Minutes of ABAS Meeting held 12th May 2014
Some 35 people from 9 allotment sites in Bolton registered their attendance at the ABAS meeting.
The meeting began with a series of presentations highlighting the present situation on the following
Information on Waiting Lists
There are currently around 300 people on the Council’s waiting list.
Where Societies have shown an interest in OMA, then waiting lists will not be issued to Site societies until OMA agreements are in place.
On site where there is no interest in OMA then the council is proceeding to release plots to those on the Waiting List based on centrally held data.. Some 70-75 vacancies have been identified, 10 offers have been made to date and a further 40 are anticipated in the next 10-14 days.
Competition Forms have been issued to the respective Site Societies (and have also been available through firstname.lastname@example.org The Closing date for entries is the 16th May
We are still seeking sponsorship / support for the Allotments Competitions – the following were suggested: Warburtons (Jill Kippax), and the COOP Bromley Cross
OMA Present Status
Presently some 10 sites have registered with the Council indicating that they are interested in operating the OMA on their sites.
Council is now progressing discussions and agreements with these individual Societies
If all these sites sign up they will comprise approximately 590 plots of the 800 plots on eligible sites in Bolton.
Following their meeting with the Council earlier in the day the ABAS Committee advised that the central core of the OMA is the admin and tenant management tasks – this is what the Council want societies to do. The range of minor maintenance tasks listed in most OMAs is not central to their concerns. Basically if a society doesn’t do them then it will simply have to live with the consequences e.g. uncut grass. Similarly issues around community plots are unlikely to be a deal breaker .A variety of models and approaches are likely to be acceptable.
Discussions from the Floor regarding OMA
The cost of Weed killing agents will be met by the individual society.
One site reported that it has Asbestos sheeting on the plots. ABAS advised that this is a H&S issue and removal should be undertaken by the Council
Fires are allowed on sites provided that this is in accordance with the tenancy agreement and that fires do not offence to neighbours and no obnoxious materials are burnt
The ABAS Committee advised that wherever possible fires should be restricted to certain parts of sites and to certain pre-arranged dates.
It was the opinion of the ABAS Committee (and the meeting in general) that plot-holders need to realise that the Council will not / is not able to devote the level of resources to allotment management that it did in previous times. We will have to do much more for ourselves if we want things done.
The Leeds Federation’s former agreement with the Council had been seen as something that ABAS might aim for. However there are now problems as the Council seeks to gain more revenue which the Federation is resisting.
The Federation is taking legal action.
ABAS still needs funding to cover running and administrative cost. The Assistant Secreatry is preparing a bid to the CVS.
Motion / Proposals None
General Comments from the meeting attendees’
The site representive mentioned that they had been waiting for 2 and half years for planning approval for a meeting hut to be approved by the Council.
Bee keeping on allotments,
Interested parties were introduced and are discussing the feasibility and methods of Bee Keeping
Mobility Access to Individual Allotment Sites
This point is noted, as many sites are not suitable for mobility scooters.
Further Note: ABAS representatives followed up this point at a CVS meeting and are investigating sources of funding to improve access.
Date of Next Meeting is Monday 9th June 8pm Astley Bridge Cricket Club