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Thread: 1st and new committee

  1. #1
    mrgrower's Avatar
    mrgrower is offline Rooter
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    Default 1st and new committee

    Yesterday we voted in our first ever committee with the help of our allotment association.

    This came about as the volunteer site manager was we felt abusing their position bullying plot holders trying to divide the plot holders etc etc it's a thread I posted here a while back when the same person was threatening me until they realised that my bark was just as big as my bite

    One of our concerns was that this individual had ignored plot holders wishes that a plot be rented out because the individual decided that they wanted a community orchard which we didn't want. After going against our wishes this individual was informed by the council that it could not be a community orchard due to poor paths and access etc. This person then took it upon themselfes to blatantly state that she would use it as her plot bearing in mind that as a volunteer she could not make that decision.

    Anyway on election of the committee which she refused to attend and put herself forwards to be nominated it was agreed that this person had acted outside of their authority and her partner who was at the meeting was told that she would need to vacate that plot.

    We where provided with all paperwork with relation to the site yesterday ie plot allocations etc however we had no paperwork relating to this plot. This person has now texted the new elected site manager stating that she has the paperwork for that plot and has paid.

    As far as we are concerned she as the old unelected site manager had access to paperwork and could have completed it last night for all we know and she states that she has paid it appears that she had someone not connected to the site down as the treasurer which we where not aware of and had never voted on so we are refusing to recognize any retrospective paperwork for this or any other plot she claims to have nor do we recognize any alleged payment Our stance is as a volunteer site manager she had never fulfilled her first roll in setting up a committee basically developing a dictatorship on site and as she was only a volunteer she was not an official chair and had no authority to just snatch up another plot when we have others who are on the waiting list or asking existing plot holders if they wished to take the plot on.

    We have already identified a number of irregularities and also noted that whilst all qualifying people get a concession for their 1st plot any additional plot is charged at full rate however we have noted that she has given herself a concessionary rate for all her plots this is also an area we are addressing.

    What are others thoughts on her conduct relating to the plot mentioned and do people feel that as the new committee we have the right to instruct her to vacate the plot she interloped on?

    I am on the committee only as a volunteer but have spent the morning with the site manager treasurer and secretary trawling through everything and covering every base.

    The one good thing is the representative from the association who chaired the meeting agreed that she acted inappropriately and it was him who instructed the ex managers partner that she would need to move her stuff.

    Sorry for the essay just interested to hear others opinions.

    Mr G
    Last edited by mrgrower; 17-08-2014 at 07:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    Hazel at the Hill's Avatar
    Hazel at the Hill is offline Gardening Guru
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    Default

    I don't have much experience of allotment commitees, but I would have thought that there are a number of basic structures that need either in place, or set in place in order to have the site run in a competant manner.

    You sound to have it covered, but you need a chairman, secretary and treasurer. You also need someone to look after health and safety, and also someone to manage the waiting list. A plotholder's representative would be good too, and a liaison with the local authority/site landlord.

    Make sure you hold meetings monthly with an agenda, and minutes which should be available for all plotholders to see.

    Make sure that you have a sensible set of rules (bonfires, number of plots allowed, size of plots, tending of plots, fruit trees maximum size/number, size of greenhouse allowed etc etc), and that all plotholders have a copy and have signed up to those rules.

    If your ex-site manager has been giving herself a financial benefit, she should be given the option to pay the arrears, or vacate her plot. The 'community' plot has been taken from her and should be reallocated per the waiting list.

    The National Allotment Society – National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd should be able to help if you need standard agreement forms or other advice.

  3. #3
    mrgrower's Avatar
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    Default

    We have all the official side covered. We are a council site and follow their rules we have a constitution in place and a reasonable set of rules.

    We are a small site with 10 plots we have some split and this person has systematically lapped up plots as if it was her own personal back garden paradise. at the detriment of other plot holders and waiters.

    She has one plot made up of 6 concrete raised beds which she had stated she was going to rent out at 20 a bed and had actually allowed a volunteer to take one of the beds to work on mind you she did take it back the give it back then take it back if he didn't do her bidding So we are looking to continue her plan by charging 10 per bed 3ft wide by 18ft long so that works out a 60 If she kicks up a fuss over this stating it is her full half plot then she has previously sublet the other bed on her plot which is against council rules and an evictable ofence.

    She also bullied an young girl off her plot onto a bed no bigger that 5ft by 5ft before evicting her which she had no authority to do then giving her old plot to someone else who she then tried to bully. That person is now the secretary and being very officious

    We need to readdress the balance on the site and take control and whilst there is no issue with her having her plot or two she must work within the same boundaries as everyone else.

    One good thing is everyone has been smiling and chatting which has not happened for some time.
    Last edited by mrgrower; 17-08-2014 at 07:55 PM.
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  4. #4
    Hazel at the Hill's Avatar
    Hazel at the Hill is offline Gardening Guru
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    Looks like you have it covered. If you do want her off, the subletting clause should get her.

    As long as you have a clear policy on waiting lists and allocation of plots, you're home and dry. E.g. can people have more than one plot? Do existing plotholders who want to change a half to a full plot have preference to those on the waiting list? Do new plotholders have a probation period?

    For instance, here at the Hill we only let new plotholders take a 'mini' plot (about 25' by 25'), but then they can upsize (subject to plot availability) after a year if they would like to.

    This has worked for us, as we can keep an eye on how people are coping - we find that even with these small plots, sometimes people prefer the idea of an allotment to the actual hard work, and by them having a 'starter plot' this doesn't tie up a whole plot for 12months till we get shot of them!
    alldigging likes this.

  5. #5
    alldigging is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default

    Good luck with it.

    It can be hard dealing with people who seem to think they can make things up as they go along, but time and perseverance and knowing you're working for the 'greater good' can help.

  6. #6
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    Wow,

    It's made me realise how good our association/committee are.
    You honestly couldn't meet such a bunch of nice, helpful and understanding people at our place.

    And all volunteers to boot - they probably don't the recognition they deserve from people like myself.
    alldigging likes this.

  7. #7
    mrgrower's Avatar
    mrgrower is offline Rooter
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    Default

    It's the usual problem of one rotten apple everyone on the allotment is great except for these two. The last allotment they where on, throw a party when they left.

    Speaking to some of the plot holders at the other allotment it's hard to explain the sense of feelings they had about them one word could be hatred and that's mild.

    I personally want to see the back of them but that's for the committee to decide
    Today I will be mainly growing Vegetables.

    Tonight The bloody slugs & snails will eat them!

    https://www.facebook.com/manchester....ts?ref=tn_tnmn

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