Minutes of General Meeting of members of Tilehurst Allotments Society:
Thursday 3 March 2016
Present: Dave Griffiths (chair) Wendy Levy, Ray Freeman, Liz Ellis, Joan Macphee, William Macphee, Trevor Haynes, John Kirton, Dave and Jennie Newnham, Claire O’Brien, Mary Bartlett (membership sec), Kate Jones, Jenny Cottee (sec) Apologies: Colin Robinson, Karen Fidler (Treasurer),Julia Walters.
We divided into two groups to facilitate discussion. As arranged Alex Foxon, resident of Polsted Road (who had until recently also been a plot holder) came during the meeting to introduce discussion about proposals to improve the condition of the surface of Polsted Road.
Discussion on the topics continued throughout the evening (7.30-8.50) latterly supported by cake and squash kindly provided by members. At the end of the evening we looked at seeds and sundries for swapping-again kindly provided by members. In discussion we agreed that it had been a worthwhile occasion but were disappointed at the extremely low attendance. The points raised in discussion are recorded below
Points raised in discussion to be passed on to the landlord.
1.Clear plots before re-letting of serious dumping (e.g. engines, tyres, broken glass) so that the plot is safe
2.The trees that are on the boundary of the site and plot PAB3 still need attention- dangerous branches.
3. Please maintain the clear path/access for plot-holders from Kentwood Hill to the site. This is designated for plot-holders to use to access the site but is being kept clear by plot-holders.;
Points raised in discussion to be passed on to the committee of the Society
1.Untidy plots—broken glass and rubbish. What can be done?
2.Suggest to new tenants that there should be no glass used- e.g. not glass in greenhouses
3. Visitors (small boys) have been seen heading towards the old piggeries on the reserved land- Safety issues.
Polsted Road Surface: Discussion introduced by Alex Foxon
Jenny explained that she had invited Alex to the meeting to aid discussion following his request to her for help with funding repairs and the matter had been reported in Dig It. The discussion this evening would help the committee make the decision -the next scheduled meeting is mid- April. Alex explained that he was asking for a donation from the Tilehurst Allotments Society or possibly from individual members to improve the road surface. The Polsted Road residents aim to repair the road this Spring. It was last repaired about 7 years ago and is now in a very poor state. The proposal is to hire a contractor to scrape off the surface, mix it with scalpings or similar and replace and roll down. Included in the cost would be some annual maintenance. This one-off cost will be roughly £6000 -this is what we were being asked to contribute to. Later costs would be the responsibility of residents. The deterioration of the surface might be partly caused by lack of drainage: water run off the roofs of the terraced houses to run down the road- this matter will be addressed by individual owners. The road will be cambered to minimise standing water problems
Whilst owners whose property fronts the road are responsible for its maintenance, the residents are asking for a donation from all who use the road as a neighbourly gesture. Berkshire metals and the Church have pledged to contribute 10% or £1000.00 each (in practice this would be £600 each yielding £1,200). This would leave say £4,800 to be raised by residents (there are roughly 25 houses) and possibly others such as the Society and the Charity. Jenny had already suggested in response to Alex’s request that the residents should also ask the owners of the allotment site (the Charity) for a contribution. Alex did not confirm that this had been done.
After Alex had left, discussion ranged across best way to look after the road and avoid further deterioration, precisely who owned what, easement rights, what the Society does with its money, etc. Since the meeting (when it was clear that there are several different views on the matter), officers of the committee decided to send out a questionnaire to all members asking their views asap.
Jenny cottee 10.03.16