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Thread: A complete site revamp

  1. #9
    Veggielot's Avatar
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    True committees are not compulsory and on small sites with few facilities I can see how that could work,. However not sure tbat would not want one on my site, its too big and having an active commitee means we have free manure delivered, have on site toilets and shop and most importantly when the council virtually forced us to go self governing we had it in place to do so.

    In Andy case they already have a commitee so he has to work with what he's got.

  2. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veggielot View Post
    True committees are not compulsory and on small sites with few facilities I can see how that could work,. However not sure tbat would not want one on my site, its too big and having an active commitee means we have free manure delivered, have on site toilets and shop and most importantly when the council virtually forced us to go self governing we had it in place to do so.

    In Andy case they already have a commitee so he has to work with what he's got.
    Sorry, the point I was trying to make (badly as ever ) was that they don't really have a committee at the moment, only in name as if they don't meet then what's the point? I see no problem with Andy trying to instigate enthusiasm but it might not be the apathy he suspects but a general lack of interest or feeling of need. There are many ways to do things and just because if differs from what one person thinks is right doesn't make it an any less valid approach. From my point of view I have to deal with meetings and formal organisation all day at work, my lottie is my escape from all that to deal simply with the elements and the earth. Pure bliss. Hope that makes more sense.


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  3. #11
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  4. #12
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    You can only dictate a proposed site re vamp if you are an elected Committee member. Get elected to the Committee first.
    The Committee will be formed of democratically elected individuals whether you like them or not and age is irrelevant.
    At the AGM you can put forward your proposals under AOB section for all to hear You will be elected to the Committee by a show of hands, or not.
    The elected Committee won't necessarily act on your proposals but if they do you will be expected to do all the donkey work.The Secretaries position is what you need to apply for.

    Just out of interest I would agree with some of your proposals but not others.

    I am presently putting together a lottery bid for a composting toilet, a meeting hut, a Bee Garden, raised disabled beds and a liesure area.
    You have to work with the democratically elected Committee, whoever they may be, old or young.
    Sometimes the carrot out performs the stick.
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  5. #13
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    Thank you so much for all your replies and input.

    I fully appreciate that many people just want to turn up, grow veg and go home without any input from committees and the like and I fully understand that.

    I've spoken to probably 20 odd plot holders about the proposals and pretty much all of them were in favour, which is a good start.

    The committee will be elected as per the rules at an Egm if necessary, or the AGM if time runs out. I will get together with the proposed new members in the months leading up to the AGM/EGM to discuss proposals (bear in mind, these are only my suggestions, others may throw them out, others may add to them...but it's a start to work with)

    With regards to rent increases, I agree that a phased increase is a good way to go, however, if we need to build up a "reserve pot" it might have to be faster. An increase from 30 pa for a full plot to 45 is not the end of the world, especially after reading the "how much rent do you pay" sticky thread where it would seem that 45-60 pa seems about normal....IF the facilities are there.

    Again, keep the suggestions coming.

    Andy
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  6. #14
    Euan is offline Germinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_j View Post
    With regards to rent increases, I agree that a phased increase is a good way to go, however, if we need to build up a "reserve pot" it might have to be faster. An increase from 30 pa for a full plot to 45 is not the end of the world, especially after reading the "how much rent do you pay" sticky thread where it would seem that 45-60 pa seems about normal....IF the facilities are there.
    A jump of 50% may seem a lot in one go but I can see how you would want to build up some cash whilst a 5 year phased rise is possibly too long. A solution may be a 3 year phased increase - 1.75 next year, 2.00 the year after and then finally 2.25.

    By my calculations that would raise an additional 250 in the first year which could be used to make some small purchases allowing people to see that something has come from their additional payments.

    In year 2 when you are raising an additional 500, again perhaps spend 50%+ on new items and put the rest into an account for long term purchases, etc.

    When you look to buy items for the allotment as a whole I would perhaps put together a list of say 3 options that can be purchased and let everyone get a vote. I would have it as 1 vote regardless of whether it's a half or full plot.

  7. #15
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    It's an interesting position to be in. I would talk to the committee members too.

    I wouldn't write off your committee for not having met outside the AGMs because a)not all sites feel the need to meet frequently if things appear to be going smoothly. And b)if they have had their plots for years, they have a wealth of knowledge & experience that could be used. I'd be very wary of sweeping people away as if they are of no use - that just leads to enormous and unnecessary hurt and a waste of what they know. All the OBs on our place welcome us women in, but they can look a bit dubiously at what/how we are growing-so learning goes both ways!

    My points on your proposals are:
    1) Start with the things that the majority of plot-holders want the most - we have free woodchip and pay a small amount to a local stables to get manure delivered regularly.
    2) Who will maintain and service the tools and how will this be paid for if not done for free? We haven't been able to resolve this on our site, so we are sticking with one communal lawnmower. I'd also be a bit realistic about what kind of tools might go walkabout and the insurance you will need.
    3) Why do you want business sponsorship? And why would a business want to sponsor what is essentially private vegetable gardening? We have a surplus, but this is collected from our rents.
    4) Rent rises are hard to negotiate. You might know from reading this site that your rent is a fair bit lower than others, but the people on your site are probably used to paying that, and may well not think that what you want to spend money on is worth it.
    5) If you've talked to 20 people, you've talked to less than half - I'd try to get around everyone, including the committee members. It's only fair to involve them too.

    Our site is just over 100 5-rod plots, so about half the size of yours. After 5 years of active self-management we have beehives, a loo (self-funded and essentially a shed on stilts), carparking, BBQs, 2 communal sheds, 2 meadow areas, a woodland bit and are about to start to reclaim land for a communal orchard/more plots (discussion/argument at next AGM ) and sorting out drainage on our paths. We have yearly workparties to make sure we keep on top of site maintenance, and twice yearly inspections. About half the plot-holders are active on the social/workparty side and half just want to be left alone to do their thing. PM me if you want any more info.
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  8. #16
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    I see no harm in pushing for changes.

    A big increase in charges will not get people on your side do over 60's get a concession on the price currently?

    And I'm sorry, but there are just some people you don't trust with poisons and to be honest a guy I know who works for a local pest control comp stated all the poisons from supermarkets and B&Q places are useless as they are terrified of children getting hold of them so the doses that a rat will eat are not enough to do any harm to them so the only other poisons are controlled and not for public use and you do say there are kids who come to the site, do you really want poisons where kids are?

    I know people have said allotments don't need committees, however without a committee you are open to abuses of power by self imposed leaders as I have currently been at the receiving end off to such an extent that we are looking to set up a small elected committee.

    I think you have some good ideas going there and if you feel the current committee are not up the job then you have the right to suggest a change but make sure it's actually what the majority of plot holders want as people may be happy with the current staus quo.

    Mr G
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    Tonight The bloody slugs & snails will eat them!

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