You are on page 1of 15

ASHFORD ALLOTMENT SOCIETY COMMITTEE

Minutes of the Allotment Survey Review Meeting with Ashford Borough Council
3rd June 2015 followed by Committee Meeting, Committee Room 1, Civic Centre
Present

Mrs P Winston
Mr T Fagg
Mr G Button
Ms G Puckett
Ms V Lawson
Ms S Haste
Mr A Fraser

Chairperson and Bybrook Cemetery


Cryol Road
Trading Store Bulk Buying Manager
Publicity Manager
Christchurch, Jemmett, William Road and
Musgrove New
Musgrove Farm
Locum Minute Secretary

Steve Clements

National Allotment Society

Eileen Law
Julie Rogers

Allotments Officer, Ashford Borough Council


Head of Environmental & Customer Service,
Ashford Borough Council
Environmental Contracts & Operations Manager,
Ashford Borough Council

Jonathan Longley

Apologies

Sally Sadler
John Norman
Patricia Mann
David Mann
Margaret Howard
Keith Howard
Derek Mitchell
David Worsley
Karina Worsley
Jonathan Goodwin
Mark Barton
Christine Daley
Colin Barling
David Botting
Jenny Botting
David Stone
Sophia Hubball
A Symonds
W Charlton
L Bonarius

Allotment Holder Gas House Fields


Allotment Holder William Road
Allotment Holder Westrees
Allotment Holder Westrees
Allotment Holder - Westrees
Allotment Holder Repton
Member William Road
Allotment Holder Westrees
Allotment Holder Westrees
Allotment Holder Westrees
Allotment Holder William Road
Allotment Holder Musgrove Farm
Allotment Holder William Road
Allotment Holder William Road
Allotment Holder William Road
Allotment Holder Burton Farm
Allotment Holder Musgrove Farm
Member William Road
Tenant William Road
Member Orion Way

Carol Ridings
Mark Chandler

Secretary
Burton Farm

1.
Chairpersons Opening Welcome
The Chairperson opened the meeting with a warm welcome to representatives from
Ashford Borough Council, to Mr Steve Clements from the National Allotment Society,
to members of the Committee and to a number of allotment holders in the Ashford
Borough who had chosen to attend this part of the meeting.
1

2.
Minutes of the Previous Meeting
These were agreed as accurate and true pending a request by Ms Puckett to correct the
previous Minutes (Meeting 11th February 2015) regarding how the Review was
distributed. The Chairperson agreed to review the previous Minutes and will arrange
with Carol Ridings to make any corrections as required.
3.
Appointment of Trading Store Membership Secretary
The Chairperson was delighted to announce that subject to approval, Mr Alex Fraser
will take-up the vacant role of Trading Store Membership Secretary and become a
member of the Committee. This was proposed by Penny Winston, Seconded by Tony
Fagg and was carried unanimously by the Committee.
The Chairperson also announced that Alex Fraser will take the Minutes for this meeting
in Carol Ridings absence.
4.

Chairpersons Opening Remarks


The Purpose of Tonights Meeting
I propose to take the Ashford Allotment Review Consultation Document
as our first Agenda item and now seek the Committees approval that
under these circumstances, we allow 1 or 2 allotment tenants from each
site to speak, either as an individual, or to represent their site in
accordance with the Constitution, whereby members of the Society are
welcome to attend meetings as observers, but they may not vote, and may
not take part in discussions unless agreed by prior arrangement (with the
steering committee). So I now propose a Motion to allow such members
to give their views tonight on matters relating to the Review Consultation
only, with a time limit of 2 minutes for each speaker.
(This was Seconded by Geoff Button and the Motion was carried).
We will now hear the Council response to the Review Consultation and
listen carefully to the findings. At the end of the presentation each
representative will make a comment regarding the survey.

