Author Topic: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?  (Read 9469 times)

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Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2011, 06:01:47 PM »
Yes, we don't like to think that allotment holders are messy lot, but now I remember the Orchard when we started,  it took us several months (of two hour work parties) to clear the detritus left by the allotment holder. Metal poles, metal bins, metal shelving, two old oildrums (bigguns)sunk half way up in the soil, piles if greenhouse glass half buried, we never did get all of that out, so it's buried in the wildlife edge.  Stones, branches, metal crates, bits of corrogated metal, plastic. In the end we burned the top off to make sure it was safe to invite people in.

That was not dumped, but used on allotments, up by the school there was about 4 years of crisp packets and plastic bottles, but that stopped the day we cleared up and took over the place. 

And the hugest cultivated blackberry, had gone 'bananas' all along the fences and took up half a ten lug allotment +.  We tamed that one and have continued so to do ever since.  It's supposed to be 'Champagne' but I cannot find one named that.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 12:30:59 AM »
And the hugest cultivated blackberry, had gone 'bananas' all along the fences and took up half a ten lug allotment +.  We tamed that one and have continued so to do ever since.  It's supposed to be 'Champagne' but I cannot find one named that.

I used to pick guzberries on an allotment as a kid they mad lovely pies.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2011, 05:10:18 PM »
Yes, there was a goosegog bush too. It's still there. Did you nog them? Not much else except rubbish though.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Beale

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2011, 10:40:48 PM »
the plot holder who's smoking week long bonfire was causing a major annoyance to half of stratton (you may have heard about that one...)

And who was that I wonder? Probably kids set fire to it or instantaneous combustion caused by the heat of rotting vegetable matter? It could have been a discared bottle and the sun magnified itself onto the compost heap? A carlessy discarded match/fag end/cigar butt or someone must have knocked their pipe out on it! I have heard all of those reasons given as excuses on a no bonfires allowed allotment!  :wink:

No just some one burning household waste in a near constant fire over a week or two.... And there's another example of when challenged the bloke went off the head about nanny state blah blah blah, cue the usual stream of four letter expletives because he was caught doing something he shouldn't and was told if he didn't stop he'd be evicted. If it wasn't all expected and an ever present facet of a normal days work as a parks officer, one could get upset by it.

 

Offline Richard Beale

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2011, 11:11:25 PM »
the water pumping in, is from my outside tap, because the present tank wouldnt resupply one tenant let alone 5 or 6 at a time,

Kudos points grand idea. Liking very much teh fact that your using your own supply.

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the fires that go on, are a fact, I have had fires when people moan

Controlled fires don't go on at all, bloody great piles of burning timber topped with plastic and household refuse burn for ages if you let them. This is a poor excuse for not exercising soem public decency and putting out a fire when you leave site. The fir ethat burnt for ages was eventually put out by myself and Emma using a pitch fork to spread it out over the gents plot while it was still red hot. Took me ten minutes to put out a fire that had been going for at lest 4 days. Don't start a fire you can't finish?


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I phoned the department about two weeks ago for someone to come and kill a wasps nest outside my shed door, still waiting,


large thick plastic bag grab nest throw on week long fire? Done at no extra cost?
 
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was Crystabel fired because she got things done?

Christabel wasn't fired, she left for a job as a waste warden because being the allotment officer was gtoo much for her

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we used to have a trailer here for waste, but that was stopped, on the pretence that someone in walcot had put a couch in their trailer so everybody had to suffer no trailer

not surpised as a trailer fills up quickly with household waste which then costs to dispose, good way to waste an allotment budget, on landfilling old sofas. that wasn't a one off it was happening all the time.

Remember the leaf mulch you used to get? Christabel used to give me the nod and I would arrange for a passing tractor driver to drop off a few loads, do you still get any?

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we used to have regular meetings with the reps at the Oasis, that is long gone now, the last one we had was in Feb

About the time Emma was made redundant then, a correlation here you think?

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Emma did do a good job

damn right, she's now back gardening with glouscester council

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still waiting for the skip, still waiting for the reply\windbreak, still waiting for the wasp nests, my neighbour rung about a month ago, because the fence between her house and the plot is broken down and foxes are running all over her garden, she is still waiting for that to be fixed.

I suspect the wait may go on, and on, and on

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that lad who put the deisel down was he kicked off, I would have done so

that 55 year old 'lad' was indeed kicked off, didn't stop the effects of his 'weedkilling' poisioning every invertabrate and amphibian within 50m of his plot (including garden pond koi carp, frogs and toads). but that took time as there is a procedure to go through, he was warned, he carried on, evidence gathered, presented to him, a chance for him to offer an explanation, and a termination of his lease due to failure to comply with the terms.

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If a plot is not being done, then how long do you wait for someone else to take over,

Why is the plot not being done? is there a short term reason for it? most of the time the delays are down to people biting off more than they can chew, far too much gardeners question time and not enough spade based digging time. The real issue is the through put of people who don't really have the time or capability to get deep down and dirty

Emma took a backlog of 1500 people on the waiting list and got that down to about 200... problem is with about 50 more joining each month you get an idea of how many were accepting plots, turning up, doing an hours digging.... and never coming again.

Many of the plots in pinehurst etc are exactly these, never really taken on by people with any staying power, so a constant stream of eviction and reletting was going on, with no visibile sign of progress except a shrinking backlog.

ahh if only they had person on sight with a beast of a rotovator. by the way i think we have met Kohima, if your the chap i'm thinking of you were harvesting spuds with a clever attachment? Was a long time ago and I doubt you remember....

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #25 on: October 14, 2011, 09:54:44 AM »
Several points Richard, that fire was going for a week and I was burning alottment waste, but it was burning and not a house on fire, that lad who maoned, was he the one who when he had builders to put up his extension, dumped all the rubble from that on a plot at the back of his house and then denied it was him..
plots not being done, if you go down to the pinehurst plot, on the far right as you go in the other side of the track, there must be about 10 - 15 plots that havent seen a spade or anything else in about 5 years at least, just long grass, if you were given one of those, would you be prepared to put your back out to get it done?, thats what the lad who was rep was fighting for, but im told he has now resigned as well.
I told the 'upper' management about my pipe and how I  was keeping the tank and the three bins I put there full, he said that it wasnt a council task..
I expect that was me with the potato attachment, good for bringing them up, but then you have to pick them up.. no wonder why I get so many straglers each year.
Its now the 14th Oct, plots run from oct to oct, and we have just been told, or should I say, before someone asks me to print it, a lad on the plot two away from me who I call scotty or leroy, (hell answer to anything) was told on tuesday that the bills are running late and we may not get them until about Dec..
the one about meetings, since emma left in Dec was it, and the last meeting was in Feb
cant see how she could  solve that or even chrystable who used to have meetings on a regular basis, but as you are or  were on the inside, cant argue if you say she was no good at her job,
the skip one I cant make out, we used to get them about every two or three months, and up here we used to fill them with plot wast, on moe thanone time the lad who cme to pick them up  said he was going to refuse as they so full.I myself more than once climbed in to one of those skips and threw out doors and the like which had been put in, but when those at  walcot decided that theres was for general waste, including im told asbestos, then it was stopped for everybody, which is making everybody suffer for a one plot blunder, or was we right in saying it was more about finance,
when that lad came up here with the big tractor and a pair of pliers to mend the water pipe, we asked him why he didnt bring up his rotovator and do abit of cleaning up at the same time, he said the fitting was down in the yard going rusty and he wasnt allowed to use it.
the wasps nest has gone, (yes I burnt it out, as I couldnt reach under the cage it was in to get it, I did try but was stung twice).
One more point you may be able to answer, when the council put in the new walk and cycle way down to kembrey street, they dug up the bit in between the two paths,
where the old playpark used  to be, and just then just left it, it now looks like those abandoned plots down pinehust road, do the council have an 'after'care policy?.
The council rep for this area, cant think of his name, he is the fireman, told us that we should have had our new locks fitted months ago, we still have the communial ones that the key will open nearly every lock in the town, and they get busted about once a month  no joy on that either.
regards.

Offline Richard Beale

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 12:22:16 AM »
Several points Richard, that fire was going for a week and I was burning alottment waste, but it was burning and not a house on fire, that lad who maoned, was he the one who when he had builders to put up his extension, dumped all the rubble from that on a plot at the back of his house and then denied it was him..


Wasn't you on that occasion but it does rather point out that allotment holders don't make good neighbours and that moderating or acting as an agent between allotments and the wider public is a job in itself

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plots not being done, if you go down to the pinehurst plot, on the far right as you go in the other side of the track, there must be about 10 - 15 plots that havent seen a spade or anything else in about 5 years at least, just long grass, if you were given one of those, would you be prepared to put your back out to get it done?, thats what the lad who was rep was fighting for, but im told he has now resigned as well.


