Category Archives: Meetings

Minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2017


Apologies for absence

  Received from Sarah Pearce, Donna Sallows, Messrs Evans, Mason, Randell and Waring and from Belmont Lane.

The Chairman welcomed Messrs Duffy and Munro, from Eynsford Close and Bourne Vale respectively, to their first meeting.


Minutes of previous meeting

  Minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2017 were agreed and signed.

Matters arising

Differences and discrepancies regarding boundary fencing ownership and liability are likely to be resolved by means of the new site leases.

Consultative Panel meeting 19 July 2017


It was agreed to defer this item until the end of the meeting.

It was agreed later that we would raise the following:

  • A report on some of the current community activities being undertaken – in part to help to dispel the image which some may hold of allotment sites.
  • Problems of disposal of green waste.
  • Idverde representation at Federation meetings and any contact changes.
  • Process for renewal of site leases.

·         Competition and reception update.


Chairman’s report

  It was apparent that, following a specific enquiry from one Association, disposal of green waste can be problematic.  Bins for communal use on sites can become full very quickly; some sites successfully use a communal compost heap and bonfire area; West Wickham reported that they hire a skip for clean-up days and tenants can use that.  Agreed that we raise the matter at the Panel Meeting.

Secretary’s report

  The Secretary gave contact details for Surrey Sharpeners:  They are willing to arrange tool-sharpening trial days at a discount.  Members to report back if they use them.

Lower Road wished to publicise their open day on 8 July.


Treasurer’s report

  The Treasurer reported a balance of £4,109.54 in the deposit account, £9,438.62 in the current account and 23p in cash.  In addition the Treasurer was holding £769.41 to be banked.  Of these amounts, however, approximately £8,500 would be paid over to the Council for site rents and levy.

Nine associations had still to make their payments; they had been sent reminders in early June and financial penalties would be due if payments were not made by 1 July 2017.

The balance in the Competition Account was £1,806.74, and in the Reception Account £908.31.  Idverde had promised sponsorship of £350 for the Reception and the cheque had apparently been despatched.


Matters brought forward / for review

i) Website & Publicity Initiatives – The Secretary would take up with Tim Lund questions relating to updating of the website.
ii) WC Provision on Site – Chelsfield reported that they had been told that their grant application (under the Awards for All scheme) had been approved but the process had taken a long time and the Association did not consider that it had received a great deal of assistance from idverde.

Members discussed the position regarding the need for planning permission for WCs.  The Secretary advised that the strict legal position, and the Federation’s advice, is that planning permission should be obtained but it is possible that in some circumstances planning officers may consider this to be a minor development for which permission is not needed (eg where WCs are housed in small sheds).  However, if advised that planning permission is required then associations should make the necessary application, and applications for grant assistance require confirmation of whether or not planning permission has been obtained.

9.               Competition and Reception
  Mary Cooke advised that the deadline for entries had been 18 June 2017 but had been extended to this evening.  Caitlin Herrington had agreed to act as judge again this year; Stephen Tickner had left idverde and was on holiday but had undertaken to help if no one else could be found, and Patrick Phillips had kindly undertaken to provide another judge from idverde if Stephen were unable to do it.  Mary Cooke will let site contacts know when judges are due to visit.  Association representatives should ask any of their members holding cups to ensure that these are returned to Mary Cooke before 7 September 2017.

Marion Spicer and Sheila Simner had met 10 days earlier and an A4 “invitation” to the Reception would be passed to the Secretary for circulation.  Invitations would also be sent direct to the Mayor and other invited guests.  Gratitude was expressed to idverde for the £350 donation which they had made.  A speaker had now been arranged, at a cost of £100 – Chris O’Donogue, a former potter at Poole Pottery now involved with the RHS.  Few ‘non-paying guests had been invited as the event needs to be self-financing.  Sheila Simner emphasised that she would like both the names of guests and payment for the tickets to be with her in advance of the evening – cheques to be made out to BALGF.  Helpers will be needed on the day from 4pm onwards, and help with loading a car to take food etc to the venue and with packing up food afterwards.  Arrangements will be confirmed at the meeting on 7 September 2017.

10.             Site management issues
  Members were asked whether Associations have probationary periods for new plot holders.  Lower Road reported that they operate a 3-month period and expect plots to be ready for sowing and planting by March each year.

Community Benefits
  Lower Road reported that their project with Nash College was gathering momentum.  Raised beds suitable for wheelchair users were being provided from a separate charity, “Men in Sheds”, who both make and deliver these.  In addition a Teddy Bears’ Picnic had been arranged for that day for local pre-school groups, and a visit for dementia sufferers was being arranged.

