Allotments could be facing a major problem. The government has decided to undertake a “Review of statutory duties” with the aim of reducing the burden on local authorities. I think most of us would agree a good idea in theory – especially if it brings the council tax down.
However they considering removing the statutory duty to provide sufficient number of allotments for people in the area who want one. This would have the effect of putting all allotments under threat!
There is a consultation process but it closes on 25th April 2011 so you need to act now and let the politicians know that allotments are important and we should be protected.
You can email your comments to: email@example.com or write to them on paper
Review of Statutory Burdens Team
Department for Communities and Local Government
3/H6 Eland House
London SW1E 5DU
You should also write to your MP – there’s a great site to help you here: WriteToThem
Look at the Government’s web page on “Review of statutory duties placed on local government“. Then fill in the “Statutory duties webform” which is in the top right-hand corner. The webform is a bit confusing, so here are some model answers which you can use.
Please act now!
There is more information on the NSALG web site and thanks to the Hollin Lane Allotments web site for their informative posting and model answers and to Carole Ware and James Driscoll for their emails on this.
Allotments are self sufficient, as well as productive! Let’s not get rid of them, let’s get rid of the “they” that are considering removing the duty. This act was created in 1908 to stop this from happening. Let your government know, NO!
Allotments are vital! As well as food and physical health they provide mental health too. I and several plotholders have got through some gruelling times thanks to the fellowship and support of other plotholders.
ditto liz , please leave well alone
Can you formulate a standard letter that we could cut and paste to our own MP? I don’t really have time to formulate one myself but would like to support the cause. Thanks Jo
Hi Josie, this is what I wrote. I’m glad you are supporting the cause. We’ll need everyone we can get!!!
Dear …. MP,
It has been brought to my attention that Allotments could be facing a
major problem. The government has decided to undertake a “Review of
statutory duties” with the aim of reducing the burden on local
authorities. I think most of us would agree a good idea in theory –
especially if it brings the council tax down.
However they’re considering removing the statutory duty to provide
sufficient number of allotments for people in the area who want one.
This would have the effect of putting all allotments under threat!
I have only recently acquired my own allotment at the beginning on
April and don’t want to loose it again after having been on the waiting
list for years.
I do understand that some tough decisions will have to be made by the
government over the next few years, however I believe that allotments
are so much more than just a place to grow ones own food. They are a
place where I educate my children about real food, composting,
recycling and a way to live more self sufficiently. It is also a way
to get children and adults away from the indoor life, which only leads
to people suffering depression and frustration.
I thank you for taking the time and reading about my concern and trust
that you as my MP will do the right thing to bring it to the attention
of those concerned.
Josie – if you don’t have time to participate in democracy and influencing your representative in parliament, then you will have no right to complain whatever they do.
If you are an MP what will influence you more, people who take the trouble to express their wish or those who managed to cut and paste some formulaic tract?
I have sent a message to the above link, just a few lines, but enough to let my opinions be known. CC
Josie – while I agree with John I think his response is not entirely constructive (sorry John – I’m not trying to divert this thread into an argument). So here’s what I did and it took me about 5 minutes and no paragraph has to be more than a couple of lines (unless you want to bore your MP to death).
Start with an introduction so your MP knows what you’re contacting them about (cut and paste/edit the text at the start of this thread).
Express your understanding and sympathy with the tough decisions that need to be made get them on your side, rather than oppose them).
Express (perhaps with some real examples from your plot/site) how allotments benefit people’s lives in a human way that cost cutting cannot justify. (Jan Barrett’s post hit the nail on the head for me)
End with thanks and some trust that your MP will do the right thing.
we all need to write . we need our plots/beds to grow food we know then it is fresh and safe to eat
Keith, yep that’s the ticket. 🙂
It took me less than 5 mins to fill out the “Statutory duties webform” and, using the links above, I emailed our local MP using the “WriteToThem” link above. If people don’t have time to do this simple task and take a maximum of 15 mins to safe guard their own futures, then what hope have we all got. It took me 4 years to get my allotment and this is our first year on it. I don’t want to lose it now.
Keep us posted please John and I will try and keep updated via the NSALG website too.
