after AGM meeting)

Allotment Secretary needed.  Post remains vacant.

Newsletter and website roles amalgamated.  Rachel Walker volunteered for the role, which will be shared with Sarah Willard.  RW and SW are members of BHAS and on the allotment waiting list.  The Membership Secretary confirmed that it was permissible for non-plot holders to hold committee positions, providing they had joined the Society.

Proposed by David Abel, seconded Pam Islip.  Accepted.

  • AOB:

7.1 Vote of thanks to those who have given great service to the allotments but have retired from their roles.

Diane McLellan for running the web site.

Brenda Lattimer for designing and editing the newsletter and contributing to the website.

Nicolette King for being events and catering manager.

Susan Moore and Aileen Izett who have been joint Allotment Secretaries for 3 years.

Donal Douglas for the work he has done whilst Site Rep on Priory.

7.2 Isobel Kimber requested that plot holders (on Priory) be asked not to leave hoses across the main path as this is a safety hazard.  Also to be asked to cut back brambles where they encroach onto the main path.

The Meeting closed at 1.30pm followed by light refreshments.

Answer to question – The proportion of plot holders on each site who are BHAS members:
(breakdown by area of membership June 2018)

Priory 89 plots        50 BHAS members

Hertford 53 plots    44 BHAS members

Triangle 29 plots    17 BHAS members

Palewell 28 plots    17 BHAS members

Pavilion 22 plots     11 BHAS members