Site Rep Elections - Proposal For Discussion Jan 2020
“What’s the point?”
“Allotments aren’t political we just want to grow vegetables!”
We hear these kind of responses quite a lot when we ask people about Site Rep elections!
It does seem like a lot of effort and bureaucracy to organise elections for Site Reps especially when it’s so hard to get people to volunteer to do the role anyway! However, it is a requirement of the Councils Allotment Strategy that Site Reps are elected and it’s our job at BHAF to try and implement this with the Council.
Site Reps give up a lot of their own time and BHAF wants to make clear how much we appreciate them and the work they do. The Councils funding has been massively reduced over the last decade and our Allotment Service would be in a much much poorer state without them!
Site reps were historically just appointed by the Allotment Officer. However, as the name implies, part of their role is representing plot holders. Sometimes the Council will consult the Site Reps and the BHAF Committee on issues affecting all plot holders and take that as meaning they have consulted the plot holders representatives. So the Allotment Strategy requires that Site Reps should be elected (As the BHAF Committee is) to ensure they actually are representing the wishes of their plot holders.
There should also be a way of another plot holder being able to take on the role if a majority of those on site would like a change. That rarely happens, but there should be a mechanism for it. As we said before the vast majority of Site Reps do an excellent job and their plot holders are very happy with them. So we do not foresee actual elections happening very often.