We have been trying for years to get our council to provide allotments in the end we have managed to rent a field from a local farmer and organize things ourselves
whilst were on the subject of ‘lets shaft the population a bit more’ i dont know if you all realise that the sale of herbs will be banned across europe by next april! also any culinary herbs that may be beneficial to your health will be re,categorised as a drug or some other category and promptly banned from sale or use. how can they do that you ask? well its already in the pipe line! god bless big pharma and the world health org.you wont be able to buy any herb without their say so at grossly inflated prices.
this comprehensively banishes chinese and ayurvedic herbalists from european shores and western herbalists will need a license at a cost of……wait for it..something in the region of £70–80,000 per herb!
and thats not the half of it! this tradjedy goes by the name of ‘the codex alimentarious’ look it up! who rules the world? large corporations!
Can I just say what has this to do with loosing allotments???????????? sounds like you need to leave the herbs where they are.@anthony edgecombe:
FIRST they take our herbals and now they want the lotties! We need to vote the scum out!!
Cost cutting…[bit rude for a family site, edited out but sentiment agreed with]
/This has got to be stopped. The local Council will see this as
a way of reducing the deficit introduced by the new coalition
party. We have a waiting list of 650 in our area with
massive waiting lists for plots all over the country.
All herbs with a centuries long tradition as being foods will not be touched. We can still buy them, but they will be re labelled as food…instead of a medicinal herb. google edible herbs…you will seee there are MANY MANY herbs still gonna be available, such as rose, lavender, hops, calendula etc, also it is the herbs concentrtated into mg capsules and tabs that will be re branded and given info leaflets so it is safe for the consumer, and they know that herbs uses and contras etc.
ALL herbal skin care and dental care, hair care will NOT be touched it will remain on the shelves!
Herbal tinctures and fluid extracts will be available with companies like A.Vogel, as they are now licensed as are MANY other companies and their products and tincs!
Any comps who cannot afford it will of course simply sell products that are licensed, and this is good, as it means that we know the herbs we buy ready made are what they say on the tin, as many are NOT.
Echinacea, St Johns wort and the like will all still be available, and this also includes resins such as propolis and mhyrr etc. Dried herbs are still good too. And making a tincture is not rocket science!
It is not as bad as it seems, and MANY MANY products will still be available as before. There is alot of scare mongers online! Get the correct info from the right places. All hebral books are still going to be available too…
If you are still concerned then simply do as i am and grow your own, and also forage wild herbs for own use. I do. Also any herbal med that has been used in the UK for 30 years or more will be licensed. It is a slight shame for Ayurvedic meds and chinese but alot of those meds are the herbs spices and fruits you can buy in the supermarket…and as long as you know how much to take for a certain does, it is essentially the same effect as one you bought pre made.
Victoria-hope i helped.
I have emailed my MP then went to the ‘Reducing Burdens’ site. Badly designed, impenetrable jargon, no clarity.
So gave up and emailed my MP again saying how disappointed I was not to be able to participate in the process.
Also emailed my daughter – she has the plot next to mine – forwarding your newsletter.
I find it quite upsetting that people who make comments on forums like this are quite rude about what other people write which is one reason that I rarely join in.However I agree with everyone who are really annoyed about these new proposals,but at this stage they are just that.I have an allotment and I would hate to lose it.As others have said an allotment is almost essential in a community for so many reasons.I have sent an email with my objections and suggest that everyone who is concerned does the same.I feel that this has been kept secret as I wouldn’t have know about it if I hadn’t received this email today.
The more people that create a fuss, the more certain that the politicians will take note and not remove this ‘burden’ from local authorities. In fairness, if they think nobody is bothered about the allotments then it makes sense to turn them into profitable houses or car parks – especially in London.
I’ve proven in the past with my fight for the right to keep hens on the plot that they will take notice if they think people are concerned.
I have sent my concern to my councillors and the link you provided.
I would not have known if you had not have sent me the email.
I have mailed my MP, who always responds in some detail to my letters on environmental issues such as the tuna debate, and have also mailed the ‘burdens’ e-mail address given on this page.
I understand that allotment holders who form an association may apply for Community Asset Transfer, renting the area off the local authority and helping to protect the land from sell off. I would urge all allotments holders who have an association to look into CAT.
This is disgusting. There are allotment holders in my village who have had their land for over 40 years now, and it’s all they have – without this they would have nothing, and no reason to carry on.
Perhaps this is what our government wants, less old people to have to pay pensions to?
i have managed to send an email to my mp. wait and see if i get any response.
i am not very good at writing letters, never know what to say, how to word it, and my spelling isn’t good either which makes it worse for me. i would have used a standard cut and paste form for them reasons.
thank goodness for this site and keeping us all informed on a really important matter. well done folks.
