Today (Thursday) in the House of Commons, Bridget Phillipson MP asked the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to come clean about the government’s plans for allotments.
Councils are currently required by law to provide allotments where there is a local demand. The duty to provide allotments has existed for over 100 years and is set out in the Small Holdings and Allotments Act (1908). The Government, however, is reviewing the duty for councils to provide allotments.
The National Society for Allotments and Leisure Gardeners which represents almost all allotment groups has expressed concerns that the review could see this protection scrapped. The consultation closed on 25 April. It is now up to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to decide the future for allotments.
Bridget asked Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
"Four thousand people in my area currently have an allotment or are on a waiting list for one. Can he reassure me that he will not support any measure that would scrap legal protection for allotments, and that he will bring all possible pressure to bear on his colleagues in the DCLG?.”
Commenting on the Secretary of State’s response, Bridget said:
“Allotments are a vital local resource which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
“In our local area there are over 4000 people either using or waiting to use an allotment plot. I know they want the government to come clean about its plans.
“I will continue to support allotment groups in our local area and fight any moves to weaken legal protection for local growers that have existed for over 100 years.”
For more information on the National Society of Allotments and Leisure Gardeners please click here, the Government’s review of statutory duties on local government can be found here.