AFOS July 2020 Minutes

Deeping St James Parish Council

The Institute, 38 Church Street, Deeping St James, Peterborough PE6 8HD


Tel: 01778 343266 //

Parish Clerk: Julie Fortnum


Any member of the public can attend all Council and Committee meetings to see the work of the Council. Full Council meetings are held on the last Thursday of each month which start with a 30 minute public forum for questions and issues to be raised.


Minutes of The Allotments, Footpaths and Open Spaces (remote by Zoom) committee meeting held on Thursday 9 July 2020 at 7pm

Present: Councillors Bowell, Hall, Halls, Robinson, Stevens, Thomas and Shinkins-Hoppe

Parish Clerk – Julie Fortnum, Assistant Clerk – Kathy Bowles took the minutes.

Louise Brown – newly appointed Assistant Clerk


1.21 To elect a Chair person

Councillor Stevens asked that her disappointment at Councillor Hardy’s recent resignation from this committee as Chairman, be recorded, stating that it was regrettable and he would be a great loss.

Following the proposal by Councillor Stevens which was seconded by Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe, All agreed that Councillor Bowell would be Chairman of this committee.

Councillor Halls informed the committee that she was very keen to shadow Cllr Bowell to learn more about the role as Chairperson and would be happy to share his workload.


2.21 To receive apologies for absence

None received


3.21 To receive declarations of interest, if any

None received


4.21 To adopt the minutes of the meeting held 20 February 2020

Minutes agreed by All and to be signed by the Chairman when next at the office.


5.21 Clerks report and matters arising not considered elsewhere on the agenda

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the allotments association AGM which was scheduled for 17 March ‘20 was cancelled. A ‘buddying’ system is currently in place for any plot holder who is unable to tend their plot – they are asked to contact the allotments association by email so that arrangements can be made for their plot to be watered or lightly weeded until they are able to return to carry out the work themselves. During the lockdown period the allotment site has been extremely well attended with plot holders benefitting from being able to visit their plot as part of their daily exercise routine. There has been an increase in enquiries about the availability of allotments in DSJ, resulting in the waiting list for a plot getting longer. (Currently 19 names on the waiting list for a plot).

The Parish Council are aware of a tree that has fallen into Millennium wood from land to the rear, and are in contact with the land owner to have it removed. A request for reimbursement of rat bait has been received from the Allotments Association who have purchased the bait in readiness for the coming winter. The committee discussed the use of rat bait and their concerns around the risk of secondary poisoning to wildlife. It was proposed that the Parish Council will fund up to £50 for the purchase of traps to be used for vermin control at the Hall Meadow Allotment site and resolved that No Poison is to be used on site.

Councillor Bowell agreed to liaise with Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe to prepare for the installation of the electricity for CCTV equipment on Jubilee Park.

Councillor Stevens informed the committee that there would currently be no re-wilding areas within Deeping St James.

The Friends of Jubilee Park had recently held a meeting to discuss funding for new play equipment on Jubilee Park and Councillor Stevens invited Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe to join their next meeting to move things forward.

Councillor Robinson, having recently visited the allotment site, informed the committee that there were a number of plots that appeared to be abandoned. Due to Covid-19 no inspections have been carried out this season – it was agreed that Councillor Bowell would set a date for an inspection of allotment plots and invite the newly appointed assistant clerk and other councillors to accompany him.


6.21 To consider drawing up a written agreement between DSJPC and The Allotments  Association / wording / implementation

Councillor Shinkins-Hoppe proposed that before a written agreement be presented to the Allotments Association a meeting should be arranged, to explain to them the reason behind the need for an agreement. It was agreed by all that any new agreement should be carefully implemented to avoid any bad feeling as this is certainly not the intention, the need purely is to set rules on what is expected of each party.

Whilst the agreement will take a while to be implemented it was noted that the Allotments Association be informed with immediate effect that no poison is to be used on site. Councillor Bowell agreed to arrange a meeting with The Allotments Association to discuss the adoption of an agreement. (This will be arranged after the inspection of allotment plots).


7.21 To discuss an Allotment rent review

As figures prove, the finances relating to the running of the allotments are ever increasing. The current rent per annum is £20 per half plot and £35 per full plot. A ‘reasonable’ rent increase needs to be considered to ensure that all costs are covered and it was agreed that this should be discussed with the Allotments Association during the meeting to be arranged re the new agreement.


8.21 To discuss the make-up of future meetings for this committee

As this committee is only a small one other Parish Councillors are to be encouraged to join. Past committee meetings have had representatives from the Allotments Association and Friends of Jubilee Park and one suggestion for future meetings, was that they both be asked to submit a written report prior to the meeting. Should they wish to attend then they would be asked to speak in the open forum rather than as members of the committee.


9.21 Date of the next meeting – September 17 2020, 7.45pm at The Institute.