Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotment Association meeting held at 7pm on Wednesday 23 April 2014, in room H407, at the Robert Gordon University, Faculty of Health and social Care, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen
Present: S. Wedderburn, plot 71b, K. Grabham, plot 85, G and P. Bell, plot 7a R. Matheson, plot 36, S. Oram, Chairman, R. Cameron, Treasurer, M. Fairhurst, plot 5, J and G Tulloch, plot 41, D. Cormack, plot 57, R. Hunt, plot 73, M. Hart, plot, 88 F. Yeats, plot 63a, C. Watt, plot 63b.
Welcome: The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present and in vited every-one to take a full and active part in the discussions.
Apologies: N and J Coutts, plot 81, S. Archibald, plot 51a, M. Hart, plot 88, M, Mackintosh, plot 20, V. Goss, plot 1e, R. Mair, plot 76, B. Taylor, plot 79, M. Walsh, plot 94b.
Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes from the previous meeting on 13 November 2013 were approved.
Association Funds: The Treasurer reported that the fund currently sits at £1070. The Chairman then explained that while this may seem a substantial fund, if we had had to purchase the replacement sit-on mower, this would have used up all the funds.
Sub Committees for Fund Raising and Social Events: The Chairman opened this topic for discussion as to the best way forward regarding the formation of a fund raising and social event committee, He advised the group that the Slopefield Association held regular social events on their site. After discussion it was decided to try having a Community day on the 3rd Sunday of every month from 11am onwards.
Update on the Community Garden: The Chairman reported that he had been liaising with Sandy Scott, ACC and the RGU regarding the Community Garden and to date there has been a new car parking area created at a cost of £4000. The intent is to create the raised beds for a Community garden over 4 phases, at a cost of £10000 per phase.
Allotment Market Stall: The Chairman introduced Cath Pilley to the group and invited her to give a presentation about the Allotment Stall.
Cath gave an interesting and informative update about the Market Stall scheme whereby plot holders could sell their produce. This was followed by a question and answer session.
It’s Your Neighbourhood: The Chairman informed the group that this scheme is operated by the RHS and is linked to the Britain in Bloom competition. This is quite a prestigious event and it is important for the city”s participation in the competition. Last year the GFAA produced a board with a collage of photographs about the site.
ACC have suggested that the GFAA join the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Scheme’, which covers areas like:
Awards are to be given for each of the categories.
The GFAA presentation for last year can still be seen on the noticeboard.
Everyone is invited to view the display and are invited to provide suggestions for this year to the Chairman.
Marking of Plots – This topic regularly crops up during the audits. It is a requirement to have the plots numbered.
Recent Communal Activities:
Wild Flower Planting – Dawn Cormack informed the group that 6 people turned up and assisted in preparing the area and planting the wild flower seeds.
Grass Sowing – The Chairman thanked everyone who assisted in the grass sowing.
Bonfire – The Chairman reported that the recent bonfire had been very successful
Community Activity Coordinator: The Chairman asked if the group if there were anyone interested in carrying out the duties of Community Activity Coordinator. Dawn Cormack volunteered to take on this role.
Bothy Steps: – It was reported that the Bothy steps have fallen into a state of disrepair and Frank Yeats has offered to assist in repairing/replacing where required.
Noticeboard – The Chairman reported hat the noticeboard is not waterproof and Frank Yeats volunteered his services to address this issue
Allotment Plot Reps: Mike Fairhurst updated the meeting regarding the decision to have nominated reps look after groups of plots to give encouragement and advice where required.
Website – A volunteer was requested to develop the website. Norman Coutts volunteered to develop and manage the site.
Management of GFAA Tools – The Chairman informed the meeting that one of the green containers is now being used to store some communal tools and machinery.
Audits – Mike Fairhurst gave an update regarding a recent audit and explained the system ACC has in place regarding the part and full letters sent to anyone not maintaining their plot. There is such a large waiting list for allotments within the city that the Council are now being more robust in their approach. Currently 10 part letters have been sent to plotters and 2 full letters have been sent and 1 telephone call.
Photographer – It was suggested that photographs could be taken of the site at various times throughout the year to update the website. Carrie Watt volunteered to take the photographs.
Closure: There being no other competent business, the Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the meeting was closed with the date of the next meeting to be arranged.
