We had a cold snap this last week and the cloches and horticultural fleeces which we thought we’d packed away have been back out. Thankfully, the long-range forecast from the Met Office is looking good for the next two weeks, so it must be time to get the beans and squashes in the ground (if you haven’t already).

Along with the cold, this week we also had a ‘proper’ meeting. These are the ones we usually have every month; they have an agenda, are minuted and tend to be a bit more formal than the weekly meetings we’ve been having recently.

We always start with the Chair’s report, where Rod summarises what’s been going on over the last month. This month was inevitably focused on coronavirus and we were all agreed when Rod confirmed that, aside from a few early hiccups, things have been going well on the allotment since the covid-19 guidelines came in to place.

Next, we moved on to Plot Matters – this is the section of the meeting where we discuss lettings and the waiting list. We were all pleased to agree, in line with the National Allotment Society guidance, that now is the time to recommence letting available plots (with social distancing being observed of course, and ensuring that new plot-holders understand our allotment safety guidelines).

We also discussed whether or not to re-open the shop, given the recent easing of some lockdown measures, but agreed that we aren’t ready yet. The transmission risk from being in an enclosed space and handling shared equipment is still too great. However, we know the grass keeps growing and not everyone has access to a strimmer or mower without the shop, so if you want some help with path maintenance please do contact us committee@marinaallotments.org.uk

Finally, we spoke about how to hold committee elections and an AGM in the current circumstances. We’re aware that, as we were unable to hold an AGM on 1 May as planned, everyone has missed out on a chance to vote on which members form the committee or to have their say in an open forum. So first, we’ve agreed to hold an electronic election, with postal voting available for members who don’t use email. We’ll be sending out an email requesting nominees shortly, so keep an eye out for that and consider putting yourself or one of your plot-neighbours forward! More information on what’s needed for a nomination will be included in the email. If you’d like to know more about what’s involved with being on the committee, feel free to email us or have a chat when you’re next at the allotments – you can find out who the current committee are on the Meet the Committee page, under “About”.

After the election, we’d like to see the new committee look at holding a General Meeting later in the year, when we’ll hopefully be able to safely gather. If safe gathering is still not possible, then we’d like the committee to find an alternative way to hold this too. We know we normally hold elections and an open forum at the AGM together, but given the complexity of doing this electronically, we’ve decided to separate them this year.

Regular blog post from the committee no.3
Written by Olivia Morton