Minutes of the A.G.M. held on 28th November 2010 at the Parish Council Meeting Room, Old Basing.
The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 10.30 a.m.
Maurice Bates (Chairman)
Janet Cloke (Treasurer)
Chris Hall (Membership Secretary)
Tony Hall (WebMaster)
Les Orvis (Vice Chairman)
Philip Ward (Plant Sales Co-ordinator)
Jenny West (Secretary)
Richard West (Trading Secretary)
2 Minutes of the 2009 AGM
Although in short supply (apologies from Richard & Jenny for this lapse), the minutes of the meeting were read and approved.
3 Matters arising
No further progress as grants do not appear to be readily available. However Les Orvis informed the meeting that the toilets in the pavilion should soon be open into the evening with an automatic time lock.
General state of the site
Improvements have been seen this year – some of the entrance ways have been improved, the gates have been replaced and a new water supply system has been installed. Les Orvis has lodged an e-mail with the council defining nine points discussed at last year’s meeting.
A generator is not recommended as it would be too easy to steal.
Electricity supply quote received at £3,400 to one shed. This was thought to be excessive for the amount of time that the sheds are open.
Solar panel systems start at £600 with a 12V car battery and a few lights included but would not support heating of the huts or even a kettle.
It was stated that the current heater (gas) is in a bad state of repair and we should consider replacing it. A small camping gas stove could be used if thought necessary although most people bring a flask in cold weather.
Minutes on the web site
It was suggested that the minutes be published on the web site. This was agreed, however any financial information should be removed together with any other information deemed to be not for general publication.
4 Chairman’s Report
The Chairman thanked all of the committee for their work and assistance over the year as well as the increased number of helpers with the shop. This is particularly valuable in ensuring demands on everyone’s time is kept to a reasonable level. As usual special thanks to those who assisted with our early season work on the huts and the May plant sale. Whilst help on the day is vital it is pleasing that so many continue to help by growing extra plants to contribute to the sale.
Others will report on activities over the year but from my perspective the year has progressed without too many problems and some successes. The parish Council installed a new water supply system, new gates and a hard core drive to the Trading sheds. Though the work inevitably caused some disturbance to the state of the main grass pathways the overall outcome was worth the negatives. As noted we held our plant sale on May 9th. Perhaps the early date and cold spring weather had some impact on the number and variety of plant contributions and attendance was not as high as in some years. Nevertheless I think we had a successful morning with a useful contribution to our funds.
On the theft front we have continued to have problems, particularly in the early Spring period when a number of sheds were broken into, tools stolen and sheds damaged. The gate on Riley Lane was badly damaged at the same time. Police visited the site shortly afterwards and free of charge applied the “smartwater” protective code to a number of sheds and the tools in them. The locking gate has now been replaced on Riley Lane. I encourage all allotment holders to take care over what they leave in their sheds. We also had a problem with thefts from an individual plot of newly planted fruit trees.
On the social front we had a successful dinner at The Bolton Arms in November 2009 which was well attended by committee members and helpers. This was arranged by Richard West and funded by those attending. We also held a barbecue event on July 4th at the allotments after Sunday trading. This was attended by about 20 people and proved a good opportunity to meet and exchange views. Worth, I think repeating in 2011.
Finally, we continue to work with the Parish Council. Les Orvis will report on this. Under other business I would like to solicit opinions on a new tenancy agreement that the Parish plans to introduce shortly.
5 Secretary’s Report
Very little correspondence this year as there was a mix-up over the notification of the Secretary‟s address to the society. All correspondence has been passed on to the relevant committee member as required.
We have an offer from the Edible Garden Show at Stoneleigh Park 18th – 20th March 2011 for 2 tickets for the price of 1. The flyer will be posted in the sheds in the New Year.
The membership role has been much smoother this year with the new system. No-one has objected to their names being forwarded to the society.
A total of 65 members joined or renewed using the new forms, between 10 January and 4 July, 2010.
6 Trading Secretary’s Report
Another year with plenty of shop helpers, I would like to thank all volunteers who have spent their Sunday mornings in all kinds of weather with either a long queue or nothing to do. Next year we will have over 30 helpers for the shop again.
The new membership scheme appears to be working well. Thanks to Tony & Chris for all their hard work.
The seed orders & delivery went very smoothly this year. Thanks to Phil for his time and organisation.
Thanks also to all who helped in the shed tidy weekend.
We purchased stock at the end of last year before the VAT increase and managed to maintain the 15% VAT costs until May of 2010.
The stock has again been run down to year end. We have just received a large shipment bought at 17.5% VAT so we should be able to hold this year’s VAT increase due in January off for a few months until we have to buy more stock.
Prices have again been quite stable this year. Some items have even reduced in price!
If you have any products that you would like us to stock then please let me know and I will see if I can find a supplier. Also if you see any bargains – 2 for 1 or BOGOF on items that you think the shop could stock then please get them and present the receipt at the shop and get your money back.