Provision of allotments is a necessary public obligation, along with many of the alleged “burdens” identfied in this proposed review ie.reduction of local government regulations. Many of these, including allotments, were hard won by concerted and sustained action by ordinary women and men concerned to improve and enhance their own lives and those of fellow citizens. They know, from first hand, the cost of most things and the true value of many all.
Many thanks for the e-mail John. I have sent my concerns to the ‘burdens’ site via your link. I have received and auto reply stating that my concerns will be noted as work is taken forward. So we all should ‘let out fingers do the talking’ and write!
Allotments have been a right for may years so why should we be subject to all these changes just to satisfy a few councillors trying to balance their books, who no doubt do not need or have the desire to work a plot.
These people who have allotment some for many year would be lost both financially and in there piece of mind as well as the exercise that we are all constantly nagged to do.
Also a lot of plot holders need their plots especially retired persons to sustain there income and it gives them a feeling of need
First of all I dont have an allotment, I just grow in my garden, due to having a young family. However I hear and talk to a lot of people a lot younger than me I am 50 this year and they love the allotments. What will hapen to run down land it would just look a mess or build new houses then it also takes away peoples hobby, and the Government says lets keep fit and get fresh air. I hope the local council cuts back on their local meeting in hotels with sandwiches teas coffees that would be a bit of funding funding for the allotments.DONT CLOSE THE ALLOTMENTS.
Thank you John, this is the first that I have heard of this situation, as far as I know there isn’t anyone else on our site who has heard either. Thanks also for the help offered in filling out the form, much needed, I don’t speak governmentese. I’m spreading the word as fast as I can now and agree that the more voices who say no at the very start of the process the better.
There is no point in asking your MP to do anything as once they are in power they do not bother answering any concerns that you have as most of them have no power to address any issue you have anyway, its a joke paying these muppets to sit in parliament. The Government does what it wants no matter if a million or more march the streets so its pointless and there is no democracy it is a pseudo democracy that the west has and we are selling this pseudo democracy to the rest of the World through violence and war. If a Political Party says in their manifesto they will do A and then they do B then in a democracy they should leave power but no they stick around for five years doing other things thant are opposite to what they said they would do before being elected. Democracy there is no such thing until we can remove these liars when they do opposite to their manifesto, a hung parliament should not be licence to do as they please they should do what they promised and only what they promised or have another election with new manifestos. Anyway besides all that its a waste of time trying to get your MP to do anything as they are lazy gobsh*tes!
Thank you for bringing this to our attention – I have emailed my local MP.
It’s a shame this is happening at such short notice – most of the plot holders at my allotment site are elderly and don’t use the internet / computers, so are unable to express their concerns in time. I have mentioned this in my email, so hopefully the MP will take this into account!
John – thanks again for alerting us to this. We’ve filled in the web form and written to our MP. Let’s hope enough people take action.
It’s important to keep our allotments, not only does it help with the cost of living it’s also a social thing for some people and also the only exersize they get. In some cases this land cannot be used for anythig else, so will just become overgrown and an eyesore.
Will this mean that they will just abandon the allotments we already work? Since rent is collected by the councils, would this no longer be the case? Would they give you notice and take back the plots? …thats insane? Whats the act called that say the councils have to provide them – ior at least make them available? If you cant work them – whats going to happen to them??? xxxx
not too difficult to carry out and took about 15 minutes. Everyone needs to play their part, even those who do not have a plot yet. I have mailed out to some friends to add their support to this matter.
As a retired person!!!! i find my allotment extremely theraputic both  it gets me out of the house & away from the wife. having a heart condition it is very beneficial for my health,  it is a great way to meet people & make new friends,  it certainly helps the budget. To change the any laws or rulings concerning Allotments would be a retrograde step, IF I AN’T BROKE DO’NT FIX IT….
Allotments tick ALL the boxes that the government requests the British public to try to achieve, Exercise,eat healthy foods recycle compostible waste, be part of the neighbourhood, look after OUR country side whether in towns/cities or rural. There are many advantages to working an allotment, I cannont think why ANY government should even considerchanging the present quo
Thanks John, for the alert on this one. I sent an email to my MP and also my local councillors, who may have a bit more input that my MP. I am fortunate in that the allotments are under the control of the Parish Council and they may not have the same finance problems. The comments about the benefits far outweighing the costs of allotments are very relevant. However those who carry out the review may just throw the baby out with the water, without considering all the social impacts. Which is exactly what Beeching did many years ago.
