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Directors Communication

When Humber Avenue Community Allotments Community Interest Company (HACA) was incorporated on 18th August 2021 to take over management of the allotments at Humber Avenue from Worthing Borough Council, the Directors became responsible for all of the many legal responsibilities of running a Company. One of the most onerous and difficult legal responsibilities is Health and Safety which now has an impact on every aspect of our daily lives. In addition to the relevant legislation, HACA has a responsibility under the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with Worthing Borough Council to ensure the site is as safe as possible at all times. Allotmenteering should be an enjoyable experience and not overly regulated by rules and regulations. However the belief of some plot holders at Humber Avenue that Health & Safety does not apply on allotments is simply wrong. Under civil law anyone involved in allotment management has a common duty of care to ensure that their allotment site is run in as safe and appropriate manner as possible, as set out in the Occupier’s Liability Act, 1957. The site must be kept tidy and free from any Health and Safety risks. All plot holders and Co-workers are responsible for their plot under the provision of Occupier’s Liability Act, 1957 and the Occupier’s Liability Act, 1984. All plot-holders have a duty of care to anyone accessing their plot, and the pathways for which they are responsible. This includes both authorised and unauthorised visitors. Recent events have given serious concerns that activities on site have created situations where common sense and Health & Safety has put anyone on site at a degree of risk. The HACA Directors therefore wish to bring the following to your attention and ask that in future due consideration and compliance with the site rules and regulations. SKIP 23rd June to 26th June 2023 Due to the unacceptable behaviour of some plot holders the skip was seriously overloaded to a point where it became dangerous. It clearly stated on the side of the skip 'Level loads only', It took two committee members several hours to make it safe for the hire company to take away. As with the previous skip HACA were subjected to a £30 + VAT surcharge which came from plot holders' funds. There is a clear need for future skips, which helps keep the site tidy. But until we find an acceptable solution to overloading, skip hire is suspended. Any suggestions on how to make it a safe activity are welcome. Green Bays Over time a collection of useful tools and wheelbarrows have been accumulated by the HACA Committee and others to assist with handling Green Materials. However recently there have been a number of occasions (reported by responsible plotholders) where tools have been left in a dangerous situation (See picture of rake). It will only be a matter of time before someone is injured. Therefore the third bay (previously for grass/leaves) is now set aside for the storage of tools and wheelbarrows. If this does not solve the problem then the Committee may have to remove all tools and wheelbarrows and plot holders will be required to use their own. Additionally the Blue bins are for branches and twigs removed from green materials and the square trays for stone only. Please do not put your allotment waste in these bins. Site Access A recent risk assessment of the site has highlighted the dangers posed by parking on the site entrance road way and the opening of only one gate. Therefore please do not park on the site entrance roadway and open both gates on all occasions when entering and leaving the site, even if you can squeeze your vehicle through one gate. Encroachment onto internal Roadway The risk assessment also highlighted that there are a number of plots that seriously encroach onto the internal roadway making it difficult for pedestrians and vehicles to pass safely. Would all plot holders please check if they are encroaching and take remedial action immediately. Thank you for your time in reading this rather long but necessary communication Judy Kara HACA Director & Chair Peter Davey HACA Director & Treasurer Christine Busfield HACA Director & Membership Secretary Terry Smith HACA Director & Company Secretary


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