I know exactly where you mean while i was still working for SCS i was regularly down there with a ride on mower.... mowing it or weedkilling the area on foot. I know for a FACT that Emma had let those out, I marked the plots with stakes and line paint myself for her and I was in the office when the letters of confirmation were sent out to the new tenants. That they remain untilled is down to too many people wanting the 'no dig' lifestyle. That won't change, and until it does, plots will remain overgrown

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I told the 'upper' management about my pipe and how I  was keeping the tank and the three bins I put there full, he said that it wasnt a council task..


Well that's upper management at SBC for you, did resolving that issue cost any money?

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I expect that was me with the potato attachment, good for bringing them up, but then you have to pick them up.. no wonder why I get so many straglers each year.


It was good to see it in action, ingenious solution to a problem. Mechanisation is great for the back, but small spuds must slip through the gaps

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Its now the 14th Oct, plots run from oct to oct, and we have just been told, or should I say, before someone asks me to print it, a lad on the plot two away from me who I call scotty or leroy, (hell answer to anything) was told on tuesday that the bills are running late and we may not get them until about Dec..


Spoke to an ex-colleague, they updated teh software an dit buggered up the system, so doesn't surprise me that Bills are running late. Most Parks Billing/invoices are sent out in October for a 1st January payment date. (at least they were when I was doing them)


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the skip one I cant make out, we used to get them about every two or three months, and up here we used to fill them with plot wast, on moe thanone time the lad who cme to pick them up  said he was going to refuse as they so full.I myself more than once climbed in to one of those skips and threw out doors and the like which had been put in, but when those at  walcot decided that theres was for general waste, including im told asbestos, then it was stopped for everybody, which is making everybody suffer for a one plot blunder, or was we right in saying it was more about finance


Household waste tipped in allotment sites isn't a one off issue it was happening ALL the time. Landfill charges on the dumped contents in those skips were enough to heavily eat into the limited budget to keep the allotments open day to day 

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when that lad came up here with the big tractor and a pair of pliers to mend the water pipe, we asked him why he didnt bring up his rotovator and do abit of cleaning up at the same time, he said the fitting was down in the yard going rusty and he wasnt allowed to use it.


yep good old SCS, the big rotorvator, designed to one pass cultivate an allotment was used on Shaw Tip to break up the clay soil ready for seeding... unfortunately no one thought to check the quality of that soil first. It was damaged then by whatever was in that soil (probably large rocks or metal waste) and was rarely used afterwards as the now out of balance PTO shaft would shake violently when operated... that was as you might guess soem time ago. I expect a new shaft would cost more than a second hand rotorvator does.....   

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the wasps nest has gone, (yes I burnt it out, as I couldnt reach under the cage it was in to get it, I did try but was stung twice).


I had wondered

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One more point you may be able to answer, when the council put in the new walk and cycle way down to kembrey street, they dug up the bit in between the two paths,where the old playpark used  to be, and just then just left it, it now looks like those abandoned plots down pinehust road, do the council have an 'after'care policy?.


Sorry don't know for sure, but I can offer a best guess.... SCS have left the job unfinished and don't intend to return? It used to be my job to chase them and make them complete jobs such as this. As I was made redudnant, I suspect SCS are taking SBC cash and walking away from jobs when the  profit (tax-payer money, that is, which is then 'given back to SBC'?!?!) margins are becoming squeezed. With no one like me or Emma to chase them anymore, who is to stop them?

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The council rep for this area, cant think of his name, he is the fireman, told us that we should have had our new locks fitted months ago, we still have the communial ones that the key will open nearly every lock in the town, and they get busted about once a month  no joy on that either.


Sorry another of Emma's projects, started but unfortunately not completed due to her redundancy.

p.s. I wouldn't expect much joy from the Parks Department or the allotment officer at the moment, as i understand they have all just recieved redundancy letters.

Perhaps Gavin Jones or Rod Bluh might wish to look at your issue as there isn't going to be anybody left who knows anything about allotments soon.


On a more serious note Cllr Nick Martin is lead for parks/open spaces now, In all seriousness I would suggest you take your case to him. Having worked with him on many projects I know he will help you all he can.

His contact details can be found here at the West Swindon Conservatives website.... http://www.westswindonintouch.com/page/25/

Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 08:03:09 AM »
"Sorry don't know for sure, but I can offer a best guess.... SCS have left the job unfinished and don't intend to return? It used to be my job to chase them and make them complete jobs such as this. ?


Can't think how many times I've written this before, but SBC enforcement is umm, non existent.

There is a LOT of grumbling about the allotment waiting lists, non enforcement going on!
Seems to come inot every conveersation I have these days.

I wonder who will ge tthe contract to look afetr our open sapces and parks?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 08:20:59 AM »
Richard

Good post  O0
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 02:10:15 PM »
Richard, thanks for your reply, I would say the cost of the water resolve, cost nothing as nothing has been resolved and we still have a flow problem,
I see from a letter I received yesterday, from a fellow member of the picards field action group, that the council have now told her that the ground is now surplus, and has been passed to sbc properties dept.
last count for tenants on the list was about 750..

Offline Richard Beale

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2011, 07:22:22 PM »
I see from a letter I received yesterday, from a fellow member of the picards field action group, that the council have now told her that the ground is now surplus, and has been passed to sbc properties dept.
last count for tenants on the list was about 750..

sounds ominous, has it got that bad that SBC are prepared to sell absolutely anything to prop up the budget

Offline Terry Reynolds

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2011, 08:34:32 PM »
with no access apart from knocking down the church in malvern road, I cant see what value it has..

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2011, 10:57:18 PM »
I see from a letter I received yesterday, from a fellow member of the picards field action group, that the council have now told her that the ground is now surplus, and has been passed to sbc properties dept.
last count for tenants on the list was about 750..

sounds ominous, has it got that bad that SBC are prepared to sell absolutely anything to prop up the budget

Does that depend on who wants to buy it and knocking down a church is that really necessary?

Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2011, 08:39:15 AM »
No Got signal, but they will do it if they have to.
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Des Moffatt

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2011, 09:02:13 AM »
Jean is well annoyed about our allotment.
We bought a couple of trees, a plum and an apple tree. They were growing really well. Went down last Wednesday and they were gone. We stood there looking at the place they had been for a good two minutes in disbelief. Gardner’s will understand that every time we went there we had pleasure in looking at the trees progress.
 On careful examination of the ground it is clear they were not just vandalised, they were dug up and stolen.
No excuses, our plot does not look deserted, someone came there with a spade dug them up and took them away. This might be the end of our cultivation, hard to get motivated now and anyway there are other distractions as you might have noticed.


Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2011, 12:17:53 PM »
I bet like all good gardeners you put in a stake and left the labels on them too?

What you need to do now is find poisonous fruited, fast growing tree, put that in with the apple label on - I can let you have a couple and see what happens next year  >:D

A relation of mine (an enthusiastic cook) kept her freezer in the garage and it was broken into several times, they raided the freezer, so she always made a couple of Sennacot pies to lie amongst the rest.  They were taken.   :knuppel2:
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Bassettina

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2011, 05:57:24 PM »

p.s. I wouldn't expect much joy from the Parks Department or the allotment officer at the moment, as i understand they have all just recieved redundancy letters.

Perhaps Gavin Jones or Rod Bluh might wish to look at your issue as there isn't going to be anybody left who knows anything about allotments soon.

Is Swindon laying off ALL its Parks staff? Who will look after Coate Water and Town Gardens and Lydiard?

Offline Richard Beale

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2011, 08:53:52 PM »

p.s. I wouldn't expect much joy from the Parks Department or the allotment officer at the moment, as i understand they have all just recieved redundancy letters.

Perhaps Gavin Jones or Rod Bluh might wish to look at your issue as there isn't going to be anybody left who knows anything about allotments soon.

Is Swindon laying off ALL its Parks staff? Who will look after Coate Water and Town Gardens and Lydiard?


The grapevine to me is full of rumours, and no one is prepared to say much. But what i do know is that at the moment the gardeners are okay for now.

But the parks team and rangers are to be restructured (as SBC management call it) or as the staff call it redundancies.

My opinion only follows.

My money is on the bulk of Lydiard park to returned to the StreetSmart department, a cut to the ranger service of a head ranger or ranger and probably the loss of another parks officer

end of conjecture.

What I do know is that all is to be revealed on Monday and as parks and open spaces have always been an easy cut to make it's almost inevitable.




One of the main problems with cutting parks and open spaces budget is that its already cut to the bone. A tipping point has been reached beyond which any further operational cuts will have a dramatic result in the appeal and usefulness of our open space. So much so that further cuts Will be a VERY visible sign of how bad it's got.
Whiel I worked at SBC a 30% cut in maintenance budgets was discussed in March 2010 to give you an idea of how close we are to altering our open spaces for good. I still have the document somewhere of the consequences.

