Allotment Waiting List

Some updates have recently been made to the Allotment waiting list page which is hosted and administered by Brighton and Hove City Council. The changes that have been made were agreed during the Allotment Strategy process. The strategy was created by Brighton and Hove City Council in partnership with the Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation and The Food Partnership and also in consultation with allotment holders in the city.

From page 70 of the Allotment Strategy

Covering the costs of managing the waiting list

Managing the waiting list has a cost attached which currently is included in the general cost of running the service, meaning that the waiting list service is in effect paid for by existing plot holders and the allotment service subsidy. This strategy includes recommendations for improving the experience of people on the waiting list, particularly better communication with them, which could further increase the cost.

This strategy recommends to help fund better management of the waiting list a non-refundable waiting list fee (£15) should be introduced.

Some of the improvements have already taken place

1/ Waiting List Lookup.

People on the waiting list are now able to look up their position on the waiting list using the email address they registered with. This is a big improvement for both prospective tenants and the Council’s allotment office as there are a lot of requests for this information, and up till now it had to be pulled out manually, which took time.

2/ Waiting list administration fee

In a few weeks from now, there will be a fee to join the waiting list. (Waived for pensioners and those on benefits)

The Council be charging a non-refundable administrative fee of £16 (inflation since 2014 has increased the fee from £15) to join the allotment waiting list from 1 August 2017 . The introduction of this waiting list fee is a recommendation of the current Allotment Strategy (2014-24). The strategy was created by Brighton and Hove City Council in partnership with the Brighton & Hove Allotment Federation and The Food Partnership and in consultation with allotment holders in the city.

Currently you are able to apply for an allotment free of charge if you

· are 60 years of age or over

· are a full-time student

· receive a long-term disability allowance

· get the majority of your income from benefits, such as income support

During the strategy, we investigated what was then a very high waiting list. We found out that we were unable to contact a large percentage of the people on the waiting list. Nearly half the people on the list were unobtainable or no longer wanted an allotment. It seemed that quite a lot of people signed up for the waiting list on a bit of a whim. This made it hard for the Council to gauge an accurate figure of those actually waiting for an allotment. A decision was made to charge a small fee to join the waiting list (waived for the certain groups above). Hopefully this will mean that only people who are serious about taking an allotment will now join the list.

Some of the fee will also be used to improve the waiting list system. For a start people are now able to look up their place on the list. There are also other improvements planned. Hopefully soon, Site Reps will also be able to access useful data as well, which we hope will mean increased efficiency and a smoother experience for all.

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