Stuart Oram & George Tulloch
Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association(GFAA) General Meeting held in the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road at 7-30pm on Wednesday 28thAugust 2013.
Present: Stuart Oram (Chairman), plots 8 and 56, Mike Fairhurst, plot 5, Rupert Hunt, plot 73, Norman and Jacqui Coutts, plot 81, Ruth Evans plot 22, Allan George plot 98A, Rhona Matheson, plot 37.
Apologies: George Tulloch, Carlos Galan, Ian Shand, Ranald Cameron, Gavin and Tricia Bell, Carrie Watt, Gordon MacDonald,Val Milne.
In the absence of the Secretary, the Chairman took the minutes.
Association Funds: As at 14/8/2013 cash in bank was £854.
Committee Membership: Ken Locke, one of our Committee members has moved to a new home in Dunfermline. The Chairman took the opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ken for his contribution to GFAA. In particular, it was Ken who started off the initial Advisory Group when the Council announced some years ago that their policy was to shift responsibility to allotment holders and give them an opportunity to direct their own affairs. The Advisory Group subsequently metamorphosed into the GFAA. The meeting expressed their best wishes to Ken in his new home.
Ken’s departure leaves a vacancy on the Committee which we hope to fill as soon as possible. If any allotment holder would like to join the Committee or would like to find out more about what is involved please contact any Committee member.
Mike Fairhurst has taken over from Ian Shand, the role of auditing the allotments in conjunction with the Council.
Allotment Guidance Documents from Aberdeen City Council: There was a generally favourable reaction at the meeting to these documents.
Site Security – Rear Boundary fence and Replacement Padlock: A site meeting had been held with George Davidson from the Council and the Chairman. While George Davidson did agree that a replacement fence similar to that beside Pitfodel’s Road was ideally what was needed, the Council have since reported back that the funds for such a fence are not available. An alternative suggestion that had been mooted previously to establish a thorn hedge was not considered necessary by George as there appeared to be an existing barrier of nettles and branches and thorns. The meeting agreed that we should obtain a proper costing to build the ideal fence and have it ready to present to potential funders as the opportunity arose.
Action: Chairman A replacement combination padlock for the overhead barrier is to be obtained shortly by the Council. The delay has been due to protracted discussion initiated by the Council on alternative padlocks.
Update on Allotment for Disabled People: The Chairman reported that there might be a possibility of some funding for our project from RGU who have recently been awarded a fairly large sum of money for a bigger project they are working on. Discussion on the allocation and distribution of these funds will be taking place shortly.
The meeting agreed that we should also promote aspects of the disabled allotment costs and use networking with local businesses to try to secure funds. For example if local businesses have budgeted funds for community purposes, we might be able to obtain their support for parts of our project eg Supply of sleepers to create the raised beds and so on.
Plot for RGU Students: The Council have agreed to allocate Ken Locke’s former plot (20) to the RGU Students Association following their recent request.
Update on plan for BBQ area in the Orchard: The students at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment did produce various designs for our BBQ area as part of their Degree course. All the designs were shown to the Chairman representing GFAA as the client. The student focus was on the covered area related to barbecues as opposed to the construction of the actual stone BBQ. The Chairman felt that for GFAA to progress this further we would need to adapt the students ideas and if any allotment holder feels they could in any way assist in the design and build of this facility please get in touch with the Chairman or any Committee member.
Management of GFAA Tools and Machinery: Various people have kindly donated gardening tools and machinery to the Association. Mike Fairhurst has made an inventory of all the equipment and identified it as belonging to GFAA. This equipment is stored in one of the metal containers and is for any plot-holder to use. It was agreed that the best way to give everyone access to the equipment was to put a combination padlock on the container with the same code as the site entrance padlocks. Among the items is a generator, rotovator and a petrol mower all of which need some repair. If anyone feels they could assist in checking and repairing these units please contact the Committee.
Display Board for Scotland In Bloom: The Council asked the Association if they would provide a display board for the recent Scotland in Bloom competition. The purpose of the board was to showcase to the judges, the work of community groups and allotments in helping to keep Scotland beautiful. We duly provided the board and a replica of it is or will be fixed to the plot notice board.
Communal Activities on Site: It was agreed that we should arrange a pruning session for this year.
