AGM 2016

Our Annual General Meeting was held on 25 October at the Meanwood Institute.  For the full story, read the minutes.  Here is a summary.

Reports

The Chair reported that 2016 had been a good season for us, with some bumper crops.  The Committee were very active, meeting six times, writing grant applications, and organizing work parties.

We held an Extraordinary General Meeting on the 3rd of August to add a dissolution clause to our constitution as required by some of our grant applications. All of our rules are available online, and posted on our communal hut.

This year we held just one Plant B&B Sale, on 5th June, which was quite successful.  Our Autumn Show, on 4 September, was judged this year by John Maiden, Joe’s son.

As usual, a lot of essential work around the site was done by volunteers: grass cutting, hedge trimming and general tidying.  Work parties got together to sand and paint the hut, grub out a tree stump on a plot, clear weeds on the coppice plot (46T), and start to prepare the “senior” and “starter” plots.

The chair reminded us about the rises in rents we are required by Leeds Council to charge.  Here are the charges for a full plot:

  • 2014 and 2015:  £38.50
  • 2016:  £58
  • 2017:  £65
  • 2018:  £72

The amount of rent we are allowed to keep for our own use stays the same, while the Council’s share goes up each year.

Gillian North is retiring from the Committee after many years.  Many thanks to her.

The Trustees held plot inspections on 1 March, 21 April, 1 June, 18 July, 5 September, 20 October, looking at health and safety issues and standards of cultivation. There was one eviction, and several plots improved after warning letters were sent.

There were several break-ins this year, but not much was taken.  We were reminded to be sure to scramble the codes on the locks, and not to reveal them to outsiders.

Some of our paths are quite narrow, with dangerous drop offs at the edges.  Please try to keep the paths at least 80cm wide, so that wheelbarrows and lawn mowers can get along them.

The Treasurer presented the accounts for the year which showed us to be in good shape.  We bought more manure this year, but charging £1 per barrow means we break even.  Together, the B&B and Show raised £566.

The Secretary outlined three successful grant applications made this year:

  • £1000 from the Council, to be used on the toilet project
  • £8000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help Award, to used for the toiled and a secure tool storage for plot holders.
  • £1500 from St Chad’s fund to used to set up the Seniors’ plot.

Rosie explained about the Leeds and District Allotment Gardeners city wide allotment competition, which we are encouraged to participate in. Our member Ros Dunlevey came 6th in the city, winning a gold certificate, and Malcolm Slade and Jayne Harnett each got a bronze.  Ros also had two photos included in the LDAGF calendar for 2017.

Election of Officers

All the officers stand down each year. The following were elected for 2017:

  • Chair Joe Foster
  • Secretary Angie Willshaw
  • Treasurer Ness Clark
  • Committee R Hall, L Allen, J Ward, C Evans, J Tennant-Jackson, D Hood, M Davies, J Balfour, S Stones.

Rosie Hall agreed to manage plot letting again this year.

Prizegiving

The plots and autumn show were judged by John Maiden of Cliff Bank Nursery this year.  Many thanks!

  • Best Plot
    • 1st  Ros Dunlevey
    • 2nd  Joe Foster
    • 3rd  Malcolm Slade
  • Best Newcomer’s Plot  Steve Monether
  • Overall Show Winner Rosie Hall
  • Best Exhibit in Show  Rosie Hall
  • Joe Maiden Cup Joe Foster (the Chair forgot!)

Many thanks to our generous sponsors for the prizes: The Three Horseshoes, Glendor DIY, The Secret Garden Cafe.

Discussions

The coppice wood  on plot 46T was cleared and planted with saplings over the last couple of years.  More work is needed regularly to maintain it.  Later – a big team from Morgans City Living came on 19 November and did a huge amount of work clearing and sheeting down the whole site.

The composting toilet and communal toolshed were expected soon. This project has been made a reality by the hard work and dedication of Angie Willshaw and others. Later – the concrete base and main structures have been in place since January 2017, and are now (February)  just awaiting finishing touches.

The senior plots are planned for plot 10BL. The idea is to create a number of raised beds on an easily accessible part of the site for people who may not want to keep up a whole plot, but would like to carry on growing some vegetables and still be a part of the allotment community. More work is needed to get them ready.

The idea of starter plots is to have a number of beds set out for people on the waiting list who would like to have a go for a year before taking on a proper plot. Later – start has already been made on plot 1B.