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Forming and Allotment Association - 1st Meeting help!

Discussion in 'Allotments Discussion' started by Steve R, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Steve R

    Steve R Soil Furtler

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    Over the last couple of years we have had various "issues" with our parish council (PC), relating to our 2 allotment sites here in Cumbria. A year ago a new set of rules where put forward by the PC and for the last year we have been fighting many of them.

    We have been very successful thus far and have persuaded the PC to form an allotment working group consisting of PC councillors and allotment tenants from both of our sites, and one by one we have worked through the issues and resolved them, we have also managed to motivate allotment tenants into "work parties" to start and complete some quite major tasks to improve the sites. This will continue.

    We have achieved all of this as a group of "Allotment friends" because many where wary of past association or club failures on the sites, and because people where reluctant to take up positions within that.

    After a year of this we now have people who will fill 3 main positions of Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, and at the end of this month's meeting we will be forming an association.

    I need some help with this, and I am getting buried reading many web pages that say mostly the same thing but do not tell me what I need to know, I am hoping to get some help or guidance here.

    We have a constitution which sets out how we operate and how we react to certain situations and we have the major positions filled, what I cannot find is the information on how to run the first meeting or how to appoint people to positions and in what order. Then to present the constitution.

    We are starting small and taking baby steps forward so everything will be incredibly simple for this first year. We aim to continue what we have been doing which is addressing allotment issues, organising work parties we wish to add in two events, possibly three One educational, one social and possibly one reaching out into the community.

    Most web sites seem to discuss what is needed in an association or how to write your constitution, I need to know how to run that first meeting to ensure I do things properly.

    Many thanks in advance.

    Steve...:)
     
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    • LauraRoslin

      LauraRoslin Gardener

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      I think the easiest way is to write an agenda. So the most important thing to discuss will be first. Then in descending order of importance, all the other things. Finishing with Any Other Business.

      I'm not sure it matters what you discuss when but an agenda gives everyone the same framework so that the meeting stays on track.
       
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      • NigelJ

        NigelJ Total Gardener

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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          The easiest way is to send a notice to allotment holders of an inaugural meeting to formally adopt the constitution and elect officers.

          Presumably everyone is in agreement so you're only doing this to make it formal. Depending on how you have written the constitution you elect the chairman first (unless you have written into the constitution that you elect a committee and the committee elect a chairman - not done very often nowadays).

          To do that you first need someone to volunteer run the start of the meeting as chairman 'pro tem' (temporarily) - welcome everyone and state that you have circulated the proposed constitution and would like to elect a chairman. You ask for nominations and then have a vote. If there is only one person willing to stand for the position it is easy as you just need one person to propose them and one to second the motion. Then you can ask the room if they accept the nomination.

          The new chairman then takes over and runs the meeting in the normal way - asking for nominations for Secretary, treasurer and committee. If there is more than one nomination you will have to have a vote. This is normally better to do as a written ballot (just need each person to write on a piece of paper who they vote for - which avoids the possible embarrassment of someone only getting one vote). If the nominations for committee members are fewer than the total allowed for in the constitution then the chairman proposes they are elected 'en bloc' (all in one go) by a show of hands. There's no need to ask for votes for each one. Then ask for a show of hands to adopt the constitution - pointing out, if you wish, that this has been thrashed out over the last year and is what everyone seems to want.

          So, just call the meeting to order (I prefer to do it informally such as shouting out - if it's necessary - 'good evening, let's get this started', or words to that effect).

          Welcome them and thank them for coming.

          Say, 'let us first elect a chairman' and if you're not standing for chairman you can add 'then I can sit down and let him take over'. It always helps if you can keep these thing in a light vein. :)

          Then you're under way. :blue thumb:
           
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          • Steve R

            Steve R Soil Furtler

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            Thank you Laura we have an agenda but it does help to know how best to list things within that paper. Thank you also Nigel, we have used NSLAG an awful lot of the last year and other Allotment umbrella organisations too, they have all been very helpful and those who did not visit our sites where happy to advise by landline or email.

            Thank you Shiney, that is perfect and what I was looking for, I want to ensure no hiccups along the way by missing something important or doing something in an incorrect manner.

            Steve...:)
             
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            • daitheplant

              daitheplant Total Gardener

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            • Freddy

              Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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              • shiney

                shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              • daitheplant

                daitheplant Total Gardener

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                Freddy, Shiney. It`s good to be back. Freddy, you need a shave, mate.
                 
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                • Freddy

                  Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                  But, but, this is my handsome head!
                   
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                  • daitheplant

                    daitheplant Total Gardener

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                    You poor, demented fool you. You would be women bait if you got shot of the stubble.
                     
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                    • Steve R

                      Steve R Soil Furtler

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                      Many thanks Dai for your response. I have had a look over your site, it's nice to see another site getting organised too. Great framework for you all to start adding some info to, I wish you all the luck in the world with it.

                      Steve...:)
                       
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                      • Marley Farley

                        Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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                        Hi @daitheplant good to see you around again, I hope all is good with you.. :thumbsup:
                         
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                        • Mike Allen

                          Mike Allen Super Gardener

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                          When I worked the allottment with my dad. The ground was privately owned so no problems. Might I respectfully suggest. As the land belongs to the local council. Make friends with a council member. Might save you a lot of trouble in the future
                           
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                          • Steve R

                            Steve R Soil Furtler

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                            Thank you for our reply Mike and advice, we have actually been very busy this last year and we now have two allotment tenants on the Parish Council itself. 4 out of 6 people at an allotment working group at/for the council are allotment tenants too. The association we are forming is to further back up the above people whilst driving the allotments forward in the community, educating and assisting tenants. It is slowly coming together (baby steps) but we now forming a reputation of being decisive, deliberate and helpful too. And we are shocking people with what we can do as a collective.

                            Ultimately we are aiming towards self management and we already have it agreed and in writing that when we do we will rent both sites for a "peppercorn" rent.

                            Steve...:)
                             
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