Plot Holder Feedback

Dear Mr. Deeprose

Your questions were addressed at various points during the HACA committee meeting held on 20th February 2020. However we have extracted answers to your questions to enable you to easily understand the Committee responses.

The meeting was attended by two independent plot holders who were both satisfied that proceeding were open and fair. No questions or complaints were received from any other plot holders, so we must assume a degree of satisfaction within the community.

P.C. Brereton HACA Chair & T.R. Smith Company Secretary

  1. What is the understanding of the word “community” in the acronym HACA and as applied to the “Community Garden”. The word is used extensively and seems to have a different meaning to different people. One meaning being a reference to plot-holders the other to the Worthing area in general.
    The website tagline is “A community of allotmenteers in Worthing” which seems to imply it refers to plot-holders. We are all members of many communities. You have already been referred to the HACA Articles of Association and the HACA Constitution but the relevant sections are reproduced as follows:

Firstly there are the two documents required by company law namely the Articles of Association and Constitution Documents.

These both state exactly the same wording, which has been in the public domain since the company was incorporated on 18th August 2021 and to date to my knowledge no plot holder has questioned these.

The objects of the Company are to carry on activities which benefit the community and in particular (without limitation) to:

• provide recreational, educational and healthy opportunities for all of the community through horticultural activities.

• manage the allotments at Humber Avenue on behalf of the plot holders.

• enhance family activities.

• educate young people about healthy eating through growing fruit and vegetables.

• stimulate physical activities to benefit both mind and body through outdoor activities.

• offer social activities related to horticulture to tackle loneliness and isolation.

The other document which gives an insight is the Mission, Vision, Values statement, again this has been in the public domain since 19th September 2021 and to date to my knowledge no plot holder has questioned these

Our Mission

To provide environmentally sustainable allotments for cultivation through non-profit making social enterprise for the local community which promotes inclusivity and diversity.

Our Vision

We will help people live longer, healthier and happier lives through being active allotmenteers and creating a place of enjoyment, social interaction, education and relaxation.

Our Values

We value:

• and welcome everyone irrespective of race, religion, beliefs, age, ability, background or sexuality.

• the environment and seek to have minimal impact on contributing to global warming by seeking low carbon ways to garden.

• the ecology of the Humber site and will seek ways to enhance and support biodiversity.

• our local community and will seek ways to engage with them in enjoying allotmenteering.

• providing opportunities for plotholders to socially interact and feel part of a like minded community of gardeners and thereby reduce social isolation and improve mental health .

• everyone’s views and all are listened to irrespective of background or experience.

• horticultural education and promoting healthy living through growing fruit and vegetables in an environmentally sustainable way that both enhances diet and promotes an active lifestyle.

The documents are readily available on the web site and in the community room (although the AoA is not currently on the website as it is on change with Companies House regarding the appointment of an Asset Lock Company)

Extracts from these documents were distributed at the committee meeting for further discussions.

  1. How much HACA money has been spent on the Community plot? To date no money has been spent on the Community plot and there is £200 of donations from charitable people ring fenced in the accounts for this project
  2. Why is plot 64 being designed to be used for people other than plot-holders? My initial understanding of a community plot was that its intended use was for plot-holders. Is there a plan for a communal area for plot-holders as there is at Tarring? Your initial understanding is wrong it will cater for many different communities including plot holders amongst others
  3. Has the free supply of horse manure been terminated? I have heard a rumour that the previous person delivering poo has been “terminated”. Self-terminated due to lack of supply. Plot holders can make their own arrangements if they wish. As you know we have approved suppliers to ensure that we try to avoid such things as Aminopyralid something you raised in a post on the website on 5th November 2021
  4. When will the supply of horse manure commence? Commenced Wednesday 16th February.
  5. Why was the “tea room / Meeting room” closed? If, as has been rumoured, someone, John Heron, found the room to be unsafe, why wasn’t remedial action taken by HACA before reporting it to the council? If that rumour is untrue then what are the details behind its closure?

Ownership of the room had been the subject of considerable discussion over many months, between HACA, WBC and WAGA

On the 3rd February the WAGA shop manager wrote to Peter Brereton to say “……we are also going to include maintenance of the shop stockroom and the site social room on our SLA as our responsibilities, as we have been doing this for many years.”

