Council allotments are under threat, and could become a thing of the past unless we all act now to protect them. The Department of Communities and Local Government is carrying out a review of various council obligations, with a view to abolishing unnecessary ‘burdens’, and safeguarding those that are deemed necessary. The duty to provide allotments outlined in Section 23 of the Allotments Act 1908 is on the list of acts under review. If the government and public decide to scrap this burden, then the government will have no obligation to provide allotments.
The consultation closes on 25th April, so we need to act quickly in order to safeguard our allotments. The government has promised to consider the public response. Who's up for helping to save our allotments?
Section 23 of the Allotments Act 1908
At the moment, councils are bound by Section 23 of the Allotments Act 1908 to meet local demand for allotments. The act states that if six or more eligible residents get together and request allotments from their council, then the council has a duty to provide them with allotments. Our LetsGrow functionality makes use of these laws and allows you to team up with other Landsharers and request land from your local council.
Here's the relevant section of the act:
(1) If 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.
Find out more about the duties under threat
As part of a public consultation, the duties under review have been posted on the Communities and Local Government website, and the public are invited to download and comment on the burdens.
Go to the DCLG website and read more about the consultation. In the ‘Related downloads’ section at the bottom of the page, click on 'Review of statutory duties' and it will open up an excel spreadsheet outlining the duties. The Allotments Act is on line 137 under the ‘DCLG statutory duties’ tab.
You can respond to the consultation and request that the duty to provide allotments isn't abolished online, by post, or by email.
Online: Go on www.surveymonkey.com/s/GP7BKKT to enter your views on the ‘statutory webform’, and quote the reference number DCLG_136
Write to DCLG at:
Review of Statutory Burdens Team, Department for Communities and Local Government, 3/H6 Eland House, Bressenden Place , London , SW1E 5DU
Email your comments to mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This informal consultation exercise will remain open for six weeks, closing 25 April 2011