West Wickham have let two plots to Mencap and received good feedback; some allotment holders are working with local children’s groups and schools.

Halls Farm suggested that association secretaries provide details of any voluntary groups and charities who may be interested in linking up with other associations.

Farnborough held a successful evening with a local Brownies group and worked with them on the gardener’s badge; would like them to visit again.



12.             Association reports
  West Wickham – Awaiting delivery of saplings from the Woodlands Trust.

Halls Farm – Received a donation for the cost of new hedging.  Displayed a map of allotment sites in Bromley via local shopkeepers and have received enquiries from this.

Bull Lane – 5 beehives recently installed.  The threat of re-development for the new school had receded.

Lower Road – New fencing had been put up, road surfacing completed and a new WC was on order.  Work had been partly funded by a lottery grant.  Open day 8 July 2017 – all welcome.  This will include charity stalls.

Sandford Road – 4 plots were recently let.

Beck Lane – Reported that those applying for plots through the website rarely provide their address or postcode.  It would be helpful if this could be stated as a requirement.

Lower Road – Have completed the work financed by the Awards for All grant including a new Ecoloo.

Roslyn Way – Now have a waiting list, the first for quite some time.

Bromley Common – Barbecue being held on 8 July 2017

Farnborough – Open morning to be held on 5 August 2017 from 10am to 12noon.  A tree leaning over the site boundary has been cut down after some 3 years.

13.             Horticultural issues
  It was reported that garlic spray proves effective against most types of aphid.
14.             AOB
  It was not yet known who would be taking over from Stephen Tickner at idverde.  It was agreed that we should send him a card from the Federation – Marion Spicer undertook to do this.

Laurence Evans, Jim Summers and Sheila Simner had attended the June Bromley Biodiversity Partnership meeting.

Bromley had now outsourced its property function and the renewal of leases had been passed to Cushman & Wakefield.



Thursday 7th September, 7.30pm at Dorset Road Site

Wednesday 15th  November, 7.3pm at the Civic Centre


Agenda for next meeting:


1.   Apologies for absence ·       New site leases
2.   Minutes of previous meeting 9.   Competition and Reception
3.   Matters arising 10. Site management issues
4.   Report of Consultative Panel Meeting

      19 July 2017

11. Community benefits
5.   Chairman’s Report 12. Associations’ reports
6.   Secretary’s Report 13. Horticultural issues
7.   Treasurer’s Report   14. Any other business
8.   Matters brought forward / for review

·         Website & publicity initiatives

·         WC provision on sites

·         Waiting lists and vacancies


Minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2015

1 Apologies for absence
Received from Hook Farm, Sheila Brown, Mary Cooke, Dorothy Mann, Pauline Ramus, Dee West, and Messrs Douglas, Griffiths, Jansen, Mason and Sargent.
The Chairman welcomed Keith Edwards (Lower Road) to his first meeting.
2 Minutes of previous meeting
Minutes of the meeting held on 28 January 2015 were agreed and signed.
3 Matters arising
The leak to the water supply pipe at Halls Farm had been repaired eventually by Thames Water although it was unclear why it had accepted responsibility. Associations were advised to note the location of their supplies and read the meter themselves as a check. The Chairman confirmed that the potential development of Bull Lane for a new school had been addressed at the Panel and will continue to be raised. The Association advised that an action group had been set up – website address In addition plot holders were seeking to have the site designated as a community asset.
4 Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reported that the transfer of the Parks and Greenspace service to The Landscape Group (TLG) had gone through the full approval process and the transfer would take effect on 1 June. The team with whom we currently deal at Bromley would be transferred to TLG although the Council’s tree service will remain within the Council. The Chairman was pressing for an early meeting with representatives of TLG.
5 Secretary’s Report
There was nothing to report which was not covered under other tender items.
6 Treasurer’s Report
The Treasurer reported a balance of £2104.64 in the deposit account, £7696.55 in the current account and cash of £17.68.
The balance in the Competition account was £951.28, and in the Reception account £983.26.
19 Associations had already made their payment of rent etc. (compared with 20 at the same time last year).
7 Matters brought forward / for review
ii) WC Provision on sites – The Southlands Road WC had finally been approved by the building inspector after 3 years. Bourne Vale has received a lottery grant for provision of a composting WC. Lower Road had now installed a composting WC, including provision for use by the disabled, for only £2,500.
iii) Waiting lists and vacancies – The list was circulated for updating at the meeting.