The Chairperson handed-over the meeting to Julie Rogers of Ashford Borough Council
to present the response to the Allotment Review Consultation.
Ms Puckett immediately challenged the way the Survey had been distributed and
claimed it was invalid, because a significant number of allotment holders had not
received the survey paperwork by hard copy, or did not have e-mail and therefore the
returns were not wholly representative.
The Chairperson suggested this could be better discussed after Julie Rogers had finished
her presentation.
5.

Response to the Allotment Review Consultation

The following salient points are an abstract from the comprehensive and detailed
presentation given by Julie Rogers, Head of Environmental & Customer Service at
Ashford Borough Council .

There has been no previous survey or review of allotments in the Ashford


Borough for many years.
2

The review was being conducted to consider: how to reduce costs, how to reduce
vacant plots, high volumes of terminations at point of invoice (in arrears) and
the impact on resources. Also to consider how to maximise tenant commitment
and in turn maximise income potential.
The policy of sending Invoices in arrears has never been reviewed.
The aim of the Consultation was to present the views of allotment holders.
Julie Rogers acknowledged that distribution of the Review Consultation forms
was not as tenants had expected, but that the response was over 50% and by any
marketing standard, any response over 10% was considered to be very good.
o There were 274 responses to the survey.
o The responses gave a very clear steer, and therefore considered to be a
good and fair representation.
o There was a large percentage of male respondents.
Considerations to include maximising commitment from allotment plot holders,
maximise income potential and consider if there is a desire to self-manage
allotments.

A review of the overall methodology will include


o Benchmarking other Councils and how they manage allotments.
Costs per perch by other authorities vary.
Range of water charges.
Range of variable deposit schemes.
o Review of allotment charges.
o Cost reduction opportunities (direct and indirect).
o Optimising Council staff time and reduction of admin burden.
o Examine the policy for water usage (which currently creates a huge
financial outlay).

Fears displayed by tenants arising from press reports, hearsay and other sources
are to be allayed and include .
o There would NOT be a 400% increase in rents.
There had been an unintended impression given in the Review
Survey and this was regrettable.
Cost changes are a Council Cabinet decision and are not made by
individual officers.
o There is a Statutory responsibility to provide allotments (but not to
manage them).
o There is no intention to sell allotments in order to build houses.
o There is no intention to withdraw water provision.

Ashford Borough Council will work with the Committee to review how
allotments could be managed more cost-effectively.

A deposit scheme for new tenants would be explored.


o A high number of respondents showed in favour.
o Would show commitment from new tenants to retain their plots.
o 10% of plots are relinquished with no income for the current year and no
subsequent income until year-end following re-let.
3

o There is a high admin burden & cost to manage these plots.

A scheme of advance payment would be explored.


o Strong number of respondents believe it should be considered.
o Options for advance payment to be considered and discussed.
Ashford is believed to be the only Authority who collect allotment rents
in arrears nationally, according to the South East National Allotment
Society Rep.

Plot rental (cost per perch) has increased from 4.00 to 5.00 over the last five
years.
o There is a need for balance and harmonisation with regards cost.
o Options on how to implement to be considered and discussed.
o Will need to review sites to ensure correct charges are being made
against actual plot areas.

Water charges featured strongly in the Review and in feedback comments.


o Nobody wants water charges.
o Abuse of water is well recognised.
Hosepipes/continuous use/sprinklers.
Abusers are known, to other tenants.
If water charges brought in, they must be fair.
Minority abusers could affect the majority.
3,974.00 spent on water 2014/2015.
o Explore water-saving options over and above water charges.
o Consult other authorities/management groups to see what they do.

Concessions on its own was considered to be a difficult and very emotive


subject (if removed would you continue to rent ?).
o 904 of 2670 perches have concessions (4,520 loss of revenue).
There is an ongoing demand.
o Consideration must be given to those who believe they are subsidising
concessions.
o There is no simple answer to the subject of concessions.
o Points to consider are
Introduction of a gradual reduction of concessions, rather than
carried out in one big bang.
If allotments are free of charge, what is the value of having an
allotment ?
o Objective is to explore options regarding Concessions.

