May 2020 – Additional Newsletter

Due to come changes on site and with the covid-19 situation we thought we’d release another newsletter to keep plot holders informed.

Security

Break-in and burglary The CAAA committee met online on May 14th, the first time we’d met since mid March. Top of the agenda was site security. As many of you will know we had a serious break-in and burglary on the night of May 5th/6th.

CCTV footage taken nearby shows a large white van in Colchester Avenue and Barons Court Road at 8.45 pm on May 5th. The same van was seen in Hampton Court Road where the entrance lock was broken and items stolen from nearby sheds. The van appears in Hammond Way CCTV footage at 12.30 am on May 6th and later on Newport Road.

The police believe this van is linked to the break-in and burglary, but CCTV footage does not show the number plate. If anyone living in these streets has information about or CCTV footage of this van, please contact our site manager Roger Kay (rogerbk49@gmail.com) or the police.

As well as individual plot-holders having items stolen, equipment (including a trailer) used by Craig Smith for the site as a whole was taken. We will replace much of this equipment with funds from the members’ account. Craig’s plot was among those targeted and he lost many items. So, in response to suggestions from plotholders, you can donate to Craig via online transfer to the CAAA members’ Lloyds Bank account, number (please see newsletter emailed out for details) . Please use your plot number as a reference.

Improved security People have suggested that we install CCTV cameras to deter future breakins. We did discuss this option at length at the April 2019 AGM. The conclusion then was that CCTV probably wouldn’t be of much benefit (due to the vulnerability of any cameras installed and quality of images among other things). However, if any plotholders work in the security sector and can advise us then please email the Chairman, Julian Goss, at jbgoss2@gmail.com.

In the meantime, we have improved security at the Dorchester Road pedestrian entrance by replacing the barbed wire and metal supports above the gate and adjacent fence.

Committee and AGM

Due to the restrictions on public meetings, we currently have no plans to reschedule our AGM which was due to take place in April. In the meantime, please email the Chairman (Julian Goss jbgoss2@gmail.com) with any issues or questions you have – or talk to any committee member.

During the Coronavirus restrictions the committee will meet every six weeks as before, but online using Zoom. Our next meeting is on June 25th.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Angharad Jones for all her work as Site Secretary in recent years. Angharad stepped down in April and we had hoped to thank her at the AGM. Anyone interested in joining the committee should contact Julian.

Covid-19 guidance from the National Allotment Society

The NAS updated its guidance to allotment holders on May 13th. It’s worth emphasising that there is NO limit to how long we can stay on our plots during daylight hours. Some of the key points on the NAS website are:

Can I still work my allotment during the Covid-19 lockdown? Yes, allotments are a great way of both getting exercise and obtaining food during this crisis.

Can I visit the allotment with my family? Yes, government guidelines state that you can exercise with members of your household.

How long can I stay at the plot? The Government have now removed the limit on exercise time.

How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot? Do not attend the plot if you have Coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating.

Other NAS guidance includes:

  • Take a flask of hot water, soap and paper towels to the plot with you (cold water will work too) to wash your hands.
  • Use hand sanitiser (should be 60% alcohol content) before entering the site and opening any gate locks.
  • Wash hands for at least 20 seconds after closing the lock, dry with a paper towel.
  • The most effective part of hand washing is the drying using preferably paper towel to remove the layer of dead skin scales – on which virus and bacteria sit. Paper towel to compost heap.
  • DO NOT touch your face after using anything that has been touched by other people – use an elbow to work the push taps.
  • Wash hands when you get home.
  • DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart.
  • Observe “social distancing” with each other 2-3 metres.
  • If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces.
  • Do not share tools.
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs.

For the full list of NAS guidance and updates see https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/

Good neighbours

Finally, a couple of reminders: please close the Hammond Way gate quietly for the sake of people living near the entrance. And remember too that in the agreements we sign with the Council when taking on our plots we’re not allowed on the site before dawn or after sundown.

Newsletter contact: johnsanders@clara.co.uk CAAA website http://www.caaa.org.uk

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