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Act NOW to save the UK's allotments!
By: Steve Ott
The Government is currently reviewing the statutory demands that have accumulated over the years on local authorities around the UK. As part of this review the rules and regulations regarding the provision of allotments is coming under scrutiny and as a result thousands could be deprived of the opportunity to grow their own produce
The Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 Section 23 is an important piece of legislation to anyone who values allotments as a resource for local people wanting to grow their own for it is this piece of law that forces local councils to take requests for the provision of land for the purpose of growing fruit and veg seriously. Under this legislation local councils have to act if:
· (1) The council of any borough, urban district, or parish are of opinion that there is a demand for allotments . . . in the borough, urban district, or parish, . . . the council shall provide a sufficient number of allotments, and shall let such allotments to persons . . . resident in the borough, district, or parish, and desiring to take the same.
· (2) On a representation in writing to the council of any borough, urban district, or parish, by any six registered parliamentary electors or persons who are liable to pay an amount in respect of council tax resident in the borough, urban district, or parish, that the circumstances of the borough, urban district, or parish are such that it is the duty of the council to take proceedings under this Part of this Act therein, the council shall take such representation into consideration.
If Section 23 is lost, ordinary gardeners wishing to grow their own fruit and vegetables will no longer have the weight of statute behind them and councils will be at liberty to ignore their requests. With demand for allotments ever on the increase this could not have come at a worse time, but that’s not all.
Although this informal consultation exercise will remain open for six weeks, few had seen it or realised its significance until now – it was only brought to our attention by a few keen-eyed KG readers and by our friends at the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners to whom we are indebted for much of the information here.
The closing date of 25 April 2011 is looming and we at KG are asking everyone to let the authorities know their views NOW!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
- Click here to enter DCLG website.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page
- Click on 'Related downloads' the first excel spreadsheet.
- Look at the bottom tab and click on 'DCLG statutory duties'.
- Scroll down to number 137 where it outlines a councils duty, it states that there is no statutory guidance; surely that's what the legislation is!
- Click here to enter your views on the 'statutory webform' where you can register your views on the removal of the above, please quote the unique reference number: DCLG-136. Or if you wish to contact DCLG, then you can write to them at:
Review of Statutory Burdens Team
Department for Communities and Local Government
3/H6 Eland House
London SW1E 5DU
Email your comments to mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Reference: DCLG-136).
You will find more information on this and many other matters of concern to all those holding or hoping to take on an allotment on the NSALG website www.nsalg.org.uk There you can also find out about the many benefits of membership of the NSALG.
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