On my last drive through town I could see the first signs of how tight its getting, Main routes aren't looking to bad, early hedge cutting and grass still being cut. But stray into the wilds of Swindon, especially the western side and paths /cycleways aren't clear and are overgrowing (a pattern that seems to be similar to a lot of other areas across the town.

Hiugh profile areas won't suffer, but the areas in and around housing will, SBC has an enormous assest base for grounds maintenance, when I worked for SBC Parks my in tray was filled with maintenance requests daily. Many councillors who post on here will know the work load I had dealing with just the request they would pass on through 'Street Smart'.

So.... the upshot is that its electoral suicide to cut the Maintenance budgets, so the back office is always targete as SBC have committed to becoming a 'comissioning authority' that It is my opinion that this means that they are moving towards having a back office consisting of a officer who will contract out the work and no one else.

All the nice to have's, the parkies, the rangers, the front line parks officers and the specialist knowledge will have gone. To be replaced by a contractor who's only motivation is profit. given that at this rate, any in-house contract management is likely to be rushed off their feet or not experienced in the specialist grounds maintenace field, I can only see standards dropping and complaints rising.

it is also interesting to note that when asked for our ideas to make cuts, nearly all where rejected as being unpopular.......



Offline Bassettina

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2011, 07:47:23 AM »

On my last drive through town I could see the first signs of how tight its getting, Main routes aren't looking to bad, early hedge cutting and grass still being cut. But stray into the wilds of Swindon, especially the western side and paths /cycleways aren't clear and are overgrowing (a pattern that seems to be similar to a lot of other areas across the town.


I'd agree with you. It's very obvious where the SBC boundary lies when coming in from Wiltshire. There are no road signs, just an obvious increase in badly maintained verges, litter, fly-tipping, rusting lampposts. It looks like a town in decline.

Offline Muggins

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Re: Why Are Allotments Standing Idle In Pinehurst Don't People Want Them?
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2011, 09:28:25 AM »
"All the nice to have's, the parkies, the rangers, the front line parks officers and the specialist knowledge will have gone. To be replaced by a contractor who's only motivation is profit. given that at this rate, any in-house contract management is likely to be rushed off their feet or not experienced in the specialist grounds maintenace field, I can only see standards dropping and complaints rising"

Absolutely agree with Richard on this one,(except for one point*) I have no doubt at all that this the way it's going - and not from what he has told me, but it's pretty obvious it's been goign that way for a couple of years, - that way and hoping that local people will take up the managment slack.

I don't think that parkies and rangers are 'nice to haves' I think they are essential to our quality of life.

Thinking about the allotments, and the conversations I've been having on that subject,
I was thinking that even from just sittting in front of this PC I could sort that out - well not on my own, but by setting up (or helping to) a management group for them.

Then I read Rod Bluh's article this week.  Just what he want's us to do I think?

OK Rod, I'll commit some time to bringing interested parties together, (can I have some set up funding please - Oh of course, I forgot, you don't give funding like that any more, although there may (or may not) be a pot of small grants left).  Could I get expenses? after all it's my electric and phone bill - Oh, of course I would need to show bills and receipts to prove I spent it on that. (Course, it never cost SBC anything to contact people, rent rooms etc. did it?)

Ok, say we've overcome that problem, but we find we need a bit of advice with a few legal aspects etc. Can we have some support please?  What! no! And you expect us to pay our own legal fees?  (Leases etc) OK, and you haven't got the staff with the specialist skills to help either?  (Don't forget that at this point they are not doing the job - just advising)  Insurance? You don't help out with that either? what not unless we fit in with your staff time, so no chance of a weekend thing then?

So we've overcome that set of problems, and we are up and running,  we find there is no specialist support, and no cash avaible, so we have to apply (compete) to funding streams (or lose the allotments altogether - because there is no one else to do it by now!)   That's a whole other set of skills  we have to learn.  We also find that hardly anyone gives core funding, so we have to jump from year to year getting 'proejct' funding.  Funding streams have their own set of 'what's in and what's out' so we have to think of projects that fit the funding streams (and that's a skill set all of it's own)rather than having what we really need to do the job. 

Volunteers now getting very ratty and worn - someone says, "Wouldn't it be better if the council looked after these allotments and paid someone to do the work?"  After all- we now have no time to dig our allotments.

   

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)