Allotment changes proposed

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News release: 16 July 2018

Regular meetings of allotment holders and Councillors in the St Albans District should take place to ensure issues are dealt with swiftly.

allotment
Called the Allotments Forum, the new group would meet once or twice a year to discuss the management of sites owned by St Albans City and District Council.

The initiative is one of four changes put forward by the Council’s Allotments Task and Finish Group to improve the sites for the benefit of plot holders.

Another measure is the implementation of a set of new rules, drafted by the Group, to govern the use of the sites.

The Group’s findings were reported to a meeting of the Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 12 July.

It also recommended allocating more funds of around £1,000-a-year towards maintenance as current budgets were said to be insufficient to restore neglected plots. 

The final initiative was a proposal to improve the effectiveness of notices served on allotment holders who have failed to cultivate their plots.

These notices, it has been suggested, should remain active rather than be suspended during the non-growing period.

The Committee accepted all the recommendations which will now be considered for approval either by the Council’s Cabinet or the City Neighbourhoods Committee (CNC).

The CNC oversees community assets in eight wards in St Albans including ten of the Council’s eleven allotment sites.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, the Committee’s Chair, said: “The Task and Finish Group carried out an exhaustive inquiry into how our allotment sites are managed and clearly there is room for improvement.

“In particular, we want to see more interaction between the plot holders and the Council so we can work in close partnership to enhance the sites. The Allotments Forum is an excellent idea to ensure there is a regular exchange of views.

“The new rules will also ensure allotment holders will have a clear idea as to their rights and responsibilities.

“I very much hope the Cabinet and the CNC will accept all the recommendations that have been made, so we can move forward.”

There are more than 30 other allotment sites in the District with 29 owned by Parish Councils and two sites owned by Highfield Park Trust.

Councillor contact:
Anthony Rowlands, Chair of the Community, Environment and Sport Scrutiny Committee of St Albans City and District Council. Tel: 07761-232064 Email: anthonyrowlands@hotmail.com

Contact for the media:
John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer, St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 296130