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Allotment committee responsibilities

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  • Allotment committee responsibilities

    We run our own allotments which we rent off the local council. There's currently a Committee consisting of Chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary, plus around 6 committee members.

    Now this committee is very clicky and very old school. As a result, many of the plot holders feel they are dragging us down and we're not moving forward.

    So there's likely to be an EGM called soon where the current board will step down as none of them really want to do the job.

    Now im going to take on the roll of chair, providing im nominated and seconded. But before I take it on, I need to know what my responsibilities are...both moral and legal !!!!! I also need to know what the other committee members should be doing.

    Are there any web sites that go into this sort of thing and explain the roles of the elected committee. It'll be my first position on a committee so any help you can give will be fantastic.

    It's a very exciting time and im looking forward to it.
    Please visit my facebook page for the garden i look after

    https://www.facebook.com/PrestonRockGarden

  • #2
    I'm the chair of our allotment association and I have to say the secretary has the bigger job to do! Are you members of the NSALG? Might be useful resources on their website. I think one thing you do need to do is ensure people are dealt with fairly. E.g. Everyone has the same expectations of the standard of their plot. We recently had a plot holder leave, who was also on the committee, as she didn't work her plot. Same rules for everyone.

    Comment


    • #3
      I am the newly elected chair of our allotment, and the only real job you have to do is to run any meetings that are called, both committee and general meetings.

      You should also be 'the face' of the allotment along with the Secretary and make sure that you get to know your local councillors as they can be very useful people to have on your side, should the need arise. You should get to know other allotment committees in your area and encourage visits both ways so that people can get some inspiration and ideas from other allotmenteers.

      Lastly, and most importantly, you should lead by example.

      I don't mean that you should have the biggest and best plot going, but you should work your plot and keep it weed free and tidy (something I struggled with a bit at the start of the year), turn up to as many 'tidy days' as you can, actively support your fellow plot holders, assist with plot inspections, regularly chat to all plot holders to find out if they are having any problems that the committee could possibly help with, and basically make sure that all is going well on your site.

      As Wendy has already said, the secretary has a much bigger job to do than you as they will be the main point of contact for external bodies, take and distribute minutes fro the meetings and do all the necessary admin jobs for the site.

      As far as responsibilities for the other committee members goes, it is down to you all to work out what needs doing, and if one person should be responsible for getting it done.

      Some examples of jobs could be - site rules and regulations, perimeter maintenance, livestock inspections (chickens and/or bees), plot inspections, communal path and buildings maintenance, acquisition of woodchip, scaffolding boards, manure etc, water supply, open day organisation, inter-site visits, social event organiser and so on.

      Hopefully this will be of help?

      Andy
      http://vegpatchkid.blogspot.co.uk/ Latest Blog Entries Friday 13 Mar 2015 - Sowing Update

      Comment


      • #4
        My responsibilities as site manager is to make sure that members look after their plot according to the city council allotments rules.

        The site is owned by the local council but the committee (me in other words) manages the site on their behalf.

        The "committee" consists of a chair who speaks at meetings but has no powers, no secretary so I do all notifications, and me - the site manager.

        I collect rents at the start of the year and bank the money, carry out all tenancy renewals, meet and greet prospective newbies, terminate tenancies where applicable, carry out monthly plot inspections and send out reports to members with recommendations, chase money by way of cash grants, carry out most site maintenance jobs, prepare plots when abandoned by digging up weeds so newcomers have a clean plot, deal with occasional disputes between tenants and more. I do not get paid for any of these tasks although I do withhold the key deposit as payment where a plot has been abandoned and I clean it up of the, usually, vast amount of weeds.

        I am probably the least liked person on the site although I have to enforce the rules otherwise the site would have weeds up to ones eyeballs, a situation which was very common prior to us becoming a Society back in 2008.

        The three golden rules I regularly say to people are: grow fruit and veg, keep your plot weed free and don’t be a nuisance to your neighbours.

        If you want a copy of our rules then send me a message with your email.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by john9159 View Post
          The three golden rules I regularly say to people are: grow fruit and veg, keep your plot weed free and don’t be a nuisance to your neighbours.
          Blimey, weed free! Don't think my extensively cultivated plot has ever been without weeds so hope it's not a case of spot a nettle (which could be being left for feed or even eating) and you're out. Can't argue even slightly with the other two though as long as a few flowers are OK too.


          Sent from my iPad using Grow Your Own Forum

          Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

          Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

          Comment


          • #6
            Gosh, monthly inspections, ours are annual, which is really silly, cos some plots are only visited about twice a year a little bit dug and then left for weeds to grow,now about 6 ft high and seeding!
            DottyR

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            • #7
              I do wander around at least once a month. It's not a formal monthly inspection but I do make a note of anyone struggling and check the next month how it's going. Usually if there is an issue our secretary does a gentle "how are things going, can we help?" type phone call or email first, before getting the parish involved.