On 4th February PB wrote to WAGA to inform them of the closure of the room under direction by the Council.

On the 7th February the WAGA chair wrote to PB to disown all ownership and responsibility.

Initial H & S Report y HACA H & S Advisor 3rd February 2022

• The gas cylinders should be stored in a secure wire cage outside; the operating cylinder should also be in this cage with a properly installed pipe by a certified gas fitter.

• A suitable fire extinguisher should be available near the cooker. A 1Kg powder fire extinguisher should be suitable. BS6165. A suitable registered company should check it annually.

• A heat detector in this area should be provided BS EN 54-5 Tested monthly and recorded.

• Fire direction sign should be visible near the rear door and it should be unlocked when the unit is in use. The door should also have sign on it ‘FIRE EXIT’ – outside this door should also have sign stating Fire exit do not obstruct. BS5499.

• The room should be restricted to four people in most cases seats are provided outside and people only enter to collect refreshments and snacks. (A fire risk assessment would confirm this)

• Outside barbeque does not pose a high risk but a powder fire extinguisher (A suitable registered company should check it annually) should be available . A guide should be proved to the person responsible for its operation. BS6165 1Kg powder or fire blanket. BS/EN1869 does not require a check annually.

• A fire risk assessment should be completed (i can do this) and recorded with findings and recommendations.

Add to this:

Concerns regarding Building Regulations and why was the building alteration not signed off by WBC on completion

Non-compliance with Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

6 Gas Cylinders having a total capacity of 61.5kg of Butane have been removed

WAGA have removed all of their property

The cost to bring the space up to meet all H&S building regulations will be substantial and beyond HACA means without raising funding.

We await action from WBC

  1. It appears to be the plan to plant three non-fruit trees on the Community Plot (CP). Item 4.5 prohibits the planting of trees other than fruit trees. Has explicit permission been granted for Fiona to plant these trees? Does this not then set a precedent? Trees supplied by Worthing Borough Council as landlords of Humber Avenue as part of their environmental responsibilities.
  2. It is said that the old tyres will be used for children gardening containers on the CP. My understanding is that these tyres are potentially toxic. What work has been undertaken by our H&S Advisor to ensure the use of these tyres is safe? Tyres won’t be sat on the ground. No problem. We believe that your preference was to rebuild the green bays entirely of used tyres which would have been far less environmentally acceptable than the solution used and far more toxic than a couple of tyre towers used as planters. The tyres will predominantly be used for flowers on the children’s garden. Where they are used for vegetables an inner membrane will be used to mitigate any direct contact with the tyre.
  3. How much consultation has been carried out with plot-holders to ask their views on the future plans at Humber? If there are some, can these be published please ? You have sought views through the website so you already know the answers to this question
  4. We have a newsletter facility but this seems to have been shelved. There are 53 subscribers (including committee members). They will be expecting a newsletter. Permanently shelved in favour of a more reliable alternative
  5. I have been told the role of SSSO is not to be reinstated and that committee members are the link between the committee and plot-holders. This means that at least one committee member needs to be available at weekends and make themselves known. I believe this is unworkable since there are 7 committee members and this could well get very confusing. It will also add to the communication problems. Far better to have one ,or two, well known faces for plot-holders to recognise and communicate with. Can the Tea Room/ Meeting room be open at weekends as is the WAGA shop? HACA Committee members are easily recognisable through pictures and plot numbers on the notice board, in the window of the community room and on the website and they are available on site throughout the week not just between 10 am & 12 noon on Saturdays and Sundays as was past practice to suit WAGA opening hours.
  6. What is the current situation between WAGA and HACA? Cordial but a small minority think that HACA hate WAGA which is far from the truth
  7. This is not my problem but what is the Insurance situation regarding the invitation of school children onto a plot at Humber?
    What is the health and Safety aspect as well as the Disclosure and Barring Service checks?

A Safeguarding policy is drafted and we have people who have Enhanced DBS, Diploma in Health & Safety, NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Autism, NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Principles of Working with Individuals with Learning Difficulties & NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Understand safeguarding in adult health and social care. Trained first aiders and a Qualified Safeguarding Lead