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Meeting Minutes - 18th June 2009

Cromarty Allotments and Gardens Society
 
Minutes of 4th Meeting, held at the Miller Institute, Church Street, Cromarty on 18 June 2009 at 6.30 pm.

Present : Jane Clunas, Colin Dunn, Kristina Dupar, Gordon Hogg, Fran Tilbrook, Jill Williams, John Wood, Gordon Hogg. Jane Clunas took the chair.

1.   Apologies for absence 
Apologies were received from Sheila Currie, Barbel Dister, Ken Dupar, Estelle Ellwood, Craig Fraser, Vanessa Halhead, Jo Hunt, Paul Shepherd, Peter Tilbrook, Gwilym Williams.

2.   Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the last meeting were approved as a correct record.  Proposed: Colin Dunn; Seconded: Jill Williams 

3.   Membership 

Gordon Hogg was welcomed as a member. Following useful comments submitted on the Society’s Constitution by Bob Camweron of Highland Council, it was agreed to amend this to change the lower age limit for members to 16 years.   It was also decided to allow for group membership at the same rate as individual membership. A membership form has been produced and all new prospective members will be asked to complete this. Existing members are asked to fill in one too so that a good membership record can be set up.

4.   Allotments 

Daffodil Field:  Jane Clunas reported that she has emailed Major Phipps regarding the Daffodil Field and is awaiting a response. 
Sandilands:  several members felt that Sandilands would have been a good location were it not for the current proposals to build houses there.  However part of the site is set aside in the Planning Brief for ‘community use’.  This might be usable for community gardening.  It is understood that Anne Short and Ronald Young are liaising with Albyn Housing over this development on behalf of the Community Council and it was agreed to raise this with them.
Tennis Court and Lighthouse garden:  these are believed to belong to John Nightingale.  It was agreed that John Wood would approach him about possible use of these.
Glebe Field:  This is owned and farmed by Evan McBean. John was also asked to raise with Bob Cameron the possibility of the Highland Council buying or leasing part of this field for allotments.
The two fields alongside the Paye opposite the Gaelic Chapel and cemetery:  these are still considered to offer the best potential area for allotments.  It was agreed to talk further to the owners about possible use of part of one of these.  [At the meeting it was understood that one field was owned by Evan and one by Danny McBean. However the secretary now understands that Evan owns both of them].
The field between Townlands Park and Whitegates:  the secretary was asked to contact Nora Watson and Bob Cameron about this site, which is owned by the Highland Council but currently zoned for industrial use.  It is now understood that since the introduction of Highland Council disposal charges it has become a dumping ground for unwanted large or heavy items.   It was agreed to consider this area further but clearly any allotments there would have to be secured against possible damage or other problems.

5.   Garden Sharing
Ferro Cottage Garden:  although owned by John Nightingale this is let to John Keillor who is understood to be sympathetic to possible garden sharing.    It was agreed to discuss possible arrangements with him that could be accommodated within his tenancy.
Fraser Mackenzie is to be approached about a possible garden share.
Ann Fraser had been approached about possible sharing at Forsyth House garden but unfortunately this had not proved  possible. 

6.   Web Site
It was agreed that Colin should place a plea on the society’s web site seeking gardens to share.  
To avoid possible confusion, the web site will be maintained by Colin Dunn and intended contributions should be submitted to him. The web site is to include an area for plants and produce exchanges and members are encouraged to use this.

7.   Other Activities
It was agreed to explore the ownership of the brae alongside the Links as this might be suitable for planting some communal fruit trees.   Members are asked to contact owners of adjoining properties along Braehead. It was also agreed to contact Nora Watson about the possibility of planting some around the Little Park at Townlands. Trees might perhaps be acquired through the Common Good Fund or alternatively by sponsorship. 
Jane Clunas tabled the composting leaflet that has recently been distributed to houses in the area.  There was some discussion about the relative merits of central or shared composting schemes versus individual composting.  It was suggested that we might invite the Ross-shire Waste Action Network (ROWAN) to talk to a future meeting about composting.
The meeting thanked Bob Cameron for kindly supplying comments on the Society’s Constitution.  The Secretary will circulate these to members. 

8.   Gardening Competition
There are about 12 entries.  Krystina Dupar raised a concern about the difficulty of judging this and asked that
clearer criteria might be set out for next year.  Judging this year’s competition will take place on 28 June.

9.    Next Meeting
The next meeting will be at the Hugh Miller Institute, Church Street, at 6.30pm on 23rd July.

10   Any other business
There was no other business.
 
John Wood 
Secretary

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