Peter Wright gave an appraisal of the FEDAGA year at the AGM:
As we still do not have a President I, as the acting Chairman have been asked to give an overview of this year’s committee. I will use the headings we have for the Management Committee meetings and give a very brief review of our discussions.
Flower Show: see separate report.
FEDAGA/City of Edinburgh Council Liaison (CEC) Meeting.
These have continued throughout the year. The main concern has been vandalism and improved security. Work has and is being done on various sites. Site associations should get their wish lists in to the Management Committee so that they can be progressed and monitored. Since 1993 the Council has spent on average £27,000 per annum on capital improvements, a total in excess of £400,000. Green waste going into land fill is a big concern and needs to be reduced.
CEC Neighbourhood Partnerships and Community Councils.
We encourage members to get on these organisations and promote allotments. These are good forums to highlight allotments and any problems they face, as meetings will be attended by both the elected representatives and officials.
We have been actively monitoring planning applications. We have lobbied for the return of Balgreen Allotments and have been involved with the proposal to develop a Green Corridor through Leith Links site. We have obtained provisional extensions and a potential new site to three areas alongside the tramway route, at Carrick Knowe and Saughton Drive Allotments.
The Strategy Steering Group are working on Phase 2 of the Edinburgh Allotment Strategy. It is hoped to publish this in the middle of next year. It will build on the success of the first Strategy Report (published as "Cultivating Communities").
Our aims are to:
Extend existing sites and open new sites.
Raise standards, and ensure the Site Inspection Procedure is used correctly.
Educate plot holders.
Build on the success of Cultivating Communities.
Develop a new site at Cammo Walled Garden, with CEC and the National Trust for Scotland (who own the site).
Pursue involvement with the NHS for allotment sites at hospitals.
Scottish Allotments and Gardens Society Report.
SAGS has been leading nationally on issues affecting Scottish allotments. The CoSLA document “Guidance to Local Authorities on Allotments” was printed by SAGS and distributed. Advice and help is given to sites in distress and those seeking land for new sites. We are lucky to have a supportive Council in Edinburgh. Reacting to SAGS lobbying, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Richard Lochhead, has issued a press release asking local authorities to look at publicly owned land for use as allotment sites.
This year has seen greater emphasis on composting and the benefits to the soil that compost can bring.
The Association representatives who sit on the Management Committee can discuss their particular site problems with the other reps. However there is a problem with those sites which are either not represented or do not communicate with FEDAGA. One site has not been cashing their rebate cheques for Association funds, but we think that problem has been solved. The charity Scotland’s Garden Scheme now has two allotment sites in Edinburgh as part of their scheme.
Keep Edinburgh Growing.
The Council did not sponsor the competition this year and we could not get sufficient volunteers to run it ourselves.
The newsletter is issued twice a year. The editor, Maggie Sinclair, will be grateful for any articles. Suggested length: 300 words or thereabouts. Also, we now have a FEDAGA banner for use at events where the public are involved. Members of the Management Committee manned a stand at Garden Scotland at Ingleston and met lots of potential plot holders.
Finally, on behalf of all plot holders in Edinburgh and District, can I thank a very dedicated hard working committee of volunteers.