Moor Green Lane Allotment Association Annual General Meeting 2nd July 2022
There were 23 members present as follows:
Plot Number/Social Member
C Baff 65
J Bean 64
D Cotterill 62
O j Cutts 236
A Doyle 83
B Doyle 83
D Draycott 58
S Gwynne 153
J Hiller 126
G Iqbal 49
D James 25
J Jupe 187
B McCarthy Social
P Rooney 14
M Sander 69
M Smith (Chair) 126
L Treadwell 221
M Treadwell 221
C Moore 94
Apologies were received from: Peter Jupe, Ann Kennefick, Mark Wright, Sue Turner and Louise Scrivens
1. The Chair (M Smith) welcomed members to the AGM .
2. Minutes of the previous AGM on 26th 2021 were APPROVED
3. Chairman’s Report – Maxine Smith
The Chair reported on the key events since the last meeting. This had been a very difficult year for the Association, dealing with the continuing impact of Covid, engaging with the City Council on a whole range of strategic issues including the review of the City-wide management agreement, an eviction case, the loss of some valued committee members and above all the serious damage to the clubhouse roof in Storm Arwen late in November 2021. This last event made the first major fundraising event post Covid – the December Christmas Fayre – totally impossible. It reflected the community spirit on site that not only did many plotholders help to put in place a temporary roof the morning after the roof blew off, but members raised £3,000 + for roof repair in December despite having nowhere to run events. There had then been a six-month process of pressing the Council to act – first in providing a better temporary roof, and second in agreeing a long-term replacement. The Chair was optimistic about the outcome but stressed the huge effort made by committee members and others to push the Council, cost repairs which we could undertake ourselves and maintain a service in the clubhouse in far from ideal conditions.
It was acknowledged that other pressing areas for attention were roads and fencing. It was agreed that the next priority after the pavilion is the road repair, which the Council is responsible for but again the Association may need to address.
More positively, the committee had managed to support and engage with a number of new initiatives, including the development of a Forest School on site for local pre-school and primary age children, the development of a plan to support refugees – in the first instance Ukrainian – who would benefit from access to gardening, growing produce and meeting the wider community. The site manager would report later on two TV programmes using Moor Green as a location. More volunteers had been recruited, particularly for the bar and Seedstore and the Chair wished to put on record her thanks for the huge contribution which they and the committee members made to the running of the site and its facilities. Outgoing committee members: Sue Turner, Dani and Cotterill and Will Freeman were thanked for their work for the association.
The report was accepted unanimously by those present.
4. The Chair further reported that notices for election of the new committee had been posted widely with a deadline of 28th June for the receipt of nominations. 15 nominations duly proposed and seconded had been received which was the exact number required. The names are as follows.
Robert (Oz) Osborn
A further nomination of J Iqbal had been received but Jenny had not been a plotholder for long enough to qualify. The Chair proposed that Jenny be co-opted as a member
The nominations (including the co-option) were then presented to the meeting and APPROVED
5. Treasurers Report (Maureen Westwood)
After the loss in the last 2 years it is pleasing to report a profit for this year of £8840.81 . Members will see from the accounts sheet provided that we now have £43,687.41 in the bank. This however may not be there for long as we are still waiting for a decision about the roof from the council. Unfortunately the longer it goes on the more it will cost. On the accounts the profit for the raise the roof event is £2849.73 but because it was at the end of the month there are associated costs and revenue to add on to give you the full picture of that event: the actual profit was £3701.01 . Thank you everyone that attended. I would like to thank the plot holders who wish to remain anonymous for the very generous donation to the raise the roof fund.
Finally after concerns by the auditor about payments made from the allotment account it is confirmed that the treasurer now seeks approval from 2 other executive officers for any payment that is made and that a copy of the bank statement is sent to the executive committee monthly so that they can see transactions for each month.
The Treasurer’s report was AGREED unanimously
The change on transaction approval was also AGREED unanimously
6. Site Managers Report - Paul Rooney
· Waiting List. Demand for allotment plots remains very high. We had to close our waiting list in October 2020 when there were 92 people on the list. We managed to reduce this to 30 over the last year and reopened the waiting list to new applicants last month. New applicants are likely to wait over 2 years before they are offered a plot.
