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CPAGA-Merton meeting

Four members of CPAGA's Management Committee and the three members of the Parks Services team (headed by Andrew Kauffman) (the Parks Team) of the London Borough of Merton (Merton) met on 31 January 2024 to discuss matters of concern to plot holders at the Site. All agreed that the meeting had been useful and constructive.

Prior to the meeting it had been explained to the Parks Team, as discussed at CPAGA's 2023 AGM, that self-management of the Site was not a viable solution to the matters raised; nobody had been identified who would be willing and able to self-manage the Site.

A key topic was effective communication. Other topics discussed were waste management at the Site, factors affecting plot holders' enjoyment of their plots, the maintenance and repair of the John Grey Centre, the physical security of the Site and the supply, and security of supply, of water to the Site.


The Parks Team have introduced a system of logging of matters and monthly review of the log with representatives of idverde (Merton's contractor). The primary channel of communication for plot holders to raise matters related to the Site is via the Allotment Administrator (Jane Hardy). It will avoid duplication if plot holders could do that via members of CPAGA's Management Committee. However, the Parks Team have asked to be copied-in on emails to the Allotment Administrator, so that they are directly aware of matters raised.

Waste management at the Site

The problems of waste management at the Site will be well known to most plot holders. They can be divided between compostable green waste, other green waste and non-green waste. The Committee and the Parks Team want to encourage plot holders to compost compostable green waste on their plots. Ideally, the waste bays should be used only for non-compostable green waste. That leaves the problem of non-green waste, including abusive waste ('fly tipping'), which has been accumulating against the wall painted with 'no waste to be dumped here'. The Parks Team are now fully aware of the problem of non-green waste at the Site.

Factors affecting plot holders' enjoyment of their plots

These factors include being a neighbour to a non-worked or vacant plot, the management of Japanese knotweed in parts of the Site, the management of mature trees at the Site, and the protection and maintenance of the brook that drains the west of the Site. All of these matters were discussed.

Maintenance and repair of the John Grey Centre

The John Grey Centre is a valuable resource. A number of matters relating to its repair and maintenance were discussed and, subsequently, a schedule of seven such matters provided to the Parks Team.

Physical security of the Site

The problems with the experiment with combination locks at the pedestrian gates were identified and discussed, together with other matters adversely affecting the physical security of the Site.

Supply, and security of supply, of water to the site

The Committee and the Parks Team want to encourge plot holders to be careful with water use. In terms of the cost of supply of water to the Site, the Parks Team understand that Merton subsidises the total cost. It was agreed that it would be helpful if statistics about water consumption and its cost were visible to plot holders.

Merton have a general policy of "ensure that the water supply is turned on every spring and turned off every autumn" and concerns about the risk of ice damage to the system of supply cause the Parks Team to implement that policy at the Site. That also affects the John Grey Centre, including the toilets block. Alternatives to mains supply to the toilets block were discussed, including the harvesting of rain water.


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