Wednesday, 30 November 2016



November 29, 2016

Drop-in events for Spatial Framework

A series of drop-in events about the draft Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) will be held in Bolton.

The GMSF sets out how much housing and employment land is needed up to the year 2035 and identifies a number of strategic sites across Greater Manchester to help in meeting these requirements.

In Bolton around two thirds – 10,000 - of the proposed 16,400 homes are proposed on urban sites, the majority of which are brownfield.

Bolton has worked with other Greater Manchester local authorities to produce the joint plan and the public are being invited to attend a drop-in event to find out more about the GMSF. The drop-ins will be an opportunity to meet with council officers on a one to one level.

The drop-in events are as follows:

·        Carnegie Hall, Market Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AE, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Thursday, December 8.

·        Friends Meeting House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, BL1 1PP, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Tuesday, December 13.

·        Bromley Cross Village Hall, Darwen Road, BL7 9JG, from 3pm – 7.30pm, on Thursday, December 15.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Cllr Ebrahim Adia, said: “The Greater Manchester Spatial framework is designed to ensure that we are able to meet the economic development and housing needs for our borough in a planned and strategic way. This has been prompted by changes in Government policy which has increased house building targets for local authorities.

“Our focus in Bolton remains on ensuring we develop our brownfield sites first, and most of the sites that have been put forward for the framework are on urban or brownfield sites. However, there this is still a shortage of housing sites and it does mean that some areas of greenfield, greenbelt and protected open land are being considered for future development. We understand residents’ concerns about development on greenbelt and this is why we are consulting.  

 “Our intention is to develop a long term strategy where development is supported with the requisite infrastructure, rather than ad-hoc development on greenbelt through the appeals process.”

Public consultation on the draft GMSF runs from October 31 to 5pm, December 23, 2016.

For further information on the consultation, and to view and download the documents, visit

Responses to the consultation can also be made online at: Greater Manchester Spatial Framework - Consultation portal, by e-mail to; or by post to: Greater Manchester Integrated Support Team, PO Box 532, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA.

< ABAS is drafting letters to the relevant planning authorities in Bolton and in Greater Manchester setting out our views. These will appear on this blogsite in the near future.

An initial scan of the GMSF information to date by Jeff Gibson suggests that certain small sites in the Westhoughton area may be at greatest risk. We intend to check. >

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


For those of our members who don't get the NWCAA Newsletter we're providing this edited version

NWCAA December 

The Newsletter is an important way for us to keep everyone updated with what’s happening on NW allotments throughout the year. We would encourage the recipient of the newsletter to share it with as many of their association members as possible.
Our aim in 2017 is to increase NAS membership in the NW. We can only do this with your help, support and knowledge of your local area. Please join with us to spread the NAS message to protect, promote and preserve allotments for future generations.
We would like to update those members who have kindly passed on get well messages to our Chairman Alan Hull. Thankfully his heart surgery has gone well and he is feeling much better and well on the way to making a full recovery. Our best wishes go to both Alan and Ellen Get well soon Alan!

Our last forum meeting was held on the 23rd October hosted by Salford Federation, where various allotment issues were discussed. For those of you who don’t know, these meetings are made up of all NW NAS association and affiliated Federation representatives and held four times a year in locations around the region. If you have any issues you would like to be taken to the next meeting in January, please contact our secretary

Despite the fact that allotments have been in use for a very long time, these last couple of years have seen a rebirth of interest in allotments, brought about by a whole range of factors, GM food, the use of pesticides and additives, the exposure of the population to gardening programmes on TV, making it all look dead easy! and now a threat to rising food prices. As a result every allotment up and down the country is teeming with life and has a waiting list. Unfortunately we also have austerity measures being imposed by local authorities who are scratching their heads trying to find locations for new house building. As a consequence allotment sites in many areas could now be at risk. As members of NAS in 2017 we all now more than ever have a responsibility to support each other and fight these threats and in so doing help save a valuable and productive resource for our local communities
Your chance to speak

