GAF event reports and government policy work
Event Reports & Summaries
Where our events and discussions have led to formal summaries, report, or notes, you’ll find those below.
For a list of all events past and future, see our events calendar.
Event: Presentation – Preserving fruit and veg, and seed-saving – 7 Oct 2021, 7-8pm
GAF Campaigns, Reports & Policy Responses
We frequently work to represent the interests of plotholders in Glasgow. This involves responding to national and local government activity, as well as proactively making recommendations and campaigning for improvements.
With the long-term goal of helping the public to lobby the local authority to convert unused space into growing space, we worked with Public Health Scotland to evaluate a tool of theirs – the Place Standard. Taking a form roughly equivalent to a checklist or a scoresheet, this has been designed to help identify, discuss, and evaluate areas for conversion to new uses on the basis of various relevant criteria. Born from a concern that it didn’t really include discussion prompts that related to actually growing food on a patch of unused land, we were interested in testing the Place Standard.
A simulation was carried out with ~20 volunteers in Victoria Park in early 2022. Sam Whitmore, a representative of Public Health Scotland, helped to facilitate the use of the Place Standard in a workshop afterwards. A report was then fed back to Publich Health Scotland, and the whole piece of work culminated in a webinar in June 2022.
Watch Sam and Jenny (GAF Chair) deliver the webinar, featuring some clips from the simulation workshop itself (44 mins):
Since responding to their original consultation on allotments in Scotland, GAF has contributed further evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government Committee Allotments Inquiry. Jenny Reeves (Chair) was part of the panel at the session on May 31st (see report below). The Clerk’s note (also below) explains the purpose of the inquiry, and the panel for the following session on June 7th which included Sandy Paterson from Glasgow City Council. Members of the Committee and the Clerks were scheduled to visit Budhill and Springburn Allotments on June 6th.
- Glasgow City Council’s Food Growing Strategy Action Plan (see ‘Glasgow City Council Publications’, below) 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‘
- A working group formed of GAF members has therefore been looking at these issues and has developed this first draft of a framework of rules and regulations that its members feel ought to underpin discussions with the local authority.
For more details on how these arose and how to give feedback, see this news post.
- Our responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation, which is available for you to fill out at the Citizen Space Scotland website under the title Local Food for Everyone, open until 26 Nov 2021.
- GAF’s early work to establish a group for non-plotholders to assemble, discuss, and campaign for more growing space(s) in Glasgow
- Visit https://thepeoplesplot.wordpress.com/ for the latest news on the group’s activities
These pieces of national legislation have direct implications for plotholders in Glasgow.
You may find references to them in our reports and position pieces, above.
We also highlight them here so that you may simply familiarise yourself with the constraints as well as the rights that apply to anyone maintaining a plot or an allotment site.
These documents may be of particular interest to those on site committees, or to those who wish to establish new growing sites.
- which includes a duty on local authorities to provide allotments, and to act if the waiting list exceeds 50% of the total number of allotment spaces owned by the council – see Section 112
- which includes a duty on local authorities to provide an Open Space Strategy ‘to set out a strategic framework of the planning authority’s policies and proposals as to the development, maintenance and use of green infrastructure in their district‘ – see Section 3
Glasgow City Council Publications
National legislation often operates by placing responsibilities on local councils to put their contents into action.
The following Glasgow City Council resources are therefore often a direct result of the legislation mentioned above.
- which the Council were required to write as a result of the Act above, and which includes a plan to develop new allotment sites over the next 5 years – see page 28
Glasgow City Council’s Open Space Strategy, adopted Feb 2020
- which has overlap with the plans for new allotment spaces mentioned in the draft Food Growing Strategy, mentioned above