Humber Avenue Community Alllotments

HACA Update January 2022

Humber Avenue Community Allotments Community Interest Company

January 2022

Hello fellow plot-holders.

This is an update from the self management company following our first 4 months of operation. As there is quite a lot to update you about, you may require a cup of tea or coffee to sustain you!

Worthing Borough Council have in the last few days transferred your contact details to us following the need to comply with Data Protection legislation (GDPR). So that’s why we haven’t been able to contact you before now. We hope that you find these regular updates from the management company beneficial as it is the most practical and cost effective way to advise all plot holders of developments that might affect them and announcements about the Annual General Meeting etc. We will also be communicating interesting and useful information via regular newsletter updates. So far 50% of plot holders have signed up to receive newsletters. To receive newsletters please sign up at https://www.haca.uk

Bullet point news items:

• All plot holders have paid annual fees. Thank you.

• All plot holders have agreed to have details transferred to HACA.

• We have created a mailing list which includes all but 2 plot holders.

• Rebuilding the green material bins to make them safer and more attractive is about to commence.

• Welcome to Laura Barclay Plot 6 and Nancy Bahri Plot 4.

• We have set up our asset lock, which is a legal requirement of our Company Articles of Association, with Ferring Country Centre.

• Plots 89 & 90 are currently being relet.

• Plot 59 is being considered as a relet as 2 half plots.

• 10 mph speed limit signs will be erected shortly.

• The noticeboard will be repositioned to face the gates and to the left of the ramp to the toilets. The noticeboard will be shared with WAGA.

Since the company was formed in September 2021 the committee has developed to consist of 10 potholders who had not been involved whilst under Council control. It is a remarkable testament to the hidden depth of talent and community spirit that has lain dormant amongst us. Without their valuable commitment self-management would not have been possible. We all are indebted to them all.

Some aspects of the site still remain the responsibility of the Council. The road is one such example. The Council have agreed to repair the worn bits in the financial year 2022/3. With this in mind please make sure that you have no overhanging planting or structures that may cause an obstacle for their machinery.

Many of you have visited the website at https://www.haca.uk. We urge you to regularly use the website, not least for news and updates but also for the very useful content managed by John Deeprose. We want everyone to feel that they too can share their tips and horticultural knowledge, usually accumulated over many years. Many of our new allotmenteers haven’t your experience or expertise and may welcome your advice and guidance. This can be via the website or in person by buddying up with neighbouring new plot-holders.

We know that Facebook isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but just a gentle reminder that we do have this facility as well and it is accessible via the website. This social media platform allows more interactive and current articles and topics to be discussed. The Facebook group is a closed group open to plot-holders only and therefore a safe environment.

Changing subject to the Community Polytunnel. We acquired a large free polytunnel in the Autumn. The idea is to use part of the space for individual bays for plot-holders, without a greenhouse, who may wish to propagate seeds and grow potted plants. The rest of the space will be used to grow vegetable plants for general use by everyone in a self sustainable way. We did a website survey before Christmas and although the response was modest it was overwhelmingly in favour of the project. However when we inspected the frame of the polytunnel we found it to be less than robust and suspect it might not stand up to the conditions of such an open site during a storm. In addition we do need to buy the cover. So we have decided to temporarily shelve this project, take some more soundings from you and investigate the option of purchasing a heavier duty structure in the future. We are also looking at charity grants to assist us. In addition we also felt we had enough to cope with in establishing HACA in this first year and the financial outlay was a risk, again in our first year of operation. In the meantime Fiona Kennedy will develop a community garden on plot 64 with facilities for the less able and children.

During the winter months you will find from time to time that the water is turned off. This really only affects the toilets and a bucket has been placed there to flush the bowl. It can be replenished from the new water trough on the corner of number 1 plot and adjacent the toilet building. Updates on when the water is turned off will appear on the web site and on Facebook. If you notice a leak on any of the water troughs please bring it to the attention of a committee member

The loan of powered equipment, such as strimmers, lawn mowers and rotovators has been an informal arrangement and facilitated previously by Dave Tucker. The HACA Directors, supported by the Committee, have reluctantly taken the decision to cease this facility. You all will be well aware of the requirements of Health and Safety legislation, albeit not in depth, that the Directors would carry personal liability in the event of an accident with these machines. The legislation requires such machines to be regularly serviced by a qualified engineer and certified as fit for purpose. In addition we would have to have training programmes in place for safe use, insurance, storage and ongoing servicing. All this would imply cost and corresponding costs to plotholders of hire. All of which makes it not feasible. We therefore wish to dispose of this equipment, of which there is a considerable amount, to plotholders for a reasonable offer or donation. We’ll arrange a weekend, probably at the beginning of February and weather permitting, for anyone interested to come and view the machines and take them away. We will send an email once the date has been set.

Since taking over the site in the Autumn many of the committee, trying to locate tenants, have noticed that not all plot-holders have put their plot number in plain view. It would be really helpful for us when locating your plot, if your number is either on your shed or another structure, like a compost bin. It may also be helpful if the number on the concrete posts are re painted as many are now really faded or completely illegible.

In launching HACA not everything has gone smoothly or to plan and we admit that mistakes have been made. Change has unfortunately left casualties and the two previous council overseers have decided, for very different reasons, not to be part of the committee going forward. However we have both Graham and Dave to thank for launching us towards self management and we thank them also for their work previously as Council Overseers.

Finally, if you would like to volunteer to help with any of the projects, please speak to any member of the committee and please access the website at https://www.haca.uk

Thank you

HACA Management Committee.

Humber Avenue Community Allotments