Summary and Actions .


o There is a need to reduce Council costs and overheads.
o Actions are required on how the budget can be reduced.
o Working Group to be established mutually agreed representation between
Ashford Borough Council and the Allotment Society.
Subject matter experts and tenants to be invited to join.
4

Must be based upon mutual trust and respect.


Agreement to be reached on how, what and when information is
publicised.
No timescale but must aim for ASAP to form the working group.
Working Group to make their recommendations prior to the open
meeting scheduled for July.
o Changes would be specifically designed to address the review criteria.
o Range of items to be explored: - Management Options, Deposit Schemes,
Appropriate Pricing, Water Saving Options, Concessions Options,
Cost/Overhead reduction.
o Recommendations to be presented to the Cabinet in October 2015.
Timetable required to implement any agreed changes.

Julie Rogers thanked all members present for their attention during her presentation and
handed the meeting back to the Chairperson.
6.
Survey Feedback Comments from Site Reps
The Chairperson then invited each Site Rep in turn to present comments received from
their plot holders on the Consultation Review.
6.1

6.2

6.3

6.4

Musgrove Farm
Sue reported that plot holders are not happy.
Not all plot holders received review forms, with no chance to have their say.
The wording which suggested a cost of 21.50 was of great concern.
People would give up their plots.
Those on benefits would suffer, so could there be a reduced increase ?
New people should be charged in advance with a non-refundable deposit.

Cryol Road
Comments received related mainly to water and the prospect of higher charges.
Why pay for water when somebody else is using it.
How would water be charged for ?
Increased cost per perch as implied was a bit of a shock to plot holders.
(10 perch plot averaged 66.00 across Kent).

Westrees
Many plot holders worried about possible water charges.
The 21.50 cost per perch was also causing great concern.
Most plot holders would be willing to pay something.
Some plot holders would give up their plots in the event of changes implied in
the Review.

Henwood
A lot of concern has been expressed by plot holders on rent rises and water.
The expense of running an allotment plot could become untenable for some.
The majority of plot holders would prefer water to be free.
Concern that some plot holders would be subsidising others who over-use water.
The 400% rent increase implied in the survey form would be too much.
5

6.5

6.6

6.7

Gas House Fields


Stefan reported that he had spoken to a good percentage of plot holders.
The survey document content had caused much concern.
Plot holders on concession rate do however realise how much things cost.
Plot holders believe we have to work together regarding costs.
Stefan reported that there were lots of timewasters on his site who come for a
short while, realise whats involved, then they disappear.
Christchurch, Jemmett, William Road and Musgrove New
Vivienne reported that a fair number of plot holders had been spoken to.
Plot holders were concerned about water charges.
Were meter readings being taken ?
Have the Council considered restricting usage by limiting water availability to 2
days per week or installing restricted taps ?
Most plot holders agree that a deposit scheme would deter timewasters.
On concessions, some plot holders would be happy to pay a percentage cost as
per the Medway Scheme.
Repton
Plot holders do not like the idea of a price increase.

6.8
Burton Farm
A report received from Mark Chandler was read out verbatim by the Chairperson in his
absence as follows
The Council should have sent a copy of the survey in the post to all allotment
holders, as many do not have computers and cannot surf the internet and many
are retired.
I have made copies of the survey and have been giving them out to as many
people as I see, and explaining that this is only a consultation document.
I have tried to reassure people that the Council will not be putting up fees to the
extent that Question 4 showed, and have been reassured on this by Eileen Law,
who I met yesterday for a site visit.
Plot holders feel
o All agree new plot holders should pay a deposit.
o Retired allotmenteers would be more than happy to pay a discounted
annual fee.
o A small increase to full paying allotmenteers is understandable.
o Fees should be collected in advance and not in arrears.
In my opinion we should see what the findings are from the Consultation Survey
and work with the Council in finding common ground that we can all agree on,
and work together in promoting the outcome.
6.9

Orion Way
A possible rent rise as implied in the survey was a major concern.
It would be difficult to find a deposit and pay a years rent in advance for some
people.
The prospect of water charges was also a major issue.

