Rival gardeners' olive branch
RIVAL groups of gardeners are hoping the ground has been laid for more fruitful relations amid the allotments.Trouble came in spades between members of the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotment Association amid claims of poorly maintained sites, vacant plots left to grow wild and lax financial management.
RIVAL groups of gardeners are hoping the ground has been laid for more fruitful relations amid the allotments.
Trouble came in spades between members of the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Allotment Association amid claims of poorly maintained sites, vacant plots left to grow wild and lax financial management.
These issues came to a head at the associations annual meeting where rebels set out their stall against current committee members.
Around 200 people packed the Kings Centre in Yarmouth for the association's annual meeting on Friday night.
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It was the first time that all members had been to able vote, which was previously restricted to a small group of shareholders.
Last week the Mercury reported on the growing controversy which had badly divided the association.
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Leading rebel Arthur Fisk was elected vice chairman at the meeting after conducting a high profile campaign against the way the association was run.
Mr Fisk, who resigned from the committee last month, lost out on the position of chairman to John Baldry by just one vote.
He said: “There is a mood for change and now we can move forward have a more positive attitude and get things done.
“We did the homework and the members responded, they wanted change and I am pleased to have got elected, the old cloth cap image of allotment holders has gone now.
“It is a priority to work out how to bring vacant sites back into use - there is a lot of work to be done over the next two to three years.”
The Mercury reported last week on the state of the Fremantle Road allotments where Mr Fisk claimed there were around 60 vacant plots that had been left to grow wild and more than 100 in total.
New secretary Sandra Jarvis, who was supported by Mr Fisk in the election, said: “An awful lot of allotments are not being used and need to be bought back into use particularly in these economic times when people are feeling the pinch.
“Allotments are increasingly popular with people of all ages and we are hoping to get more young families and community groups involved.
“There are lots of issues bubbling around no-one wants to see these allotments lying around unused.”
Long standing committee member Mary Morgan was also hoping that the election would usher in a new more productive era for allotment holders.
“There are lots of difficulties to be resolved - it is not going to be easy, but has to be sorted for the long term benefit of the association.
“There are issues some of them personal, I think the election results reflected the balance of opinion amongst members.”