South Ward Allotments

At Kennington, Oxford

Annual General Meeting April 2011





  • David Allen (Chair),
  • Tim Gardiner (Secretary),
  • Brian Maisey,
  • Emma Tinker,
  • John Card,
  • Julia Curry,
  • Margaret Young,
  • Diana Cox,
  • Alan Deakin,
  • Ivor Roberts,
  •  Ivan Sanxiao,
  • Dickie Webb,
  • Dai Williams,
  • Pat Mabbutt

Apologies received from:

  • George Young,
  • Jean Gray,
  • Jo Faulkner,
  • Sue Whorton,
  • Pete Mulvany,
  • Linda Williams,
  • Sandra Mulvany,
  • and James Duncan

Prior to the AGM proper the committee met to examine and subsequently agreed the accounts presented by the Treasurer.

  1. The Chair (DA) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.
  2. The minutes of the AGM held on 22 April 2010 were agreed and there were no matters arising.
  3. David Allen presented the Chair’s report:
    • The Oxford Federation of Allotments AGM was held on 19 April at which Wendy Skinner Smith was voted chair for a further 3 years.
    • The federation accounts show cash balance of 2087.03 which is sufficient to pay Public and Employers Liability should the council decide to withdraw paying this for member allotments.
    • Leaf mould may be charged for in future. Grants from the OCC Parks dept for the following year will continue to be only for plot clearance. There is a small budget held for reactive maintenance.
    • Risk assessments on our site have been updated for bee keeping and the site shed. A risk assessment was carried out on the steel rods which hold up plots’ rabbit wire and as a result it has been agreed by the committee to purchase protective covers which will be distributed in the near future.
    • The Sutton’s seed scheme produced discounts of 50% once again saving members 473.08. 34 members (70%) participated. More care is required in correct completion of order forms (16 had errors) and it would help considerably if the forms could be returned by the date requested.
    • David thanked the many members who have helped with some of maintenance and construction jobs in the last year and in particular the committee and Brian Aldridge. Thanks were also given to all those who ‘adopted’ a fruit tree. A new updated list of adoptees will be prepared in the near future and a ‘map’ with tree descriptions placed on the notice board.
  4. Tim Gardiner presented the secretary’s report but started by proposing a vote of thanks on behalf of the Association to David for all the work that he does for the Allotment.
    • Membership currently stands at 50 and there are 64 out of potentially 73 plots let. This is approximately the same as last year but it is anticipated the vacant plots will fill up in the coming weeks.
    • Two new plots have been created 276 and 297.
    • The Kazubaloo was constructed and opened in May last year and seems to be a welcome facility. Having been vandalised in the winter it is expected to be re-opened in the next few days. A lock (same key as for the gates) has been fitted.
    • A meeting was held in August last year with local council members and the Gypsy Liaison Officer in an effort to get over some of the problems of vandalism, dogs etc. and the GLO subsequently sent a letter to all the residents of the gypsy encampment asking for them not to interfere or disturb in any way with the Association members activities. Unfortunately there have still been some isolated problems with dogs being a nuisance and the site shed was broken into during the winter.
    • It was agreed by the committee in October to discontinue membership of the National Federation of Allotments as there was not sufficient value provided and that they were proposing through their insurers to make it compulsory to buy their Public Liability insurance if we wanted to take out insurance on machinery. As we already have PL insurance through our local federation from Oxford City Council the committee agreed this was not fair and would take the risk of discontinuing coverage of the two machines which have been insured in the past.
    • An amnesty has been offered by Thames Water to all those who registered their situation of not having paid water rates in the past. TG has declared our situation and attempted (to no avail yet) to set up a meeting with TW to go through the layout/logistics etc. The situation does mean that we do not have to retain cash for the last seven year’s estimated water consumption but it does mean however, that once TW have properly administered our situation that future rents will have possibly have to be raised to cover water consumption.
    • The Association won first place in last year’s ‘Best kept Site’ competition. TG thought that the work done to achieve this award was good for everyone’s well-being and motivation to keep standards of gardening at a high level. Pat Mabbutt offered her thanks to all the committee members who particularly worked hard at ground maintenance etc.
  5. John Card (Treasurer) presented the annual accounts which showed a surplus of 601.18 and cash reserves of 4530.38. He explained that the surplus was artificial as there work for plot clearance and some of the repairs to the site shed had not been charged for in these accounts. As a result there will be a deficit next year to counter the surplus this year but over the two years there should be an approximate break even.It is proposed to move 2000 from the bank accounts into a fixed bond in order to attract more interest
  6. It was agreed to add the following into the association’s rules and regulations:‘Members are welcome to bring children to the allotment so longs as they remain on or close to their plot. The must not be allowed to roam free unsupervised and in particular not in or near the stream.’
  7. The charge for the use of petrol mowers this will be 1.20 per session. Weed killer will remain at 1.
  8. Tim Gardiner offered his resignation as secretary after 13 years at last October’s committee giving twelve months’ notice in order for sufficient time to be provided to re-think the distribution of the various jobs carried out by officers and for a replacement to be found. The vacancy was advertised to the members in February and there had only been one ‘application’ for each of the two posts: Association secretary (Emma Tinker) and Lettings secretary Pete and Sandra Mulvany). Proposed by David Allen and seconded by John Card both were unanimously elected and congratulations to both were offered. There will be a phased handover from Tim over the coming weeks but in the meantime Tim will continue the role until this is complete and will remain a committee member.  David Allen thanked Tim on behalf of the Association for his dedication, hard work and support over the last 13 years and made a presentation. John Card had completed the statutory three years as Treasurer but was willing to stand again. This was proposed by Dick Webb and Tim Gardiner. Alan Deakin and James Duncan have been appointed members of the Association Committee.

Tim Gardiner
01865 739653