The allotment AGM was last night and I returned home stricken with guilt. A new rule was voted in...I'll spare you the more complicated details but basically it extended the committee power to chuck persistent slackers off their plot. "Terminate membership of the society", is the politer way.
At the moment it can take up to a year to evict someone. If you put your name on the waiting list for a plot today you would be No 67 on the list. Allowing for deaths and people giving up plots we turn over about three per year on average. Now the waiting list does get reviewed regularly and folk do drop off it for various reasons but you'd still be looking at waiting 12+ years for a plot. So it's not really great to have a plot going to rack and ruin for a year while we work through the set process of eviction. We want it to take a maximum of six months. (I'm on the committee, btw.) There is a system of verbal and written warnings, a right of appeal and the committee always takes a sympathetic view of good reasons for a messy plot, such as illness or bereavement. Always. It needs a majority vote to even start the process of verbal warnings, and almost always that's all it takes to get a plot holder to pull their socks up a bit.
Well. I've never been to such a lively meeting. Some of the members (who had been sent a letter saying this new rule was going to be proposed) were up in arms at "Draconian measures." "Committee gone power mad." Etc. And these were from the members who had bothered to turn up, the ones who take an interest in the Society and almost to a man (or women) folk who had never been sent a dirty plot letter in their lives. The black sheep had stayed at home...
Anyway, after the most exciting AGM in decades the vote was taken and the new proposal carried. And this morning I scurried up to my plot and did a bit of tidying up, lol, because it's a bit of a mess have to say. I wasn't the only one. And I've never been sent a dirty plot letter in my life either. Guilty conscience or what???