Yet another update!! See this page Pickles Plot Thickens
I made this post in good faith, having been emailed about the petition a number of times and having had the BBC ring me regarding this proposal to sell off allotments. However, the government had already posted this response:
An e-petition has been circulating suggesting that the Department for Communities and Local Government is examining plans to remove council duties to provide allotments. This is completely untrue and has no basis in fact.
….. There are no plans to change this, and the e-petition’s claims are simply false.
Now when I hear anything from the government I look for the weasel words and clever phrasing to disguise the truth but this page seems absolutely straightforward and good news all the way.
To those of my readers who have wasted time signing the petition from my post, my apologies. And my apologies to Mr Pickles for maligning him BUT it turns out not to be so clear cuft aftr
If you’ve not seen it, there’s an e-petition to the government you need to sign. It says:
“Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, is examining plans to free local authorities from a 103-year-old obligation to provide plots of public land for cultivation by gardeners. The proposals could see local authorities, many of them strapped for cash under government-imposed cuts, selling off allotment land for social housing or even for profit to major companies.“
The only thing that is guaranteed to make politicians take notice is the prospect of losing votes. By signing this petition, which only takes a minute, we show them that we care about allotments.
It’s not just the effect on 50 or 150 plotholders when a site goes, it effects society as a whole in a negative way. Allotments mix people, different races, religions, classes united in a common enterprise. I think the sociologists call it ‘social cohesion’ – I call it seeing that members of other groups are people too.
Allotments are good for mental health according to a government report about 15 years ago. I can agree with that, there’s been days when I’ve felt like exploding but an afternoon on the plot restored my soul. Allotments are good for physical health too – it’s exercise. Mr Pickles should try allotmenting himself.
Allotments are green spaces in towns and especially the cities. A break from the buildings. Many help wildlife as well.
Crikey, Government, we know you’re strapped for cash, but how about collecting due and unpaid taxes from big business before looking to sell off something else you’re not entitled too (and probably getting less than you should for it to boot).
HANDS OFF OUR PLOTS
It seems we are governed by those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing