Complaints and disputes involving allotment societies
The Barnet Allotment Federation cannot intervene in complaints or disputes arising from the running of individual allotment sites and societies. Each society is responsible for managing its site and should have procedures in place to deal with any complaints and disputes that may arise, whether these involve their own tenants or third parties such as neighbours.
However, prior to societies taking over the management of their sites from Barnet Council the Federation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the council that is supported by detailed guidance to societies on the handling of complaints. The MoU was signed off in April 2013.
The guidance provides that:
- all societies should set and follow their own complaints procedures;
- these procedures should incorporate both an initial investigation process (stage 1) and a review process (stage 2); and
- the Barnet Council’s Corporate Complaints process (stage 3) can be accessed when a complaint has not been resolved locally.
It is therefore important that any complaint or dispute is first taken up with the society concerned – contact details for Barnet’s allotment sites can be found here.
In addition, where complaints or disputes remain unresolved locally the Federation may, at the request of a society’s officers, arrange for an independent review of the complaint or dispute to be carried out. This service is available only to the Federation’s member societies – it cannot be accessed by individual complainants.
At the request of a society, the Federation provides the services of an independent person to undertake the stage 2 review of action taken and/or decisions made by the society in relation to a complaint or dispute. The review service functions solely to provide an independent, personal opinion on an unresolved complaint or dispute. The service is intended to assist the parties involved to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion and does not prevent a complainant from accessing the Council’s Corporate Complaints process where a complaint or dispute cannot be resolved locally.