Site Rep Elections
Edit 2021 : Allotment Associations at larger sites are still electing their own Site Reps as usual. City wide site rep elections for smaller sites are currently not happening as BHAF are waiting for the Council to respond to our suggestions for a uniform, city wide process. That discussion will be happening as part of the Strategy Delivery Plan which is due to take place in 2021.
In many cases it is quite hard to find people willing to take on the voluntary role of Site Rep. However seeing as part of this role is to represent the plot holders at each site, there should be an election process so that the Site Rep has a proper mandate, and at sites where there are more prospective candidates than Site Rep positions, an election should take place. This is a requirement of the allotment strategy of 2014.
We wish to thank Site Reps for their hard work throughout the year and hopes the election process will endorse Site Reps and give them greater backing in their role or alternatively opens up the role to fresh volunteers.
From the Allotment Strategy 2014-2024
Appendix 5: Recommendations on the role of Site Reps – further detail
The following detail supports these recommendations:
· If possible each site should have at least one site representative. Larger sites will need more than one.
· There should be clear mechanisms for appointment, working towards all site representatives being elected.
· On sites where there is a society or association it should be a responsibility of that body to organize the election. The society should take account of the fact that not all plot holders may be society members. Nominations and voting for Site Representatives should be open to all plot holders. If no candidates come forward then BHAF should appoint one directly.
· On sites where there is no society or association, elections should be organized by the Allotments Officer in conjunction with the Allotments Federation.
Brighton & Hove Site Rep Elections
The 2014 Allotment Strategy requires that every Allotment site should have Site Representatives who are elected by the allotment holders at the site.
Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation and Brighton and Hove City Council have ultimate responsibility for elections and ensuring site representatives are elected through a transparent process. However responsibility for site elections can be devolved to site associations or similar bodies, where these exist.
All allotment holders should be given the opportunity to stand as a candidate for the election. Allotment holders are a diverse bunch and diversity in site representation is encouraged.
Re-elections should take place every 2 years or when a site rep hands in their resignation, whichever is sooner. If a Site Rep leaves mid term, the Association or Allotment Officer can appoint someone pending an election at the next AGM. On some larger sites, there may be two or more joint elected representatives.
Allotment Sites with an Allotment Associations traditionally run their own elections for their Site Reps using their own procedures. BHAF procedures require that nominations should be called for well in advance of the AGM, (4 weeks is suggested) this should be done by using posters on gates and noticeboards and if possible emailing plot holders. Every effort should be made to inform all plot holders that nominations for site reps are open. Nominations should be made to the Association Chairman / Secretary or Election Coordinator. If there are more nominations than site rep positions an election should take place. Elections can take place at the Association AGM. Every effort should be made to invite all plot holders to the AGM.
The below process, which was the process for smaller sites without an Association is currently not happening due to problems in its implementation. We are hoping to agree a new procedure with the Council in 2021
When an election process starts, notices should be displayed on the gates of the site calling for nominations, and if possible an email sent to all tenants at the site.
Current Site Reps are automatically nominated unless they ask otherwise.
In the event of only as many nominations being received as there are elected places, that person(s) will be elected unopposed, and an election will not take place. If there are more nominations than Site Rep places then an election will take place.
After the nomination process is complete, and an election is required, the voting process will take place. There will be another poster displayed on each gate of the allotment site, for a minimum of 4 weeks, asking for votes for the candidates, an email will be sent to all tenants that we have email addresses for. The vote will be by replying to an email from BHAF or responding to a postal vote which will be advertised as above and monitored by either the local Allotment Association or the BHAF. The address to send your vote will be on the posters or email. Postage costs for postal voting will be the responsibility of the allotment holder.
There will be one vote per plot, by the named tenant. (Edit: and only one vote per tenant)
Email voters will reply to the BHAF email with their vote. Postal voters will supply their name and plot number and the name of the candidate they are voting for. Plot numbers and all other voting details will be kept confidential.
The votes will be opened and counted by BHAF and Council representatives and the result announced.