Littleover Lane Allotments Association Ltd.
Registered Office: 19 Littleover Lane, Derby. DE23 6JF
Minutes of 2008 Annual General Meeting
Attendance – 42 members in all – list available.
Apologies for absence were received from Dr Lavelle, Miss Chisholm and Mr D Holmes.
1 Chairman`s Opening Remarks.
The Chairman welcomed all members and introduced the present committee to new
members. He asked that each speaker be allowed to finish before questions or comments
2 Minutes of the 2007 AGM
These had been distributed to all members previously and it was decided that there would be
no need to have them read out
3 Matters arising. It was noted that an item from 2007 AGM that announced the regular plot
appraisal to be conducted had been omitted from the minutes and this was to be corrected.
There being no other comments it was proposed by Mrs C Lawson that they be approved as a
true record. Seconded by Mrs S Houckham.
4 Secretary`s Report.
The Secretary reported the death of Mr Eddie Boyce, a long standing member well known
for his past gardening skills and good humour.
The resignation of Mrs Roper from the committee was reported and her continued support of
social events was acknowledged.
John and Carolyn Sutton were awarded second place in the Derby in Bloom competition for
their plots. Debbie Patrick received second prize for her shed in the Kitchen Garden
Magazine contest and a Certificate of Merit for her plot in the Garden News contest.
John, Carolyn and Debbie were congratulated.
The concerns of members about unkempt plots had been addressed by Debbie in two plot
appraisals with positive effects. The focus for the coming year will include hedges.
The committee`s commitment to keeping the membership consulted and informed and the
number of Special Meetings had resulted in a high level of administrative expenses. This is
most unlikely to recur in subsequent years. Members have been asked to receive
communication by e mail if possible and several have agreed to this.
The Association have rejoined the NSALG as agreed at last year`s AGM and they have been
invaluable in providing essential legal guidance over the year. We have also applied to join the CVS where we will be able to access free legal, accounting and fund raising support.
There have been 17 new members in 2007/8 and there are 12 names currently on the waiting list.
5 Chairman`s Report
The Chairman briefly referred to the two Special General Meetings of the year resulting in the formal abolition of the New Century Schools Horticultural Centre committee and the
expulsion of Mr Morton the ex-chairman. This had been a time consuming and expensive
series of actions. Mr Morton had attempted to appeal against his expulsion but was informed that there is no appeal procedure against the decision of the membership in our rules. Mr
Morton has still not handed over to the committee any further documents or essential information relating to the NCSHC.
The chairman, on behalf of the committee, thanked the membership for their continued support during this difficult time and stated that after the current AGM we would expect to `draw a line under this matter` and move on.
The chairman went on to report that the site had suffered only a few minor thefts during the year and drew the members` attention to the `Smart Marking` of large items by Howard
Clarke. Howard has also obtained a number of shed alarms, locks and fasteners available at the end of the meeting for a small donation.
An improvement in the overall state of plots had been noted since the plot appraisal scheme
had been instigated.
Members were asked to keep avenues clear and ensure that vehicles were parked in the designated car parking areas.
The deeds to the LLAA site have not been registered at the Land Registry and it was considered wise to record our title at some point. The committee will investigate this which will involve us in a cost. It`s thought that this will be around ?110.00 plus a search fee of ?30.00 payable to E-on, the Electricity supply company and solicitor`s fees.
The committee have spent some time this year reviewing the rules and byelaws. The new Byelaws have been distributed to members and the rule changes are to be discussed later on the agenda.
The issue of visits and access to the site by non-members has been discussed at length in
committee and will be raised with the meeting later in the agenda.
The committee intends to seek funding for the essential repairs and upkeep of the large greenhouse and the toilet block and general maintenance around the site. It`s thought that our
membership of the CVS will be useful here.
It has been suggested that we should organise some kind of in-house show with informal
competitions for members next summer. We will be looking for ideas nearer the time.
The committee would like to express their grateful thanks to Derek Hale who freely donated
his time and skill to lay the hedge at the bottom gate.
Thanks also to Peter Cook and another plot holder for donating the `Tuxford`s Way` plaque which was removed from the Site Office.
Thanks to all volunteers providing help with refreshments etc at open days.
Finally, the chairman offered his personal thanks to the members of the committee for their commitment over this very difficult year.