8 Competition and Reception
Marion Spicer had contacted, by email, all associations who have recently taken part in the competition regarding the committee proposals for this year’s reception. Only 1 association had responded, but it appeared that some had not received the email. It was agreed to go ahead with the reception proposals including the booking of Crofton Hall. The Secretary would recirculate Marion’s email for information.
Competition judging would take place between 29 June and 3 July from early morning to lunchtime. Sites without a standard number 7 key will have to provide a key/padlock code or be in attendance from 8am.
2015 is also the 50th anniversary of the Federation and its predecessor the Amalgamated Allotments Associations. Ideas for celebrating this would be welcome. Steven Tickner will consider whether and if so how TLG might be involved.
9 Site management issues
None were raised.
Associations’ Reports
Beck Lane – Have obtained trees from the Woodland Trust for boundary’s etc. – it is worth risking the website. Tress can be supplied free, as whips.
Poverest – A number of vacancies – have advertised on the community board in Tesco and received a good response.
Farnborough Hill – Plant sale on 3 May 10am – 12pm. 5 day trip to Bournemouth arranged. Barbeque to be held on 13 June at 5.30pm – all welcome. Coach trip to Bologne arranged on 30 September at a cost of £35 – members to contact Sheila Simner if interested.
Kent House LG – Trees on site require felling. The Council’s contractor had visited on the day of the Federation meeting but there may be difficulty in that the trees are too large for them to be chipped.
Dorset Road – Discovered that Bromley holds the site only on a 999 year lease – efforts were being made to trace the freeholder. Open day to be held 17 May.
Beckenham and District – All sites are almost fully let. A plot holder at the Alders had felled a mature oak tree – the association’s Chairman had contacted Bromley who will investigate.
11 Horticultural issues
None were raised.
12 Any other business
Associations were asked whether any of them had a member who can repair power mowers. Members suggested shops which may be able to undertake this, but some had been quoted as much as £150 for servicing and minor repairs.
Best wishes were passed to Tom Douglas who was still unwell.

• Thursday 25 June 2015 – 7.30pm at Dorset Road Site
• Tuesday 8 September

Changed date and venue for next meeting

Tony writes:
The date of the next meeting was set for next Wednesday, 22nd April.  Unfortunately I have found out today that the only Committee Room we can now have at the Civic Centre only accommodates 20 people, which is not enough.  Most of the rooms have been block-booked for the General Election so there are no dates next week or the week after that they can offer us instead, and this is unlikely to change much between now and May.
I have contacted Dorset Road and they have kindly agreed to accommodate us, but they cannot do so on Wednesday evenings, so I’m afraid we will have to switch to a Tuesday instead.  To give as much notice as possible we have therefore moved the meeting to the following week so it will now be on Tuesday 28th April.
I am sorry about this as I know the new date will be inconvenient to some of you but the change is unavoidable – the Council’s needs for the rooms takes precedence over ours.

50th Annual General Meeting Agenda

Held on Wednesday, 18th March 2015 at 7.30pm at the Civic Centre Committee Rooms
  1. Notice convening the meeting
  2. Opening of the meeting by the President
  3. Apologies for absence
  4. Minutes of the 49th AGM held on 4th March 2014
  5. Matters arising
  6. Chairman’s Report
  7. Secretary’s Report
  8. Treasurer’s Report – Copies of the 2014 Accounts will be available
  9. Election of Officers and Panel Representatives
  10. Extraordinary item – Report of recent Panel meeting
  11. Any other business

Minutes of the 49th Annual General Meeting

Held 4 March 2014

Associations present as recorded in the Attendance Book.

The President, Tom Douglas, was unwell and unable to attend. Alderman Peter Woods formally opened the meeting and welcomed the members.

Apologies for absence

 Received from the President, Foxbury, Bull Lane, Halls Farm, Councillor Ellie Harmer, Pauline Ramus, Anne Schuman and Messrs Ashford, Lorenzo White and Jansen.

Minutes of the 48th Annual General Meeting

Minutes of the 48th Annual General Meeting were accepted.

Matters Arising


Chairman’s Report

 The Chairman reported on the following:

  • The number of vacancies had started to grow – possibly connected with the exceptional weather over the last year. Efforts must be made to achieve higher levels of lettings – failure to do so will increase the vulnerability of the sites to other uses.
  • A growing number of associations had succeeded in obtaining grants for site improvement – mainly provision of WCs – with help from Amy Rogers and Lorraine Courtenay to whom our thanks must go.
  • A number of grievance arbitrations had arisen in the last few months. The Chairman thanked Lynda Townley and Clive Randell for representing the Federation in these cases.
  • It was proposed that a further training session be arranged to look at the grievance procedure and other issues, the previous training session having proved to be very helpful. It was likely that this could be held at Dorset Road, and as an evening rather than afternoon session. The issue of safe use of machinery and equipment had been raised recently and referred to the Consultative Panel with a request for specific advice. The matter had been discussed at a Panel meeting; there was no firm conclusion or advice, but there was a presumption that most associations have rules in place which apply to the use of machinery. It would be useful to hear from associations what those rules are, and the Federation might in due course issue a guidance note.
  • Marion Spicer, with help from others, had again worked hard to pull together the annual competition and reception, and consideration continued to be given by the Federation as to how best to organise these in the future.

