Allotments Tripartite meeting minutes: August 2016

Minutes from the Allotments Tripartite meeting held on 4 August 2016.

Attendees and apologies


  • Joanne Boyle (Chair, Scottish Government)
  • Robin MacLean (Note, Scottish Government)
  • Neil McAteer
  • Peter Duncan
  • Ian Woolard
  • Alison Swanson
  • Mark Thirgood
  • Judy Wilkinson


  • Alexander Paterson
  • Ian Welsh

Items and actions

1. Introduction

1.1. Joanne Boyle welcomed the group and introductions were made.

2. Previous minutes

2.1. Minutes from the previous meeting were accepted by the group. It came up in discussion that the Group minutes should be published on the SG website.


  • Robin MacLean to explore publishing Tripartite minutes on SG website.

3. Scottish Government update

3.1. Joanne Boyle confirmed that Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, has overall responsibility for Grow-Your-Own, including allotments. Joanne Boyle also confirmed that, more generally, Food & Drink is the responsibility of Fergus Ewing MSP. Both Cabinet Secretaries are currently in the process of meeting key stakeholders.

3.2. Joanne Boyle discussed the recent Brexit vote and spoke about what the Scottish Government is doing in response. Members of the Tripartite Group were encouraged to communicate with SG about how the vote will affect them, positively and negatively.


  • Robin MacLean to collate responses.

3.3. Joanne Boyle informed the meeting that Mike Palmer, interim Deputy Director (DD) for Food & Drink, will be returning to Marine Scotland in the next few weeks. SG are currently advertising for a permanent replacement.


  • Robin Maclean to inform the group once permanent DD in place.

3.4. Robin MacLean updated the group about progress on Part 9 secondary legislation (Compensation & Transitional arrangements). Robin MacLean told members that SG Legal Division (SGLD) are still working on the complex transitional arrangements and the compensation work is still parked for the time being.


  • Robin MacLean to work with SGLD to revise timeline for secondary legislation.

3.5. Peter Duncan spoke about his Food Growing Strategy work; he has received returns about who will be taking this work forward in every Scottish local authority. In the coming weeks, Peter Duncan and Robin MacLean will be engaging LAs in order to discuss this work and its requirement under Section 119 of Part 9.

4. Guidance Consultation

4.1. The subgroups spoke about their progress towards developing material for the SG consultation on guidance for local authorities. Several issues were discussed including:

  • waiting lists
  • disposal of allotment sites
  • leases
  • managed vs. non-managed sites
  • dispute resolution
  • Asset Transfer
  • SGLD input to guidance material

4.2. An important question arose in regards to whether there is a potential risk that, should a community use Asset transfer to take over a local authority owned allotment site, it could threaten the legal protection of that site, in that it would no longer be local authority owned. There is a risk that such a site could become potentially anything other than an allotment because there would no longer be a need for prior Ministerial consent, as is the protection afforded to proposed change of use of local authority owned allotments under Part 9.


  • Robin MacLean to seek views from SG policy lead for Asset Transfer.

4.3. It was agreed that the subgroups will share their work in order to allow other members to contribute further comments and ideas for consideration. A collective action for subgroups is to submit their contributions to Robin MacLean by the end of August 2016.


  • Robin MacLean to collect and disseminate subgroup material to Tripartite members.

5. AOB

5.1. The group spoke briefing about Open Space Strategies and, in relation specifically to allotments, whether these would be replaced by food growing strategies.


  • Robin MacLean & Peter Duncan to discuss the issue with relevant SG Policy leads.

6. Date of Next Meeting

6.1. Robin MacLean to send Doodle Poll for next meeting.

Summary of action points:

  • Explore publishing Tripartite minutes on SG website - Robin MacLean
  • Collate responses from group on Brexit vote - Robin MacLean
  • Inform the group once permanent Deputy Director in place - Robin MacLean
  • Work with SGLD to revise timeline for secondary legislation - Robin MacLean
  • Seek views from SG policy lead for Asset Transfer - Robin MacLean
  • Collect and disseminate subgroup material to Tripartite members - Robin MacLean
  • Discuss the issue with relevant SG Policy leads - Robin MacLean & Peter Duncan



Telephone: 0300 244 9574

Scottish Government
Food, Drink and Trade
B1 Spur
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD

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