2017/12/02 AGM

Those attending were: Brian F, Clive R, Jane R, Peter T, John D, Marion P, Martin B, Tony W and Val H. Apologies were received from Alison, Terry M, Kay Greenwood and Tony T.

  1. Minutes of the last AGM held on the 26 November 2016.

    These were accepted as a true record.

  2. Matters arising

    All matters arising had been dealt with during the following twelve months or were on the agenda of the 2017 AGM.

  3. Chair's Report

    Our Chair, Peter T, said:

    ” Yet again, an unusual growing year with plenty of sun and rain in the Spring which resulted in good early crops.  There was some concern that everything might be over for our Show, but fortunately, this was unfounded.  Sales of organic food and drink appear to be conrinuing to grow in the UK, although it is not clear if this is due to an increase in growing in this country or imports.  Neither is it obvious whether the number of gardeners and allotmenteers is increasing although demand for allotments remains high.

    On a personal level we had a good year, but with the odd disaster as usual.  This year it was Pink Gypsy potatoes.

    Looking at Group events, Potato Day in February was a success, although we had more tubers remaining than for some years, and will be reducing this year’s order as a result.  We had a very interesting and informative visit to Those Plant People in August.  And finally, the 28th Show in September was also successful, particular after last year’s  when entries were substantially down.  This year, the number of entries was the highest for some years, although the number of entrants remained very low.  A number of our regulars have moved on for various reasons so perhaps we need to give some thought to how we can recruit more growers.  In conclusion, it was a good year for the Group.  Our activities are limited in number but what we do is done well and well received, so thanks for all the work from the committee and from all of the volunteers who always magically emerge before a major event.

    Looking forward, our 30th Show will be held in 2019, so perhaps we should be giving some early thought about how we celebrate it.”

    Arising from the Chair’s report Clive R agreed to improve the database of Allotment Societies, including those which have web pages, in the hope that we can find more entrants to the Show, and to other events.

    Peter expressed the view that he didn’t want to be Chair for too many more years, and was happy to take another role in the committee’s work.

  4. Treasurer's Report.

    Val gave a very thorough report showing how 2017’s income and expenditure compared with previous years.  The healthy accounts would allow us to make donations to further the work of organic growing.

  5. IT and publicity report

    Tony W reported that there were 6,000 to 7,000 visitors to the website annually.  Most were prior to Potato Day and the Show, but there had been a considerable number also on New Year’s Day.  He had not been able to do a significant amount of work on changing the website, due to other pressures.

  6. Election of Officers for the coming year.

    All the officers were willing to continue in their roles for a further year, and were re-elected.  They were all thanked for their reports and the work they do for the Group

  7. Donations
    • A request for support for Fortyfold potatoes was deferred for further information.
    • It was agreed to give the following donations:
      • £250 each to the Soil Association and to Garden Organic
      • £100 each to the Neonicatinoids campaign, Practical Action, the Savari Trust, and Veg on the Edge.  It was also agreed to purchase 100 x £1 shares to become a corporate member of the Seed Co-op.
      • It was agreed that Clive Richardson would be our representative for the Seed Co-op membership.
  8. The 30th Show in 2019

    Peter agreed to see if Graham Porter would be available to get involved in some way in 2019.  It was also suggested that we investigate if we could host BBC Gardeners’ Question Time, as we believe we are the longest running gardening show where exhibits (apart from flowers) are judged on taste.  Tony W agreed to investigate.

  9. Date of the next Annual General Meeting

    It was agreed that the next AGM wouds be held in late November or early December 2018.

    A normal meeting of the Group followed after a break for a filling and tasty lunch.  Thanks to Val for preparing and to members for their contributions.