Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 17 March 2010Southlands Methodist Church, Southlands Road, York.
1. The meeting was chaired by Graham Sanderson and attended by 30 members. Also attending were PCSO’s Rachel Shaw and Mike Holden. Apologies from Chris Adam, Hilary Moxon, Christine Staples, Geoff Baker, Judith Ward and Patrick Cairns.
2. After the correction of Caroline Bush’s name, which appeared as Caroline Snell in item 2, Minutes from the last AGM were accepted as a correct record, proposed by Claire Pickard and seconded by Tina Funnell.
3. Chair’s Report
The Association has had another successful year. For the improvements made to both the shop and the site we received a special community project award last year, which is proudly displayed in the site shop. There were several events last year; a Dawn Chorus Walk (thanks to Simon and Morwenna), a Scarcroft site tidy/litter pick and a get-together for members in The Golden Ball last November. This was a huge success; so much so that we’re having another one on April 30th. We are also seeking suggestions for a family event in the summer. Please let us know what you and your families would enjoy.
A real milestone for the association was the creation of our own blog, which is a real success. Our sincere thanks to Caroline Bush for setting this up. This shouldn’t simply be used as a notice board, we welcome questions, suggestions, gardening tips, photos – keep them coming in. This is another way to keep our allotment association alive!
Graham formally thanked Mike for transforming the shop. He has worked tirelessly, renovating the inside of the building itself, creating separate areas for storage and sales and working long hours to achieve this. Thanks to Mike also for keeping the association’s accounts, and of course to the ‘backbone’ of shop volunteers.
Thanks also to Judith and Sue, City of York Council, for their support during 2009, for helping with site walks etc. and of course the site secretaries. Currently 20 people are taken off the waiting list on the Scarcroft site every 6 months.
Membership last year totalled 205, currently have 148 paid up members, 70 at Scarcroft, 22 at Hospital fields, 4 at Hob Moor, 10 at other sites with the remainder being private gardeners. We’re optimistic that there will be an increase in membership this year. Don’t forget you can get 10% discount from Deans Garden Centre and Pextons on production of your membership card.
Sara informed the meeting that all but one of the nest boxes she had put up last year had been used. The boxes have been cleaned out and birds are already using some of them.
A member queried why we paid £79 last year to join the RHS, rather than for example Garden Organic. The decision was made at a committee meeting last year after we’d looked at a wide range of organisations and the RHS proved to be the best value. The £79 included the membership fee, plus ‘events’ insurance covering the lending of tools to association members, against injury during hedge care/site tidying etc. If you have a view on this or any suggestions regarding membership of other organisations, please put your comments on our blogsite.
4. Treasurer’s Report for 2009
The Profit and Loss account shows a net loss of £1,328.08 with a net asset level of -£200 on last year. However, this is offset by a significant increase in stock levels. Income from membership was £467.50 with shop sales up by 60%. We have decided the shop will no longer sell pesticides, both for financial and environmental reasons. A range of green manures will soon be available to buy and if we don’t stock the one you prefer, please get in touch with us and we will order it for you. In the coming spring/summer months, if there was a demand for it we would consider opening the shop mid-week during the evenings. Comments and suggestions welcome.
Members were reminded they must pay for chippings and manure. We have barely broken even from the last two deliveries, and on previous occasions we’ve made a loss.
5. Proposals for changes to the constitution
No proposals have been received.
6. Election of the committee
Graham Lewis proposed that all should be elected onto the committee, seconded by Debbie Pendle.
The plot secretaries Claire Pickard, Malcolm Hainsworth and Chris Adam will be co-opted onto the committee.
7. Herbs for Health by Laura Potts. Laura gave a fascinating and insightful presentation on the aesthetic and medicinal properties derived from the herbs we all grow in our gardens, and treated the members to tastings of herbal teas, home-made elderflower cordial and a demonstration of herb-based ointments and salves. We all enjoyed it hugely. Thanks again Laura!
8. Any Other Business
- Toni Bundell informed the meeting that she runs a rescue centre for hedgehogs and offered to teach anyone who is interested how to make their plot hedgehog friendly, and to set up feeding stations for them. Toni will post a blog on our website.
- Manure deliveries to the Albermarle Road end of the Scarcroft site. There has been an issue for some time that plot owners at the top end of the site have a long drag backwards and forwards to collect their manure, which is generally unloaded at the Scarcroft Road end. The inhibitors appear to be the narrow pathways which don’t allow access for the delivery vehicles and there isn’t really a suitable area at the top of the site to unload a large amount of manure. Graham suggested the plot holders near Albermarle Road get together and between them arrange for a private delivery, first identifying an area where it can be unloaded without causing blocking of the paths.