New Plotholders’ Awards – Final Deadline Extension to Sunday 3 Sep

First, thank you to those who have already submitted an application for the New Plotholder Awards competition.
The deadline for the New Plotholders Award is being extended until Sunday, 3 September with judging to take place the following weekend on 9 September. 

We hope this extension will encourage more new plotholders to participate.

Our judge has kindly offered a bundle of seed packets to each person submitting an application as an encouragement.

Attached are updated application form, and flyer with the new submission deadline which you can share at your site.

Original call for submissions

Dear GAF Members, Association Secretaries and Friends:

With the summer solstice now behind (by just one day), and the gardening season well underway, it’s time to talk about the Glasgow Allotments Forum (GAF) New Plotholder Awards!

The summer solstice is a good time to take stock—fruit and vegetables have been harvested or are close to harvesting while others will be planted out soon—while doing what we love best—growing and enjoying our plots! Celebrating our hard work and achievements encourages us all, especially our newest members and so GAF invites your site and plotholders to participate in the annual New Plotholder Awards.

The New Plotholder Awards aims to encourage, recognise and reward those individuals who rise tothe challenge of a new plot. New plotholders come to a plot which may or may not be in good condition, with a variety of previous gardening experiences, skills and backgrounds. Whatever the starting point, the enthusiasm, hard work and commitment demonstrated by a new plotholder is to be commended and encouraged.

Please encourage your new plotholders to enter this competition. New plotholders—please consider submitting an application. It is great fun reminiscing about your first day on your plot to where you are now with your growing and is an insightful process, as well. I know first hand as I entered the competition my first year and it really made me consider not only what to plant but how to garden on my plot.

To be eligible for this year you must have taken on your plot on or after 1 January 2022. The application pack is attached.

Please note the closing date for entries is Sunday, 13th August 2023. [now Sunday 3rd September 2023].

Judging will take place at the mid-/end of August; exact date will be confirmed later. [now Saturday 10th September 2023].

We hope you will post the attached flyer for The New Plotholder Award at your allotment site to help spread the word that the competition is now open to all new plotholders.

Best wishes and good luck to everyone,

Christine Kuhn
NPA Coordinator
Glasgow Allotments Forum

GAF Waiting List Survey

We are asking you to complete this survey because the City Council is going to have to establish a central waiting list for allotments covering all your sites. We think that we need to do everything we can to make sure that sites end up with a system that fits the needs of their associations rather than something that adds extra work and aggravation to the job of managing the enrolment of new members and the allocation of plots.

The survey will help GAF:

  • gain a reasonably accurate view of how waiting lists are managed by GCC site
  • identify key issues which need to be considered if a central waiting list is to be


According to the Community Empowerment Act 2015 (Section 9 123), if associations want to
keep their own waiting lists they have to apply in writing to Glasgow City Council (GCC) to have that
function delegated to them.

Thereafter, GCC has to satisfy itself that the association is fit to carry out this task and then make a written agreement with the association that it will be managing its own waiting list in future.

However, even if GCC establishes waiting list agreements with all its individual allotment associations, this will not override the GCC’s duty to keep a central waiting list. The Act establishes local authorities’ central waiting lists as the means of ensuring that any resident who wants an allotment waits for no more than 5 years to be offered one. The centrally kept waiting list is the means whereby the authority’s duty to offer an allotment to any resident who wants one is to be fulfilled.

These legal prescriptions about waiting lists contained in the Act raise a number of ‘interesting’ issues about how the matter of site-based and centrally held waiting lists is to be managed because it requires the effective sharing of both data and responsibility on the part of all concerned.

The survey

Please send your answers to the following questions to

  1. Data
    What contact data do you collect from people who want to sign up?,
    How do you collect it?
    How do you store it?
    Do you ask people other questions – e.g. size of plot, previous experience etc?
    Do you charge people for going on the list?
  2. Use of the list
    Do you have any other communications with individuals other than letting them know
    when a plot is available – e.g Do you inform people of their position on list? Send out
    information – e.g about open days etc.
  3. Review of list
    How often do you review the list?

Supposing there was a central waiting list kept through a common standard
application form:

What benefits do you see?
What would worry you about being part of such a system?
What responsibilities would you like to retain?
Useful data – just rough numbers giving average per year don’t spend time on
accurate information at this stage
Time involved – how much time per year do you reckon you spend on waiting list issues?
How many people (individual, joint, groups) apply to go on your list in a year on average?
How many inquiries about position on the list do you receive?
How many people are removed from the list when you review it?

Glasgow’s Consultation on New Allotment Regulations and Delegation of Management

Some of you have written into us enquiring about what is happening about the consultation process we outlined earlier in the year.