I have received a letter from the leader of our local council, confirming that there is no intention of closing any of the allotment sites. I must say, it was disappointing to only have received a letter from the NSALG, yesterday about this matter!
Interestingly in the hidden column J on the spreadsheet DCLG Statutory duties on the review of statutory duties website , the following comment appears
“Given very high and increasing local demand for allotments – latest reports are of 100,000 on waiting lists for 300,000 allotment plots (not including data in respect of Parish and Town Councils, which is not available) DCLG and relevant stakeholders, including ODGs, have taken the view to date that legislation to support the provision of allotment sites and meet local demand is robust and should remain in tact – so on this basis we deem this is ‘Essential to keep’ at the current time”
So would appear quite hopeful as essential to keep that the provision will remain.
Still keep lobbying though!
In addition to growing healthy food an allotment gIves people a feeling of total wellbeing. It can provide a viable alternative to mind calming drugs and other therapeutic treatments.
Government looking at local Council’s burdens is a fantastic idea. It’s also great that they’re looking at allotments. Allotments offer so much to a community and are some peoples only regular human contact. I don’t have time to list all the benefits here but we all know what they are.
They won’t take away allotments, and hopefully they’ll even go as far as putting something more into them. I don’t understand what the panic is about; it’s just a review to check that it’s all working as it should. Which it is.
I too have contacted my MP, filled in the webform and sent an email to the Review of Statutory Burdens Team and finally linked in with my MP to see if he has commented in Parliament. This is too big to not participate. Allotments create community, they allow children and teenagers to gain hands on experience of making things grow, allow them to care about the environment, mix with all generations, become part of a community. Older generations become their teachers, passing on a lifetime of knowledge. All this and not even mentioning the benefits to health, nutrition, carbon emissions, locally sourced produce, caring for animal, bird and insect life etc, etc.
Does anyone know when a decision will be made as to whether the comments that have been sent in have lead to a successful outcome for allotment holders? Or is will we find out via the media?
What ever happened to “the big society”. I have an allotment, i was on the waiting list for several years just got a plot this year and i am loving it. It feels like a community down my allotment everyone is friendly yet they want to take this away!
Leave alone in our town allottments are thriving,we cannot create new ones fast enough,we have a large waiting list.Allottments are a meeting place,a learning centre for old and new,a green enviroment we even have a large wildlife pond in one corner,its a release from the awfull pressureised word we live in,our site is inbetween the canal and river and parks trust ground all around us on site it becomes a lost world.
I would very much like to participate in a e-petition. I went to No 10 e-petition, but could not find one for allotments.
Please could someone start one and then put the word out with the link. I think if it reaches 100,000 then it is discussed in the house. This also gives MP’s more leverage if they can see the level of feeling on an issue. Thank you.
Just looked at the spreadsheet you mention in your update on the allotment threat story = column J is empty.
Assuming I located the same spreadsheet, and I think I did, it seems as though the data in this column has been removed.
I have been very lucky to find a friend who was having difficulty maintaining her allotment plot on her own, so for the last year we have shared the plot which is a fair size. I recently attained a RHS Horticulture qualification at level 2 and was therefore given the opportunity to grow some of my own vegetables. This has been most beneficial as at the time I was living in a first floor flat and have also been feeling the financial pinch, as has everybody. I must admit it is an extremely tranquil environment and everyone has been very encouraging and friendly. It has also been lovely to see so many young families with their children onsite, passing on their skills and their obvious enjoyment from spending time in this beautiful environment. It is a shame that there are not enough plots to go round. Maybe if others consider this plan of sharing plots more often, there would be more room for everybody? Last yr we enjoyed our own lettuces, potatoes, onions, garlic, brussel sprouts, runner beans, swede, beetroot, cabbages and cauliflowers. Whilst enjoying cut flowers such as Cornflowers and Sweet Pea. Not bad for starters eh! Had such a lot of pleasure out of the experience too. Happy Gardening!
I am fighting my Parish Council after spending 5 years on a ‘waiting’ list, I became livid when our representatives openly joked that most on it would be “dead before they got one”!
I have made written representation and continue to watch developments closely. A recent phone call to my District Council on a related matter didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence when I was told – “There will be no compulsory purchases happening. They are cutting our wages and there is no money in allotments, so I can assure you in the current climate they won’t be buying any land for allotments!”.
Michael Parsons put it plainly enough – We gardeners at least owe a defense of our rights to those who will come after us.
We have to fight for the one benevolent right we can claim and we should openly support each other in the face of rigid opposition by local authorities.