Tuesday, 16 April 2019

April 2019 Minutes

Held at Astley Bridge Cricket Club, 8th April 2019

Present: 16 members representing 11 sites
Apologies: Carole Barlow (Sapling Rd.), Martyn Swain (Rawlyn Rd.)

Please remember our blogsite at http://abas2014.blogspot.co.uk AND our new email at allotmentsbolton@yahoo.com

Abas exists to achieve fair treatment for all plot-holders on allotments sites within the Bolton Borough boundaries. It seeks to achieve this through effective representation of plot-holders and societies to the Council and the provision of support to individuals and societies.

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 or other matters arising, the meeting moved to adopt the minutes as correct.

Matters Arising 
The March meeting highlighted the following issues for the abas committee to take up with the Allotments Section
Road Planings – sites requiring road planings have been advised to contact Allotments restating their needs – so far only Florence Avenue has responded
Amended OMA for Moss Lea – this is still on MR’s ‘to do’ list
Florence Avenue – “winter works” – Allotments are not sure what these are – they will check with FA – FA are resubmitting their requests
Tonge Moor – Allotments will check current documentation issued to TM
Keys – situation is varied – Allotments would be happy to see the “deposit” scheme extended to all sites
Settle Street – Allotment’s understanding of events differs from the site society’s – we have forwarded Allotment’s reply to the society.

Allotments have proposed that we hold a Progress Meeting in late April or early May
At this time Allotments should have the 18/19 out-turn figures and the 19/20 budget figures for discussion. Once again the costs of water usage will be critical (it’s about 30% of the Allotments budget)
The draft NAS Bullying Policy has been shared with Allotments, this should be discussed at the Progress Meeting

We will try to have the meeting in time for us to report at the May abas meeting

Reporting on Council Performance on BoT Notices
Stewart Draper (SXS) has been doing some work on forms for collecting data on BoT2s, BOt3s etc. Jo Robson (TMR) has volunteered to act as a guinea pig for the new system

Site Security
Following discussions at the March meeting the secretary wrote (on 18th March 2019) to the Divisional Chief Inspector covering the Bolton Area (C I Michael Russell) asking if time could be found for a representative of GMP to meet with either our committee or (better still) to attend one of our open meetings.

Suggested Issues for discussion were:
Problems getting through to the 101 line – we have advised LiveChat on the GMP website
What happens to incidents reported to GMP – e.g. shed break-ins? Both how are they recorded and what actions may or may not follow?
Is there any active process of collating incidents so that particularly vulnerable sites get identified?
What is GMP’s attitude to “allotment crime”? There is a concern that it is seen as petty vandalism but some incidents have cost plot-holders up to £2,000 in damage etc.
What (in GMP’s opinion) are the responsibilities of; The Police, The Council (who after all own the sites), Site Societies and individual plot-holders and what action might each take.

To date no response has been received

The 8-week consultation period completed on 21st March.
The Final Plan will be issued following consideration of the consultation results

Abas membership
The following sites given are in membership
They have 413 members out of 668 plots on their sites, there are 961 plots in Bolton on all sites

Rawlyn Rd
Tonge Moor Rd
Haslam Park
Moss Lea
Settle St
Naysmith St
Sapling Road
Smedley Avenue
Harpers Lane
Shepherd Cross St
Tonge Fold
Green Lane (Horwich)
Dealey Rd
Florence Avenue

There are individual members at
Firwood Rd.

Ainsdale Rd and Lever Park Avenue have not renewed membership to date, Lever Park are recorded as having paid NAS subs.

Bolton Allotment Competitions and Show
Abas will again run the Bolton Allotments Competitions; The Fairhurst, Greenhalgh and New Tenant Trophies plus the Rosebowl for “Best Site” – judging will take place w/c June 24th and w/c July 22nd – Entry Forms are now available – please note that contact details for entries should be taken

On August 3rd, Abas will again organise the Annual Vegetable, Onion and Leek Show.

As in previous years Abas will be seeking individual / society sponsorship of the Vegetable Show Classes. There will be 25 classes at £10 per class.