· Vacant Plots. There are currently only 3 full and 1 half plot that are vacant, all of which should be let within the next few weeks. We have increased the number of plots available by creating more half plots to rent.
· Plot inspections. Plot inspections are recommencing this month. While we have been successful over the last year in letting a backlog of long neglected plots, there remain several very poorly maintained plots. Because of Covid difficulties there have understandably been plot holders who have had difficulties in maintaining their plots, but this situation is now easing. Zone reps views will be sought regarding plot inspections in their zone and any proposed action over neglected plots.
· Bonfires. Birmingham City Council have now forbidden plot holders from having bonfires on their plots except in the month of November. We were not consulted about this rule change.
· City Council Site Maintenance responsibilities. The Council are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the physical infrastructure of the site. We continue to have major concerns about their failure to maintain perimeter fencing, site roads, pathways and watercourses.
Our areas of greatest concern are – The roadway leading to Zones J and K
- The perimeter fence adjacent to Cannon Hill Park Woods
- The collapsed culvert at the rear of plots 17 and 18 in Zone D
· Asbestos on site. The City Council carried out an asbestos survey of the buildings on all their allotment sites in March. We have raised with them that we have a long-standing concern about the deteriorating state of tool locker roofs on site but have not yet received the results of the survey.
· B 30 Food Bank We continued to collect fresh fruit and vegetables to B30 foodbank last year. We will start the weekly collection again this year in mid-July. Collection boxes will be at the rear of the clubhouse - Wed evening to Friday morning.
· Moor Green as film location – the BBC drama My Name is Leon, much of which was filmed at Moor Green was broadcast on BBC2 last month. A CBeebies children’s programme called ‘Ranger Hamza’s Eco Quest’ was also filmed on site this spring and is likely to be broadcast at the beginning of next year.
7. Pavilion Managers Report
In Mark Wright’s absence, the chair reported. Despite the problems with the roof, bookings of the Clubhouse continued and some very successful events had been run, including the fundraiser on 26th March when the bar had achieved record takings. The roof repair remained the major issue and there was still no word from the Council as to whether they would fund the project. The Chair had written again to the Council (Darren Share) requesting a decision. Steve Gwynne suggested that there was provision in the Management Handbook for the association to fund the repairs themselves. It was AGREED that this option would be investigated further if the Council gave a negative answer or no answer to the Chair’s request.
8. Seedstore Managers Report
Steve G reported that the Seedstore was slowly returning to pre-Covid routines and thanked the volunteers that enabled him to open the Seedstore most weekends through Spring and early Summer. Stocks of seed potatoes and onion setts were nearly exhausted. Restocking the Seedstore properly was a problem for as long as it was being used to house the solar panels lost from the Clubhouse roof in November. It was AGREED that the Committee should look at reorganising the Bulk Store to house the panels if the situation continued towards Autumn so that normal service could be resumed in time for the winter planting season.
9. Revised Constitution
The Secretary proposed one amendment to the Constitution and one additional appendix on Social Membership in recognition of the fact that social membership had grown in popularity. The proposals were considered separately by the AGM
a. Amendment as follows to Section 5.1 of the Constitution. “The Association Committee shall comprise: five (raised from four) executive officers to include a Chairperson, Treasurer, Committee Secretary, Site Manager and Pavilion Manager, together with up to eleven other nominated members. This was AGREED unanimously
b. Addition re Social Membership – see Attached Annex A. AGREED subject to further review at the first meeting of the new Committee to ensure incorporation of the amendments proposed by J Jupe
10. Management Agreement with City Council
The Secretary had circulated a copy of the draft new Management Agreement which was the subject of negotiation with the Council. He had agreed to chair the Working Group taking this forward on behalf of Birmingham and District Allotments Committee. The Chair thanked the Secretary for pursuing this on behalf of Moor Green and the other 114 sites in the city
11. Request for volunteers: the chairman reinforced the need for volunteers to support the work of the committee. In particular help would be welcomed in the bar, seed store and tea shop and importantly in more general areas of site maintenance. She asked anyone willing to volunteer in any of these areas to make themselves known to the committee.