Let's talk Allotments in 2017
Dear members
Well we're into Winter with the first frosts hitting us in Nov and even the threat of snow when writing this message. We are coming to the end of another eventful year across the region and its great to see the increase of activities on our sites including plant sales , open days, produce and flower shows,  community bbq's and social events. Right across the region we have sites with long waiting lists. Allotments have now become a great family hobby , long gone the old style of allotments and we welcome the changes. More families with young children and more community groups which in some cases can bring you funding , while I mention funding dont forget to apply for Tesco's Bags of Help , only last week I was told that this is an ongoing monthly application. Providing its for a different project you can apply as many times as you wish regardless of successful previous applications and in some areas the number of applications are low, so get yours in for your site and you could get up to £5k.
I personally want to send my thanks to the NWC team who work hard behind the scenes supporting allotments on your behalf,sometimes we hit brick walls or dont give people the answer they like but we try our best to offer the correct advice at the time. This Year has had its ups and downs and I'm so pleased that our Chairman has had his heart surgery and is now home and on the road to recovery. Your  patience and understanding this year has helped the team to continue and we hope during 2017 to see more of you at our forum meetings.
I would again like to ask for your support to secure me as your next President in the forthcoming election in 2017, please watch out for details and a voting paper. Never before, since the sad news of the loss of the Farm Terrace plotholders battle to preserve their historic allotment site, is it more important that we unite and stay strong for the battles that may come our way locally and nationally if and when allotment sites start to be forced to close for development. These sites are our heritage, they were our food survival during and after the war and have remained at the heart of communities ever since and we need to fight to ensure they remain as such.
So please, VOTE Andy Percival for President.

On a lighter and festive note as 2016 comes to an end may Alan , myself and the rest of the team wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas , Festive Cheer , Happiness and a Great Growing Season for 2017 and we look forward to seeing you all next year.
Merry Christmas & A Peaceful New Year  Andy Percival 2

Thank you to our sponsor for 2016

At J Maher Limited we pride ourselves on the service we offer, with our friendly helpful staff willing to assist our customers with their needs. Our delivery service includes putting product into garages, sheds or back gardens as we appreciate products can be heavy or awkward to carry.
If you are fed up with the poor service and lack of knowledge provided by the bigger stores, why not give us a try. After all we are probably cheaper on most items anyway.

Greater Manchester Spatial Framework
Draft Salford Local Plan
A bold plan to establish new homes, jobs and green space across Greater Manchester over the next 20 years is being considered by council leaders. The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) is a joint plan between the ten local authorities to manage growth and land allocation sustainably. It has been created to make sure that new homes, jobs and transport links are in the right places leaving space for economic and cultural growth as the city-region continues to grow over the next few decades. Without the plan the allocation of land would not be controlled and developments would happen in places that would not benefit local communities. And to account for the population increase the plan is to make sure there is enough amenities and social provision within the city. It is estimated that Salford needs 34,000 extra homes to cope with future demand based on national and economic forecasts – with 193,000 homes needed across the rest of Greater Manchester. Salford City Council already has plans for where most of those homes will be built. Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “Greater Manchester is growing fast so we need to manage the supply of land. In Salford we have identified brownfield sites that would be best for development to save our most valuable green spaces. Salford Allotment Federation The Federation is recommending that within the development of the dwellings, the planning will include 15 allotments per 1000 dwellings as per the 1968 Thorpe report or preferred 20 allotments per 1000 dwellings as recommended by the National Allotment Society this due to the fact that the dwellings will consist of apartments with no gardens whatsoever. We would point out that the 34,000 extra homes for Salford are made up of 30% houses and 70% apartments. Don Booth Chair Salford Allotment Federation

