Consultations for Grow Your Own Believers

August 30th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There are a couple of important consultations being held in Scotland where it would be great if allotment growers and other grow your own enthusiasts could get their voices heard.

Firstly across the whole of Scotland: The Scottish Land Commission is developing a policy of community engagement in Land Use Planning decisions.  The commission is seeking the views of individuals and community representatives about community engagement in decisions relating to land.  They have developed a survey and it would be great if many individual growers could complete this.  The survey is available on line at this link.

Secondly for growers in the Scottish Borders.  Scottish Borders Council is developing its Food Growing Strategy.  They would like local people to tell the council where and how they would like to grow their own food.  You can read all about it and access their consultation survey by clicking here.

 

 

Big Climate Conversation Community Fund Open for Applications

August 8th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

The Scottish Government would like to enable a nationwide discussion about actions to tackle the global climate emergency. To ensure that the widest range of views is represented in this conversation they are encouraging community organisations to hold workshops and contribute to the discussion. The Big Climate Conversation Community Fund will provide money for communities who need financial help. The fund opened on August 7 and will support workshops held up to October 31st. Grants can be for an amount between £100 and £300.

To find out more and to get support in organising the workshop go to www.impactfundingpartners.com. This site can show you how to apply and also link you into the Scottish Government’s How To Guide.

Dundee Gardens and Allotments Competition

July 4th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

Dundee’s popular annual Garden and Allotment Competition is looking for applications.  There are many categories – many ways of getting involved, prizes to be won.  To learn more about it and to download an application form visit the Dundee Council web site at this page

Applications must be in by July 19.  Judging will take place on July 24 for Gardens and July 25 for allotments.







Why Support and Training is an essential part of Community Empowerment

June 28th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There have been recent problems and conflicts in West Law Allotments in Dundee.  These have led to a plot holder of more than 20 years experience being evicted from his site, and losing his valuable and irreplaceable collection of prize Daffodil Bulbs.  Other plot holders who have supported this man have themselves been threatened with eviction.  These events have been covered in great detail over several months by the Dundee Evening Telegraph.

The site belongs to Dundee Council and was originally directly managed by them.  However a few years ago, the council decided to lease the site to the Allotment Association and leave them to manage it independently.  The association had an EGM in 2016 where the members adopted a constitution and code of conduct.  Anyone interested in Allotment Self Management should download and read these documents and think very, very hard.

How could Dundee Council grant a lease to an unincorporated allotment association with a constitution like this?  Look at the powers in clause 3.  What on earth do most of them have to do with managing an allotment site? How can such an organisation conceivably take on the responsibilities of employees pensions?  Look at clause 6 dealing with the management committee.  As far as this clause is concerned, a management committee member once elected is there for ever.  There is no time specified after which such a member must stand for re-election.  Look at clause 8 which states that when a plot holder leaves the plot any ‘equipment’ becomes the property of the committee.  In some situations this could be seen as condoning theft.

Drawing up a constitution for any organisation is a complex matter and not something to be undertaken lightly.  Dundee Council has clearly not given the plot holders of the site any support or guidance in how to develop something suitable.  In fact the constitution looks as if it has been cut and pasted from some completely different organisation.  Equally they have failed to  give the committee training in the governance required to manage a group of proud, independent allotment growers with a variety of opinions in how to look after a plot.  The dreadful results of these failures have led to a well meaning plot holder losing his health, his plot and the years of his hard work represented by the destruction of his prize daffodil bulbs.

 

Tesco Bags of Help Centenary Grants

February 13th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

These grants have been develped specially to celebrate 100 years of Tesco.  Bags of Help Centenary Grants are now open for applications for £25,000 from not for profit organisations for a broad range of projects that will provide community benefit across a whole region, or a significant part of it.  Scotland is divided into five special regions where Tesco customers can vote for their favourite project.

The Centenary Grants are two special voting rounds of the standard Tesco Bags of Help local community grant scheme and offer a unique opportunity to help more people across five regional areas in Scotland. Voting for these grants will take place in July/August and November/December 2019. Following the vote, the project that receives the most votes in the voting region will receive a grant of up to £25,000, second place receiving up to £15,000 and third place up to £10,000.

The July/august 2019 voting period will feature projects with a Health and Wellbeing theme, and projects focussing on cancer, heart disease and diabetes will be prioritised.

The Community Enabler team at greenspace scotland can help you apply. For more details please visit http://bit.ly/centenarygrantscot

Consultation on new SAGS structure and constitution.

January 25th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

There have been many changes since SAGS was formed 100 years ago. The amount of lobbying to protect allotments has increased, there are more opportunities for SAGS to work with other organisations and there are also both opportunities and constraints around available funding.

