Agenda and draft minutes

Exeter Allotments Forum - Thursday 4th April 2019 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.


Andrea Shelly (Trews)

Margaret Grapes (Marypole & Mincinglake)

Reg Williams (Ide Lane)

Councillor David Harvey (Place) attended the Forum.




To agree minutes from the last meeting.


Minutes of Forum held on 16th August 2018 read and agreed a true record.

Smartwater enrolment sessions were held at Cowick Lane and Prince Charles Road in the late autumn and were well attended.  Further sessions to be arranged when sufficient new plot holders make such a venture worthwhile.

The supply of free wildflower seeds from the Royal Horticultural Society are not available this season. Chair will contact the RHS to ascertain if any seeds will be available in the future, although some sites report poor results with last season’s seed.




Presentation From Chloe Burrow from Age UK Exeter City Council pdf icon PDF 42 KB

Chloe Burrow from Age UK Exeter will give a short presentation about a community research project that she would like to invite allotment members to help with


Chloe Burrow who with a colleague from Exeter University on behalf of Age UKs conducting a survey into reluctance by some age groups to join groups etc. Fuller details are available on the Forum website and a copy was circulated with the agenda Minutes for this Forum. Allotment members are invited to participate in this survey should they so wish.



Election of Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary

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


Chair and Vice Chair were reelected unanimously. Becky Wells agreed to share secretary duties with Ron Blakey and was elected to do so.

Forum officers are now elected to serve for a period of two years.



Allotment Service Update

Daniel Hayward-Smith will provide an update



Waiting lists/times

With a turnover of approximately 200 plots annually, there are currently forty vacant plots citywide. Waiting times for plots vary from six to eighteen months.

Combination locks

Combination locks are being introduced on sites across the City.  Refunds on keys will be via a one off discount on annual fee after completion of changeover.

Councillor David Harvey

Councillor Harvey addressed the Forum.  He began by stating that the City Council are committed to keeping allotment sites in being and there are no plans to dispose of any sites for redevelopment. He also pointed out that there is an ongoing consultation via the Council website (Have your say) regarding Parks, Open spaces and Play areas etc.  There is also on the Council website a presentation of a range of activities available for various age and ability groups.

Regarding the proposed cycle path through Prince Charles Road allotment site Councillor Harvey advised the Forum that the City Council voted against the proposal. Councillor Harvey will arrange a visit from a Planning Officer to ascertain possible problems with site security.



Chair and Vice Chair Update


Chair proposed formulating a policy on dealing with pernicious weeds. After discussion it was concluded that such a policy was not needed. Dan Hayward-Smith advised that whilst the Council could remove pernicious weed debris they would not deal with its eradication.  On the subject of identification of suspect plants, Becky Wells advised the Forum that the Royal Horticultural Society offer such a service and as a member she would be happy to assist any plot holder who faced such a problem.



Matters Arising

·           Allotment skips – Raised by Ron Blakey (Cowick), Sue Chedzoy (Hamlin Lane),

·           Delays in sending dirty plot notices – Raised by Graham Yarwood (PCR)

·           Bonfires – Raised by Becky Wells (Cowick), Angela Redmond (Pinces2)

·           STAA Annual Show – Raised by Ron Blakey (Cowick)




Any site requiring a skip should email Dan Hayward-Smith to book.

Dirty Plots

When Let and Check (Inspect) teams require information on dirty plot notices they should request such information via the Council allotment email address.  Ensure that a date of issue of ant such notice is requested.


Becky Wells (Cowick Lane) suggested that as the demographic of plot holders is trending towards younger working families that the Tuesday afternoon bonfire slot be substituted for an extra Saturday slot. Several Forum members voiced agreement with this suggestion.  Dan Hayward-Smith was adamant that there would be no change from the rules as they stand.

St. Thomas Allotment Association.

Annual Show

Ron Blakey (Cowick Lane) invited all allotments sites to participate in this years STAA annual show, to be held in St. Thomas church hall on Saturday 27th July 2019. Schedules and posters were available for those sites/individuals who wished to consider doing so.



Any other Business


Thefts from sites

Most sites are experiencing thefts to a greater or lesser degree. Site security is an ongoing problem and any attempt to securely fence sites would be prohibitively expensive. Vigilance by plot holders and the use of deterrents such as Smartwater are ways of reducing the problem. Becky Wells (Cowick Lane) asked for an update on replacing the bollard that once stood at the end of a bridle path that runs alongside Cowick Lane site. Dan Hayward-Smith has liaised with Devon County Highways, who have responsibility and they have stated that replacement is a low priority.

Polsloe Road site

Rebecca Warnes-Studd (Polsloe Road).  The fencing around Polsloe Road site has large gaps and there is also a problem with shading by trees. Dan Hayward-Smith will re-visit the site ascertain if there is anyway that these problems can be addressed.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 20.35 hours.



Date of Next Meeting

To agree the date of the next meeting.


10th October 2019


Date of next Forum - 10th October 2019