Farm Terrace loses battle
“We the farm terrace allotment holders are bitterly disappointed that the Judge did not find for our case against the government and Watford Borough Council. This has been a very long, very emotional battle for us. We feel that at every stage where we have won the rules have been changed to make it increasingly difficult for us. This judgement is in our view, a developers charter for development on any allotment site and in particular threaten urban allotments that have become targets for redevelopment which makes us extremely worried about the ramifications of this case for all allotments. We still believe that the remits of ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ have still not been fully clarified nor explained and that there is no clear bench mark for what is actually exceptional. We feel the term can and will be applied to close other allotment sites throughout the country and we are being made aware almost every week that a new allotment site is under threat of closure for development. Most recently Northfields Allotments in Ealing, London's oldest surviving allotment is facing the same threat of being built on thanks to plans by its landlord to construct a new housing development on part of the allotment site. We are particularly concerned about the future of urban allotments which mirrors our own case in that allotments can now be offered as a ‘blank cheque’ to cash hungry developers and councils. As we have said many times, Watford Council have stated that Farm Terrace allotments are not surplus to requirements. Unfortunately, the council have now been given the opportunity to do whatever they want with this land, be it a car park, expensive housing or yet more flats. After consulting with our loyal legal team, we have come to the very difficult decision not to appeal against this decision. This is the end of the road for us and many tenants will be handing their keys back to the council by Friday this week, some of whom have worked this land for decades. Unfortunately the council had portrayed the allotment tenants as being selfish when all we wanted was to preserve the site not just for us but for future tenants of West Watford. Needless to say it is heart breaking, especially as Farm Terrace has been in existence since 1882.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters near and far and our prestigious legal team at Deighton Pierce Glynn and team of Barristers who could not have worked harder for us or for the protection of all allotments. We now leave the defence and protection on England’s Allotment sites to the National Allotment Society to take forward who we hope will work hard to safeguard other sites. In our view our case would have remained strong if it had not been for the revising of the allotment disposal guidance in January 2014 that weakened allotment protection. A number of tenants will also ask the council that those wishing to relocate to other local sites be relocated together as much as possible to ensure a sense of community is retained. We would hope that this message is considered especially as the Council ‘claims’ to place great importance to how it values community spirit and cohesion within Watford. We could not be prouder of ourselves and our supporters who have battled so tirelessly against this immoral and illogical act. We feel we have done ourselves proud but this is still a very hard day for everyone involved.
The last meeting of the Farm Terrace Association finished with 'one for the road'. We are so proud of what we stood for and we thank you all for all your support!

Grow For Giving -
Rooted in Community
Humble Beginnings Growing Stronger Everyday!
Grow for Giving project is a non profit community organisation
and was established on plot number 118 'The Patchwork Plot'
in 2013 by Eunan Jones, a keen multi-skilled allotment
gardener and Committee member of Tyldesley allotment
association.  Eunan realised that many of the 144 plot tenants
had surplus food left over after each growing season, fresh food
that would end up on the compost heap. Eunan asked
the tenants to consider donating it rather than waste it. From a
wheel barrow full of donated produce to the varied horticultural
project we are today!   Since our humble beginning the project
is now coordinated and being developed  by Pamela Jones
Brown, Eunan Jones & Cal McKenna, who make up Secretary,
Chairperson & Treasurer.  All are Disclosure and Barring
Service (DBS  formerly CRB) cleared and are committed to
safeguarding our vulnerable adults, children and young people.
All 3 have personal experience of dementia and/or learning
disabilities. Cal & Pamela come from a long background of
working direct with people and managing projects giving Grow
for Giving the strong foundation from which to grow.
Check our website pages for what we offer and planned events.

Eden Gardens. Whitefields. Manchester.
Eden Gardens allotment in collaboration with I Will if You Will, Hillock Garden Club and St Michael's Parish Hall organised bulb planting sessions on the green outside the allotments to improve  the environment on a large social housing estate. The hundreds of bulbs were, with permission, collected earlier  this year  from a Local Authority Depot and which would otherwise have been composted. Approximately 30 people turned up on two dates in October to improve the environment and their own health through gardening.The Mayor of Bury and his Consort joined us at one of the sessions and genuinely mucked in despite the regalia. Everyone was rewarded with tea and biscuits in our comunal cabin afterwards. To complete the series of events there will be a trip to a local park on 13 Dec, where we will collect greenery under the supervision of a park warden, followed by mulled wine a hot lunch and  Christmas wreath and table decoration making with the collected greenery. This so popular that there are already nearly 50 people on the list.

