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> Allotments on the One Show, Greenwich allotmenteers fight 200% rent hike
Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 11:38 AM
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I mentioned the other day about the plans of Greenwich Council to increase their allotment rents by 200%, and they were featured on the One Show last night - item starts 1 minute 45 seconds in.

Tenants there are facing a 200% rent increase - that would increase the cost of a standard plot from £67 to £200. Greenwich allotmenteers are fighting the increase on the basis of a 1982 High Court decision which requires councils to apply the same subsidy to allotments as it does to its other leisure services. There are a number of councils who are looking at similar price hikes, not least Newbury Town Council who have already proposed that a standard plot should cost £250, and similar legal challenges seem likely.

The significant difference between Greenwich and Newbury is that Greenwich is actively encouraging its sites to self-manage to avoid the increase:
QUOTE ("Greenwich allotmenteer")
The Council is very keen on the idea of sites moving to self-managed status. Self-managed sites would be able to set their own rents and manage their own maintenance


Newbury Town Council admit that their administration of their service costs the tax-payer around £80 per plot, and this compares rather poorly with commercial administration at around £8 per plot, and self-managed administration at around £2 per plot. I understand that an allotments management company has already made a formal approach to the Town Council to take on the management of the Council's six sites which would save the tax payer at least £40k by the Council's reckoning, and more likely twice that, with no increase in rent for the allotmenteers. It will be very interesting to see how the Town Council respond.


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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 11:47 AM
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Barnet Council are also encouraging their sites to go self-managed.

QUOTE ("Councillor Brian Coleman @ Cabinet Member for Environment")
To be honest, plot holders can run their own allotments a lot better than the council ever could.


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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 12:12 PM
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This from the Fifth Report, a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the future of allotments from 1998 - that's under Labour, and before the Big Society brand was invented.
QUOTE
There is little doubt that, when successfully implemented, self-management schemes ensure greater control of a site by allotment holders and tend to work to the benefit of the site. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State expressed support for the practice, noting that "self-management at that very local level is almost always a good idea."[175] We believe that self-management fulfills the twin aims of ensuring greater control of a site by allotment holders and also reducing a local authority's administrative responsibilities. We recommend that all local authorities examine the potential for self-management of their allotment sites


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panda
post Mar 3 2011, 12:26 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 3 2011, 11:38 AM) *
I mentioned the other day about the plans of Greenwich Council to increase their allotment rents by 200%, and they were featured on the One Show last night - item starts 1 minute 45 seconds in.

Tenants there are facing a 200% rent increase - that would increase the cost of a standard plot from £67 to £200. Greenwich allotmenteers are fighting the increase on the basis of a 1982 High Court decision which requires councils to apply the same subsidy to allotments as it does to its other leisure services. There are a number of councils who are looking at similar price hikes, not least Newbury Town Council who have already proposed that a standard plot should cost £250, and similar legal challenges seem likely.

The significant difference between Greenwich and Newbury is that Greenwich is actively encouraging its sites to self-manage to avoid the increase:


Newbury Town Council admit that their administration of their service costs the tax-payer around £80 per plot, and this compares rather poorly with commercial administration at around £8 per plot, and self-managed administration at around £2 per plot. I understand that an allotments management company has already made a formal approach to the Town Council to take on the management of the Council's six sites which would save the tax payer at least £40k by the Council's reckoning, and more likely twice that, with no increase in rent for the allotmenteers. It will be very interesting to see how the Town Council respond.

I thought there was a 0 increase for allotment tenents
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panda
post Mar 3 2011, 12:46 PM
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zero %...zero%...not £250. Twisting the facts again are we Simon
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Andy Capp
post Mar 3 2011, 12:58 PM
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QUOTE (panda @ Mar 3 2011, 12:46 PM) *
zero %...zero%...not £250. Twisting the facts again are we Simon

Simon said the council have a proposal to take rents to £250.00. He didn't say the rent will be £250.00 next year. I suggest you are the one twisting things.
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dannyboy
post Mar 3 2011, 01:20 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 3 2011, 12:58 PM) *
Simon said the council have a proposal to take rents to £250.00. he didn't say the rent will be £250.00 next year. I suggest you are the one twisting things.

I wouldn't call it a proposal, more wishful thinking.
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Andy Capp
post Mar 3 2011, 01:34 PM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Mar 3 2011, 01:20 PM) *
I wouldn't call it a proposal, more wishful thinking.

Either way, it wasn't as panda stated, or tried to 'smear'.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 01:44 PM
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Last year Cllr Johnson proposed a rate of £25 per pole. As the scale of the Council's inefficiency comes under ever closer scrutiny with the deepening of the public spending crisis it's reasonable to suppose it will be proposed again.