7.
Contribution from Steve Clements (National Allotment Society)
The Chairperson invited Mr Steve Clements of the National Allotment Society to add
his contribution and valuable experience to the meeting.
Steve Clements then contributed the following comments to the meeting .
Steve was not aware of anywhere else in the country offering totally free
allotments.
o A typical concession would be in the order of 50% for the first 10
perches, then full payment for any subsequent perches.
o Only one member per family are eligible for the concession.
Water is generally charged for elsewhere in the country.
o Usually charged separately from the rent.
o No concessions for water.

Steve doesnt know anywhere else that takes rent in arrears.


o Some pay in advance, in which case a deposit may not be necessary.
o However, deposits are rare in Steves experience.

Ways need to be found to help Ashford Borough Council with costs.


o For example, to take-on devolved management (this would reduce the
need for Eileen to be out-and-about as much).
o Evaluate the Guildford model, where the devolvement of 14 sites (700
plots) has resulted in total self-management, whereby the plot holders
themselves do everything.

Specifically regarding concessions, it was necessary at this point to clarify


OAPs and UB40s.

Steve Clements concluded his contribution by endorsing the proposal to form a working
group, stating it would be a valuable and positive way to help Julie Rogers identify
savings and subsequently implement ways of reducing costs.
Ms Puckett stated that there should be a willingness to work with the Council in order to
reduce costs.
8.
Summary by Julie Rogers (Ashford Borough Council)
Julie Rogers summarised the actions relating to the process going forward and
subsequent timings .

Julie Rogers would like to form the Working Group by the end of June 2015
latest in order to present the Cabinet with a review paper.
The progress and/or outcome of the Working Group can be presented at the
Societys Open Meeting scheduled for July.
The Cabinet meet monthly and work with a 2 month lead-time.
There is an expectation to present a review paper to the Cabinet in
September/October 2015, but there is an understanding this will not be rushed
through.

There followed a question put to Julie Rogers relating to the Departmental Budget
figures as published on the Allotment Society website .
8.1
Q.
There appears to be a discrepancy regarding the rise in budget for
Contract Management and other figures between the 2014/2015 & 2015/2016 budgets.
There appears to be no obvious relationship.
A.
Julie Rogers clarified this by presenting a slide of the actual costs to-date
for 2014/2015, along with the proposed budget for 2015/2016. These were more up-todate than those published on the Allotment Society website.
Each line of the budget was explained.
Detailed explanations were given for Eileen Laws function, the Finance Team function
and why their cost seems high.
Julie also explained in detail how and why certain costs are re-charged between
departments and how this was normal accounting procedure. Julie went on to explain
that the cost sheet was essentially in two halves; and the Cabinet would be more
interested in the top half, not so much the departmental re-charges.
Julie also stated that it was important to reduce Eileen Laws portion of allotment admin
time, to reduce those costs.
On behalf of the Council, Julie encouraged Steve Clements to become a member of the
proposed Working Group to support the initiatives likely to arise and to bring along his
extensive experience.
To conclude, Julie emphasised the importance of controlling the output of information,
ensuring it is released with context, in order to avoid misinformation and possible
scaremongering or unnecessary distress.
9.
Questions from the Floor
There followed a number questions put to Julie Rogers relating to general matters
arising from the Consultation Review .
9.1
Q.
Concern was raised regarding the distress caused to people who
misinterpreted the content of the Consultation Review document. It was a shame that
members of the Allotment Society were not used more to ensure greater representation.
A.
Julie Rogers responded by stating that it was a Consultation, and that the
response percentage was actually considered to be very good.
9.2
Q.
There was an error in the Kentish Express press report, namely it stated
400 sites. In fact there are 400 plots.
A.
Julie Rogers was aware of certain discrepancies, but had decided not to
go back to the Press at this time.
9.3
Q.
Could the Council give consideration to the Medway model (Rochester
Allotments), which has 4 sites and is largely self-managed. Salient points involved in
the running of these sites are as follows .
Rent is paid up-front.
Prospective plot holders are allocated a half-plot on a 3 month trial basis to
prove they can maintain it, after which they are offered the full plot. Should
they fail to cultivate or maintain their half-plot, they lose it.