It was agreed that we should have a site bonfire after the pruning session – date to be notified by e-mail.
It was suggested that a work w/e should be arranged to tackle bothy clean-out, hedge trimming. tidying of the large storage bins, pothole filling and so on. Date to be set.
BBQ and Raffle: Rupert Hunt and Ruth Evans very kindly offered to organise this event which will be held on Sunday 6th October. An e-mail will be circulated nearer the time. Action: Secretary
Selling Plot Produce: The Chairman read out some of the most recent bulletin from The Allotment Market Stall (TAMS) which had been running for 4 weeks with one week to go. A wide variety of produce was collected from allotments around the city and sold at the Castlegate on Fridays and Saturdays. The final report detailing quantities sold and cash generated is awaited.
AOB: The Chairman referred to an e-mail he received from the Council regarding a free talk about Permaculture run by Aberdeen Forward. The meeting expressed no interest.
There was some discussion regarding the new houses being built adjacent to our site particularly with regard to the plots being overlooked. The meeting felt that the presence of the houses might be a bonus or a blight depending on your point of view. The strip of land between the houses and our site boundary wall is full of rose-bay willow herb and members wanted to know what was the intention for this strip of land. The Chairman agreed to find out from the Site Agent.
The Chairman thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 8-40pm.
Garthdee Field Allotments Association
Minutes of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association (GFAA) meeting held within the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen on Tuesday 30 April 2013 at 7pm
Stuart Oram, Chairman, plots 8 and 56, George Tulloch, Secretary, plot 41, Norman Coutts, plot 81, Mike Fairhurst, plot 6, Bruce Taylor, plot 79, Gavin and Tricia Bell, plot 7A, David Buchan, plot 27, Richard Powell, plot 96B, Val Milne, plot 23, Ruth Evans, plot 22, Gill Kitching, plot 4, Rupert Hunt, plot 73, Allan George, plot 98A.
Simon Rayner, Doug Connell, Martin Walsh, Brian Bryce, Carrie Watt.
The Chairman welcomed everyone and opened the meeting.
Minute of previous meeting:
The Chairman asked everyone if they had a chance to see the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 14 November 2012, and asked for them to be adopted. The minutes were agreed.
Proposed Federation for Aberdeen City Allotments:
The Chairman reported that the proposed Federation for Aberdeen is unlikely to happen, as there are approximately 10 sites around the city with the combined feeling that a Federation would just be another layer of bureaucracy, and wouldn’t achieve anything which the status quo couldn’t. There do not appear to be any examples of where such a Federation has been successful.
The Chairman reported that the plot fees have gone up by 2.5% this year and went on to highlight the prices for this year.
The chairman reported that the Association currently has £804 in the account.
Auditing of Plots:
The Chairman informed the meeting that the auditing of the plots by Yvonne Mitchell from Aberdeen City Council (ACC) continues and urged members to speak to the Committee if they are unwell or if there are any issues, which prevent them from working their plot. Ian Shand is collating names of people who would be keen to help out with a plot. The Chairman also stated that he had a list of plotters who are requiring assistance.
Discussion then took place regarding the possibility of requesting assistance from the ACC waiting list to assist.
Task – Chairman to speak to Pat Wilson, ACC, regarding the possibility of using someone from the waiting list to help any plotters requiring assistance.
Allotment Guidance Documents from ACC:
The Chairman reported that operational guidance documents for micro plot holders are to be distributed by ACC.
The Chairman informed the group that he has spoken to Pat Wilson regarding the fencing bordering the railway line, which is in a state of disrepair. George Davidson from ACC will be carrying out a survey. Discussion then took place regarding a recent break in at a plotter’s shed. the Chairman urged anyone experiencing similar criminal activity should report all matters to the Police.
The Chairman stated that the Pitfodels Road access to the site has been available for some time now and seems to be working well.
The Chairman reported that he has discussed the arrangements regarding the possibility of an area being created for a disabled allotment at the orchard area of the site with Sandy Scott and Pat Wilson, from ACC, and has shown them Architects drawings of how it may look onsite. They are fully supportive and are happy with the plan to raise the level of the site with topsoil.