The Chairman concluded by giving his customary thanks to all those who helped in making the operation of the allotments and leisure gardens system in Bromley so successful – in particular the councillor Panel members for their continued support, Patrick Phillips and his team, the Federation Treasurer, Secretary and President, fellow Panel members and last but not least the Federation members who make the efforts worthwhile.

 Secretary’s Report

 The Secretary, first picked up on two points that the Chairman had made:

  1. Vacancies

We had ‘enjoyed’ a period, during the recession, of full sites and waiting lists. A combination of the improving economy and deteriorating weather meant however that we could not assume that full sites would be a permanent feature.

These factors had to be combined with the ever-increasing scrutiny of the use of council assets and of local authority expenditure.

We may therefore have returned to the situation of a few years ago – a need to maximise the use of our land and justify our keeping it. The expiry of the site leases in a few years’ time may give us even more cause to focus our efforts.

  1. Administration and arbitrations

Some of the problems caused had undoubtedly been due to insufficient paperwork. For example some associations had seen first-hand the problems of tenants not having signed tenancy agreements or where proper procedures were not followed. This had been addressed in the last training session and would be included again in the further session now proposed.

In reply to an invitation to comment on the website, Tim Lund explained that this had just been switched over to WordPress – a new way of generating websites used by most organisations.  The new site would have the facility for emailing associations direct without revealing their email address and will enable some documents to be kept away from public access and available to Federation members only – he would shortly circulate a single common log in/password for this. We should aim for the site to be a source of reference and information for members and a means of contact and information for the public. He would be happy to speak to any associations who wish to put news and other items on the website, and associations were asked to let him know of changes to their main contacts.

On behalf of all of the members, the Secretary thanked the Chairman and Treasurer as always for their dedication and professionalism.

Treasurer’s Report

 The Treasurer reported that the various payments due from associations were easier to manage now that there was a single spreadsheet showing a single payment per association. Members should bear in mind that there is a penalty for late payment.

The audited accounts for 2013/2014 were circulated at the meeting and it was proposed and seconded, and agreed unanimously, that they should be adopted. The Treasurer thanked Mary Dawe who had stepped in and assisted with the auditing.

The reception had been arranged for 9 October at Crofton Main Hall, Orpington. The buffet would be bought from Marks and Spencer or Waitrose, which would be cheaper than in previous years and would give more flexibility. The cost of the hall would be around £125 – £150, plus £25 for hire of the PA system and an additional charge for use of the kitchen. Stephen Tickner and Sue Holland would judge the competition together with assistance from our external judge. Two members of Southlands Road would assist with the organisation this year with a view to taking this over next year.

Thanks were extended to the Treasurer for the clarity of the accounts and for immense amount of work on the reception and competition.

Election of Officers

 It was noted that Marion Spicer wished to stand down as Vice Chair. There being no other nominations, Clive Randell was elected as Vice Chair.

There being no new nominations for the other positions, the Officers for the coming year were re-elected as follows:-

Chairman                   Mr J Penney

Hon Secretary            Mr A M Chase

Hon Treasurer            Ms M Spicer

Auditors                      Mary Dawe and Mr K Rodwell

The existing Consultative Panel members were also re-elected.

Extraordinary Item – Report of Recent Panel Meeting

 The Chairman reported on matters discussed at the last Consultative Panel meeting.

Any Other Business

 It was noted that one of the judges on BBC 2’s Great Allotment Challenge, filmed last year but due to be shown later this year, is Jim Buttress, an ‘old friend’ of the Federation. Sheila Simner had an application form for this year for anyone interested, but the filming location is in Reading.

In response to a question from a member association the Secretary explained the background to the ‘levy’ payable by each association to the Council.  This had in essence been a means of enabling the Council to achieve a required £5,000 reduction in its allotments budget, agreed by the Federation membership as preferable to other proposed means of achieving the saving.

It was agreed that Clive Watson should arrange for re-plating of the Douglas Cup which was beginning to look very worn.