The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 places a duty on every local authority to maintain a waiting list for allotments and to ensure that no one is on the list for more than five years i.e. to provide sufficient allotments to meet demand. These two requirements have clear implications for how our allotment sites are governed.
As part of GCC’s response to the implemention Part 9 of the Act they propose to review the functioning of their allotment sites and to develop an “Allotment Handbook.” There are no details as yet about how plotholders will participate in these processes.
In the light of these developments (see Appendix on Resources page under the GAF Meetings heading) the following points were raised during our discussion:
- Individual sites constitution and rules: Those attending felt that most sites are managed well by their allotment associations however every site is different with its own constitutions and rules that have been developed over many years. This model should be supported with minimum intervention from GCC’s Land and Environmental Services (LES) department.
- Waiting lists and the allocation of plots: The ability to allocate plots is particularly important for the successful running of an allotment site. Many associations offer ‘starter plots’ to those at the top of the waiting list so applicants can discover if they enjoy gardening and begin to be integrated into the allotment community. When plots become available they are offered to existing plot- holders who can move between different sized plots on the same site depending on their skills, interest, time and circumstances. This procedure has many advantages for the wellbeing of the individual and the community. There was some discussion about the linking of site waiting lists and plot allocations into a central data base and the feeling was that with goodwill this should be possible.
- Allotment Handbook: While a ‘ highway code’ could be useful, there were concerns that a handbook would not be a flexible document allowing for the diversity of experience across the sites. Many sites have welcome packs for new members settting out the practices which apply in their particular context. A template and exemplars such as the Constitution and Rules developed by GAF in 2013 could be useful on the website.
- Get togethers, visits and discussions: These interactive processes would encourage the development of good practice and sharing of information and resources rather than a more formalised documentary approach.
- Liability: Concerns were again raised about the liability of allotments associations as un-incorporated bodies and the protection of committee members from litigation. It would be helpful if there was a system where associations became the lessees and the responsibilities of LES, as lessor and associations, as lessees, were clearly set out. There needs to be greater clarity about what form an allotment association should take.
The 2018 Tattie Bash
Jan MacDonald writes
Liz McGrath 0.92 kg
Dave Hadley 0.91kg
Amelie Young 0.78kg
Alexander Young 0.69kg
Ruth Young 0.66kg
Craig Young 0.71 kg