Friday, 14 July 2017

MINUTES OF THE JULY MEETING OF ABAS


Held at Astley Bridge Cricket Club, 10th July 2017 starting 8.00 p.m.

Present: 19 people representing 10 sites

Minutes of June meeting

The minutes having been posted on the Association’s blog site and members invited to submit corrections etc. The Committee asked whether there were any points anyone wished to raise. There being no such matters it was moved that the minutes be accepted.

Outstanding Matters

Specific issues from the June meeting had been submitted to the Council on 12/06/2017
The replies are as follows:

·         Plot Splitting at Smedley Avenue – due to the size of plots at SA any division would result in at least one plot being less than 125 sq metres – this is against policy. The Committee discussed situations where an existing plot that is less than 125 sq metres becomes vacant – our advice is that if such a plot cannot be amalgamated with another, then it should simply be re-let.

·         Voluntary Terminations of Tenancy – the Council regard the effective date of termination and the date by which the tenant must remove his / her property from the plot as being either the date the tenant communicates with the Council or such later date as he / she may stipulate in their termination letter or email. MR is looking the need to reinstate confirmation letters.

·         Poultry on Plots – Societies cannot refuse permission for tenants to keep poultry only the Council can do this.

Previous backlog

·         Pigeons on Plots – no further response – abas advice would be that if such a request is presented to a Society then the application should be refused with the tenant being advised of their rights of appeal to the Council. Such appeals should help establish an effective policy.

·         Probationers – the May meeting made a number of suggestions to the Council – no response to date

·         Revolving applications – The Council has found Rawlyn Rd’s suggested way of dealing with these acceptable

·         Assistance with Security – there has been no response to the points made about site security

·         Fundraising – the Council has stated that any events must be clearly linked to promoting allotment gardening and local food growing – simply raising funds for the society is not acceptable. Abas are concerned at this restriction on societies’ ability to raise much needed funds and wishes to discuss this with the Council.

·         Waiting Lists – waiting list supplied to secretaries will in future always have phone numbers   

Abas – future strategy
Abas remains concerned that there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction amongst our members, both with communications with the Allotments section and with responses from that section.

Abas is concerned that our email to the Council warning of dangers to the continuation of the OMA project has not received a reply.

The Committee has therefore decided to circulate all Society Secretaries with a questionnaire asking them to tell us – what has worked well, what isn’t working well (with detailed examples). These questionnaires should be returned to abas after which we shall collate the replies and use them to form the basis of a Progress Meeting with the Head of Neighbourhood Services.

Freedom of Information requests
Florence Avenue have received a reply to their FoI

Abas received a reply to its FoI on Weds 5th July. The replies were discussed at a Committee Meeting on Thursday 6th July. Initial feelings are that further detail is needed, and that the Secretary should seek that information from the Council.
 The following summary sheet was provided by the Council.



Allotments



2015/16  Actuals
2016/17  Actuals
2017/18 Budget





20100
Day To Day Maintenance
18,117
9,114
7,151
20504
Signage
200


21100
Electricity - General
1,401
(542)
1,515
22003
Ground Rent
25

51
22200
Water Charges - Metered
9,789
7,921
10,100
22201
Water Charges - Unmetered
493
518
2,020
25103
Purchases - Keys Etc.
1,406


26106
Refuse Collection
320


29100
R&M Property Services Dso
71
530





Total Premises
31,822
17,540
20,837




40601
General Materials
20

1,010




Total Supplies & Services
20
0
1,010




52200
Contracted Services
10,827
9,551
9,090




Total Agency
10,827
9,551
9,090




77215
Legal Services Devolved Charge
780

1,515




Total Support Costs
780
0
1,515








Gross Expenditure
43,448
27,091
32,452




92612
Donations
(1,500)


93308
Agricultural Rent
(30,265)
(30,001)
(32,452)




Total Income
(31,765)
(30,001)
(32,452)









Net Expenditure
11,683
(2,910)
0

Site specific figures were supplied by the Council for water charges.