Grants of up to £1,000 for schools and communities
One Stop, the chain of convenience stores, is offering ‘Carriers for Causes’ grants to help support projects that benefit local communities and to help improve lives and local places.
Carriers for Causes grants are funded through the money raised from the 5p bag charge in England, Wales and Scotland and are available for causes within two miles of a One Stop shop.
The scheme is being administered by environmental charity Groundwork, who are encouraging communities to come together and create something special in their local area, making it a better place to live.
The types of projects funded will be very broad and will cover the direct costs needed to deliver the project. This could be buying plants, gravel, benches, grass seed, spades and forks to plant up a new

Just Act
£50,000 of extra funding for community projects
Crowdfunder is making great things happen in communities
across England and Wales. Just Act, the trusted online community that helps people who
want to make a difference in their local area, has now become
part of the Crowdfunder family.
Like us it believes in communities working together and
provides all the tools and know-how to bring ideas to life.
Because we've taken over the day-to-day running of the
website we've created the Just Act Community Fund,
distributing £50,000 to community projects across England
and Wales.
We'll be adding up to 50% of the funding target to a maximum
of £1,000 to volunteer-led community projects that will
change lives for the better.
We anticipate high demand and the funds are available on a
first-come, first-served basis - so apply now.
There’s never been a better time to crowdfund.

Apply for funding for community projects
Contact your council for information about community-based funding and grants for projects like activities for young people, volunteer programmes and development of communal facilities.

Apply for Funding Viridor Credits runs three funding schemes in England and Wales, and one in Scotland. Small Grants Scheme
The Small Grants Scheme is for Community, Heritage and Biodiversity projects that require up to £20,000 from Viridor Credits. Main Grants Scheme
The Main Grants Scheme is for Community, Heritage or Biodiversity projects that require £20,001-50,000 from Viridor Credits. Large Grants Scheme
The Large Grants Scheme is Viridor Credits' biggest funding band and the most competitive. This scheme is for Community, Heritage or Biodiversity projects that require £50,001-100,000 from Viridor Credits.
Check out Funding advice

Eden Gardens. Whitefields. We are delighted to have received an Outstanding Award from the RHS at a recent Britain in Bloom NW presentation in Southport.
Diggle Lane Allotments certificate for the RHS sponsored 2016 Britain in Bloom NW Neighbourhood Awards category

We are looking to help small, local community projects and groups through our GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund.
From November 7th 2016 until February 26th 2017, we are seeking to award a total of seventy, £300 donations to help community groups and people across UK and Ireland.
Five donations will be awarded each week, four by our panel of judges and one through the People’s Choice award to the organisation with the most weekly votes.
GALAXY Hot Chocolate Fund 2016/17

Supporting warm-hearted people and projects
Three local community projects will be voted on in Tesco stores each month across Tesco regions throughout England, Scotland and Wales. In each region, the project that received the most votes from all stores in their region will receive a grant of up to £5,000. The second placed project receives up to £2,000 and third placed up to £1000. Every year, over 7000 projects will receive funding through this scheme.

Happy Christmas & Best Wishes For 2017 From the NWCAA TEAM To All NAS Members & Supporters

Monday, 28 November 2016


Bolton’s Allocations Plan [Housing and Employment Land] 2014/2026

Bolton’s Housing Target is 10,728 Dwellings at 694 pa with no mention of potential threats to Allotments.

