South Ward Allotments

At Kennington, Oxford

Minutes of AGM 24th April 2014






Present: David Allen (Chair), Emma Tinker (Secretary), John Card (Treasurer), Pete and Sandra Mulvany (joint lettings secretary), Dickie Webb, James Duncan, Alan Deakin, Margaret Young, Diana Cox, Pat Mabbutt, Don Tibbetts, Richard Dales, Tim Wait, Diana Dickinson.

Apologies received from: Tim Gardiner, George Young, Ivan Stipala, Rachel Hammond

Before the AGM proper, the committee met to examine and subsequently agree the accounts presented by the Treasurer.

  1. The Chair (DA) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.
  1. The minutes of the AGM held on 25 April 2013 were agreed and there were no matters arising.
  1. David Allen presented the Chair’s report:

Federation/Oxford City Council (OCC Meetings):

  • Rent review: The City Council has now arrived at a formula for standardising rents per hectare across all Oxford allotment sites. For our site the rent increases from the current £145.62 to £457.62 p.a. Our first payment at this new level will be March 2016. The rent we charge for individual plots has been held at £18 per 10-pole plot for this year, but the figure will be reviewed in the light of the above increase and plot take-up.
  • Council grants: Last year we were granted money for skip hire. This year the grant focus is on improving inclusive access, signage and water harvesting. The reactive maintenance grant is still available for repairs.
  • Allotment competition: Congratulations to all who took part as individual entrants last year. Although our site was not placed, we were well represented with individual awards. First judging this year will take place on 9th and 12th June, with second judging on 4th and 5th September.

Suttons Seed Scheme: This year once again we used the local Post Office as the distribution point for seed catalogues. This continues to work well, and we thanked the postmistress with a bunch of flowers. Once again we achieved a maximum 52% discount on packeted seeds. 23 orders were received, saving £770 on seeds and £55 on other items.

Machine hire/ weed killer charges: The cost to use weed killer will remain at £1 per fill, and use of the strimmer at £2 per fill of fuel.

  1. Emma Tinker presented the Secretary’s report:
  • Lettings: Plot occupancy has been fairly high throughout the year but a few recent departures have left us with 3 x 5 pole and 5 x 10 pole plots vacant. (Excluding plots 200-1 and 324-5, which have been abandoned due to flooding.)
  • Fly tipping remains a serious problem, with particular concern about the tipping of rubbish around the gate area. Promises of action from the council have so far led to nothing. ET to continue to chase this.
  • Tree adoption. ET thanked those who are currently looking after a tree in the orchard, and recruited volunteers for those trees that have been neglected.
  • Community Payback Scheme. This has been a great success, with several plots cleared. The teams from Thames Valley Probation service have also helped to mow the grass, keep the hedge trimmed along the roadway and lay chippings to repair the track. ET suggested using a team to plant some coppice trees at the bottom of the slope (plot 325, and the space to the east of this). This would hopefully help to absorb water, reducing the risk of flooding, and would also provide a ready supply of beanpoles, pea sticks etc for plot-holders. There was widespread support for this idea – ET to look into grants for tree planting.
  • Thanks. ET thanked all who have worked on maintenance around the site this year, including those committee members who have mended the shed roof, cut the grass and repaired the endlessly troublesome gate locks. ET ended with a plea to all members to shut the gate at all times.
  1. John Card presented the Treasurer’s report:
  • The annual accounts showed a surplus of £557.57 and cash reserves of £5148.94.
  1. Elections:

Re-election of Secretary and Treasurer. The job descriptions of both roles were circulated in advance of the AGM, but there were no applicants. Both Emma Tinker and John Card indicated that they were willing to stand for re-election as Secretary and Treasurer. Emma Tinker was nominated by Pete Mulvany and seconded by David Allen. John Card was nominated by David Allen and seconded by Pete Mulvany. They were voted unanimously with no abstentions.

  1. AOB
  • Following last year’s successful BBQ, this will take place again in late summer (August or early September).
  • Pat Mabutt suggested laying some scalpings around the turning circle at the top of the track, where the ground has become rather uneven and marshy, and where one plot holder recently got stuck. The committee will look into the cost of this.
  • Pat Mabutt also thanked the committee for their work. David Allen thanked Pat for her maintenance of the site toilet, and closed the meeting.

Emma Tinker


07769 697208