Any society who would like a presentation about preparing items for the show please contact abas

Show Classes
Class 1 Best Display of 4 Vegetables
One of each kind selected from a list provided [space allowed 60cm X 45cm with no overhang of produce]
Class 2 Three Carrots [any type with 5-8cm of tops]
Class 3 Three Parsnip [with 5-8cm of tops]
Class 4 Three Onions dressed from sets under 250gr
Class 5 Three Onions dressed from seed under 250gr
Class 6 Three Onions dressed from seed 250gr and over
Class 7 Three Onions dressed one under 250gr one 250gr to 450gr and one over 450gr
Class 8 Two Blanched Leeks with foliage and roots
Class 9 Two Pot Leeks with foliage and roots, not to exceed 6” [15cm] to tight button
Class 10 Ten Shallots dressed under 30mm
Class 11 Ten Shallots dressed 30mm and over
Class 12 Three Red Onions dressed
Class 13 Heaviest Onion as grown complete with foliage and roots
Class 14 Four Tomatoes with calyces attached
Class 15 One Cucumber [with stalk]
Class 16 French Beans 6 pods [with stalk]
Class 17 Runner Beans 6 pods [with stalk]
Class 18 Peas 6 pods [with stalk]
Class 19 One Marrow [with stalk]
Class 20 Four Potatoes White
Class 21 Four Potatoes Coloured
Class 22 Three Beetroot [with 5-8cm of tops]
Class 23 One Cabbage [with 8cm of stalk]
Class 24 One Cauliflower [with 8cm of stalk and trimmed to show curd]
Class 25 One of any other type of vegetable not mentioned above

Entries allowed are Class One only one entry per person
Classes 2 – 25 max of two entries per person per class

NWCAA have to date issued no minutes of the meeting held at Crumpsall on February 10th despite repeated requests for the abas chair. The next NWCAA meeting has been scheduled for 28th April in either the Wirral or Liverpool – a calling notice for this meeting was received on 09/04/2019

There seemed to be a feeling that abas does not sufficiently promote membership of the NAS. We therefore asked NAS for suitable promotional materials for distribution to members. These materials have subsequently been received by the Secretary.

Grants and Training
Information is available in the CVS Funding Bulletin – copies through www.boltoncvs.org.uk
Abas urge all member societies to become CVS members

CVS have issued details of their training and events programme – see www.boltoncvs.org.uk

WHAT’S ON IN 2019?

5th May 2019 – Harpers Lane – Spring Event
1st June 2019 – Florence Avenue – Flower Sale (12.00 – 4.00 p.m.)
3rd August 2019 – ABAS – Annual Vegetable, Onion and Leek Show
1st September 2019 – Harpers Lane – Open Day and Show

The following issues were raised:-
Tonge Moor Rd. – this site is effectively split into two parts by some houses
The main site (which is site managed by Tonge Moor Allotment Society) and a smaller block
The smaller block has plots numbered in the 50s and 60s.
It has previously been stated that this smaller block is not within the management remit of TMAS.
However, one of the tenants in that block has approached the TMAS Committee asking that those plots be considered as part of the whole site and that TMAS should site manage them as with the other plots on the main site.
There is concern that a number of these plots are not being adequately cultivated and the tenant fears that they may be ripe for development.
TMR is a Statutory Site, are these plots considered as being within the site’s protection area?
We have asked for the Council’s view on the request and the current position.

Tonge Moor Rd. – are still having problems with the former tenant who has retained a key to the site. The situation is now further complicated in that an existing tenant appears to have invited this person back onto the site so he can help with watering when the existing tenant goes on holiday. The Council have been informed as to this situation.

Moss Lea – Some housing is being built adjacent to the Moss Lea access road. The activities of the builders have created problems of access and affected the condition of the road. We have requested that Building Regs (or another Council Department) ensure that the builders reinstate the road to at least its former condition.

Moss Lea – Moss Lea feel that there are discrepancies between Council records on who has what plot etc. and the situation on the ground. Moss Lea feel this may be a more general problem. Moss Lea would like to propose that there should be regular (say half-yearly) exercises between Allotments and Societies to cross check records. Moss Lea believe that information as to who has paid their rent should form part of this.
It also appears that “people” are receiving (and presumably paying) rent invoices without signing and returning a Tenancy Agreement –we have asked for Allotments view in this. 

Naysmith St (Horwich) – Naysmith St, asked if the “self-help” scheme is still operating and if so could the Council supply the Society with a short length of chestnut paling fencing material (maybe 10-20 feet) to make repairs. An email has been sent to the Council.

Further to this Abas is considering setting up some kind of “wants and offers” scheme so that Societies can “swop” surplus materials. This has been launched on the blogsite.

Sapling Rd. – is the Council still supplying locks and keys to Societies?

Haslam Parkwhen is the water being turned on on sites?

The minutes of all meetings are posted on the blog site as soon as possible after the event, we also post any other information we feel relevant to our members’ concerns



The following meetings are planned

May 14th TUESDAY
June 10th
July 8th
August 12th
September 9th
October 14th

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