Greater Manchester Spatial Fame Work [Housing and Employment Land] 2016/2036 with Potential for 220,000 Dwellings

Initial Consultation 31st Oct 2016 till 23rd Dec 16 [8 weeks]

Bolton is One of the 10 GM Councils which needs to build some 16,800 Dwellings which includes the previously mentioned 10,728 dwellings.
In reviewing this Initial plan indications are many potential building sites are still to be indicated and approved by planning.
However there is the mention of the “North Bolton Strategic Opportunity Area” where Additional Housing could be built with the potential of 3000 Holmes in around 15 Locations.
This area which is North of  Moss Bank Way and East to Harwood,  at this point of time there is little information as to where there houses will be built !!!
The Next Consultation Plans will be issued during 2017

The Committee would recommend Abas

continue to review GMSF Plan and respond where necessary.
discuss/Co-ordinate with Salford Allotments Federation [Don Booth] any common strategies and responses to the GMSF Plan
(In Accordance with the NAS guidelines),  request that Additional Allotments be made available at the rate of 20 Allotments per 1000 Dwellings Built [ Thorpe] which has the potential for an additional 320 Allotments in Bolton who has currently some 400 on the Allotments Waiting List

Jeff Gibson
Chair Association of Bolton Allotment Societies [Abas]
12th November 2016

Please note: By 'plot' or 'allotment' the NAS mean a piece of ground of approximately 250 square metres. In Salford's Plan the figure used is 5,000 square metres of allotment space per 1000 new dwellings. We prefer the use of this overall space figure since it offers the flexibility to offer a range of plot sizes..

Monday, 21 November 2016


                                vandals and thieves. We have also had problems with flytipping.

Sorry about the quality of this post - my computer is having one of its days - Dave

AGM Minutes


(Held at Astley Bridge Cricket Club, Bolton 14/11/2016)

The AGM was attended by 38 members representing 18 sites

Part 1: Presentations

Part 2: AGM Business Meeting

Part One:
Introduction by Jeff Gibson (Chair Abas)
Presentation by Irene Pennington (Tonge Moor Rd.)
Presentation by Malcolm Russell, Head of Service, Neighbourhood Services, Bolton MBC

We shall publish edited summaries of the above two presentations as soon as they are available.
Part Two:

Minutes of the 2015 AGM

The minutes of the 2015 AGM having been published on for an appropriate time (since 2/12/2015), the Committee moved that the minutes be accepted. This motion was accepted.

Matters Arising from the Minutes 2015
  • Rise in Subscription Rates – subscriptions are now £1 per member
  • Allotments Competitions – were run in 2016
  • Onion, Leek and Vegetable Show – was run on 20/08/2016 as requested
  • Progress Meetings with the Council – Regular Meetings have been held with the Council, reports of these meetings are placed on e.g. from the 14/10/2016 meeting. There is also regular email communication
  • Register of Issues – an attempt has been made to keep a register of issues raised and the results but no formal matrix has yet been created (apologies)
  • Sales of Produce – an ‘agreement’ has been struck with the Council about Societies selling produce to fund-raise. Details were published on
  • NWCAA – the NWCAA held its Jan 2016 Forum in Bolton. Representatives of GMP spoke on Allotment Crime. Although many efforts have since been made to raise the profile of allotment crime they have not yet as proved successful. A report of the most recent NWCAA Forum will be made later in the meeting

External Matters
Essentially Abas acts as the independent voice of Bolton plot-holders
However, Abas exists within a wider allotment community
So in some respects, abas acts as the District level of the National Allotment Society, in NAS terms abas is a “federation”
Above District level, the regional level of the NAS is the NWCAA – this holds quarterly forums at various venues in the North West at which abas is represented and from which our representatives report back
Nationally the NAS provides a range of services (most importantly legal advice and information about government policy) which abas (and individuals and individual societies can tap into). Abas has not to date usually attended the NAS AGM.

Treasurer’s Report

The acceptance of the accounts was moved by the Hon President and seconded by the Hon Vice President.

