New Management Arrangements – Feb 1st 2024


Dear Tenant,

We hope you have received the official announcement from Stansted Mountfitchet Parish Council about new arrangements for managing the Elms Farm site, which commences on Feb 1st. There are inevitably questions surrounding this, so we hope we can address most of them here.


Since the Elms Farm allotment site was set up for the benefit of the Stansted Mountfitchet community, it has been run by the Parish Council. There has also been an Elms Farm Allotments Association (EFAA), which was set up to represent plot holders. Every plot holder is automatically a member of the Association. Initially, the EFAA took on raising funds and applying for grants to fund the compost toilet and other associated works. In the last couple of years, membership of the EFAA has changed, with members voted onto the committee at last year’s annual general meeting. A complete list of current committee members is listed below.

Until recently, the Parish Council employed an Allotments Officer part-time to manage tenancy agreements, annual payments, site management, etc. She has now left her role. Having researched how many other parish councils run allotment sites, it was always their vision to have the site managed by an Allotment Association, i.e., the tenants on site.

The Parish Council approached the committee back in November. The EFAA is an elected group, all plot holders, and therefore, much more closely connected to the site. We can chat with plot holders on site, respond to issues more rapidly and aim to create a more inclusive environment for everyone.


From Feb 1st, we will be responsible for:

1. In consultation with the Parish Council, we will be updating the Tenancy Agreement before issuing and managing this, along with the schedule. The proposed agreement for 2025 has already been advised, and we are open to any comments/suggestions for amendments to future agreements or changes to Schedule 1.

2. Managing the budget for the site, which includes payments received from plot holders each year, paying for water, grass cutting and other maintenance work, and any improvements to the site.

3. Doing regular inspections and talking to plot holders about any problems they have managing their plots. Where necessary, ask plot holders to vacate if they are unable to manage their plot to the standard set out in the agreement. We know this process has been the subject of much discussion and wish to make it easier, more friendly, transparent and effective. We’ll be setting out a proposal for how we’d like to do this over the next few weeks.

4. Managing the waiting list for plots and on-boarding new plot holders when plots become vacant.

5. Keeping plot holders informed and being available to answer any questions you have.

Nothing much has changed with regards to how the site is managed, but obviously, this new arrangement is an opportunity to discuss some of the more contentious issues like inspections & vacating plots, site safety & security and introducing new facilities that will benefit all plot holders like general waste removal, manure deliveries and so on. The new arrangement gives all of us more say in this and will lead to a better site for everyone.

The EFAA belongs to ALL plot holders. Everyone can comment, make suggestions, attend the AGM in April and put themselves forward to join the committee. We want this to be inclusive and for everyone to feel we are working on their behalf.


There are many different views in our community, and someone has to find a balance where issues are raised and decisions are made. Not everyone will agree with every decision, but hopefully, a democratically-elected committee will have the support of all plot holders as we try to improve the site.

Where a complaint is raised, or a decision is disputed, the EFAA committee will aim to listen to all parties involved and give a considered response. If we cannot resolve an issue, we have the support of the Parish Council, who have agreed to act as mediators if needed. We feel this provides an appropriate and workable balance.


Over the next few weeks, we have several activities that we’ll be undertaking:

1. A skip has been arranged to allow plot holders to get rid of waste. This will be delivered to the car park in the next few days and will be there for a month. Currently, it is a one-off experiment to see if it is useful. Providing it is needed and not abused, then it could be a regular service.

2. Bark chipping deliveries will continue, and manure deliveries will commence with dedicated storage areas for these somewhere close to the car park.

3. An additional water trough will be installed in the centre of the site to give more plot holders easy access to mains water.

4. Following discussions and consultations, we’ll produce a report on on-site security and implement ways to deter the theft and vandalism we experienced over the past year.

5. We’ll conduct a Spring site inspection and work with plot holders struggling to bring plots up to a reasonable standard. We’ll also allocate the 5 currently empty plots to residents on the waiting list and get them on board.

6. We’ll prepare a full report and set of accounts for an AGM in April, to which all plot holders are invited to attend, participate in and put themselves forward to join the committee. The date of the AGM will be advised shortly.

7. We now have an email address where you can comment, make suggestions, raise concerns, etc. Please use this from now on. Committee members are also more than willing to have conversations with individual plot holders.


Plot holder’s contact details are stored and managed under the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations. This is necessary for us to manage the site. We will not share details with any third parties or organisations. We will ONLY use this information to keep you informed about the site and our activities and to get in touch following inspections. If you are concerned about how your contact details are used, please get in touch.


The EFAA is developing a new website with information about the site. This is a work in progress but will evolve over the coming months. Announcements, updates and news will be posted there and notified to you by email.


There is a well-established group on Facebook which is open for discussions, updates, hints & tips, etc. It is run by a couple of experienced plot holders and is a useful resource. However, please be aware that Facebook works in mysterious ways. Not every plot holder uses it, or is listed as a member of that group. And not everyone sees every post or wishes to participate in discussions in a semi-public setting. So please continue to use the group if you wish, but note that all official correspondence will be via the website and by email.


The following plot holders are currently on the EFAA committee and meet every 2-3 months. We will issue newsletters periodically to keep everyone updated on what we’re doing.

Chair: Richard Haywood, Plot 9b
Secretary: Anne Wilkinson, Plot 22a
Gerred Gilronan, Plot 8a
Stephen Hume, Plot 13b
Sandra Hume, Plot 13b