Wednesday, 13 July 2016


                   Meeting of the Association of Bolton Allotment Societies (abas)

July 11th 2016
Present: 16 members representing 12 allotment site societies
Apologies: Florence Avenue Society

Minutes of the June Meeting

The minutes of the June meeting having been posted on the abas blog-site, they were accepted by those present as a true and fair account.


We have received no confirmation that the Council has confirmed its policy on the selling of produce – we advise acting as if we had

Allotment Crime continues to be a problem – Harpers Lane had a series of shed break-ins last weekend, Rawlyn Rd has had similar problems as has Tonge Moor.

On-going Concerns

Moss Lea – There has been no progress on the decision on communal vs individual greenhouses. (Historical piece appeared Bolton News 08/07/2016)

Harpers Lane – Neighbourhood Services have promised that a Pest Control Officer will be on-site in the next 10 working days

Florence Avenue – No progress on the car park

Shepherd Cross St – No information on asbestos removal?

Tonge Moor – The Secretary has raised the telephone manner of staff answering queries at Neighbourhood Services. She asks that these staff remember that site secretaries are volunteers giving up their time.

General – The Council says it’s proceeding with mal-cultivation notices and evictions – is there any evidence that this is actually happening on the ground? The Committee were requested to make contact with the Council about this.

Other issues?

Clarification of the rules about fires on allotments – The Treasurer has a letter from Environmental Health saying plot-holders can have fires as long as they take neighbours into consideration (i.e. not too frequently, don't burn plastic or wet material etc.) Rawlyn Rd. argued that the distance to neighbouring houses must be a consideration. Harpers Lane has had a rule restricting fires to an area well away from houses, and has asked members to try to keep to certain fixed events in the year. (This however has now been challenged by a plot-holder who claims his 'lease' says he can have fires on his plot.)
The Committee were asked to get a clear statement on the issue

Multiple plots at the same address – The Secretary and the Site Secretary (Sapling RD.) reported on the policy that where a plot is already held by a person living at a given address, no other person living at that address may be offered an additional plot. The Council had said that this rule could be set aside in the situation where there was no waiting list and the plot would otherwise be left uncultivated. There was an objection to the policy by one member who asked about the case of houses in multiple occupation and /or lodgers.
The Committee will seek further clarification

General Activities
Onion, Leek and Vegetable Show – August 20th
Posters for the show can be obtained from the Committee
We still need sponsorship (£10 per class) for individual classes at the Show
Schedules of classes etc. are now available through the Show Committee (contact Mrs Margaret Farrell, 13 Romer St., Bolton, BL2 6BG 0785 394 9570. A number have been distributed by the Treasurer who is also posting copies to entrants in last year’s Onion and Leek Show. It I hoped to post copies of the schedules on this blog site in the coming week.
There will be stalls at the Show showing local produce (honey, ice cream etc.) and with information on the NAS and the National Vegetable Society. If any society or any of its members wishes to take a stall then please contact Dave Jackson on Stalls will be free, but numbers will be limited.

The show is being sponsored by the University of Bolton

Bolton Allotment Competitions
The first round of judging in the Fairhurst, Greenhalgh, New Entrant and Rose Bowl competitions has been completed
The second round of judging will take place w/c July 18th probably starting Tuesday 19th July
The prizes will be presented at the Bolton Onion, Leek and Vegetable Show on August 20th by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Boton, Mr George Holmes

The prizes have been provided by J Maher Ltd.

Both the show and the allotment competitions have been supported by a grant from the Big Bolton Small Grants Fund through Bolton CVS

The Harrogate Trip
TheTrip to the Harrogate Show will take place on Sunday 18th Sept 
(The Treasurer) Terry needs to know who wants to go and he needs the transport payments as soon as possible if he is to book a coach

The Allotted Exhibition
The Allotted Art Exhibition is running (Thurs – Sunday 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.) in the Market Place (Neo:Gallery 27 on the 1st Floor) until the end of July and possibly ‘til August 7th.
There is a catalogue of the art work on display at the gallery during the exhibition. The catalogue has been funded by Bolton Arts Forum.
There is also a booklet “Allotted: the back of the seed packet” which contains essays, stories and poems inspired by Allotments. The booklet has been funded by the National Allotments Gardens Trust.

What’s on?

We have created a poster detailing the events taking place on Bolton Allotment Sites this Summer. Copies were available at the meeting and digital copies are available from the Secretary (

Future Events Include:
13/08 – Craft & Produce Fair – Florence Avenue
14/08 – Open Day – Sapling Rd
27/08 – Society Show – Moss Lea
28/08 – Mini-Show & Barbecue – Shepherd’s Cross St
11/09 – Open Day, Show and Market, Harpers Lane

NWCAA is again running their “The Best Allotment Site in the NW” Competition Details are now posted on their Web Site but societies were reminded that a key factor is community involvement. Entries Close August 31st

The North West Counties Allotments Association quarterly forum took place at Holy Trinity Community Centre, Dean St., Ashton under Lyne on July 3rd, abas was represented by Jeff Gibson (Chair)
Report of the NWCAA Forum
Some 30 NW members attended the meeting and the following points were noted:
Andrea Hallissey will not now be relocating to the North-East and will remain Secretary of the NWCAA

Revised Rules for the National Allotments were proposed at the National Allotments AGM (York) and will now be issued on line when approved. The point was made from the floor that both National and Regional officials seem remote from our situation in Bolton and do not seem to recognise the problems that arise in trying to work with a big ‘Met’ Council like Bolton MBC.

Andy Percival will be standing for election as President of the NAS at the next AGM

The NWCAA will be again having a stand at the Southport Show this year (trying for a 3rd successive Gold Medal)

The (NWCAA) Treasurer indicated that the rebate the NWCAA received from the NAS was some £1500 down on last year

There seems a discrepancy between the Total Number of North West Members and the rebate that the North West receives from the National

Subscriptions to the National will be increased for the coming year from £2.75 to £3.00

An Allotments Handbook by Sophie Andrews (priced £2.99) is available and may be of interest to abas members

Issues of Bullying were raised (Andrea has included a campaign poster on the July Newsletter). Abas also sees this as an area to be discussed –see later

A Statement of Accounts was provided

Statement of Accounts


Rebate from nsalg                            £ 3,806.80

Raffle Receipts                                 £     197.00

TOTAL INCOME                                                                    £ 4,003.80


Officer expenses                               £     255.64

NW AGM                                           £     431.36

NSALG AGM                                     £     605.75

Meeting room hire                             £       35.00

Meeting Refreshment                        £       91.66

TOTAL EXPENDITURE                                                         £ 1,419.41

Bal c/f                                                                                     £    497.72

Income to date                                                                       £ 4,003.80

Excess income / expenditure                                                 £ 3,082.11

Presented by: balance at bank £ 2,985.09

Cash on Hand                          £       97.02                               

Bullying and aggression on sites - the NAS / NWCAA is running a campaign about bullying on sites - members present asked that the Council issue a statement saying that repeated aggressive or abusive behaviour towards committee members and / or other plot-holders should be regarded as grounds for termination of tenancy.
The Committee will make that request

Any Other Business / Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting is on 8th August at Astley Bridge Cricket Club

Start Time 8.00 p.m.


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