Plot monitoring and inspection processes
Following a committee meeting last year, it was decided that a clear outline of the process of plot monitoring and inspection should be shared with all BGAA plot holders.
The monitoring is delegated to three members of the committee who begin the process each May and do further monitoring visits of the whole site during July and September.
The criteria informing the monitoring visits is taken from MCC’s Rules and Regulations – the Green Book (click here to download from our website) – which all those who rent a plot sign, and therefore agree to abide by, each year. The monitoring form derived from the book is being published below so everyone can see those criteria.
Plot Inspection Criteria
Once the visits are done, the decisions of the monitoring group are shared with the Secretary and s/he then communicates the results to plot holders. Where improvements are needed, this will be detailed in an email / letter. Plot holders will be given 28 days to make the improvements needed and will be re-inspected by the monitoring group on a follow up visit. Failure to make the required improvements means that the plot holder is at risk of having their tenancy terminated.
There is an official 28 day notice letter that may be received by any plot holder following any of the monitoring visits done. Universally, this causes upset, but the purpose of restating these processes is to ensure that everyone understands that, unless plots are kept under cultivation according to the agreement made between plot holders and MCC each year, tenancy agreements can legitimately be ended and plot holders will be asked to leave. We are publishing the standard 28 day letter now for plot holders’ information. There are two versions of the first line: either “Your plot requires improvement” or “Your plot is inadequately cultivated”.
There is, of course, a right of appeal following any issuing of a 28 day notice or an ending of a tenancy. The process for this is to contact the Secretary or Chair who will arrange a meeting of three different committee members to review the findings of the monitoring group and any information from the plot holder given as part of the appeal. The outcome of this meeting will be communicated to the plot holder as soon as a decision has been reached.
It is very important to note that these communications are not personal from any individual; any person elected to the committee undertakes to work on behalf of MCC under the terms of the Green Book rules and the BGAA constitution.
The role of Secretary in the process of monitoring plots has been described above and is, in summary, to communicate with plot holders. It can be, and has been in the past, easy for someone, upset at the outcomes, to be abusive or angry with the person acting in this role. This will not be tolerated; not only is it inappropriate, it is also against MCC policy and is, in itself, a reason to have a tenancy terminated.
We hope you continue to enjoy your plot. If you are having any problems please get in touch to let us know sooner rather than later.
Kate Shaw Chair Brighton Grove Allotments