Minutes from the 2019 AGM

Updated: Mar 30


FLAG 2019 AGM, Jan 7th 2020

Held 7th Jan 2020 in St Michaels Parish Room at 7.45

Present Anne Macdonald 8W, Richard Cloutman 32, Bob Grover 57, Nigel Gale 5W, Malcolm Hull 38, Barry and Jan Cropper 35E, Helen Ives-Rose (for M Pakenham) 59, Ann Rogers (for James and Ann Lee) 6W, Sohan Bissoonanth 23S, John Nash 46N, Ron Askew 49S, Chris McIntyre (for Morag Priestley) 3E.

Apologies from Jessica Davies-Porter 3W, Becky Hart 39W, Kathryn Rathouse 19, Caroline Black 34W, John Dixon 53, Brian Songhurst 22N, Guy Marshall 16, Janet Shepheard 6E, Liz Rolfe 34E. 

Chair Report (Bob Grover)

2019 has been a pretty good year for our site. No serious panics or problems, several achievements and building on what we have done before. Our occasional work parties and bonfires went well, we had a good BBQ and a massive Ayletts delivery. We have set up a link to the local food bank for surplus produce with weekly deliveries which ran for 8 weeks through the peak season – in 2020 we will start this earlier when early rhubarb and spinach become available. We had a stall at LarksInTheParks again organised by Juliet Voisey 48. 

Big thanks to everyone who organised and supported these activities, we intend to keep on with all of them on 2020. 

Your committee are keen to support anyone with ideas about doing things.

We had hoped to offer an Open Day as part of SuSTAin19, but without Public Lability insurance this we couldn’t do it. We are looking into PLO for our 2020 Insurance.

Ken Kenward (47). Sadly we report that Ken died after a rather long illness. He has been a stalwart site presence, always a cheerful quip and assistance at so many work parties. We shall miss him.

Treasurer/Membership Report (Richard Cloutman).

At the end of 2019 we had 68 members occupying 77 plots (out of a possible total of 89), another all-time record, and just over £300 in the bank. FLAG received £87.50 in donations from various members, in addition to their individual subscriptions.

Main items of expenditure for 2019 were: insurance and NSALGs fees, web-site fees, mower and strimmer repairs plus fuel, repairs to the club house roof.

Subs have remained at £7.50 since 2015 and include third party insurance plus your NSALG membership (for Kings Seeds orders and members discounts). These two major outgoings have gone up by 50% over the last few years and now account for 2/3 of the FLAG sub, so we propose to increase the FLAG sub to £10 annually. The subs increase should give us a little more cash available for purchases of manure and general maintenance.

The subs increase was agreed unanimously and will be actioned immediately with renewal notices. (This will also include an explicit note that Donations are always welcome if you feel you want to give a bit more).

Site Steward Report (Anne Macdonald).

Council Liaison is with Phil Bruce-Green. He has issued 11 Notice of Non-Cultivation and followed up with 6 Notices to Quit which have been enforced. We are entirely supportive, this is him using the new simplified procedures announced last year. We hope this continues.

We have had 8 new plotholders in 2019, about the usual turnover.

We hope to get some stable manure for the site, we have money available – but can’t get a supplier. Can anyone give us a name to contact?

There have been no reports of casual vandalism in 2019. Relations with those living around the site are much better since the new gate was put in.

Tool Report (Brian Songhurst). Brian looks after the tools in the Steel shed and organises repairs as needed.  FLAG owns three petrol movers (one a bit narrower for paths) and two petrol Rotavators. Any FLAG member can use them - request to borrow here. 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!’ If you need a key for the shed, contact Brian.

NSALG liaison and Insurance. Our NSALG subscription and insurance renewal is due now. Nigel and Richard and Bob will talk to other sites about their insurance and decide what best meets our needs.  We need a new NSALG link person, Katharine Rathouse has stood down from this role. Any offers?

Web site and Social Media.

We have a FLAG website which Richard occasionally maintains. Rebecca Hart offered to set up an entry-level Social Media presence and tell us all how we can use it.

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.

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Any other Business

Plot Signs. You may not know this, but your tenancy agreement requires you to maintain clearly visible plot number signage

In the past, a FLAG working party made sure that every plot has a sign, but several of these are seriously decaying or have gone missing. Please make sure that your signs are visible from adjacent pathways. This should help ensure that deliveries of bags from Ayletts do go to the intended destinations – last time, several were hard to be sure about!

New plotholders near you? when you see new people on site do say Hello and Welcome. 

Old plotholders near you? we have a few plots who we can’t contact, we think we may have wrong addresses for them. They have not joined FLAG and we are not at all sure who looks after these plots. We would like to know who they are so we can contact them for normal site information or in case of emergency. If you see anyone on plots 7E, 8E, 9W, 10E, 12E and 12W, 22S, 31E, 36W, or 50S would you ask them to please let FLAG know their contact information.

Car Parking Mud. There is a lot of mud and loose footing by the main drive area. PLEASE put your spare stones into this area (and not on the Green Waste Tip).  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!

Autumn Leaves. We had a few loads of leaves delivered in the Autumn but the weather in December cut them short. The piles do make good mulch so use them while they are there. Once the pile has gone, the older leaves from the back are well rotted (careful - they may include bindweed roots).

Eco area alongside fence in town gate entrance. Nigel Gale is trying to set up a Nature Space there – he has put signs along the fence there, please have a look at the area to see what you can see there – he is keen to let the space develop naturally , no grass cutting etc– to see how it can re-wild by itself. Don’t tread  on the area, especially while it gets established!

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Working Party suggestions:   Offers please to head one of these and pick a date for it or suggest your own idea. Then we will circulate information and try to make it happen.

Tree and hedge trimming on south driveway. Ayletts’ lorry could not get past because of overhanging branches. We can’t get the householders to cut these trees back, so we want to remove the overhanging branches ourselves (and bonfire them).

Does anyone have access to a Petrol Chainsaw, or a battery chainsaw, or a small electrical generator, or someone to help get the generator in the steel shed working? 

Can anyone offer to bring or lend a petrol hedge-trimmer

Hedge laying. Malcolm is interested to have a go at this, the hedges between us and Oysterfields are ripe for us to try this. It would improve our site security in due course if we can get it going. We would need hand choppers and axes, ideally billhooks. Offers to Malcolm please.

Tidy up any Non-Burnable Rubbish at the lower end so we can get it cleared by council contractors. We have several full bags already, please put any rubbish in the appropriate bag or into a new one. ACTION:All – some extra builders’ bags please.

SITE GATES – REMINDER – PLEASE SHUT THE GATES BEHIND YOU EVERY TIME WHEN YOU COME ON TO SITE (even if you don’t lock them)


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