Site
metered water
unmetered water


15/16
16/17
15/16
16/17












1
Ainsdale Road
£497.75
£315.80


2
Avondale Rd




3
Back Plodder Lane




4
Cemetery Rd
£361.83
£450.17


5
Chequerbent




6
Clammerclough




7
Cross St




8
Crown Lane
£98.13
£365.17


9
Dealey Rd




10
Firwood Lane
£29.83
£117.69
£123.34
£129.48
11
Florence Avenue
£347.61
£440.56


12
Garstang Avenue




13
Glebe Street




14
Green Lane




15
Hall Lea Bank




16
Harpers Lane
£155.81
£376.12


17
Hatfield Rd




18
Lever Park Avenue
£48.31
£238.37


19
Longworth Rd, Egerton
£203.92
£887.42


20
Longworth Rd, Horwich




21
Lowndes St
£37.40
£153.09


22
Manningham Rd/ Haslam Park
£127.37
£272.57


23
Moss Lea
£121.50
£332.80


24
Nasmyth Street
£66.03
£89.95
£123.34
£129.48
25
New Street




26
Rawlyn Road
£365.60
£240.48


27
Sapling Rd
£160.50
-£56.36


28
Settle Street
-£257.85
£1,016.41
£123.34
£129.48
29
Seymour Road




30
Shepherd Cross Street
£7,254.82
£971.08
£123.34
£129.48
31
Smedley Avenue
£114.45
£171.96


32
Thicketford Road
£59.57
£60.63


33
Tippings Rd
£61.92
-£73.84


34
Tonge Fold




35
Tonge Moor Rd
-£232.79
£1,322.36


36
Westhoughton Central




37
Willows Mercadale
£78.99
£37.95


38
























Dene Bank Allotments, Turton
£87.69
£190.28





















TOTAL PLOTS
£9,788.39
£7,920.66
£493.36
£517.92







On Summary Sheet
£9,789.00
£7,921.00
£493.00
£518.00







The Budget for 17/18 is





Metered
£10,100.00




Unmetered
£2,020.00




The meeting requested that the Secretary ask for similar site specific data on the other headings within the summary.

GM Spatial Plan
Don Booth (Salford Federation) is convening a meeting of the Federations in the GM area to discuss the current status of the Plan.
Abas (Terry and Jeff) will attend

Abas Allotments Competitions

Some 29 entries have been received from 6 Allotment sites.
Second Judging is week commencing July 10th

Abas Onion, Leek and Vegetable Show
The Show will be held at Trinity Church, Tonge Fold
The date is Saturday 12th August
The list of classes is given on the blog-site

Terry has copies of the Show Schedules – some were distributed at the meeting. Terry can be contacted at 0786 393 3064. Terry has offered to assist societies in explaining to potential exhibitors exactly what is needed.
We are hoping that there will be a large number of entries and from a wider spread of sites.

Stalls - There is space available for any society wishing to have a “stall” in the front hall at the show e.g. to sell honey, produce etc. Contact Terry if you are interested.

What’s on?
JULY 29TH – TONGE FOLD ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

AUGUST 5TH – SAPLING ROAD ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

AUGUST 26TH – MOSS LEA ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

SEPTEMBER 3RD – HARPERS LANE ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

SEPTEMBER 9TH – FLORENCE AVENUE ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

SEPTEMBER 9TH – SETTLE STREET ALLOTMENTS OPEN DAY

Details of all these events are being circulated through the NWCAA

NWCAA
Jeff and Terry gave an account of the Regional Meeting on 25/06/2017. Minutes will be published by the Regional Secretary on the NWCAA web-site.

Key points were:-
·                  Small Grants Scheme

·         Insurance – Shield may no longer offer the most competitive rates and societies should look at the market, but be careful to ensure quotes are Like for Like

·         Anti-Bullying Policy on Allotments – NWCAA has asked the NAS to provide more information on anti-bullying policies

Grants and Funding Opportunities There are details of potential funding from TESCO for projects such as meeting rooms, chemical toilets, site and land improvements on the NWCAA web-site (Blackpool Federation has secured £13k so far with a possible £5k to follow)

Societies (and abas) need to look seriously into future fund-raising since support from the ‘Big Bolton Fund’ / CVS has diminished and is likely to be further cut in future. In addition many funders are refusing repeat applications within a set period.

CVS grant advisors are advising even medium size groups to look at designating a fundraising officer or committee and to make maximum use of e.g. the Fundraising portals that Bolton CVS and GMCVO operate

Any other business
Members discussed what the advantages are of continuing paying subscriptions to the NAS if they are no longer a way of obtaining cheaper insurance.

The Chair informed the meeting that Dave Morris (NAS Treasurer) is actively seeking a new mechanism for obtaining insurance for NAS members, but this has not yet come to fruition. A number of members referred to access to excellent legal advice. The Secretary and Treasurer stressed the importance of being part of a wider movement when things ‘get rough’.  The Secretary argued that the NAS is a kind of insurance policy, we may not use them much in good times, but we can call on them if matters get difficult.

Dates
Our next meeting is on Monday August 14th and will be followed by:-
Monday Sept 11th
Monday October 9th

And the AGM on Monday November 13th

All meetings start at 8.00 p.m. at Astley Bridge Cricket Club








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