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Meet The Committee

Chair: Carolyn Mann

I joined the Allotment Society to get close to nature, enjoy some fresh air and exercise, and to have the opportunity to grow vegetables as organically as possible. Those reasons are unchanged after 15 or so years. For me, the allotments provide an escape from the pressures of work and the stresses of life and provide a haven for wildlife. I would like to see the allotment community thrive and attract new members for many years to come.

 

With a degree in Environmental Science, over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry as a project manager and having served on several committees in a voluntary capacity, I know what it takes to organise and manage the various competing demands of such an organisation and to introduce the right balance of governance to ensure its smooth and effective running.

I would like to strengthen the allotment community, building on a foundation of core values that reflect a modern, diverse society and putting members and the environment at front and centre.

 

Deputy Chair & Secretary: Rob Chapelo

Content pending.

 

Membership Secretary: Pete Griffin

Content pending.

 

Treasurer: Martin Hurst

Martin is a familiar face at the allotments, having tended his plot for more than 12 years. He took over as Treasurer from John Shuttleworth in 2010 and with 45 years experience of running various companies, working with financial directors; Martin had a basic grasp of what was required.

“It has been a pleasure to take on the role; I really have been thankful of the support that I have received from all the other committee members and of Tony Parsons our auditor.”

The changes that Martin has instigated are mainly involved in keeping up with modern technology – computerised accounts (and regularly backed up on memory stick), members details on a database. He is also looking into making the members yearly payments easier through internet banking, direct debits or Standing orders… details to all members when set up.

Martin has also taken over as our representative on BLAST (Bringing Leamington’s Allotment Societies Together) which has been set up to act as a local co-coordinating body to fight any development of any of the allotments in our area.

 

Communications: Heather Manning

I have belonged to the Binswood Allotment Society since the year 2000. Our next door but one neighbour, Geoff Southgate, had a plot come available near him and thought it was something my husband and I might be interested in. I was working at Marks & Spencer’s Head Office in the Food Quality Control Kitchens and commuted to London daily. I love food and cooking and just needed to learn how to grow it.

 

I believe we all collectively have so much to give whether it be on advice for growing, where to buy things from, or to how better plan our plots. I know I have often
learned most through the mistakes made. Working together we
can only be stronger, whether that be through collective purchasing or the care we take over our plots and the society as a whole.

Having been a long standing member of the society I think it is my turn to give something more back by joining the committee.

 

Infrastructure: Jeff Challis

Content Pending

 

Members

Peter Manning: How does one come to have an allotment? Well it helps if you’ve got the idea; my dad had one and so I guess I grew up with the beetroot, carrots and so on. Then you move to Leamington and your neighbour talks up the virtues of having an allotment and offers you a plot that is next to his. Here we are twenty years later, thank you to Geoff Southgate, who some of you will remember very well. There is no hiding behind the fact that my wife, Heather, has the green fingers in the family and I support with watering, digging, cutting grass, so that she can focus on the real business of growing things.

For the past twenty-seven years I have been a secondary school teacher. In earlier days of theology and philosophy and in more recent times of psychology. Since 2003 I have been the head of Psychology at King Henry VIII school in Coventry. During some of that time I was the union representative for what was then called the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and helped drive through union recognition by the employer. This time gave me an appreciation that the best outcomes are arrived at if we listen carefully to each other and find the well-reasoned way forward. It is not about making demands but working cooperatively for the best possible outcomes.