QUOTE ("Policy and Resources @ 11 January 2010")
To consider the following proposals for 2010/11:

...
Allotment Charges - Currently, the cost of providing allotments is subsidised by all Newbury Council taxpayers at about 75%. It therefore seems logical and fairer for the cost of providing the service (which is enjoyed by a relatively small number of Newbury residents) to be weighted towards the direct users of the service. It is felt that this can best be achieved by introducing a two-tier charging system from the 1st April 2010 which will, over time, address the issue of reducing the subsidy. The new charges are proposed to be: for existing tenants an increase from £4.71 per pole to £5.00 per pole per annum, and for new tenants £25 per pole per annum.

And the subsidy was actually 80%; £12k revenue, £64k turnover, that's £21.5 maintenance, £42.5 administration.

It's a funny old thing, but by the time of the West Mills Tenants Meeting Cllr Johnson appeared to have forgotten about the proposal to set a rent to cover the administrative costs.
QUOTE ("West Mills Tenants Meeting")
[an allotmenteer asked] Does the Council plan to increase charges over the next few years to the point where all administrative costs are recovered from plot-holders?

Chairpersons Response: “There have been no discussions to date regarding full recovery of admin costs through future rent increases.

Odd that, no?


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panda
post Mar 3 2011, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 3 2011, 12:58 PM) *
Simon said the council have a proposal to take rents to £250.00. He didn't say the rent will be £250.00 next year. I suggest you are the one twisting things.

As you say, Simon said the council have a proposal to take the rents to £250. Now he is saying that the proposal was last year. So what happened to that proposal???. Are we talking about currant events or something that happened a year ago?
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (panda @ Mar 3 2011, 02:09 PM) *
As you say, Simon said the council have a proposal to take the rents to £250. Now he is saying that the proposal was last year. So what happened to that proposal???. Are we talking about currant events or something that happened a year ago?

Read what I said Wang Wang.

QUOTE
There are a number of councils who are looking at similar price hikes, not least Newbury Town Council who have already proposed that a standard plot should cost £250, and similar legal challenges seem likely.


It has been proposed in Newbury, it's happening elsewhere, ergo: It's likely to happen in Newbury.

There was a zero percentage increase in allotment rents this year because the tenancy agreement obliges the Council to give 13 months notice of a rent increase, a consequence of Trading Standards' enforcement of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, and the Council were not able to serve notice of an increase by February 1 2010 as required by the tenancy agreement. There will be no increase next year either because the Council didn't give notice last month - how could they, it would expose the lie that the 47% increase was enforceable. The earliest the Council can impose an increase is March 2013, for which they need to serve notice by 1 February 2012.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Newbury Town Council will try and evict anyone who asserts their contractural and consumer rights, but it can't be done - rights are rights, though sometimes you have to stand up for them.


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panda
post Mar 3 2011, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 3 2011, 03:58 PM) *
Read what I said Wang Wang.



It has been proposed in Newbury, it's happening elsewhere, ergo: It's likely to happen in Newbury.

There was a zero percentage increase in allotment rents this year because the tenancy agreement obliges the Council to give 13 months notice of a rent increase, a consequence of Trading Standards' enforcement of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, and the Council were not able to serve notice of an increase by February 1 2010 as required by the tenancy agreement. There will be no increase next year either because the Council didn't give notice last month - how could they, it would expose the lie that the 47% increase was enforceable. The earliest the Council can impose an increase is March 2013, for which they need to serve notice by 1 February 2012.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Newbury Town Council will try and evict anyone who asserts their contractural and consumer rights, but it can't be done - rights are rights, though sometimes you have to stand up for them.

Like i said ,that was a proposal a year ago, did it happen, NO as it been proposed since, NO. As for your interpretation of the allotment rules, well thats it they are YOUR interpretation of the rules.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (panda @ Mar 3 2011, 04:37 PM) *
Like i said ,that was a proposal a year ago, did it happen, NO as it been proposed since, NO. As for your interpretation of the allotment rules, well thats it they are YOUR interpretation of the rules.

Read what I said. If you're having a bit of trouble try this.


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NWNREADER
post Mar 3 2011, 05:13 PM
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Simon, I think you have an admirer......
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 3 2011, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (NWNREADER @ Mar 3 2011, 05:13 PM) *
Simon, I think you have an admirer......

It's the time of year, stalkers everywhere. Just heap on the manure.


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NWNREADER
post Mar 3 2011, 05:25 PM
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Maybe you should plant bamboo?
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Andy Capp
post Mar 3 2011, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 3 2011, 04:59 PM) *
Read what I said. If you're having a bit of trouble try this.

I don't think panda is interested in what you write; panda just wants to d@mn you.
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NWNREADER
post Mar 3 2011, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 3 2011, 05:51 PM) *
I don't think panda is interested in what you write; panda just wants to d@mn you.


Can't agree. It is clearly love.
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panda
post Mar 3 2011, 06:03 PM
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The truth is that Simon will not answer the question. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PROPOSAL. Did the council aggree to it. was it a year ago. Has it been mentioned this year. Come on kirby, why dont you answer, or can you only look at panda books.
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NWNREADER
post Mar 3 2011, 06:09 PM
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You just want his attention.....
Are you a wallflower?
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