Phil Carver has left the RGU, and a meeting was arranged between the Chairman and Liz Hancock from RGU. She is supportive of the disabled allotments and has intimated the possibility of including our project with another grant request she is currently working on.
Barratts have offered 1000 tonnes of topsoil to assist in raising the level of the area.
The Chairman reported that RGU 3rd year students are creating plans for a BBQ area at the site as a project.
Communal Activities Onsite:
Bonfire – The chairman announced the intention to have a bonfire to clear the excess wood lying about the site. Date to be confirmed.
Pothole Filling – The Chairman informed the meeting that a load of road planings had been delivered and were situated at the entrance to the site. He asked that everyone use the planings to fill any holes in the roadways outside their plots.
Sowing of Wildflowers – The Chairman mentioned that he thought it would be a good idea to sow wildflowers around the site. He sought advice from Terry Scott, a fellow plotter at the Slopefield site, who advised growing wildflowers as plug plants in a greenhouse.
Pruning Workshops – The Secretary informed the group that there had been a request to hold another pruning workshop at the site. He made enquiries with Colin Stirling, who held the last workshop, and he recommended the third or fourth week in November or first week in december. The secretary will circulate the membership nearer the time to gauge interest.
BBQ and Raffle – volunteers were requested to organise the BBQ and raffle.
Selling Plot Produce:
Pat Wilson circulated a note from the Community Food Initiative North East (CFINE), who can take any excess produce from allotments, sell it, and give the money back to the plotholders.
Communal Wall – Concerns were raised regarding the poor state of the stone wall boundary with the Barratts site.
Containers – The Chairman reported that, recently, issues had been raised regarding plotholders selling containers. He announced that the containers around the site were a gift and belong to the Garthdee Field allotment Association, not the individual who currently occupies the container.
The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 8pm.
Stuart Oram George Tulloch
Minutes of GFAA Committee meeting at 7.00pm on 19 March 2013
at 7 South Crown Street, Aberdeen
Attendance: Stuart Oram, George Tulloch, Ranald Cameron, Rupert hunt, Ken Locke
Apologies: Carlos Galan-Diaz, Mike Hart, Mike Fairhurst
Opening of Meeting: The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present to the first committee meeting of the new season.
Minutes of Previous Meeting: The Chairman informed the group that he had received correspondence from Richard Powell requesting that the minutes be amended to read Susan Powell instead of his name. Amendment to be made and minutes adopted.
Micro Plots: the Chairman reported that the GFAA are still in dispute with Aberdeen City Council regarding the terminology and usage of the micro plots.
Items for next General Meeting: The Chairman informed the group that he had provisionally compiled an Agenda for the next General Meeting and will circulate with the Committees approval. the items to be included are as follows:
Proposed Federation from ACC
Auditing of Plots – next audit to take place on 15/4/13
ACC Document regarding “Managing an Allotment”
Communal Work on Site
BBQ – provisional dates 2/6/13 and 1/9/13
The Committee agreed the proposed Agenda
General Meeting: The date of the next General Meeting was agreed for Tuesday 30 April 2013.
ACC Allotment Guidance Notes: The ACC have compiled guidance notes regarding managing an allotment and are to be circulated.
Funds: Ranald Cameron reported that the GFAA funds currently stand at £803.22
Pruning Class – There was a feeling amongst the committee that last year’s pruning class was very successful and would like this repeated.
Task – The Secretary was tasked with enquiring about pruning class.
Wild Flower Border – The Chairman informed the group that he had been in discussion with Terry Scott from Slopefield regarding a wild flower border around the site and it was felt that there would be merit in possibly arranging a wild flower class for the association.
Task – Chairman to enquire about the possibility of a workshop for growing wild flowers.
Closure: There were no other items of business and the meeting was closed.
Minute of the Garthdee Field Allotments Association (GFAA) Annual General Meeting held within the Robert Gordon University Faculty of Health and Social Care, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen at 7.00pm on Wednesday 14 November 2012
Attendees: Stuart Oram (Chairman), plots 8 and 56, George Tulloch (Deputy Secretary), plot 41, Ranald Cameron (Treasurer), plot 75, Rupert Hunt, plot 73, Gill Kitching, plot 97B, Bruce Taylor, plot 79, Iain Yuill, Councillor, Norman Coutts, plot 81, Richard Powell, plot 96B, Ken Locke, plot 20, Mike Fairhurst, plot 5, Alison McNaughton, plot 80, Val Milne, plot 23, Martin Walsh, plot 94, Phil Carver, RGU, Wendy Wireden, RGU.
