9th November 2015
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 (http://www.abas2014.blogspot.co.uk) 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
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
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
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
- Best Display of Vegetables
- Three Stump Carrots
- Three Parsnips
- Three Onions from Sets < 250 g
- Three Onions from Seeds < 250g
- Three Onions from Seed > 250g
- Three Onions (1 < 250g, > 250g one <450g, one > 450g)
- Two Blanched Leeks
- Two Pot Leeks
- Ten Shallots < 30mm
- Ten Shallots > 30mm
- Three Red Onions
- Heaviest Onion
- Four Tomatoes
- One cucumber
- 6 Pods of French Bans
- 6 Pods of Runner Beans
- 6 Pods of Peas
- One Marrow
- Four potatoes (White)
- Four potatoes (Coloured)
- Three Beetroot
- One Cabbage
- One Cauliflower
- 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
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.
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.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
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.