              Comment


              • #8
                I always expect to see some types of minor weeds which are inevitable due to wind dispersion or bird droppings.
                I like to see plot holders removing weeds which are near the flowering stage or if there are larger clumps and I always advise spending just a few minutes of each visit dealing with them. So many weeds are easy to deal with just by pulling. Weeds reaching the flowering stage indicate that plot holders have not attended for long period and eventually cause a nuisance to other plot holders. Clumps of grass are ok as this is a refuge for insects.

                Plot inspections are always intended to offer advice on dealing with problems which are present and all plot holders are invited to attend although since 2008 no-one has bothered so they have to face some fierce criticism at time.

                An example of advice offered was that a plot holder removes sprout plants which were never picked and had blown and flowered two months ago. I suspect the person liked the flowers and just left them even though valuable nutrients were being used to keep the flowers going.

                Other plot holders would only turn up to clear the plot of weeds a few days before inspection without ever growing crops so endeth their tenancy I’m afraid after some gentle persuasion failed.

                It does take up much of my time but I try to be fair especially as newcomers are not all that knowledgeable. A few of us are always on hand to offer help and advice, including the offer of plants which I grow as extras for those without facilities at home just to surprise them that we can be the good guys!
                Last edited by john9159; 22-05-2014, 10:19 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by john9159 View Post
                  An example of advice offered was that a plot holder removes sprout plants which were never picked and had blown and flowered two months ago. I suspect the person liked the flowers and just left them even though valuable nutrients were being used to keep the flowers going.
                  I leave some of mine to flower every year as they attract beneficial insects, it's a deliberate thing and I'd take offence to being told off for this as it doesn't affect anybody else's plot. Dandelions however are a rather different thing and the distance those seeds go is a considerable annoyance to everybody. I am however very glad we don't have a regime like this on my site as although advice can be helpful if wanted, there are many ways of doing things (was going to say skinning a cat but thought that might bring up a totally different discussion ) and advice can come over a bit like that old Harry Enfield character that always told people how to do things. Honestly this is not meant as a criticism of all your hard work (as you say, you do it for free and for the right reasons), just when seen in cold hard text the regime comes over as very inflexible and strict a kind of my way or the highway thing and sometimes a more relaxed approach can achieve more.

                  Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

                  Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Alison,I see we both noted ...

                    Originally posted by john9159 View Post
                    An example of advice offered was that a plot holder removes sprout plants which were never picked and had blown and flowered two months ago. I suspect the person liked the flowers and just left them even though valuable nutrients were being used to keep the flowers going.
                    My first thought was that maybe some peeps do this to save seeds.
                    Last edited by bearded bloke; 22-05-2014, 12:01 PM.
                    He who smiles in the face of adversity,has already decided who to blame

                    Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Problem weeds are the ones to ensure people get rid of. Anything that spreads by root or seed needs to be kept under control.

                      Allowing plants to go to seed is ok as long as that's not the only thing going on. If you don't harvest any fruit or vegetables off your plot then why do you have it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        fascinating replies everyone...thanks. Keep em coming
                        Please visit my facebook page for the garden i look after

                        https://www.facebook.com/PrestonRockGarden

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I am on the committee on our plots and am thinking about writing a "Phoenix Nights" type of sitcom based on what happens with them.

                          Pure comedy GOLD

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am incredibly pleased that our site doesn't have a committee reading this thread and the one further down the page. Monthly inspections! Goodness me. It is no wonder there can be bad feeling.

                            My site is council managed and small, we only have 20 plots and with the exception of mine and a 2 other plots they are all fully cultivated. The 3 that aren't are newish and are being plodded though gradually.. It would sap every ounce of enjoyment out of it if I had to plod though it with someone breathing down my neck.

                            The only involvement anyone should have someone's plot is the ability to end the tenancy if it is not cultivated after a warning. Beyond that it really is no-ones business. Flowers are vital to bees and butterflies and weed seeds might be a nuisance to plot holders but they are a vital food source to birds. Everyone has a difference stance

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Methe View Post
                              I am incredibly pleased that our site doesn't have a committee reading this thread and the one further down the page. Monthly inspections! Goodness me. It is no wonder there can be bad feeling.

                              My site is council managed and small, we only have 20 plots and with the exception of mine and a 2 other plots they are all fully cultivated. The 3 that aren't are newish and are being plodded though gradually.. It would sap every ounce of enjoyment out of it if I had to plod though it with someone breathing down my neck.

                              The only involvement anyone should have someone's plot is the ability to end the tenancy if it is not cultivated after a warning. Beyond that it really is no-ones business. Flowers are vital to bees and butterflies and weed seeds might be a nuisance to plot holders but they are a vital food source to birds. Everyone has a difference stance
                              I'm totally with you on this so long as anything one plot holder is doing doesn't impinge to much of a degree on the other plot holders and this can be weed killer drift, wind blown weed seeds, excessive shade etc etc.


                              Sent from my iPad using Grow Your Own Forum

                              Some of us live in the past, always talking about back then. Some of us live in the future, always planning what we are going to do. And, then there are those, who neither look behind or ahead, but just enjoy the moment of right now.

                              Which one are you and is it how you want to be?

                              Comment

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