Seeds sown for future of allotmentsPublished Tuesday, 24th July 2018
Rotherham’s allotments are set to begin a new chapter following agreement that allotment gardeners will have more of say in how Council allotments are funded and run.
Rotherham Council has been working with the Rotherham and District Allotments Association for over a year in a review of the allotments service. This has included consultation with all plot-holders, an audit of sites, and research into good practice elsewhere in Britain.
The review found that those areas where allotment holders had more of a say in the running of the site, were better run and more responsive.
Following this, the Council has now approved a plan to set up a new body, the Rotherham Allotments Alliance, to self-manage of all its council allotment sites in the borough.
Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, Cllr Emma Hoddinott, said: “We are excited at the prospect of allowing Rotherham’s allotment gardeners more control and say over how their allotments are run.
"I would like to pay tribute to the work of the Association and pleased that we have agreed a bright new vision for Rotherham Allotments that aims to get more people from all walks of life enjoying the benefits of gardening,” added Cllr Hoddinott.
“We would encourage gardeners across Rotherham to consider how they can help the Allotments Alliance to succeed. Please let the Council know if you want to take an active role in setting the future course for Rotherham’s allotments.”
Al Dean, the Secretary of Rotherham and District Allotment Association, added: “‘Allotments are a valuable community asset, protected by law, and should be held in high regard. Many people have spent a good deal of time in preparing this blueprint for the future, with a good deal of work still to be expended in carrying it forward.
“The Allotments Alliance, now being put forward, when proved successful, may well become a model of good practice throughout the UK,” he added.
It is expected that management of Council-owned allotments will be passed to the Rotherham Allotments Alliance in 2019.
Pictured at Broom Valley allotment site off Brunswick Road, is Cllr Hoddinott (3rd left) with local youngsters Alfie and Aaron Cousins, and allotment holders (from left) John Kirk, of Maltby allotments, John Callaghan, of Harthill Lane allotments, Mike Farrell, of Whiston allotments and Al Dean, Secretary Rotherham and District Allotment Society, of Broom allotments.