Arrangements for the provision of water vary between sites, for example on one
site, the top half receive a water supply for 2 days per week. The bottom half
have dip tanks every 50 yards and have flow-controlled taps.
If the water usage target is exceeded, the extra charge is passed-on to plot
holders.
Volunteers keep paths and common areas clean and tidy and they mow the grass.
Medway Council do all the admin and plot holders manage the sites.
Raised beds are available for people who cannot manage full plots (these are
very popular).
A. Julie Rogers suggested this as an ideal model of partial self-management and
that the member with knowledge and experience of the Rochester model should be
invited to become a member of the Working Group.
Note: Information on the self-management of these sites is available on the Rochester
Allotments website and members were encouraged to take a look.
9.4
Q.
Why are invoices raised end of February/beginning of March and not in
October as a number of other Local Authorities in the UK ?
A.
Eileen Law explained that Invoices are put out at the end of February
because that date aligns with the end-of-year financial accounting period for Ashford
Borough Council, but this can be reviewed by the Working Group.
10.

AOB

10.1 Brian Stamp requested that all communications such as the Consultation Review
should be sent out by e-mail or post. This would have ensured that all plot holders
received a copy.
This point was acknowledged by the Council.
10.2 Jonathan Goodwin asked how a deposit scheme could reduce admin costs ?
Julie Rogers explained that a deposit scheme shows commitment up-front and would
tend to reduce the number of timewasters. A single payment up-front is less costly to
administer than the present system of allocating a plot, waiting a year for any income,
risking a mid-term relinquishment, chasing for non-cultivation if that happens
unannounced, etc. etc., all of which consumes admin time for no income.
10.3 Margaret Howard requested that reference be given to the survey distribution in
the Cabinet report with a breakdown of how the survey was conducted and promoted.
Julie Rogers agreed that she would include this in the Cabinet report
10.4 Margaret Howard enquired where does it states that costs have to be recovered
by the Council ?
Julie Rogers promised to make enquiries and revert with an answer at the next meeting.
10.5 Tony Fagg made a general point to the meeting that every site has a notice board
and that notices had been posted regarding the survey and this meeting. It could be that
plot holders did not read these notices or were not advised by their site rep.
11.

Conclusion

At that point the Chairperson thanked all who had contributed to this part of the meeting
and invited everybody present to attend the Open Meeting to be scheduled on a date to
be announced towards the end of July.
That was the end of the Consultation Review Meeting. Plot holders who
attended this part of the meeting then left the Committee Room and
matters proceeded to the normal Committee business.

10

ASHFORD ALLOTMENT SOCIETY COMMITTEE


Minutes of the Allotment Society Committee Meeting
3rd June 2015, Committee Room 1, Civic Centre
1.

Chairpersons Comments
Clearly the review document has dominated todays meeting; and rightly
so, with further ongoing discussion and debate between Ashford Borough
Council, the Committee and members of our Society. However, I must also
comment that we have other important events on which to focus.
The Plot Judging will be taking place in 3 weeks' time, using the agreed
formula as last year, but with simplified categories. Our Annual Summer
Show will be on Saturday 18th July at Kennington Junior School and the
Hospice Fte is on Saturday 1st August. Please think about how you can
best support each event.
Our trip to Sissinghurst did not raise sufficient interest for a group behind
the scenes visit, so those interested spent an enjoyable day walking round
the spectacular gardens in full spring bloom.
I will be arranging a further trip for September, to a local Garden Centre,
as I do not feel we would get enough interest at this stage for a trip further
afield involving a coach.
Whatever the weather, I trust all plot holders are able to continue to enjoy
their allotments and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at
our future events.

