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News & Events: Blog2

Minutes from the 2020 AGM

Updated: Feb 4, 2021


Held 20th Jan 2021 on Zoom at 12 noon. Thanks to Brian for hosting it.

Present Anne Macdonald 8W, Richard Cloutman 32, Bob Grover 57, Nigel Gale 5W, Barry and Jan Cropper 35E, Becky Hart 39W, Guy Marshall 16, Brian Songhurst 22N, Jess Davies 3W, Kate & Peter Crick (20E).

Apologies from Malcolm Hull (38)

COMMITTEE REPORT FOR 2020 (Bob Grover) Currently the FLAG committee is Bob Grover, acting chair and secretary, Anne MacDonald, site representative, Richard Cloutman, treasurer and membership secretary. We have lots of support from Brian Songhurst, looking after tools, and lots of occasional help from Nigel and Barry and Bert and Jim (and his machinery) and many others. Becky looks after the website. Thanks for your support, it shares the work and makes the site better for all of us.

Other important roles that need to be done to make our site run smoothly include NSALG link person (National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners); Newsletter Secretary; Spokesperson/Liaison/publicity with the Council and the police; Deputy Site Stewards; Site and facilities mender; Social secretary; Clubhouse Coordinator. All these jobs need occasional attention and the Committee manage them with other people’s help when we need to.

During 2020 we have had to cut down on allotment social activity but most of us have had more time for actually keeping plots in shape and growing things.

  • Last Spring we persuaded the Council to remove some 20 builders bags of non-green rubbish that had accumulated at the Garage end.

  • We hired an industrial shredder for £200 to clear almost all of the woody heap, which left us a lot more space for our chippings piles.

  • We cleared the base of the big oak tree by Goldsmith’s Way to give its roots some air. This should improve its general health, it’s a good tree and we want to keep it!

  • Our dedicated group of pallet constructors built new Green Waste areas at both ends of the site and they are being used heavily. (We will have to extend them this Spring because they are so successful).

  • In the Autumn we finally managed one good bonfire before lockdown resumed.

  • We took trays of fresh vegetables and fruit to the local Food Bank for ten weeks.

  • Wild Flowers by the town gate. Nigel has pressed on with clearing some of the intrusive plants in the marked areas along the fence by the town entrance area.

Treasurer/Membership Report (Richard Cloutman).

By the end of 2020 we had 70 members occupying 79 plots (out of a possible total of 89), another all-time record, and £372 in the bank, £25 up on last year.

Site Steward Report (Anne Macdonald).

Council Liaison is with Phil Bruce-Green. He has not been able to do site inspections during 2020 so little to report. He did get the big rubbish bags removed in the spring.

There have been no reports of casual vandalism in 2020.

Web site and Social Media.

Becky Hart has rebuilt our FLAG website and it looks good. Becky has set up an entry-level Social Media presence and is checking how it links to Instagram. Jess has offered to help her.

Election of Officers.

Bob and Richard and Anne are our Officers (with signing responsibility for cheques). There were no offers for these posts and they were re-elected as a group.

Additionally we have Nigel and Brian as Committee members who support Anne (primarily) around the site. More assistance is always very welcome, our Working Parties are the best way to get involved for the general benefit of a few hours’ time. The site always looks better after these!

That was the end of official business for the AGM.


Any other Business

Bonfires - we can’t burn stuff yet. We will, as soon as allowed. Meanwhile the wood pile bay is filling up with good burnable stuff.

Car Parking Mud. There is a lot of mud and loose footing by the main drive-in area. Anne will ask PBG if there is any available council supply of rubble or aggregate to try to improve the muddy surface on the parking area. Meanwhile - PLEASE put your spare stones into this area (and not on the Green Waste piles). If you take compost from the Green Waste area or the piles of chippings, shake it through a wire mesh and dump the stones and big bits on the mud.

Rewilding - Meadow / Eco area . Nigel Gale is nurturing a Nature Space alongside the fence in he town entrance. He is keen to let the space develop naturally, no grass cutting etc– to see how it can re-wild by itself. He has some seeds and will be asking for suitable local spare plants later on.

Tools (Brian Songhurst). FLAG owns three four-stroke petrol movers (one a bit narrower for paths) and three (two-stroke) petrol strimmers. Brian asks ‘PLEASE if anything goes wrong with a tool, do let me know and I can get something done about it; Don’t just leave it for someone else to find out!’

Intruders. Malcolm Hull reports some people coming over the fence by his plot (18) but we haven’t had any serious problems from them. Remain Vigilant!


Working Party suggestions: while we are in lockdown we can’t get together, but we can organise work areas where several people could contribute one after another. This is in effect what we have been doing in 2020.

Social media – WhatsApp. We discussed a possible ‘FLAG WhatsApp group’. Brian will set one up for individuals to sign up to. It might help particularly with managing short term tasks that can be shared without being on site at the same time. For example, we need to re-roof the Club house somehow.

New chippingsgarage end - one new load has just arrived. Job - Please spread some onto the mud. Town end – Kate will ask her chippings contact to deliver to the town end next time.

Green waste area – garage end. Richard and Anne will discuss with Jim what is best to do. Town end – Brian will talk to Jim about push back. Brian will build a new bay.

Tree and hedge trimming. Jim has offered to use his petrol chainsaw if anyone needs a tree or big bush removed. Please contact him via FLAG so we may be able to merge requests. Jim is not able to do ladder work with it so we still need to get the overhanging leylandii trimmed on the roadway by plots 53-58. Nigel has taken this on with assistance.

Fly tipping outside the garage end gates. Nigel has reported this to the council’s fly tipping hotline and the stuff was cleared within a few days. Veolia keep a list of these incidents. Please use this when you feel there is too much stuff been dumped – and let FLAG know you have done so.

Intruders – if you see people who are not plotholders, see if you can help them. But if you see bad or suspicious behaviour please report it. PHONE 101 and ask for the PCSO and get an incident number. Do NOT attempt to tackle trespassers. If you feel threatened call 999 – then it is likely that police will arrive fast.



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