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Minutes of the Allotments Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Bideford on Tuesday 5 April 2022 at 6.30 pm
East Ward
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Chairman)
Councillor J McKenzie
South Ward
Councillor S Inch
Councillor Mrs S Langford (substitute for Councillor Mrs Hellyer)
Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr D Maund (Handy Cross Assoc, Chairman)
Mr A Tanton (Marland Assoc, Chairman)
Ms F Staddon (Marland Assoc, Vice Chairman)
Mr A Mitchell (Pollyfield)
Mr R Walker (Pollyfield)
Councillors Mrs L Hellyer (East Ward, personal) and J Herron (North Ward, personal).
There were no declarations of interest.
There was no public participation.
27.    MINUTES
The Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 September 2021 were approved and signed as a correct record. 
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
Ms Staddon stated that it had been a good year for the Site.  The Tenants had been quick to return after the storms to repair infrastructure including green houses.  There is very much a community effort, tenants helping one another.
There is one vacant plot soon to be allocated from the waiting list of six.
A new Committee was elected last September, meetings are well attended and there is a good positive ambiance within the Community.  There will be an Association Meeting on Friday, 8 April 2022 where consideration will be given to a wildlife plot, CCTV, First Aid kit and rotovators.
Discussion followed on CCTV, the importance of signage and whether “wildlife” cameras should be included.  Councillor Inch felt that one sign indicating that CCTV was in operation, at the gate, given the exclusivity of the Marland Site for Marland tenants, should be sufficient.
The Clerk will investigate.
The Chairman thanked Ms Staddon for her update.
Mr Maund indicated that it had been an eventful year; there had been a sixteen per cent turnover of tenants.  Four tenants had their tenancies cancelled and four further tenants had left the Parish, forfeiting their agreements.  Two or three plots still need attention.  There are one full and one half plot currently vacant.
The car park is in need of repair and there are gaps in the roadside hedge, through which people have gained access to the Site; the Association will affect repairs.
The Site remains buoyant with a summer BBQ planned for the “working party,” day.
The Chairman thanked Mr Maund for his update.
Mr Mitchell stated that it had been a good year for the Site with a number of new tenants, many women, all working well.
He spoke on the sad loss of Mr Peter Mitchell, a long term tenant of the Site, who had passed away recently.  
He reiterated that on the whole, the Site was looking very good.
Mr Mitchell wondered, given the take up of plots by more women, whether the Council owed a duty of care to supply a (compost) toilet facility.
Discussion followed, provision had been discussed before, responsibility for the maintenance and cleaning of any facility, the individual’s care of their own circumstances and the lack of precedent.
The Clerk will seek on advice on the duty of care.
In the absence of the Tricks representatives the Clerk advised that he and the Town Clerk’s Assistant had visited the Site earlier in the day.
It is looking very good with a great deal of industry.
There is one vacant half plot that needs attention, one occupied full plot that will receive a letter of encouragement and a further vacant plot ready to be occupied.
He spoke of the Town Clerk’s Assistant’s work, alongside Site visits with the Chairman and Clerk, that have been instrumental in encouraging a general improvement across the Sites, with letters of inspiration some, though leading to termination of tenancies.
There had been a complaint received about bonfires on the Site.  The Complaint had not been followed up formally nor supported by others who had allegedly experienced smoke from the Site on a beautiful sunny day.
The Clerk reiterated that advice / directives are provided to tenants annually.  The allegation indicated that five bonfires were operating at the same time.  He indicated that Tenants whilst following the advice should be aware of the Site’s neighbours.
Members considered Boundary Survey Quotations for the Tricks, Handy Cross and Pollyfield Allotment Sites.
Proposed by Councillor McKenzie, seconded and
RESOLVED:  that Coastal Tree Consultancy be invited to conduct boundary surveys, in accordance with their quotation, for the Tricks, Handy Cross and Pollyfield Allotment Sites.
(Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
The Chairman led Members in discussing a preferred date, indicating that the judging would be spread over two days, two sites on each day.  The format remaining the Allotment Committee Chairman, four site representatives.
Proposed by Councillor Mrs Gubb, seconded and 
RESOLVED that the Inter Site Challenge judging will take place on Wednesday, 15 June and Thursday 16 June 2022, two sites on each day.  The same personnel will judge on both days commencing at 10.00 am, on the first day.
Vote – For: 4, Against: 0)
The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 7.10 pm.


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