2.

Trading Store Bulk Buying Managers Report

Geoff Button reported that sales to the end of May 2015 totalled 4,513.95.
The bank balance for No.2 Account totals 2,739.26, but there is a pending query
regarding the possibility that 800 has been paid into Account No.1. Geoff will be
resolving this as soon as bank statements become available for both accounts.
3.
Treasurers Report
Brian Stamp reported that following difficulties with Santander in transferring
signatories, a new bank account is in the process of being created with Lloyds. Cheque
book and paying-in book are promised imminently. No bank statements are available
from Santander and none yet available from Lloyds.
4.
Show Secretarys Report
The Chairperson reported that much activity is going on in the background to make this
years forthcoming Annual Show to be held at Kennington Junior School on Saturday
18th July a success. A Judge has been appointed and other activities such as teas and
cake baking are being planned. Further information will be forthcoming. Please check
the notice boards.

11

5.

Publicity Managers Report


Gilda Puckett submitted the following report

I was away when the survey came out. Ive done nothing since I got back but
respond to angry, upset and tearful tenants. The councils handling of the review
has caused deep and widespread distress, and I have found it very painful
responding to the many tenants who genuinely believe they will be forced to
give up their plots due to increased rents. I have tried to reassure them but they
believe the survey.

I told the council when Id be away. No-one from the council has at any point
asked me to put anything on the website to let people know about or explain the
survey; I only found out about it as a plot holder.

Ive been leaned on not tell people about this meeting. Plot holders have in the
past been urged to attend these committee meetings, - and to not tell tenants
about the meeting in the present circumstances would be wrong.

Many members have expected and urged me to contact the press. I would like to
confirm that I have not done so, at the request of Penny Winston. When I was
approached by the paper, I told them that I was unable to give them a statement
as we did not yet know the councils proposals, nor had I had a chance to speak
to the committee. I confirmed that many people were very upset, and that the
survey had not been distributed to all tenants as promised, as these were both
facts. I referred the journalist to Penny and copied her into my email. People
have since told me that they went to the paper in order to make sure older plot
holders with no internet knew what was going on. Even now many plot holders
out there still dont know.

To my disquiet I have been criticized for not stopping people from going to the
press. It is not part of the role of the publicity manager to tell private individuals
that they cannot speak to the local paper. Ive been criticized for being too much
on the side of the plot holders, and have been under pressure to do things I am
deeply uneasy about; things which seem to be motivated only by fear of
upsetting the council.

I was very disappointed in the statement from the chair. There is only one logical
way the survey could be read, and I havent come across anyone who felt it
could be interpreted any other way. Though I asked them to and offered the use
of the website, no clarification was put out by the council. The survey has not
been properly distributed and promises have been broken. If the plot holders are
angry and vocal, this is because their concerns have been dismissed, and theyve
been deprived of a proper voice. The committee should be supporting the plot
holders and asking the council to put things right. Instead it has been a case of
blame the victim. Plot holders have been accused of scaremongering when the
only scaring here has been done by the council in wording the survey as they
did.

My priority has been to support and inform plot holders, and to give them a
means to be heard. The only thing Ive heard from them is outrage at the
12

councils actions. To reassure them Ive drawn their attention repeatedly to the
letter from Julie Rogers which says Question 4 is a mistake. To my astonishment
Ive been criticized for doing this too.

I will not criticize the plot holders when they are right, nor will I make excuses
for the council when they are wrong. If this interpretation of the role of publicity
manager is unacceptable, then when the post of publicity manager falls due I
will be seeking to have recruited a replacement.

The chair asked me if this meant I was resigning, and I made it clear that I was
not.

