This year the meeting was held in Bath and I was asked to represent C&DAHA. There were representatives from societies and associations across the country. There were the usual formal reports from officers including the Treasurer who reported an £80,000 surplus for the year following a £29,000 deficit in 2016.
The President for the next three years is Phil Gomersall from the Yorkshire Region – A very active and colourful character – especially his braces!
The annual report included and outline of the strategic plan which I report in full below.
“Through our agreed Strategic Plan the National Allotment Society will:
1. Create a flexible and responsive management system that is more effective
2. Assess the needs of our staff (including volunteers) to ensure their needs are met.
3. Bring Regions into a consistent framework, following good practice from these areas.
4. Develop effective lines of communication to the grass roots level.
5. Have an image by the start of 2018 that is current, attractive and relevant.
6. Talk and engage with more Local authority members.
7. Increase the overall membership figures.
8. Engage with key decision makers i.e. Government, Local Authorities, Policy Makers to
ensure the rights of the allotment holders and people on waiting lists and the general
public are upheld.
9. Be seen as an organisation with a set of values which people can get behind.
10. Offer a first class service to everyone interested in allotment gardening”.
Currently, NAS is urging the authorities to make adequate allotment provision in the proposed garden cities and towns. There is already Section 106 Grant Funding money which can be used for allotment development in new housing developments in existing towns and cities. We were urged to get to know the status of our allotments, particularly whether they were temporary or statutory.
After lunch there were three presentations. The first was given by the seed buyer from Kings Seeds on sowing seeds. I hope to report his useful advice in our spring newsletter in time for the 2018 growing season.
This was followed by a presentation on bees on the allotment and a final one on modern, heirloom and heritage seed varieties.
Dennis Sutton 11:06:2017