Whilst there has been no official communication with us, we have reason to believe that the original timeline and sequence of events will be altered.

As far as we know, the Food Growing Team intend to start with individual negotiations with each Allotment Association about the terms of delegation laid down by the Community Empowerment Act Section 123.

This section requires that each allotment association applies in writing to manage:

a) their waiting list
b) notice of termination and renewal of tenancy
c) spending of monies given for training or promotional purposes.

GCC’s Officers are then required to satisfy themselves that the association is capable of carrying out these functions and both parties must then sign an agreement to that effect which is to be regularly reviewed. They are currently discussing this matter with their legal team.

The implication at the moment seems to be that only once this negotiation has been completed for all the local authority’s allotment sites will the process of consultation on the new allotment regulations be carried out.

At present, GAF does not have any information about the revised timelines for all of this.

Meeting to discuss

Invitation to Discuss New Council Proposals for Your Allotments – 12th January @ 7pm

As mentioned earlier in December, Glasgow City Council is proposing to put forward new draft rules and regulations for allotment sites and a first draft scheme of delegation of management to site Associations in January.

A short  window of two weeks for consultation with allotments (full timeline at the bottom of the page).

It’s crucial that each council allotment site in Glasgow gets a chance to be heard, and it’s up to all of us to make sure it happens.

GAF therefore invites you to a discussion on 12th January at 7pm in the city centre to:

  • find out the background to these proposals
  • hear about the work GAF members (i.e. other interested plotholders like you) have been doing on this topic over the past couple of years
  • think about how you might respond to the consultation from the perspective of your own site

Let us know you’re coming:

  • We aim to help associations to prepare for the consultation on new regulations for allotments in Glasgow – in particular:
  1. To clarify what is at stake in the consultation process
  2. To identify what the current difficulties are in relation to site management.
  3. To think about how new rules could improve the effectiveness of site management in future.

What’s happening to my site?

Whilst Allotment Associations have been managing their sites for many years now, there is no documentation that spells out for council site members and their committees exactly what management functions they are personally responsible for, and what management functions are retained by Glasgow City Council.

Under the terms of the new Community Empowerment Act (2015), this relationship needs to be formalised as a written agreement between each Association and the Council.

Glasgow City Council is obliged under Section 123 of the Community Empowerment Act (2015) to:

  1. Respond to a written request for delegation from each allotment association.
  2. Agree with the association what the terms of delegation are.
  3. Make the agreed arrangements with associations transparent and open to scrutiny.

We are now, in 2023, at the point where we are being consulted on the issue of delegation of management.

Our previous work raised a number of issues that need to be addressed in this process:

  1. The need to sort out the legal position in a way that is clear and unequivocal with regard to the current overlap of association membership with the entitlement to plot tenancy.
  2. The requirement of a clear statement of those functions which are being retained by the local authority as well as those that are being delegated to associations  – including issues such as boundary maintenance.
  3. The need to reach an agreement on the disciplinary procedures that are to be practised across all the Glasgow allotment sites for both cultivation and behavioural issues.
  4. Clarification of financial delegation i.e. the collection of rents and signed missives, and the link between rental fees and services.

When is it happening?

Our discussion was scheduled for a few days after the planned release of the Council’s draft scheme of delegation.

The timetable we were given by Glasgow City Council was originally:

  • Drafting documents will be completed by January 7th
  • Associations will have until January 21st to consider these drafts.
  • Re-drafts will then go out for public consultation from January 28th until March 11th
  • Final versions of the rules and regulations and the scheme of delegation will be published on March 25th.

Update: As of the 11th January we are awaiting the release of the council’s draft documents, and we will update the timeline above after this event on 12th January, at which a council representative will be present.

What should I do?

Come along to the discussion, then use the Council’s consultation time to respond with others on behalf of your allotment site (before 21st Jan) or as an individual member of the public (on redrafted documents from 28th Jan to 11th March).

Optional background reading

A working group of GAF members have already drawn up a draft framework for a scheme of delegation (and a draft set of rules and regulations for a modern allotment site) which was circulated to our members for comment and amendment in 2021.

GAF documents

Council / government documents

The Community Empowerment Act (2015) at

  • see Part 9 (Allotments) Section 123 (Delegation of management of allotment sites)

Guidance for Local Authorities on interpreting the Community Empowerment Act (2015)

  • written in plain, non-legal English
  • gives advice on how to split the responsibility of managing allotment sites between the Council and each Association’s own members / committees
  • see page 24, which covers Section 123 of the Act (mentioned above)