In 2008 States of Jersey Economic Development Department (EDD), in acknowledgement of an emerging demand, identified allotments as a specific typology in the IPR Green Paper, and made the decision to set up a Working Party under the chairmanship of Royal Horticultural Society member Jeff Hathaway to explore the issue.
The Chairman’s report was subsequently handed over to Economic Development in July 2009.
However the Report’s proposal of setting up a States funded body to oversee the introduction of allotments was rejected due to the concerns regarding the proposed management structure and funding.
Counter concerns were raised by the Reports’ author with regard to a competing proposal from the Royal Jersey Agricultural & Horticultural Society which came under Economic Development consideration even though the contents were never released to the Working Party. The primary concern being that it the Society had at least confirmed that as a pre-requisite to acquiring a plot, a potential plotholder would be obliged to join the Society. A further concern was the general expertise of the Society since it had no obvious affiliation with an established allotments organisation from which it could draw advice. It was also unclear as to which ‘rule book’ would apply to plot-ownership together with the status of groups, such as schools and existing associations, with regard to insurance, specific requirement, management control, and general conditions, or indeed restrictions, of tenancy.
Therefore a voluntary steering group, made up of management professionals, supported by a number of politicial representatives, formed the Jersey Allotment & Leisure Gardening Association, to oversee the creation of Jersey’s first ‘true’ allotment site at Les Creux, St. Brelade, as a flagship development and also to act as a focal point of enquiry for those looking for a plot and landowners looking for rental income from suitable land elsewhere in Jersey.
The steering group, with the invaluable professional assistance of the well-respected Jersey law firm of Le Gallais and Luce, formed JALGA as Purpose Trust and established a constitution that would allow the Association to secure working funds and create a democratic foundation through which individual plotholder groups of any kind would be able to determine and influence the future development of allotments in Jersey.