Election of Officers
Hon President (Richard Hayes)
Hon Vice President (George Wild)
The above posts were confirmed:

The Officers are:
Chair (currently Jeff Gibson)
Treasurer (currently Terry Farrell)
Secretary (currently Dave Jackson)
All the above were returned unopposed.

In addition:
Carole Deplitch and Teresa Morris were returned unopposed as Committee members and Phil Warren and Alan Kay were elected as new Committee members.

Abas membership
In 2016 abas membership stood at 501 members on 16 sites and 14 of the 15 OMA sites were in membership.
Sites in membership of abas represented over 50% of all plot-holders in the Borough
Figures are not yet available for 2016 as some sites have not as yet paid their subs.
It is vital that we keep membership levels at above 50% of all eligible plot-holders as this gives us our legitimacy as the Council’s nominated representative body for plot-holders in Bolton
Target Areas for this year are: Horwich sites, non-OMA sites and smaller sites

The meeting agreed that:

  • Abas again runs the Bolton Allotments Competitions in 2017
  • Abas again holds the Bolton Onion, Leek and Vegetable Show in 2017.

There was some debate as to the most suitable date, the Committee will discuss this over the winter break.

Talks and Lectures

The members agreed that Abas should organise a programme of talks and lectures in 2017.
It was suggested that an event aimed at new entrants to Allotment Gardening be held with the content concentrating on “the basics”.

Progress Meetings
The meeting mandated the Committee to continue to hold regular Progress Meetings with the Council to address the ‘Site Refresher Matrix’ and try to settle outstanding concerns and issues.

Feedback from the NWCAA Meeting 23/10/2016
Insurance – it had been said at the above meeting that Shield’s quotes may no longer be competitive and that Society Treasurers should get a variety of quotes to ensure that they are getting a good deal. Abas would add that they should be careful to get clear statements of exactly what is being covered and on what terms and conditions to ensure a like with like comparison

There was some mention of limited funds being available from the Membership Rebate made by the National to NWCAA which could be used to provide grants for members. Member Societies may wish to follow this up during the Winter Break. The total amount across the North-West is unlikely to exceed £2000.

The NWCAA Executive expressed concern about a lack of feedback from Societies / Federations and their members and further expressed concern as to whether messages were being passed down by secretaries and committees to their membership. Abas tries to pass on items from NWCAA (and the National) by placing them on the ‘blog’.

As a consequence of the meeting, Jeff Gibson has established a link with the Salford Federation about which we shall speak more under the Greater Manchester Spatial Plan.

Greater Manchester Spatial Plan
Studies of the Bolton Allocations Plan and the North Bolton Strategic Opportunity Area Plan have not identified any specific threats to allotments sites

However the Greater Manchester Spatial Plan is now inviting developers to suggest sites that may be used for housing
Cllr Cliff Morris has also stated that certain (unspecified green-land) sites particularly in the North of the Borough may have to be made available for housing development if government targets are to be met.

Although no immediate threats to sites have been identified, there remains a risk that if sites become run down, if we have too many vacant plots etc. the Council or developers may see the opportunity to reallocate / requisition those sites for housing. The NAS has publicised the case of the Farm Terrace site in Watford, a well-managed, well-used site taken for development, which demonstrates that none of us can be complacent.
Consequently, abas is entering into meetings to share information etc. with other Federations e.g. Salford and to keep a watch on developments. The meeting endorsed this initiative and supported Jeff in maintaining contact.

We shall be publishing additional comments etc. by Jeff on this blog-site.
On the subject of development, the NAS has been promoting guidelines that more houses should also mean increased allotment provision. A suggestion of 20 plots per 1000 additional dwellings has been made.


The question of how a site secretary should respond if a prospective tenant declines a plot that is offered was raised. This question was raised due to a small number of applicants at the head of the waiting list repeatedly refusing plots meaning that each time a plot becomes vacant the secretary potentially has to go through the offer / refusal process with them before a tenant who will take the plot is reached.

