Agenda and draft minutes

Exeter Allotments Forum - Thursday 17th May 2018 7.00 pm

Venue: Rennes Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter. View directions

Contact: Daniel Smith - Customer Service Team Manager  Email: 01392 265370

No. Item



To receive apologies.


Councillors: David Harvey

Rob Shields- Rackenfield ; Barry McNamara- Whipton Lane; Tim and Samantha Snell- Newman Road; Becky Wells- Cowick Lane; Catherine Jowitt – Trews




To agree minutes from the last meeting.


The minutes of the last meeting – 8th Feb 2018 were read and agreed as accurate

Jane and Andrea of Trews Wear questioned whether smartwater kits had ever been distributed at their site or at Riverside. Faith confirmed that there had been distribution dates for the whole city ,but agreed to write to Ellen Hollah again to point out that some sites still needed kits and notices – the lack of which was raised by another site in the city.

Action – Faith



Election of Chair, Vice Chair & Secretary

A vote from members on any names put forward for the positions for the coming year



Faith Stafford  had agreed to stand as chair prior to the meeting and David Hayes  and Ron Blakey agreed to stand as vice chair/secretary and secretary at the meeting. The three left the room whilst they were voted in by the meeting. All were re-elected unanimously. Brian Young of Newman Road questioned whether this was the right procedure and Dan confirmed that it was.



Allotment Service Update

Daniel Hayward-Smith will provide an update


Dan provided an update on Data Protection and confirmed that as associations did not deal with data of high risk there should be few problems. He re-iterated the key points that

-data held by associations should not be made public – eg by publishing a list of names

-That any group emails should be sent BCC so that emails are not released to all who receive the email

-that all data is kept securely and that only those who need to access the data can do so

- that all those who provide data such as names and addresses have opted in to their data being used, for example on a membership form

The council will write to tenants to ensure that they are happy for their data to be shared with associations

Action – Dan

Taps have been removed because of the risk of legionella disease. Faith questioned whether local associations could manage the taps as discussed at the last meeting, but Dan had checked with those who had training on the risks associated with legionella and unfortunately associations could not take on the responsibility as they might become liable for damages.

Dan said dirty plots were now less of a problem and the system of plot management seemed to be working well across the city. There followed a discussion of a particular plot which still had a trampoline on it and 2 baths. Dan said he would give the tenant one final chance to remove the items by a certain date, after which he would liaise with the local association regarding the removal of the items.

Skips have been sent out to sites which have requested them and they can now be requested by local associations again. Dan is proposing to ban old carpets on sites as they are not suitable for allotments.

Jane from Trews Wear asked about the waiting list. Dan said that the wait is about a year for some sites and that the shortest wait is generally west of the river and about 3months.



Chair & Vice Chair Update

Dr Faith Stafford and Mr David HayDr Faith Stafford and Mr David Hayes are invited to provide any update that they wish to include



Faith had been inspired by the wilding of beds in Exeter and wrote to Kew Gardens for some wild flower seeds. She distributed several packs and asked association to take photos of the resulting wild flowers to send back to Kew.



Any Other Business


One association felt that their constitution was very out of date and asked to see others. Members agreed to check with committees about sharing their own constitution. It was suggested that there might be a model constitution on the national allotments association website. It was also suggested that it would be a good idea for all city associations to have a common template.

Ron Blakey questioned whether changes in self management might require changed constitutions. Dan confirmed that all sites are at the same management level apart from Whipton Lane which has gone for self management.

Some sites are thinking of taking on more responsibilities but Dan suggested that associations should examine the option carefully as partial self management might result in more responsibilities but not much more money.

Dan said that there would be cuts in maintenance for the next two or three years

If associations are willing to take on the cleaning of lavatories on sites, payments can be made to associations. Dan will still provide loo paper and cleaning materials



Date of Next Meeting

To agree the date of the next meeting.


Faith reminded the meeting of the next dates 16th August and 18th October. The meeting closed at 8pm.