New body set up to give allotment holders more say in running sites

Published Wednesday, 10th July 2019
New body set up to give allotment holders more say in running sites
Pictured from left to right: Directors of the Rotherham Allotment Alliance - Al Dean, John Palmer, Cllr Brian Steele, Rob Slow, Cllr Emma Hoddinott, and Mike Farrell. Directors not pictured: Jack Taylor and Mohammed Suleman

Allotment holders will have more say in Council allotment sites as a new body is set up to oversee how they are run.

Rotherham Council has been working closely with the Rotherham and District Allotments Association to create the self-managed Rotherham Allotments Alliance Ltd. The organisation will be led by people who rent or manage individual allotment sites.

The move follows a review of the allotments service, consultation with plot-holders and research into good practice elsewhere in Britain, which found that involving allotment holders in the running of sites helped to make the service more responsive.

Cllr Brian Steele, Chair of the Rotherham Allotment Alliance, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to get more people from all walks of life enjoying the benefits that can be gained from working on an allotment. The Association has worked very hard to get to this stage and the result is that allotment holders will have much more of a say in how they are run.”

Al Dean, Secretary of Rotherham and District Allotment Association, added: “Allotments play an important community role, giving many people access to the outdoors, fresh food, nature and an opportunity to socialise. We are excited to take forward our vision for the Allotment Alliance, which we hope will be a model of good practice for other areas.”

The Allotment Alliance expects to take operational responsibility for Rotherham Council’s allotments from January 2020. Elections will then take place within twelve months to allow any interested allotment holders to stand as a Director of the new Alliance and contribute to improving allotments across Rotherham.