Hosepipe Use

REMINDER:

Hosepipes must only be used for filling water butts and containers.  You must not use them to directly water your plot.  Sprinklers are strictly prohibited.

This is for several reasons:

  • Using a hosepipe for extended periods means that other plot holders cannot get water.
  • Watering with a hosepipe is inefficient and leads to excessive water consumption, much of which is lost to evaporation.
  • Excessive water usage may lead to a water shortage and a hosepipe ban in times of drought.

The National Allotment Society website has more information on Gardening In A Drought which offers some helpful advice.

Inspection Notices

Plot inspections have recently taken place across most sites.  Some tenants will have received a letter from us telling them that they need to improve the condition of their plot.  But what does this mean?  We ask that at least 25% of a plot is cultivated as set out below.

Weed Suppressant - York Allotments

The tenant must demonstrate that they are maintaining their plot in a cultivatable state. This means that they are:

  • making every effort to control weed growth
  • preparing the soil for sowing or planting
  • planting out new crops during the growing season or maintaining perennials such as fruit bearing shrubs or trees

The use of weed suppressant covering by tenants is permitted in the following circumstances:

  • to prepare an overgrown plot for cultivation (weed suppressant coverings should not normally be in place for more than 12 months)
  • on a temporary basis for small areas of the plot (not exceeding 50% of the total area) not currently being used for growing
  • in the event of a prolonged absence, either due to illness or circumstances beyond the plot holders control, larger proportions of covering are permitted providing the tenant makes arrangements for YACIO to be notified.

Allotments Photography Project

In conjunction with a nationally exhibited photographer Dan May, we’re looking to start a project photographing allotment holders and their plots. The aim is to provide a record of York allotments and the people who cultivate them in 2018 and, hopefully, stage an exhibition of the photographs in the city later this year.

Dan is keen to meet allotment holders old and new and hear their stories and record them in photographs. He would particularly like to hear from groups of plotholders or meet those with more ‘unusual’ plots or allotment stories. Dan is a professional photographer and will ensure all photos are taken with consent. All photos taken will also be available for YACIO to use for promotional purposes.

If you or perhaps a group of plotholders or an allotment association would like to be involved, please contact danmayphotography@gmail.com for further information.

Bloom Festival

You may already have heard about the Bloom Festival taking place in York between 5th and 8th July.

York Allotments (YACIO) will be participating at two events. The first is the Shambles Flower Market on Sunday 8th July where we will have a stall to promote allotments in the city. We need helpers to staff the stall, if you can help, even for just an hour or two please email
 contact@yorkallotments.org

We are also able to sell surplus allotment produce from the stall. If you’ve a glut of anything that would otherwise go to waste please also let us know. All monies raised will support allotment good causes.

York Allotments YACIO Allotment Shed

The second Bloom event we’re involved in, along with Edible York, is an Edible Gardening Question Time. This will take place on Thursday 5th July at Bootham School. Doors open from 6pm for light refreshments, question time begins at 7pm.

The event will be chaired by former BBC gardening presenter Wil Jenkyn with a panel of four experienced local allotment holders ready to answer your questions. If you’ve any tricky growing problems on the plot this is a chance to get some expert advice.

GDPR – Important Information

As you may be aware the law on Data Protection is changing. Since we hold data about all of our tenants we need to be clear with you what data we hold, and for what purpose, and why we think this is legitimate.

We hold data that you supplied to us or to the City of York Council when you applied for a tenancy. This is basic contact information and may include other details such as your age or if you are on benefits. We use this information for the effective administration of the charity and to give us information which forms the basis of the contract (tenancy).

In addition to this we keep records of contacts we have with you; for example if you make an enquiry and we reply we keep a note of that enquiry and what we said in response.  This helps us run the charity effectively.

All of this information is held securely on a data base which is ‘GDPR compliant’.  This simply means that it is structured in a way that fulfills the requirements of the new laws on data protection. In future we will allow site secretaries to access records only for those tenants who have plots on their sites.  If the site secretary cannot access the database we might provide them with basic contact information for tenants on their sites as a printed list. They will keep this information securely.

If you give up your tenancy we will keep some information to help, for example should you reapply for an allotment.

Under no circumstances will we sell on your data to any other organisation.

We are taking advice as to whether there are circumstances under which the Emergency Services or City of York Council (as the Landlord) might oblige us to pass on your contact data.

If you have any concerns about our holding of your data or the use we put it to then do feel free to contact us.

 

Invoicing Reminders

Final reminders for all outstanding invoices have gone out this week.  If you believe you have already paid please get in touch.

If you have not received your bill or new tenancy agreement yet this year please get in touch urgently as we will not have the correct contact information on file for you and you may be at risk of losing your allotment unless you get in touch.

If you have paid your invoice at the Post Office you MUST return your cash paying in slip to us as requested or we cannot assign your payment to your customer account.

If you have yet to pay your invoice you can pay online, send a cheque by post, or contact the Administrator for a special paying in slip to pay by cash at a local post office.

New Charity Takes Over Management of York Allotments from Council

On 1st November York Allotments Charitable Incorporated Organisation (YACIO) took over the lease to all of the allotment sites across York that have previously been run by City of York Council.  YACIO will now be responsible for the day to day running of the sites in order to avoid increasing rent for tenants and safeguard the future of the allotment sites.

The charity was set up following a lengthy consultation process, initiated by the Council in October 2016, involving plot holders from across York. Following this a Committee of Trustees, all current allotment holders, volunteered to run the new charity, which was approved by the Charity Commission in August 2017.  All allotment holders will automatically be members of this new charity and able to vote at the AGM.

YACIO plan that no rent increases will occur until 2020 at the earliest.  By keeping costs low the Trustees are seeking to deliver the allotment service within budget, avoiding the £17,000 deficit faced by the Council.  The Trustees will be supported by a part time Administrator and the continuing help and support of the established network of volunteer Site Secretaries across York.

“YACIO are committed to ensuring a smooth continuity of service for all of our tenants and with the many years of experience between the Trustees and the support of the Site Secretaries we aim to deliver a real improvement in the service for all plot holders.”

-Tony Chalcraft, Chair of the Trustees

To find out more about how the Charity will be run visit our About page.