Apologies: Councillor Aileen Malone, Councillor Gordon Townson, Pat Wilson ACC, Mike Hart, Secretary, Marion Hart, plot 88, Councillor Angela Taylor, Carlos Galan, Brian Bryce, plot 38, Len Campbell, plot 74, Maryanne and Alasdair Dawson, plot 71B, Erica McLachlan, plot 76, Patricia and Gavin Bell, plot 7A, Mike Legge, plot 44, Ian Shand, plot 28, Councillor Marie Boulton
Welcome: Stuart Oram (Chairman) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone present.
Minutes of previous AGM:
The Chairman reported that the minutes of the AGM held on 15 November 2011 had been circulated and asked for any comments. There were no comments or amendments, the minutes were agreed and duly proposed and seconded.
2012 has been one of the worst years in my experience of allotment gardening given the lack of sunshine and consistently wet weather over the summer.
However, I’m pleased to say that our Association has made and continues to make steady progress, in keeping with the Council’s vision and the Association’s aspirations, to move away from the position where we were wholly dependent on the Council to manage and maintain our allotment, to the position that we are sufficiently well organised to take on the management and maintenance ourselves.
You might recall that there were four stages to the process – Dependency, Participation, Delegation and finally Semi-autonomy. As an Association we are in the fully Participative stage and almost ready to accept formal responsibility for a range of duties which is the Delegation phase. How we progress over the next year or two will, I think, depend on the enthusiasm and willingness of allotment holders to assume responsibility for managing the allotment.
We have continued during this past year to collaborate with RGU and the Scott-Sutherland School of Architecture and the Built Environment and hopefully we will have some input this coming year from the Scott-Sutherland students in designing our BBQ area and from RGU in the development of our disabled allotment. I think it is important that we continue to work in partnership with other community groups and organisations.
It will be obvious to allotment holders or anyone visiting the site at Garthdee that a significant improvement in overall tidiness of the site has been achieved and the access roads and communal areas have been well maintained. That is all down to the hard work and sterling efforts of our plotters over the course of the year. So I take this opportunity to thank all those allotment holders who have supported the Association during this past year either by simply keeping their plot tidy or by helping out with communal activities such as the BBQ, the Bonfire, the bothy clean-up, road repairs and maintenance of the orchard and not forgetting the very generous cash donations we have received from allotment holders.
A big thanks also to my fellow Committee members for their support this last year. Having a good working committee is key to the success and development of our Association.
Ranald Cameron (Treasurer) circulated copies of the current financial statement for the year ending 30 September 2012. He reported that income is totally reliant on donations into the account, which totalled £697 for the year. There had been various expenditures involved in maintaining the site for the year, which included road planings for the potholes, plumbing repairs for the taps, petrol for the lawnmower, totalled £379.78. The current balance is now £493.22.
George Tulloch (Deputy Secretary) informed the meeting that out of the 108 plots on site, the Association now has 68 members and 6 associate members, which equates to 63% membership.
Amendment to the Constitution:
The Chairman informed the group that the constitution currently states that there should be three general meetings per year plus the Annual General Meeting to discuss pertinent matters. There is a feeling, within the association, that this is a bit excessive and an amendment was proposed by Ken Locke, seconded by Stuart Oram
“To meet between 2 and 4 times a year with one meeting at the start of the season and one immediately after the AGM as appropriate to Association’s activities”.
There were no objections and this motion was carried.
Election of Management Committee:
The Chairman reported that, as per the constitution, the management committee positions currently occupied by the Treasurer and numbers 5 and 6 are now available for election. Ranald Cameron is the Treasurer, Ian Shand occupies position number 5 and position number 6 is vacant. He informed the group that there was no nominations to stand for election had been received and the present incumbents were happy to remain on the committee. He asked if anyone was prepared to occupy position number 6 on the committee. Mike Fairhurst volunteered and was thereafter proposed by Ken Locke and seconded by Norman Coutts.
There were no other items of business and the Annual general Meeting was closed.
Stuart Oram George Tulloch