Have your say about how allotments are managed in the future

Glasgow City Council is due to revise how the allotments sites that it lets out to plotholders are to be managed. A GAF working party drawn from 8 GCC sites has been looking at the issues and has put forward a model for the future.

They have published:

  • a draft scheme of delegation which would clarify the relationship between Association Committees and GCC, as site landlord
  • recommendations of what they think all Glasgow Allotment Association Constitutions ought to cover

Come along and join in the discussion. Give us your thoughts on the issues so that we can revise these proposals to reflect the views of as many of our members as possible.

Help us to keep Potato Day going

We’re looking for volunteers to help out with managing our big annual fundraising event.

It’s largely been a one-woman show for the past 10 years, with the fantastic Jan MacDonald running the orders, the logistics, the advertising and the timeline.

Lots of volunteers have helped out each year to make the day happen, but Jan has been coordinating everything herself, and she’s let us know that this year will be her final year at the helm. She’s looking to pass on the baton (the big chip?) and while it’s a job that can be shared out, ideally it takes one volunteer leading the team from the front.

Jan MacDonald

Do you have…

Seed-swap table
  • an interest (or experience) in running an event?
  • some free time to donate between December and March each year?
  • a keenness to put on a fantastic event for growers across Glasgow?

You don’t need to have all of them – one or two will do!

Dip your toe in the water – shadow Jan this year

  • Meet up online with Jan and a few others from the GAF executive committee to see how the whole show works
  • See whether you think it’s for you
  • Learn the ropes (including a look at the temporary online version)
  • Bring along your new ideas
Jan at the welcome table

The physical event

Here’s a flavour of what the last in-person event looked like, in February 2020 at the Reidvale Neighbourhood Centre.

Potatoes are the main attraction, and ordering those is the biggest job, but there’s plenty more you could volunteer to help out with too!

Reforming Rules and Regulations for Allotments in Glasgow

Please would you discuss the work we have done (two files, below) with your committee and your members, and get back to us with your views on these important matters.

Glasgow City Council’s Food Growing Strategy Action Plan was approved on 8th June 2021. Action 15 in this plan concerns the introduction of a Glasgow Food Growers Forum that is to:

  • Develop facilitated consultation on allotment rules and regulations, devolved duties and legal agreements with stakeholders

GAF has two representatives on this group: Jenny Reeves, Chair of GAF, and Sarah Henry who is a member of the GAF Executive.

Since the GAF zoom meeting: Open Forum – Change is Coming to Allotments held on 1st July, a working group formed of GAF members has been looking at these issues and has developed the first draft of a framework that its members feel ought to underpin discussions with the local authority. It consists of:

  • A recommendation that allotment associations retain the status of unincorporated associations and therefore continue in their current role as agents of the GCC as landlord.
  • The outline of a scheme of delegation which makes the relationship between the GCC and the site-based allotment associations transparent and establishes the obligations of each party to the other.
  • An outline of what the group members believe should be common features of all allotment associations’ constitutions and rules including three essential procedures
    • Disciplinary – for cultivation and behaviour
    • Financial – clear guidelines on financial decision-making
    • Complaints – as part of safeguarding all association members

We will hold a zoom meeting on Thursday January 27th to report back on the feedback we get from you and to enable further discussion of the critical issues that the revision of allotment rules and regulations raises for our members.

Local Food Consultation – Have Your Say

You can help more people gain access to the benefits of plot holding by responding to the Local Food Strategy Consultation from Scottish Government.

Those of us who have allotments know how lucky we are. Many of us felt that being able to go to our plots during the recent lockdowns kept us sane. There is now greater pressure than ever on waiting lists as many more Glaswegians realise how important it is be able to garden and grow food for yourself and others.

It need only take a few minutes to push for increased allotment provision in Glasgow. Information from this consultation could inform the agenda for climate change, health, and biodiversity, as well as for local food. 

The consultation is at Citizen Space Scotland under the title Local Food for Everyone: https://consult.gov.scot/agriculture-and-rural-economy/local-food-for-everyone/

The consultation closes on November 26th.

We would suggest responding to Question 4 in the online form by proposing that the Scottish Government should work to ensure that:

  1. Sufficient good land is conserved and made available by local authorities and public bodies for food growing in all urban and rural areas, so that everyone has an opportunity to grow their own food in their locality and this is recognised as a right.
  2. All public bodies are pro-active in working in partnership with local groups to raise awareness of the benefits of communal growing, and promote and enable the creation allotments, orchards and small market gardens across our cities.
  3. In partnership with public bodies, housing associations and voluntary organisations, the Government recognises and builds on the local indigenous food growing cultures of both Scots and other ethnic groups. Local food growing cultures are enabled, sustained and enriched by the provision of allotments. 

Please discuss the Consultation with others. If you have any questions or comments about this issue, please send them either to GAFForum@gmail.com or post them on our Facebook Group.