6 Treasurer`s Report
The Treasurer presented the year end accounts copies of which were distributed to the
members present. He went through the accounts explaining various individual items to the meeting. It was noted particularly that the rent received would not be sufficient to cover the expenditure for the year and that funds raised at the open days and other fundraising
opportunities had covered the shortfall. The treasurer pointed out that our plot rents remain far lower than comparable sites.
There were a number of questions from the floor. The item of deposits was raised and the
treasurer explained the system of deposits for provisional tenancies but observed that now that the rent was higher this was no longer efficient. It was our intention to change this system to one of merely asking for the year`s rent and other charges at the beginning of the
provisional period. The often asked question of `entry fees` or monies paid to the Association for a new plot was raised. It was again pointed out that there was nothing in our rules or byelaws about this practice of `paying` for a plot. Where this had happened in the
past it was not according to any rule. Where an outgoing plot holder asked for payment for a shed or similar structure this should be between them and the new holder and there should be no payment to the Association other than the official fees.
There was a question about the totalling of the items in the Account summary which did not appear to tally. The treasurer explained this apparent anomaly and the questioner indicated that he would discuss this after the meeting.
The treasurer explained the item of a refund to the NCSHC which had been a cheque received by the LLAA before the meeting to abolish the NCSHC committee.
Mrs S Houckham proposed that the accounts should be accepted and this was seconded by
Mr C Roper.
7a Amendments to the Rules. The chairman went through each of the rule changes in the
schedule that had been distributed in advance. Mr C Roper proposed that the amendments should be accepted. This was seconded by Mr A Bate and approved unanimously.
7b Rent increase. A vote was taken on a proposal to increase the rent for a standard plot from ?20.00 to ?24.00 in the 2009/2010 year. The vote was counted as 35 in favour, 4 against with 3 abstentions.
7c Horticultural Museum. There was a lively discussion on whether the site should be open to
the general public for 8 Sunday afternoons in 2009. There was strong feeling expressed that this was unacceptable and a likely breach of security. It was remarked that some of the
exhibits were not horticultural and there were several suggestions that the building could be used for purposes that were of greater benefit to the membership. It was remarked that the Association needed a base for social functions. The chairman reported that the Association needed to increase the insurance cover if the general public opening was to be restarted. This would increase the premium by around ?50.00.
It was proposed by Mr A Bate that the public opening should not be restarted and the situation should be re-examined in a year`s time. The vote in favour of this was 35/42.
7d School visits. There were a variety of opinions voiced in the discussion about the possible resumption of visits by schoolchildren. The chairman asked if any member would be willing to organise such visits. Mrs E Bate said that she would be happy to support the visits but did not feel able to organise them. She was thanked for this offer. There were numerous remarks and suggestions about the value of school visits but there were no other volunteers to help.
Mr C Roper proposed that the meeting should accept school visits in principle, the details to be examined in due course. This was approved by an overwhelming majority.
7e Groups from Social Services Day Centres. After discussion of this issue it was proposed
that these visits should not recommence – the matter to be reviewed in a year`s time. This
was approved by a large majority.
7f The Wildlife Area. Opinions were polarised as to whether two plots of the six forming the wildlife centre should be returned to allotment use. The committee was asked whether the
holders of unkempt plots should be tackled before these were returned. It was observed that this was being addressed in the plot assessment programme. The members were asked if any would volunteer to maintain the area and there were six volunteers. A vote was eventually taken and 12 members were in favour of keeping all the plots as wildlife area and 25 voted to return the two plots to allotment use. There were 5 abstentions.
7g The Treasurer explained the situation re the FSA and the members voted unanimously to present our accounts unaudited. We will explore the cost of a professional audit.
8 Election of Committee Members Four committee members presented themselves for re-
election; Richard Goodall, Eileen Holmes, John Sutton and Debbie Patrick. Howard Clarke proposed that they should be re-elected en bloc seconded by Mr Jim Bell and this was
There was a single nomination for the vacancy. Howard Clarke nominated Mr Peter Cook
seconded by John Sutton. Mr Cook agreed to stand and he was elected with an overwhelming majority.
9 Other business. The committee was asked if there were to be newsletters next year as they had been found useful. It was noted that they would be forthcoming.
Howard Clarke presented the range of security equipment available to members and reported on the Smartwater system of marking.
The chairman thanked everyone for attending and declared the meeting closed at 8.50pm