Legally SAGS is currently an un-incorporated organisation. This can make it difficult, and sometimes problematic, for SAGS to carry out the activities resulting from its mission to advise, protect and promote allotments throughout Scotland.

The committee have been advised that the most appropriate form of organisation for SAGS is to become a SCIO – a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The social enterprise advice network SENSCOT has helped us to draw up a constitution to enable this. It will replace our existing constitution approved in 2008. The first intimation of this change was sent to our members in the newsletter of November 2018.  The newsletter can be downloaded here.  The article is on the last page – page 6.

The SAGS committee wishes to consult all our members about this change.  The proposed new constitution, the existing old constitution and a summary document explaining why this change is advisable can be downloaded here.  Please look at these documents and let us have your thoughts.

New funding round from Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund

January 10th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

A new funding round for the Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) Development Fund opened on 19 December 2018.  Applications for grants must be in by March 4 2019.  Community Growing is one of the CSGN funding priorities and a good number of allotment sites have benefited from this fund in the past.  The main restriction is that the site MUST be in the CSGN area.

For full information click here.  This web page includes a link to a map that shows the CSGN area and instructions on how to get an application form.

Good Food Nation Bill consultation published

January 10th, 2019 by sagswebmaster

The consultation on the Good Food Nation Bill was published on 21st December 2018.  You can read all about it here.  It may not make relaxing bed time reading (or it may send you to sleep too quickly), but actually it is important.  The government’s ambition is to use legislation to ensure that by 2025 Scotland has become a Good Food Nation where people from every walk of life take pride and pleasure in the food they produce, buy, cook serve and eat each day.

SAGS believes that. while Grow Your Own cannot feed the nation, these aims will be more easily met if everyone who is interested can have a good experience of producing some of their own food.  While it is vital that commercially produced food is delicious and provides high quality nourishment, we are worried that the legislation may concentrate too  exclusively on the commercial production of food and forget about the benefits of growing harvesting and cooking at least some of your own produce.

We would ask all our members who are concerned that the health and happiness benefits of a good diet should be available to everyone and all income brackets to spend some time reading the information and to respond to the consultation.

 

 

Tesco inviting applicants for its Bags of Help programme

July 6th, 2018 by sagswebmaster

The Tesco Bags of Help programme provides small grants for community projects which can involve the following:

  • development of and activity in outdoor spaces
  • purchase of items such as sports kits, camping equipment, tools or specialised medical equipment
  • improvements to community buildings
  • seasonal events and activities

Currently Tesco stores in the areas of Ellon, Blairgowrie, Monifeith and Oban are particularly inviting applications.

Tesco Bags of Help can provide up to £4000 for projects who are a constituted community group, school, charity, community council, local authority, public body or not for profit organisation. Following a public vote in Tesco stores every two months, three projects in each of the local Tesco store areas will receive a grant, with first place receiving up to £4000, second place up to £2000 and third place £1000

Allotment associations have successfully applied for these grants, but also groups wanting to set up an allotment site should be eligible – they are developing activity in an outdoor space!  If any group in the first three towns would like to apply they should email rita.callander@greenspacescotland.org.uk

Any group in Oban should email tamara.hedderwick@greenspacescotland.org.uk

New Consultation about Allotment Legislation launched

June 27th, 2018 by sagswebmaster

The new Allotment Legislation in Section 9 of the Community Empowerment Bill came into force on April 1 2018.  Local Authorities must implement this legislation and the Scottish Government has committed to providing Guidance for them on implementing sections that might appear difficult or contentious.  The Government has now published a draft version of this Guidance and has opened it for public consultation.

The guidance covers the following 10 sections of Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, where Ministers considered that additional guidance to local authorities would be helpful:

  • Section 110 – Offer to lease allotment
  • Section 111 – Duty to maintain list
  • Section 112 – Duty to provide allotments
  • Section 114 – Access to allotment and allotment site
  • Sections 115 and 116 – Allotment site regulations; allotment site regulations: further provision
  • Section 119 – Duty to prepare food-growing strategy
  • Section 120 – Duty to review food-growing strategy
  • Section 123 – Delegation of management of allotment sites
  • Section 124 – Promotion and use of allotments: expenditure

 

Those of you who responded to the previous consultation last autumn may have already received notice of this consultation which is aimed significantly but not exclusively at Local Authorities.  As in any negotiating situation not all of SAGS’ concerns have been met.  Once we have considered our response to the issues we will post our suggestions on this web site.  We will also contact as many of you as we can to ask for your further support. Our aim is to ensure the Guidance will support the direction Local Authorities will take to ensure Part 9 meets the needs of allotments in the future.

Go to this page : https://consult.gov.scot/food-and-drink/part-9-allotments/

Here you can read about the consultation, download the draft guidance document and the consultation document and click a link to fill in your responses on line.