Loughton Potato Ground AGM 2020

 7 November 2020

Dear Loughton Potato Members

Welcome address by the Chair

In past years I would have stood before you at our AGM in St. John’s Church Hall and talked (some might say too long) about the year’s overview at Loughton Potato Ground. I would have talked about the joy and pleasure of working our plots, and the weather that had been record breaking in some way. Maybe the success or not of my horticultural endeavors or how much we enjoyed our LPG summer picnic. Perhaps reporting a petty theft or congratulating Brian Smith for another win for Best Allotment in Loughton? 

However this year has presented us all with challenges around keeping those we love, and ourselves, safe and healthy. 

As we are unable to meet in person for the AGM I am sending you the minutes of last years AGM and this years reports from the committee. These reports represent the past year at LPG. However if you have any questions you would like to ask the committee please email lpgallotment@gmail.com and we will endeavor to answer them. 

During the first lockdown LPG saw more people being able to regularly work their plot and enjoy distanced socialising, as well as the fresh air and exercise they were getting. Plots therefore improved and the site generally looks good at the moment. 

There were no plot inspections this year – we recognised that some people were self isolating or caring for family members and so were unable to come to LPG as often as they may have wanted. 

I am pleased to report that committee members have agreed to remain in post, with the addition of two co-opted members – Andrew Haley and Andrew Hodson. The committee going forward are: 

Gil Cooper Chair, Jan Boucek Treasurer, Sandra Geraghty Membership Secretary, Tony Quinton Groundsperson, Committee Members: Eileen Arrowsmith, Andrew Haley, Andrew Hodson and Lesley Southgate. 

I feel very lucky we have been allowed to continue visiting our allotments during Covid. I believe this year has fostered camaraderie and friendship between plotters and bonded people closer together. 

The fees for plots this year will remain at £25 regardless of size and are payable during November. This year, online payments can be made by Bank Transfer or by cash and cheque to the Treasurer's address (see finance report page 2). 

There are many people to thank for volunteering during this year: Brian Smith, Jim and Eileen Arrowsmith, Paul Geraghty, Paul Davis-James, Sandra Geraghty, Matt Carleton, David Shipp, Jan Boucek, Helen Robertson, Tony Quinton, Ken Booth, Clive Foyle, Andrew Hodson, Lee Schlesinger, and Hari Singh. If I have missed anyone, my apologies. It is due to the help of volunteers that the allotments are in such a good condition this year. Everyone’s contribution is much appreciated. 

Gill Cooper
Chair, and on behalf of the committee

Financial Report for the 2020 Annual and General Meeting

Financial Statement for Fiscal Year Ending 31st March 2020

Biggest expenditures: 
  • Skips: £500
  • Lawnmower & hedge trimmer: £468
  • Insurance: £376
  • Horsetail treatment: £294
  • Plumbing works: £169
Expected expenses in the current fiscal year: 
  • More horsetail treatments
  • New gate on path to Goldings Hill
  • Plumbing works
  • Boundary hedge cutting
Current cash balance: £3,920

LPG fee payments
  • Annual fee remains at £25 per plot
  • Fees payable by 30th November
  • £5 penalty for payments after 30th November. Plots lost for no payment by Dec. 31.
  • Payment of fees:
    • Cash or cheque posted or delivered to Jan Boucek at 26 The Summit, Loughton, IG10 1SW. Please identify the plot holder and plot number when submitting payment. Cheques should be made out Loughton Parochial Charities.
    • BACS Transfer: HSBC, Sort Code 40-30-25, Acct #71150871. For the reference, please put LPG Fee followed by your plot(s) number and surname. Eg: LPG Fee 17 Boucek or LPG Fee 17T 17B 18 Boucek
The LPG’s finances are in good shape due to our fee increase to £25 coupled with a higher take-up of plots. This is allowing us to spend more money on the horsetail infestation, skips and much needed hedge-trimming and other maintenance. We’ve also got a solid reserve in case of unforeseen emergencies. This all means fees for 2021 will remain at £25.

Jan Boucek

Membership Report

Since November 1st 2019 we’ve had 6 new members, 5 of which joined us when the lockdown was lifted in the summer. No plots were shown to anyone from the 16th March to the end of May. 

We had excellent results for tidy allotments as we were fortunate enough to be allowed to still work our plots during lockdown. There were only two members that we know of that were in total isolation and their plots were left unattended for several months. We gave them a chance to come back but unfortunately they had to give up their plots in the end. 

There are only two vacant plots (one of which is earmarked for someone who currently has Covid 19) and the other which will be used for our volunteers to house foliage from the clearance of a pathway which runs from Goldings Hill to LPG. This will be let as soon as it has been cleared. We will be asking for volunteers to help with this work. 

We have a healthy waiting list and will be welcoming more new members very soon. 

Sarah Geraghty Membership Secretary