Bellburn Allotment Association
Minutes of AGM held on Tuesday, 7th February 2017 at The Travellers Rest Public House, West Auckland Road.

Present -C.Pickles,S. Forth, G.Hall ( YOS) , I. Law, D. Tweedy, N. Oakley, J.Atkinson, J. Parcell,M. Gilligan, P. Stainthorp, D. Stainthorp, D.Hepper, J. Brown, L. Degnan, S.Degnan, M. Jones, H. Alderson, A. Oliver, P. Blair, G.Todd, McKIm ( 74) D.Dodds, G. Dodds, A Noble, S. Nicholson, J. Moorhouse, B. Stainthorp, K Blair,S. Hall, M. Kay, B.Hall, M.Denham, C.Bradshaw, plot 42 Sorry unable to
make  out name, C. Bradshaw, D. Bradshaw,C. Oldridge, M. Gunn, T. Birdsall,  plus three more whose names I could not decipher.

Apologies for Absence
– Kim Weston, Mike Bloomfield  ( YOS)

Minutes of 2016 AGM

These were accepted as a true record, and no matters arising were raised.  

Chairman’s report

It was reported that the committee for 2016 had comprised six people and had met regularly, with a change of format from two meetings per month (one an inspection and the other a formal meeting) to just one less formal meeting incorporating a site inspection. The year had seen quite a high turnover of plots and some of the new plot-holders seem to be making an excellent start.

Issues raised by plot-holders in the course of the year had been – break- ins to sheds; a spate of damage to sheds; theft from plots; rats;
ash trees; Lack of cultivation- not just the regular plot holders but from the groundwork site and the Youth Offenders’ plot; groundwork have since tidied their site, and agreement has been reached with thee YOS that one of their plots will be returned for re-letting. In addition an issue of a neighbouring house amending the fence line has been addressed.

Action taken in relation to the issues raised has been liaison with the police, with the YOS, with the property owner concerned, with
DBC over the rat issue, and with groundwork over their site.  All plot-holders have been asked to be vigilant and remove young ash trees before they become difficult to manage.

Chair had recently attended a town-wide meeting of allotment sites and was thus able to report that those remaining on DBC run sites were to see their rents rising form £54 this year to £80 next and ultimately £220 by 2020. This was thought to encourage more sites to become self -managed – in the short term it was likely to increase demand for self- managed lower cost sites.

DBC have been in touch to confirm that the lease for our site was in the process of being renewed and we hoped to have confirmation of a
new 20 year lease by the end of February. Part of our site is statutory and part “temporary “ but this appears not
to be important for the purpose of the new lease.

The plant swap/sale held in May had gone well and it is to be hoped the new committee will host another this year- 27th May is
the suggested date.

The outgoing committee recommends no increase in rent for this year and that the concessions remain in force as previously. (£50 full
plot; £30 concessionary; £25 half plot with concessionary rate £15)

It was confirmed that work to the car parks which had been agreed as a priority at the last AGM would commence at the end of

The Chairman’s report was accepted by the meeting.

Treasurer’s report

Derek Tweedy distributed a financial statement and was able to confirm that the Association had a balance of £5766.25.  

The Treasurer’s report was accepted by the meeting.

Election of Committee
for 2017

Clive Pickles confirmed his willingness to continue as Chair for the forthcoming year and this was unanimously agreed. Derek Tweedy was also unanimously confirmed as Treasurer for another year.

In the course of the meeting there was a call for a secretary to come forward and by the end of the evening Paula Sheen had agreed
to take on this role.

The remainder of the committee to comprise of Jean Atkinson,Ivy law, Paula Stainthorp, Paul Blair, and Laura Cameron.

Any Other Business

Issues raised were – the area by plot 104 had been left full of weeds. Clive clarified that this was the area where the leaves were meant to
have been left, but that the leaves had been delivered at a time they had not been expected hence no-one from the committee was there to direct them to the correct area. The intention is still ultimately for this area to be used for storage.

Graham Hall from the Youth Offending Service ( YOS ) apologised to the meeting for the lack of attention to the YOS site that year.
The regular YOS worker, Michael Bloomfield has offered to undertake any site maintenance work that is needed such as general clearing, fence mending etc. Graham also mentioned that he was interested to hear about the crime we had suffered and stated that Sgt Louise Guest would be happy to come along to a future committee meeting to talk about site issues. Clive confirmed he would be
interested to know if YOS were able to help out should a plot holder become ill and thus temporarily unable to manage their plot.

Mike Crawley queried the difference in prices quoted for car parking works. Clive explained the original process were for 4 sites and we had amended the actual work following discussion. Mike also recalled that there had been talk of repairing the ground by the entrance gate, this would need agreement that the area would be left untouched for a number of days.  Also, that the gate needed a handle rather
than string to open it. It was agreed that this would be an agenda item at the first committee meeting. 

                                     Clive Pickles (Chair) and Sally Forth(Secretary)


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