A ‘Happy New Year’ to all society members. Here is your first newsletter for 2016, which includes some very important information about rents and other changes coming up.
RENTS AND OTHER CHARGES 2016/17
We explained at the AGM last year that the Committee has decided that a small increase in both rents and water charges is required in order to ensure that we keep the Society’s financial reserves at a safe level while generating sufficient income to meet our bills and continuing to maintain the site. Rent will be £8.45 per pole and water £2.30 per pole from 1.4.16. Examples of plot charges can be found below.
Rent collection starts on the weekend of 6 March. However, this year we would ask that payment is made wherever possible by cheque, made payable to North Finchley Allotment Society and mailed to the address above, or handed in on rent payment days, OR by payment direct to the NFAS bank account, using your name and plot number(s) as the payment reference. Please contact the committee if you need the society’s bank details.
The Trading Hut will be open from 10.00 am – 12.00 noon on 6 March and 20 March only for payment in person. Plot charges must be paid in full by 15 May – no exceptions.
THE NFAS COMMITTEE AND MANAGEMENT OF THE SITE
As in previous years it has been very difficult to find plot holders who are willing to take on some of the responsibility for managing and maintaining the site. The burden of self-management has been carried for far too long by an unacceptably small group of plot holders and Committee members. That group is about to become even smaller. Sadly our Chair, Amber, and our Business Manager, Gill, are both moving out of London but have very kindly agreed to continue to support the Society for another year. Peter (Simpson), too, has stepped down from his site manager role and has reduced his involvement with the day to day running of the site.
In the circumstances, unless more plot holders are willing to come forward to serve on the Committee and play an active part in the management and maintenance of the site there is a real risk that the site may not be viable in the near future. At the same time, without volunteer labour to maintain the site we will have to pay contractors to carry out the work that has until now been done by volunteers – this will mean that rents will have to rise.
If you are able to do so, please volunteer some of your time and energy – a few hours each month is all that is needed. This is the only way we will be able to build the capacity to keep the site up and running. If you can join us, please contact us on the email/phone number above.
THE TRADING HUT
Unless more volunteers come forward to help run the Society the Hut will not be opened regularly at weekends this year. Please note that we will not be stocking any perishables (potatoes, onions etc) but we will continue to stock compost, fertilisers, canes, netting, landscaping fabric, etc. A list of key holders to the Trading Hut will be posted on the main notice board – please email or leave us a message or see us on site if you want to purchase something from the Hut.
Please continue to keep site gates locked and report any thefts/damage/intruders to the police. Further fencing work on E Field is on hold while we await news of the council’s plans for the former British Legion site. Running repairs will be carried out by contractors at the Society’s expense.
We have had a visit from the London Fire Brigade who are working with the Metropolitan Police looking at allotments sites across the Borough, and the fire and safety hazards they may present. Please ensure that you do not leave gas canisters or petrol on site and respect the ban on bonfires on individual plots. We can expect regular safety inspections in the future.
PLOT MANAGEMENT AND SITE MAINTENANCE
Over the last few months the Committee has issued warnings to a number of plot holders about the poor condition of their plots and other breaches of the site rule. A number of tenancies were subsequently terminated. Your plot agreement requires you to keep your plot in good order – regularly cultivated for the growing of fruit and veg and reasonably weed, rubbish and hazard free. It is also important that you play your part in keeping the site in good order, maintaining the pathway on the south side of your plot, picking up and removing rubbish from the site, respecting your allotment neighbours and the rules on access and parking, and avoiding excessive water consumption.
Meanwhile, if there is anything you would like to discuss with the Committee we continue to run open sessions for members at the conclusion of our monthly meetings. Simply come along the Trading Hut at 11.30 am – the next meeting will be held 6 March. Alternatively you can email or call us and we can arrange to meet you on site. Please check the website for site updates
BEST WISHES FOR THE GROWING SEASON FROM THE NFAS COMMITTEE:
Amber Hine (Chair), Gill Saunders (Site Business Manager), Jane Healy (Treasurer), Peter James (Website Manager), Alice Dickens, Miquel Espenica, Tom McGovern, Carol Menashy, Peter Simpson, Graham Street, Agnes Wilton
NFAS PLOT CHARGES 2016/17
A standard full plot measures approximately 10 poles – 250 square metres
Rent per pole £8.45
Water charge per pole £2.30
Total per pole £10.75
Compulsory Society Membership per tenant: £10
Plot holders who qualify for the over pension age discount receive a reduction of £3.50 per pole, for the first 10 poles rented.
EXAMPLES OF PLOT CHARGES:
Full 10 pole plot for a single tenant under pension age: £117.50
Full 10 pole plot with pensioner discount: £82.50
Half plot (5 poles) for a single tenant under pension age: £63.75
Half plot (5 poles) for a single tenant with pensioner discount: £46.25