The Independent London Newspaper
17th July 2018

Camden could not be persuaded to continue with the status quo with our allotments

    Published: 12 January, 2016

    • TIM Cole, a plot-holder at Fitzroy Park allotments, wrote regarding the potential self-management imposed by Camden, and the inclusion of a clause in the new tenancy agreement permitting the it to change the status of the site (The right to garden in peace and harmony is under threat, January 5)

    His letter has some interesting points. But the clause has been effective in previous agreements and forms part of the Allotments Act of 1922. The clause is as follows: “At any time after 12 calendar months written notice by the council that the plot or site is required for a purpose other than agriculture to which it has been appropriated under any statutory provisions, or for building, mining or any other industrial purpose or for roads or sewers necessary in connection with any of these purposes.”

    According to the National Allotments Society, the clause is now standard in all local authority leases. As the Fitzroy Park allotments have statutory status, any disposal by the council would have to go via the secretary of state. Any threatened loss of our allotments would be resisted to the limits of our ability. Plot-holders were given the choice of self-management or management by a third party, to be approved by the council. Fitzroy Park members overwhelmingly voted for self-management. The council could not be persuaded to continue with the status quo. Transferring management responsibility from the council to another party is now common up and down the country. Many of us were apprehensive about self-management, but are working out the way forward and getting  on with it. The council has given the association a preliminary two-year period of self-management, but has stated that bringing the allotments back under council control will not be an option.

    There will be differences of opinion over the cultivation of plots. But the rules, such as the key stipulation that 75 per cent of the plot must be cultivated, have been laid down by Camden. The promotion of food production involving the harmonious collaboration of all plotholders continues to be the main aim of the association.

    Chair, Fitzroy Park
    Allotments Association



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