Humber Avenue Community Allotments
Newsletters and HACA Company Communications
HACA Company Communication for March 2022
Hello fellow plotholders.
A few updates for March. As I write this communication the sun is shining and the temperature is rising. However I feel winter hasn’t finished with us, so watch
those tender seedlings!
A reminder that the call for committee nominations closes on 31st March 2022. Details of when and where AGM will be held will be issued during the first week of April together with an agenda.
The tree growing on Plot 12 is a self set Elm tree determined by its location and proximity to the fence and shed. Normally Worthing Council do not prune trees unless the tree is in poor health or is causing damage to neighbouring property. In cases of overhanging property they advise owners that they are free to carefully prune back any branches that are overhanging their property and offer the branches back to us for disposal. This tree is so close to the fence line it is clearly grown up from a seedling as the council would never plant a tree so close to a boundary and they are prepared to fell this tree. However the Councils arboricultural contract has ended due to poor performance and they are currently going through a procurement process and the tree will be felled once the Council appoints a new contractor which should be around mid-summer. Following felling the area will be surveyed and replacement native tree(s) will be planted as part of the Council and HACA environmental responsibilities.
The Council workers came to cut the south west hedge but looked at the size of the job and decided to leave. We are consulting again with the Council but it’s now bird nesting time, so another season lost.
The road repairs are due to be undertaken by the Council early in the new year and plot holders are again requested to ensure that the verge adjacent their plot is cleared from the road. Some vegetation on the back straight needs attention please.
We have secured funding from the Worthing Community Chest for a defibrillator, following an unsuccessful approach to WAGA. More information to follow about where it will be accessible and the training to use it once the committee have had a chance to meet post the AGM. One of our key performance indicators with the Council and the SLA (Service Level Agreement) is the health and safety of the site. I made this a personal priority as I know of two golfers at my golf club in Worthing who are alive today through this technology. I am delighted that we can now provide this life saving procedure, not only to the plotholders but also to the neighbours and immediate community to Humber Avenue. However we all hope never to have to deploy it.
The council have now inspected the community room for structural integrity and we await their report. Whilst on site they also inspected the toilet building,
It is very pleasing that to date donations of over £55 have been made for the agricultural gold (aka horse poo). We are sure Ferring Country Centre will be appreciative of your contribution to their commendable charity. It is also pleasing to at last have an ongoing source of supply.
The committee’s offer to remove storm damage wood and metal is now over. Thanks to Paul and Abbie on plot 59 for their help. No more wood or metal to be deposited on the car park thanks.
We are pleased to note that the recent outbreak of fly tipping seems to have stopped. Please remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity via email to the committee.
We are waiting to appoint a new web management service. Until that happens the recommendations from the working party will continue to be implemented. The report is available on the web site.
Plot inspections against the published cultivation standard (available on the web site) will commence after the AGM.
The initial meeting of various local interested bodies about the community facilities proposed on our western boundary has happened. We are a long way from the design and planning stage but we are being thoroughly consulted on the developments and so we will put a new page in the website where developments can be accessed as they become available. We will be absorbing the management of the new allotments.
The forthcoming AGM will provide the committee with an opportunity for the first time to elaborate on the project we have termed the “community plot”. We will explain the values, principles, rational and ethos behind this project and hopefully get a wider ‘buy in’ to the philosophy of helping one another. The committee have been busy putting bids into various funding bodies to develop a community plot and the first of those bids, as we write this, has been successful. More information to follow but we hope to make a start on plot 64 after the AGM. We are grateful for the support of Worthing Councillor Vicki Wells on this project.
As part of the councils environmental responsibilities they have provided us with a number of native trees. If you would like to plant one at the rear of your plot please speak to Peter Brereton or Terry Smith to discuss tree type from those available and intended location.. This activity does not breach the rules regarding planting of non-fruit bearing trees
Finally, please see the guidance for the size of shed and greenhouse, available on the website, should you be replacing a storm wrecked structure. Briefly the length of shed to be no more than 2.4m approximately and similarly for a greenhouse or polytunnel 6.1m approximately.
HACA Company Communication for 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
HACA Management Committee.
Humber Avenue Community Allotments
It has certainly been a busy time since Humber Avenue Community Allotments became responsible for managing the Humber Avenue site on 1st October 2021.
Over the weekend of 23rd & 24th October the meet the committee event created an opportunity for plot holders to have a say in how your allotments are managed and to meet new and old friends. There are pictures on the HACA website www.haca.uk and it is hoped to run a similar event in the spring and other social events through 2022.
