Thursday, 12 April 2018

MINUTES OF APRIL MEETING


Minutes of the ABAS meeting held at Astley Bridge Cricket Club

On 9th April 2018

Present:
Apologies: Jeff Gibson, Carol Deplitch

Minutes of the March Meeting 

The Minutes having been posted on the Association Blog-site and there being no corrections anyone wished to make or points anyone wished to raise, it was moved that the minutes be adopted as correct.

Matters Arising 

No society had as yet received an amended OMA from Malcolm Russell.
The majority of Secretaries present had sent in March monthly reports with the additional updates asked for.

ABAS Membership

A number of societies have still not yet paid their annual subscriptions to the Association.
Current membership still stands at 399 plot-holders.

Allotment Competitions

The Fairhurst, Greenhalgh, New Tenant and Rosebowl Competitions will again be run by ABAS in 2018
Judging Criteria are available 
First Round Judging will take place in in week commencing 25th June
Second Round Judging will take place in in week commencing 23rd July
Additional information has been placed on the blog-site

Terry passed out the entry forms for the Competitions to those present – the forms will be posted onto the blog-spot.

ABAS ONION, LEEK AND VEGETABLE SHOW

The Annual Vegetable Show will be held on Saturday 4th August at Trinity Church, Tonge Fold
There will be 25 Vegetable Classes and lists and schedules will be available

NWCAA

The NWCAA AGM was held on 8th April at Greenhall Sports and Social Club, Alder Hey Rd., St Helens, WA10 4DN– unfortunately we could not provide a Bolton representative

Please note the new NWCAA email address:
nwcallotmentassociations@gmail.com

We trust that minutes of the AGM will be posted on that website in the near future.

Secretaries were urged to visit the NWCAA website to sign up for NWCAA Newsletters

NAS INSURANCE SCHEME

A short analysis of the pros and cons of the proposed NAS members’ insurance scheme was presented by Martyn Swain (Rawlyn Road)
He has prepared a longer analysis which he has presented to the Committee.
We will place a precis of that analysis onto the blog-site as soon as possible.
We would like to thank Martyn Swain for his work and his report.

GM SPATIAL PLAN
Spring 2018 
News and updates about the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework.

This summer, Greater Manchester will be asking for the public’s feedback on a rewrite of last year’s spatial framework. The plan will set out a strategic plan for sustainable development between now and 2035, exploring potential sites for new homes, employment opportunities and transport links to get our city moving and growing. 

In March they published data revealing the land identified for future housing and employment developments. Between now and 2035, Greater Manchester’s councils estimate that there is potentially enough land across Greater Manchester for around 175,000 homes. 

GM is trying to increase the land available for development within existing towns and neighbourhoods, while minimising the impact on our green spaces.

Supporting this approach is the Mayor’s Town Centre Challenge – an ambitious new initiative designed to both regenerate urban centres across Greater Manchester and help meet the demand for housing. 

The Combined Authority's ‘One Public Estate’ programme is also exploring whether various public sector organisation estates – facilities, space and buildings – could be better shared, perhaps co-locating or sharing some public services across Greater Manchester in order to free up more land for homes.

For further information visit  

GMSFconsultation@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk
Where you can view their data maps of the land supply identified for homes and jobs

A meeting of Greater Manchester Allotment Federations has been organised (by the Salford Federation) for April 24th. Jeff and Terry will represent Bolton at that meeting.

WHAT’S ON IN 2018?

We continue to maintain the section of the blog site that highlights events being organised at or by allotment groups within Bolton (and possibly further afield).
Additional Events are:

Tonge Fold, Plant Sale, Saturday 12th May 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Harpers Lane, Annual Open Day and Show, 12th August

POINT OF INFORMATION

Financial Data (relevant to the later discussion about grants).
Since 2010 Bolton Council have withdrawn all / severely reduced any subsidies to Allotments and we now operate on a Balanced Budget of some  £30k annually.

BMC Accounts for Fiscal Year 2016/17 indicated the following:
Income
Rent  £32k [Balanced Budget]

Expenditure
Total Expenditure £ 32k of which:

Day to day Maintenance/Repairs               £9k
Water Charges Metered                               £8k
Water Charges Un Metered                         £0.5k
Contract Services  [Chemical Toilets]         £9.5k

(BMC are to provide the Allotments Budget for 2018/19, Abas to review.)

As will be noted there is potential for cost savings by reducing water charges and the replacement of Chemical toilets by composting toilets. Any such cost savings should result in more funds for maintenance and repairs, and/or improving clerical / admin. support.

It should be noted that the Budget does not include an item for staff / admin time at Bolton MBC. The Council regard the costs of this time as the subsidy to the allotments provision.

GRANTS ETC.

There has been a meeting between abas and Lesley Turner, a Grants Officer at the Council.
Ms Turner’s team offer a free service as long as they can show that the bids they write support Department of People priorities around, Starting Well, Living Well and Ageing Well. Ms Turner feels that Allotments fit this perfectly. However, as the team has only 2 members it would be unreasonable for them to offer to write bids for all our societies. She would therefore like to proceed as follows:

Training Session

To begin with Awards for All grants which are up to the value of £10k. Ms Turner would offer a free 2 hr Awards for All workshop at a date and time of our choice to which we can invite members to attend. It is likely that this workshop would be held one evening at the Hub in Bolton Town Centre. Ideally they need people who are willing to “have a go” at writing their own Awards for All for their own society. The team can offer free ongoing support after this initial training in terms of proof reading and advice. Potentially if all 18 societies applied this could generate up to £180k into the local allotment economy per year.

It was agreed to ask Ms Turner of this training session could take place on the evening of May 14th. The session wold thus replace abas’ May meeting.

Composting Toilets

Secondly, the Grants team can consider a joint bid on behalf of a number of societies for the installation of composting toilets across a number of the borough’s allotment sites. Given sufficient support Abas can then seek to obtain a ball park costing for the project so that Ms Turner’s team can look at potential funders to get a collaborative bid completed through ABAS.

Tonge Moor allotments who already have a composting toilet agreed to share their experience and knowledge with other sites.

The Secretary will also try to aggregate data about composting toilets.

In the meantime Secretaries were asked to canvass their societies to see how many would wish to participate in this joint bid.

Grant Co-ordinator

As members will recall there was a suggestion that abas pursue grant funding to employ our own Grants Co-ordinator. This requires more serious consideration if we are to go down the route of employing a person and all that entails.

MEETINGS SCHEDULE

The following meetings are planned

Monday 14th May
(may be replaced by the Training Session at the Hub and is likely to be moved in any case)
Monday 11th June
Monday 9th July
Monday 13th August
Monday 10th September
Monday 8th October
Monday 12th November (THE AGM)




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