Notice from the Allotments Office (Sep 2012)

At the liaison meeting on Tuesday 11th September, the BHAF committee met with David Cooper, the Allotment Officer and Graeme Rolf, Operations Manager. The plot inspections & issuing of notices featured prominently in our discussions. In particular, the committee expressed concerns about the numbers of notices issued and the worry and distress this is causing many allotment-holders. We requested a statement from the Allotment Service that we could pass on to tenants, and we’re encouraged they responded promptly with the following statement:

“The Allotments Service has recently been carrying out inspections on allotments to ensure that cultivation, weed control and other relevant conditions have been fulfilled according to the specifications written in the Allotment Rules, in order that high standards are maintained. 

We accept that many allotment holders have been upset after receiving improvement notices, and we apologise for this.  We are in the process of changing these letters to read more sympathetically.   

We have listened to the concerns of the Allotment Federation regarding inspections and to that end, future inspections will be carried out with weather and local ground conditions taken in to consideration and  if in doubt, or in borderline cases, decisions to send out  notices will be made erring on the side of leniency.  This should result in less improvement notices being issued in future.

These changes should not be interpreted as a licence to neglect.  Notices will still be sent to allotment holders who have waste materials or structures which are outside of the rules or with plots considered to be unacceptably weedy or under cultivated.”

David Cooper
Allotment Officer
Brighton & Hove  City  Council

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