The first step is to enquire whether the applicant still wants a plot (and at the currently nominated site). If not they may be removed from the waiting list. If they wish to remain on the waiting list then the appropriate action will depend both on the circumstances of the tenant and the nature and size of the plot.

If (in the opinion of the secretary) the prospective tenant has a valid reason for declining the plot and these reasons might be overcome in a reasonable period of time, (an example might be a person who is recovering from surgery but who should be fit in say 6 months’ time) then the applicant can stay in their current position on the waiting list. If this is not the case then the applicant should be informed that they will be re-entered on the waiting list at the date they refused the offered plot.

On sites with a reasonably sized waiting list this should ensure that they do not become eligible for a further offer for a suitable period of time, and the process of getting through the waiting list can proceed.

The issue of fires and bonfires was raised. It is clearly stated in the standard tenants’ agreements that a tenant may have a fire on his / her plot for the purpose of disposing of weeds etc. It is also clearly stated that tenants must not cause a nuisance either to other plot-holders or to neighbouring properties. In the Council’s opinion, the nuisance clause over-rides the “freedom to have a fire” clause. Causing a nuisance is a serious Breach of Tenancy. So it is in the interests of tenants to ensure that where arrangements are in place under which fires may be used without causing a nuisance, they abide by those arrangements. 

There remains the possibility that a blanket ban on any fires on plots may be imposed if complaints about plot fires continue to be received by the Council.

On the question of Bonfires – Allotment Sites are not considered suitable places for public events after dark, therefore societies should ensure that any Bonfires are strictly for plot-holders and their families, and that plot-holders take direct responsibility for anyone they bring onto the site. Charging for attendance at Bonfires would not be allowed by the Council and fireworks are actively discouraged. All materials burnt on the fire must have been generated on the site, no additional materials may be brought on to add to the fire.

Insurance companies are increasingly treating Bonfires as “Events” and societies may be forced to take out additional “events” insurance (in addition to their standard public liability insurance) if they wish to have even a members-only bonfire. Even where Bonfires are covered by current insurance policies the insurers may impose very onerous conditions if the insurance cover is to the complied with. Societies should check with their insurers. (See also previous abas postings on bonfires)

If a blanket ban is imposed on fires then this would apply to bonfires as well.

Boundary fences / gates are a common area of concern across a number of sites. This links to issues about allotment crime and vandalism which had been raised in Irene Pennington’s opening piece. Irene had also raised questions about site access road maintenance. Mr Russell hopes that staff will be able to get round as many sites as possible over the winter period to assess the situation. However, Council funds can only cover Health and Safety

We would like to remind members of the notes from the abas / council progress meeting which were posted on this site on 24/10/2016. This sets out the situation between now and March/April 2017 as it applies to inspections and mal-cultivations. It also advises an inspection in March 2017. Note that whilst the Council is not anticipating receiving Monthly Reports during the winter period, other issues may be reported by email.

Winter Break

Abas is now going on Winter Break, but if you have any issues please email Dave Jackson on

Next Meeting

The next scheduled abas meeting is Monday 13th March 2017

See you all then!!!

Thursday, 17 November 2016

ABAS in the BN

This report of our AGM appeared in the Bolton News today (Thursday 17./11/2016)

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Minutes of the last NWCAA Forum

County Body and Regional Panel 3 for the National Allotment Society

Salford Federation

Patricroft Methodist Church, Eccles M30 7HJ

23rd October 2016



Attendance: Chairman Alan Hull, Secretary Andrea Hallissey, Regional Rep John Irwin, Councillor Mr Lee along with 32 assorted NW Federation and Association representatives

Chairman’s Welcome:  Alan welcomed members and thanked Salford Federation for hosting the Forum meeting. He introduced the panel and apologised for the absence of the Vice Chair Andy Percival due to ill health and the Treasurer Derek Copper who is recovering from major surgery. He then informed the meeting that he would be once again out of action for a while as he will be undergoing a heart bypass operation in the near future. The meeting wished them all a speedy recovery.

Apologise: Noelle Ryder, Colin Pilcher, Francis Beswick, Cath Holmes, Maggie Mackay, Andy Percival, Derek Cooper, Steve Dennison, Jeff Hewitt and Bill Taylor.

Minutes of last meeting: Apologise for not issuing the minutes earlier. Alan proceeded to read the minutes to the meeting. Proposed and seconded by Barry William/Don Booth.

Secretary Report: Andrea apologised for not attending the last meeting and reported things had been quiet over the last few months with Alan out of action.

Item’s covered included: The issue of nomination forms for the NWCAA AGM will go out with the Dec Newsletter. Any articles and announcements for inclusion in the NWCAA Newsletter to be received by the 24th of the month prior to the event. Contact details on the change of Association committee members should be directed to NAS as well as the NWCAA. Encouragement for associations and Federations to contribute articles to the NAS Allotment magazine.

Treasures Report: Attached. Dave Morris NAS Treasurer explained how the Regional grant from NAS operates. As our finances are now sound the subject of small grants being made available to members was discussed and welcomed by members.

Regional Rep’s Report: John covered a wide range of topics.

Items covered included: The encouragement for committee’s members to have deputies in place. The NAS new rules will be available before the end of the year. NAS will be reviewing continuity between Regional and Federation constitutions. NAS will be highlighting the issue of bullying and he advised members to have systems in place to deal with such situations. Farm terrace court battle discussed. BT working with NAS regarding old BT sites being allocated for allotments.

Mentor Report: Alan reported on Knowsley Council problems regarding the administration of their sites. He appealed to members to supply any contact details they might have for the department responsible for allotments in their area. He informed members that this is a growing problem as these details are being lost to NAS with the changeover of management systems within councils. Problems with Shield Insurance charges. Both John and Alan recommended the publications “Voluntary but Not Amateur” Ruth Heys and Jacki Reason and “The Law of Allotments. 5th Edition” to members. He also expressed his concern at the lack of attendance to county meetings by a number of NAS affiliated Federations, many of which he personally had spent a lot of time helping to set up. These concerns have come to light over the last twelve months with a growing number of enquiries from member associations in these areas. Reports of limited or very little contact, co-operation, encouragement to participate or information being circulated by their local Federation.

Best Site Competition: Encouragement by the panel for members to enter the 2017 competition. A preliminary poster will go out with the November newsletter before the issue of the official poster at NWCAA AGM in April.

Salford Federation Presentation: The chairman of the Federation Don Booth proceeded to inform the meeting of the positive relationship the Federation has forged with Salford Council. He appealed to the members to get involved in the Federations “Dig for the Future” campaign. A suggestion was put forward that those Federations affected by the Manchester Spacial Framework should work together. He thanked the NWCAA for all the support for the Federation over the last few years and as a thank you the Federation presented Alan hull with a small token of their appreciation.

Councillor Lee also gave a short presentation on his support for green space and allotments.

Area Reports: Reports were presented by Trafford, Oldham, Bolton, Rosendale, Wirral and Eden Gardens. If you wish a report to be filed please return the NWCAA secretary.

A.O.B: Andrea remarked that she personally would like to thank Maggie Mackay for her courage in standing at the previous meeting to air the issue of bullying.

Alan regretted the lack of attendance from area Federations. The NWCAA has had no response or reports from a number of Federations over the last 12 months. Reasons to be investigated

The panel encouraged members to help in the NAS membership drive. Oldham and Trafford area to work with secretary.

The issue of NAS issuing receipts to Associations/Federations for sub payments

A proposal was put to the meeting regarding possible problems with the allocation of plots in the West Cheshire area. John Irwin will investigate. No West Cheshire federation members attended. Proposed and second by Bill Smethurst/Dave Morris

Plea to members to vote for Andy Percival in the NAS forth coming election for the post of President.

NEXT Meeting: January meeting to be held on the Wirral. Date, time and place to be notified.

The panel and members would like to thank the hosts, Salford Federation for the excellent venue and lunch