12. The meeting closed at 2.00 p.m.
Social Membership – Draft Proposal
Membership shall be open to all persons over the age of 16 years who wish to enjoy the green space and clubhouse facilities of the Moor Green site. A key giving access via all gates will be provided to all social members. Social members using the site as a place to walk do so at their own risk and should
Not enter any plot without the permission of the plot holder
Keep dogs on a lead and under control
Keep to the paths and roads on site
Application for membership can be online via the Website or direct to the Pavilion Manager. No persons may become a Member until elected by the Committee of the Association. The Association Committee shall not elect any person to Membership without allowing an interval of at least two days after nomination or application of Membership, nor without such interval shall any person be allowed the privileges of Membership.
Nomination and application for Membership shall be displayed in a prominent position in the Club for at least two days prior to election to Membership i.e. before the next Committee meeting. The election of Members shall be vested solely in the Association Committee.
All Members shall pay a subscription of [£20? ] that shall be due, in advance, each year on the [do we have a set date?]. Any Member whose subscription shall be three weeks in arrears shall be notified by the Pavilion Manager of the fact and, if, the subscription shall not be paid within one further week such person shall automatically cease to be a Member of the Club.
Visitors and Guests
Every Member over 18 years of age shall have the privilege of introducing visitors and shall be responsible for the conduct of such visitors whilst they are on the Club premises. The names of the visitors so introduced must be entered in a book provided for that purpose and kept on the Club premises.
No visitors to be admitted after 30 minutes before closing time.
No person expelled or refused Membership shall be introduced as a guest. No Member shall be entitled to introduce more than three bona-fide guests into the Club at one time. No guest or Temporary Member shall be sold liquor for consumption off the Club premises.
No person evicted as a plotholder or expelled or refused membership shall be introduced as a guest either by a social member or by a plotholder. No Member shall be entitled to introduce more than three bona-fide guests into the clubhouse at one time. No guest or Temporary Member shall be sold liquor for consumption off the clubhouse premises.
The Association Committee may at its discretion grant temporary Membership as follows:
Members of other sites visiting the clubhouse for a show, meeting or other event will be admitted as a social member to the clubhouse for the day of the visit only and may purchase intoxicating liquor for consumption on the Clubhouse premises. Temporary Membership shall not be granted to persons under 18 years of age
Hours of Opening and Closing
As set by the Committee and subject to bar staff being available. Any other times agreed by the Association Committee under guidance of the Licensing Authority.
The purchase for the clubhouse and the supply by the clubhouse of intoxicating liquor shall be managed by the Association Committee or the Pavilion Manager acting on behalf of the Committee. Intoxicating liquor shall not be supplied to Members of the Clubhouse on the clubhouse premises otherwise than by, or on behalf of, the Clubhouse. No person directly or indirectly shall receive any commission or percentage of profit by reason of the supply of intoxicating liquor by, or on behalf of, the clubhouse to Members or to Guests, apart from any benefit which a Member may derive indirectly by reason of such supply giving rise or contributing to an Association gain from the carrying on of the clubhouse. No persons under 18 years of age to be served intoxicants.
The clubhouse premises shall not be used for unlawful games. The Association Committee shall have the power to prohibit any games which, in their opinion, are unlawful or the playing of which could be injurious to the interests of the clubhouse. The Association Committee may limit the points of stakes for any games.
18. Infringement of Rules
The Pavilion Manager and bar staff have delegated authority from the Association Committee to deal with any Member who infringes any Rule of the Clubhouse or whose conduct is prejudicial to the character of interests of the Clubhouse. Such infringements shall be dealt with in such a manner as the Committee may, in its absolute discretion, deem expedient. The right to appeal against any action taken lapses after one month. Any appeal to be put in writing to the Secretary.
NB – Secretary’s Note. This is the draft version of the Social Membership proposal submitted to the AGM with the agenda papers. Further revisions will be agreed at the first meeting of the new committee as resolved by the AGM