You will have noticed some changes to the physical appearance as you enter the allotments. The notice board has been relocated from plot 1 to the front of the social room. This has afforded the plot-holder to enjoy an improved degree of access. You may have also noted that a water trough has now been installed on plot 1. Donations and volunteers offering their skills to undertake the installation has meant there has been no cost to HACA. Special thanks to Richard & Malcom for the physical aspects of the activity.
The committee have taken on board suggestion for further improvements and these include:
Rebuilding the green material bins to make them safer and more attractive
Marking out the car park to improve utilisation of space
Creation of a community poly-tunnel. The framework is already on site, again acquired free of charge. Costings for materials now being obtained
Install 10mph speed signs. We are waiting on Worthing Council to advise if they have any that they can provide free of charge
Repair the tarmac roadway. Worthing Council have agreed to do this at the start of the next financial year (April/May 2022)
The need for a workshop building to facilitate the storage and maintenance of equipment for hire (rotovators, mowers, shredders etc.)
Install a defibrillator to accompany the first aid kit that is now available in the community room.
Lopping of the tree at the rear of plot 15 has been raised with the council.
Topping of the hedge line on the Southwest boundary has also be raised with the council
However these are your allotments and we need volunteers to help us undertake these projects. If you feel you have some skills or just time to help under guidance please contact Dave Tucker firstname.lastname@example.org
The committee is also pleased to report that to date only 4 plot holders have not paid the rental charges for the 2021/22 year. Thank you everyone for your prompt payments.
Of concern is the response to the GDPR letter sent out by the council. As of last Thursday only 60 out of 100 plot holders have responded. Until all responses are received the council cannot transfer data to HACA and this is hampering our ability to manage effectively. The council are going to send out a final reminder and those that fail to respond will be removed from the council data base and will subsequently forfeit tenancy of their plot. So if you or you know anyone who has not responded please do so without further delay.
John Deeprose has created a wonderful HACA website and complimentary Facebook page. Please visit it at www.haca.uk. I am sure you will find something of interest. Contributions and discussion on gardening topics would be a great HACA community activity.
We warmly welcome the following plot holders to our community:
Plot 98 Gareath Collins
Plot 39 Mrs. Oxana Kolobova and family
Currently plot 4 & 6 are under offer to new tenants.
We also welcome Christine Busfield plot 75 to the Committee as our new membership secretary. Many thanks for volunteering for this important role. We also welcome the advice and guidance on all matters related to health and safety from John Herron as a co opted member. Finally we are also in need of a committee meeting minutes secretary. The committee meet every two months, so not an onerous job but still important to help us operate efficiently. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you feel you could help.
Well, as one chapter ends another starts. This will be the last Newsletter from me under “Humber Bunch” but, You Lucky Diggers, I am not going away(Groan!) and future Newsletters will still be from me but as a member of the HACA community.
However, for me to keep churning out this stuff every month we have come up against the dreaded General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and if you want to receive any future ramblings from me you will need to agree to opt in to communications from HACA. To do this either simply click on the link below or cut and paste it into your browser address bar.
This link will allow you to subscribe to our newsletter and you can read the GDPR Privacy Statement prior to subscribing, ideal bedtime reading, it will help you go to sleep! Alternatively the Newsletter subscription page can also be found by simply finding the Newsletter option under the “Our Community” menu on our website. You have visited our Website, haven’t you? I hope you all sign up to our new community, if you don’t you won’t hear from me again (not all bad news then!!)
Your Committee is delighted to welcome a new member, Christine Busfield,(Plot 75) who has bravely taken on the role of Membership Secretary, lovely to have you on our Committee Christine.
Do make time to attend our inaugural “Meet The Committee” Breakfast Mornings on Saturday and Sunday 23rdand 24th October 10.00 AM to Noon in the revamped Social Room. We will serve bacon and sausage rolls(Vegetarian available), all free to plot holders, there will be coffee and tea available plus a free raffle with some pretty good prizes. The important part though is it will be a chance to meet the committee and to air any concerns, comments or suggestions you have. We really want to meet you all so please make time to come along, even if only for a few minutes. We have lots to tell you including an additional trough we are planning to install and concerns about speeding on our Site.
That’s about all for the moment, thank you for reading this and see you on either Saturday or Sunday week, or both if you have a liking for BBQ’s in October!