The Social Sunday in July went off very well and we had over 30 people sitting round three barbeques for most of the afternoon – and the weather was good to us. Thanks to all who brought salads, quiches and curry puffs (they were good!).
We had our second shop team “Harvest home” dinner at the Bolton Arms earlier this month. This went off very well and everyone had a very pleasant evening.
7 Seed order
Phil reported that the seed order went very smoothly, although it was very tight to get everything ready for the November shop opening day.
Phil recommended that an additional Sunday in October should be added to the shop schedule and that the November opening should be put back to the second week. This will ensure that the seed orders are ready for collection and that all customers can be informed in good time.
This was agreed by the committee.
8 Publicity Report (including Website)
Janet has regularly supplied a publicity report to the Basinga, unfortunately this has not always been published. It was stated that other associations are experiencing similar problems. It was generally agreed that some items in the Basinga do not have relevance to the local area and that the space could be better used to publicise local events and associations.
Maurice agreed to write to the Basinga editor to see if anything could be done to improve this situation.
Hits since January, 2008 has reached 2145, approximately 800 in the last year.
A desire to increase the editorial content and make the site more socially interactive has resulted in the following:
1. Irene Allaway has given permission to allow her monthly “Gardening Notes” that appear in the Parish Magazine Basinga to be reproduced on the website. We now have months February – December 2010 available for visitors to the site.
2. Members’ Recipes section: An appeal on the News page for members’ favourite recipes involving gardening, allotment or wild produce has yet to reap dividends, but the section has been primed by entries courtesy of the Membership Secretary.
3. Quite a few members are self-employed and offer services that may be of interest to fellow members. We are offering a Classified Advertisement service to self-employed members for £2 per year from 2011.
9 Treasurers Report
Initially, Janet, our treasurer reported a loss of £191.62. This is only a paper loss as it is distorted by the way that stock has historically been accounted for.
It was agreed that the accounts should be accepted.
The issue of the accounts historical format was discussed and it was agreed that Janet and Les would meet to define a better method of accounting that is not distorted by stock variations. They agreed to report back to the Chairman before the end of the year with a revised set of accounts in a new format for approval.
A revised set of accounts using the new format has been produced and showed profits of £541.37 for 2009 & £223.70 for 2010
Membership is reconciled at 63.
Bank interest is still very low.
The plant sale raised £261.33
The seed order raised £119
Insurance is due for the huts in January. Janet has the new forms and will get them filled out in time for the renewal date. We will detail 63 members and insure up to 12 persons working at the huts at any one time. Janet believes that the insurance costs will increase again this year and will see if it is possible to find a cheaper quote – Janet thought that this is unlikely as the insurance from the National Society is targeted at Allotment societies.
The Treasurer pointed out that the overall membership income (£272) did not cover the subs to the National Society plus the insurance costs (£517 total) and that the first £250 of shop sales profit goes to cover this shortfall.
The Treasurer questioned if it would be a good idea to change the accounting year to January to December, this was discussed and it was decided that the current system is the best option to continue with.
10 Appointments of Officers
The following officers were appointed:
11 Any Other Business
Shed Inspection 27th March
Shed Tidy Weekend 9th & 10th April
Plant Sale 15th May
Social Sunday 10th July
Seed order final date 10th October
Harvest home dinner 11th November
2011 AGM 27th November
It was suggested that OBAGS take more interest in the Village Show. Maurice will contact the Show Committee to check if we could have or share a stand at the show and what publicity we could offer for our members.
Excess Fruit for the shop
Sue asked if we would be interested in any cooking apples next year to sell at the shop as she has excess fruit every year. Sue’s offer was gratefully accepted.
Local council allotment rules
Maurice mentioned the latest set of regulations from the council related to allotment lease. Several clauses were discussed but there was no general issue with the new clauses. Janet told us that as a new tenant she had to pay the deposit related to allotment condition but was surprised that her plot had not been cleared of rubbish before it was allocated to her. Les agreed to take this point up with the council.
Sue requested that a list of the shop opening dates and time be supplied with the membership cards. This was thought to be a good idea and Tony would see if it would be possible to fit this much information on the back of the cards.
Richard suggested that OBAGS put a team into the Carnival Skittles tournament but no-one else was interested.
The meeting ended at 12.30pm.
Asst Trading Sec
Seed Sale Organiser
Maurice Bates agreed to stay on as Chairman for one more year only.
Les Orvis agreed to continue as Vice Chairman and council representative.
Janet Cloke agreed to stay on as Treasurer.
Janet Cloke will continue as Publicity Officer.
Jenny West will remain Secretary.
Chris Hall will continue as Membership Sec.
Richard West agreed to stay on as Trading Sec.
Tony Hall agreed to stay on as Asst Trading Sec.
Tony Hall agreed to stay on as WebMaster.
Philip Ward will continue as Seed Sale Org.