Wednesday, 2 December 2015

AGM November 9th 2015 Minutes

Abas AGM
9th November 2015

Astley Bridge Cricket Club – Bolton

The meeting convened at 8.00 p.m.


Item 1: Minutes of the 2014 AGM and Matters Arising

The Minutes of the 2014 AGM having been posted on the Association’s blog-site ( during the year, the Committee asked that the minutes be accepted. The motion was proposed by Ray Maginn (Sapling Rd.) and seconded by Carol Barlow (Sapling Rd.) and was carried unanimously.

 All Matters arising from those minutes were subsequently covered during the body of this meeting

 Item 2 -Current membership – 16 sites – based on information to hand on November 9th 2015

SITE                 no of PLOTS    OMA?  PAID    UNPAID                                                                      

Ainsdale Rd                 49        Y                      x         

Cemetery Rd               26        N                      x         

Clammerclough          12        N                      x         

Dealey Rd.                   25        Y          x                     

Florence Avenue         52        Y          x                     

Harpers Lane               83        Y          x                     

Lever Park Avenue      31        Y          x                     

Haslam Park                23        Y                      x         

Moss Lea                     44        Y                      x         

Rawlyn Rd                   45        Y          x                     

Sapling Rd                   61        Y          x                     

Settle St                       41        Y                      x         

Shepherd Cross St        63        Y                      x         

Smedley Avenue         28        N          x                     

Tonge Fold                   38        Y          x                     

Tonge Moor Rd.           54        Y          x                                                                                 

TOTAL                          675                  417      258     


Non-members (1)

SITE                             no of PLOTS    Society                       

Crown Lane                             51        N/S                 

Longworth Rd Egerton            49        N/S                 

Lowndes St                              32        SOC                

Hatfield Rd                              27        N/S                 

Green Lane                              20        N/S                 

Longworth Rd Horwich         18        SOC     OMA  

SITE                             no of PLOTS    Society           

Firwood Lane                          16        ?                     

Nasmyth St                              15        N/S                 

Willows Mercantile                 11        N/S                 

Tippings Rd                             10        N/S                 

TOTAL                                      249      10 sites                       


Non-members (2) – smaller sites

SITE                             no of PLOTS                           

Cross St                                    7          N/S                 

Thicketford Td                         5          N/S                 

Plodder Lane                           4          N/S                 

Glebe St                                   4          N/S      B@H   

Avondale Rd                            3          N/S      B@H   

Chequerbent Gardens             3          N/S                 

Garstang Avenue                     3          N/S                 

New St                                     3          N/S      B@H   

Hall Lea Bank                          1          N/S                 

Westhoughton Central            1          N/S                 

Seymour Rd                             0          N/S                 

TOTAL                                      34        11 sites                       

NB B@H means that ‘ownership’ of the site has been transferred to Bolton at Home from Bolton Council

 Please Note – there was some discussion as to the accuracy of the above figures and a corrected version will be issued during the gap in meetings over the winter.

 Item 3 - Annual Accounts


CVS Grant                                            £341.17          

Members Subscriptions Received       £205.50          

Bank Interest                                       £    0.50          

Cash Transfer                                      £135.00          

Cash paid in                                        £ 23.95           

Raffle Income                                     £112.00          

Onion and Leek Show Grant               £250.00          


TOTAL INCOME                                   £1,068.12       



CVS Grant-related Expenditure           £363.66                      

Leek Show grant-related Exp              £250.00                      

Secretary's Expenditure                      £108.00                      

Allotment Comp Prize Money             £130.00                      

Presentation Flowers                           £ 50.00                       

Engraving and Postage                        £ 32.48                       

NVS Subscription                                 £ 19.00                       

Printing Costs                                      £ 21.00                       

Lecture Fees                                        £ 70.00                       

Other                                                   £   0.98                                               

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                         £1,045.12                   


NETT SURPLUS                                   £     23.00       



OPENING CASH AND BANK               £1,305.12       

NETT SURPLUS                                   £      23.00

CLOSING CASH AND BANK                £1,328.12       


CURRENT ACCOUNT                           £    427.25                  

BUSINESS ACCOUNT                         £    900.87                  




Accounts of the Leek and Onion Show 2015


Duchy Grant                            £250.00          

Donations / Sponsorship         £183.00          

Entrance Fees                          £  22.30          

Raffle                                      £  40.23          

Prize Money not used             £  22.00          


TOTAL                                      £517.53          



Laminator and Pouches          £  63.98          

Abas Trophy                             £  59.95          

Prize Cards (Printing)              £  20.00          

Table Tops                               £129.60          

Prize Money                            £148.00          

Judge's Fee                              £  30.00          

Gifts to ABCC Staff                  £    8.00          


TOTAL                                      £459.53          


SURPLUS FROM SHOW          £  58.00          

Item 4: Election of Officers

Officers from the current year were returned unopposed


Hon President:             Richard Heyes (Tonge Moor)

Hon Vice-President:    George Wild (Tonge Moor)


Chair                           Jeff Gibson (Tonge Fold)

Secretary                     Dave Jackson (Harpers Lane)

Treasurer                     Terry Farrell (Tonge Fold)


Two Committee Members from the current year were re-elected Ann Craven (Settle St.) and Theresa Morris (Tonge Fold). In addition Carol Deplitch (Dealey Rd.) was elected to the Committee.


Item 5: Setting Subscriptions for 2016-2017


The 2014/15 Committee’s proposal that subscriptions for 2016-2017 should be raised to £1.00 per member was passed unanimously.

It was pointed out that the previous rate – 50p per member – had been fixed since 1981


Item 6: Competitions


The Committee proposed that Abas run the four Borough Allotment competitions (Fairhurst, Greenhalgh, New Tenant, Rosebowl) in 2016


The Committee proposed that Abas run an expanded Show in 2016 – this will be a Vegetable Show rather than an Onion and Leek Show.