6.
Trading Store Membership Secretarys Report
As of 1st June 2015, paid-up membership of the Ashford Allotment Trading Store was as
follows
6.1

Membership Numbers
2013
48

2014
92

2015
100*
*

6.2

Membership Revenue
2013
192.00

2014
368.00

Figures based upon up-to-date new


membership and some previously
available information.

2015
400.00*

6.3
Membership Summary
All available information and member details, etc. inherited from previous membership
lists have now been consolidated into one new Membership Register. This new register
is held by the Membership Secretary.
Opportunities are being taken to update missing membership details and paid-up annual
fees, etc. as and when members appear during Trading Store opening times. A New
Member Form is now being used to collect new member and updated member details
and this has been received well. This exercise has been extremely useful to help identify
missing membership cards, outstanding payments, duplicates, etc. The Membership
Secretary would like to thank all customers of the Trading Store for their excellent cooperation and patience for completing the forms and while the details are being updated.
Even during its short life, the new membership register has identified a random
assortment of missing membership cards, unused membership numbers and also a
significant number of members who appear to be no longer using the Trading Store. It
is therefore proposed to cleanse the data at the end of the year, then revise the existing
membership yellow card system with a view to its replacement in 2016 with
personalised credit card style membership cards. This will enable the existing
membership system to start again from scratch.
Note: Following the Membership Secretarys Report a question was raised regarding the
provision of bulk deliveries directly to allotment sites. This question was immediately
passed onto the Bulk Purchasing Manager who advised that bulk deliveries possibly

13

could be arranged, but there may be difficulties coordinating dates and times and having
somebody available on-site to receive the bulk goods.
7.
Site Representatives Report
7.1
Henwood
The tenant of Plot 8B has been spraying again (weed killer) and the tenant of Plot 9B
has had his carrots killed. There have been previous issues with this plot regarding
spraying. The plot, the paths and some other areas have been sprayed and the general
appearance has now been spoiled. The general feeling is that plot holders would like
action taken, but this would require photographic evidence or witness statements that
strong weed killer is being abused.
7.2
Bybrook Cemetery
Plot 4 - No work has been undertaken on both sides of this newly split plot. Eileen has
sent non-cultivation letters out.
New tenants are very keen and working well on their plots.
7.3
Musgrove New
The water leak on Musgrove New has been repaired.
8.

AOB

Christine Green proposed that the Allotment Committee acts a conduit for grant
funding. This was Seconded by Tony Fagg and was carried unanimously by the
Committee. Christine Green will look into the surrounding issues and will report back
in September.
Eileen Law suggested that it might be to everyones advantage if the Committee acted
as a conduit for such funding via Ashford Borough Council.
Brian Stamp believes he is paying for 5.25 perches, but is not sure how this has been
determined.
Eileen Law agreed to clarify.
Steve Clements advised the Committee of the forthcoming Detling (Kent) Show on
10th/11th/12th July and that the National Allotment Society have a stand for which around
6 volunteers per day are being sought to talk to people about allotments and to hand-out
literature. Mileage, meals and car parking would be reimbursed.
Several members showed an interest in volunteering, so the Chairperson agreed to
obtain details from Steve Clements and suggested it would be a good way to promote
allotments and also gain free entry to the show.
Several general questions were raised from members concerning the Councils
intentions for historical and unused allotment sites located around the Borough.
Julie Rogers stated that she could arrange a land search, and also stated that several new
allotment sites are being developed such as Stanhope and the forthcoming Chilmington
development. Parish Councils are being encouraged to take on any new provision and
this has proven successful on sites such as Great Chart Community Allotments.
Tony Fagg added that the Park Farm allotments are being managed under Parish
Council administration.

14

There being no other business, the Chairperson declared the meeting closed at 8.27pm
and thanked all those present for their attendance.
9.
Date of Next Meeting
DATE OF NEXT MEETING TO BE CONFIRMED (September).
(Open Meeting to be scheduled towards end of July).

15

Related Interests