A proposed schedule of classes had been drawn up (which is given below)

It was proposed that the Show take place on either Saturday 20th August or Saturday 3rd September – the proposed venue being Trinity Methodist Church. The meeting opted for Saturday 20th of August – although some sites reserved judgement until they have fixed the dates of their own shows and Open Days.


Proposed Show Classes 2016

  1. Best Display of Vegetables
  2. Three Stump Carrots
  3. Three Parsnips
  4. Three Onions from Sets < 250 g
  5. Three Onions from Seeds < 250g
  6. Three Onions from Seed > 250g
  7. Three Onions (1 < 250g, > 250g one <450g, one > 450g)
  8. Two Blanched Leeks
  9. Two Pot Leeks
  10. Ten Shallots < 30mm
  11. Ten Shallots > 30mm
  12. Three Red Onions
  13. Heaviest Onion
  14. Four Tomatoes
  15. One cucumber
  16. 6 Pods of French Bans
  17. 6 Pods of Runner Beans
  18. 6 Pods of Peas
  19. One Marrow
  20. Four potatoes (White)
  21. Four potatoes (Coloured)
  22. Three Beetroot
  23. One Cabbage
  24. One Cauliflower
  25. One of any other type of vegetable not listed above


More details of rules etc. are available


Item 7: Talks and Lectures


Members accepted that there are two audiences for Abas meetings. The first is the secretaries and committee members of the member societies – they are essentially attending a business meeting the primary topic of which is the ongoing relationship with Bolton MBC and its impact on the allotment community. They are thus interested in policy developments at the Council and how Abas can act collectively to resolve ongoing issues affecting sites (e.g. maintenance failures etc.) The second audience are the general plot-holders on allotment sites in the Borough. They are less likely to be interested in the details of individual issues (unless personally affected) but more interested in general topics of horticulture etc.


It was suggested (and the suggestion will be studied by the Committee during the winter break) that talks of no more that 30-40 minutes on general topics could be scheduled at the start of the monthly meetings, after which the meeting would turn to site management matters.


Possible topics included:-

Advice for new plot-holders

Composting / Worm Composting

Starting with Poultry

Starting with Bees


How to show Vegetables (with the talks given by experienced local plot-holders e.g. Jeff and Terry rather than the more professional competitors who spoke in 2015)


It was also suggested that Abas organise visits by groups of Abas members to other Allotment Associations and Sites to compare Good Practice and also visits to Shows (e.g. Harrogate / Southport), Gardens and perhaps Stately Homes.


The Committee will consider this suggestion over the winter break.


Finally it was suggested that Abas and its member societies should work together to co-ordinate the advertising and promotion of their events and fund raising.



Item 8: Progress Meetings with the Council


The Committee reported that regular meetings had been held with the Council to address issues of concern to members..

The Council has proposed three to four meetings per annum

Other meetings can be scheduled if either side feels an urgent issue needs to be addressed


At the last meeting (Oct 2015) Abas raised issues on behalf of Rawlyn Rd., Moss Lea, Harpers Lane, Tonge Moor and Smedley Avenue. In general sites were satisfied with progress made but there seems an ongoing issue with work placed with contractors by the Counciil not being done and/or not being followed up by Council Officers.


Abas is creating a Register of the Issues which members send us – this register will be shared with the Council. Site Secretaries are asked to inform us of all outstanding issues that they report on their Monthly Reports (for OMA sites) or that they email / write to the Council about (for other sites). This updating should continue during the winter break.

Progress on items on this Register will be discussed at the monthly abas meetings


On-going Consultation

Since the ‘Plotties’ issue, Elected Members have become interested in the whole issue around food growing and sales.  They have expressed the view that if the sales can be shown to be benefiting the community they should be encouraged.

Areas of general agreement seem to be:

  • Sales are of SURPLUS produce
  • Sales must be COLLECTIVE and proceeds must go to the Site Society not to individuals.
  • Sales must be ON-SITE and there must be no OFF-SITE advertising
  • (Some sales at off-site venues e.g. church fete would be acceptable on a one-off basis).
  • Societies should not create any purpose built structure for the purpose off selling produce
  • Sales should be in season (the Council would like to set maximum occasions)
  • There should be no Sales of processed produce unless the Society goes through registration and Food Hygiene Testing Inspection etc. with the relevant regulatory departments


The Council wishes to work with Abas on the wording of a definitive statement for the start of the Spring growing season.


Community Plots


As part of the above the term Community Plot is to be reserved solely or plots being worked by ‘communities’ or groups – in all practical respects these are the same as any other plot and subject to probation, rent, regulations etc.


An area for discussion over the winter is the question of SOCIETY PLOTS

These are plots where the society is the tenant. Our current interpretation of council thinking is that they must serve some community purpose (e.g. education or some social benefit) and must not be solely some kind of income generating market garden, but the position is not set.



The proposal that Abas maintain a log of break-ins on sites and share this with the NWCAA was approved. This will need Site Secretaries to keep the Abas secretary informed of break-ins and vandalism.


The NWCAA are organising a regional forum on allotment thefts which will be hosted by ABAS. It will be held in Bolton on January 24th 2016. GM Police have been invited to speak.

Further details will be posted nearer the date and a calling notice will be sent to member secretaries by email.



The meeting closed at 9.50 p.m.


Next Year’s Meetings


It is proposed that next Year’s meetings will (as this year) be on the second Monday in each month. They will be held at Astley Bridge Cricket Club and will start at 8.00 p.m. The first meeting will be in March 2016.


Should this change all secretaries will be informed by email or letter.



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