Anger at plans to increase Richmond allotment charges again

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Allotments: A pleasure at a price Allotments: A pleasure at a price

Gardeners are outraged that allotment fees could be increased for the second year running.

Allotment holders across the borough are bracing themselves for about a 5 per cent increase in their bills, after Richmond Council released its proposed new fees and charges for 2014-15.

If the charges are agreed, allotment holders would see their annual rent of £13.50 per 25sq m increase to £14.20.

Concession holders would see charges rise from £6.75 to £7.10 and out-of-borough gardeners would pay £28.40 compared to the current £27 fee.

The proposed increase follows the council’s fee hike of about 46 per cent in October last year, which shocked allotment holders who said they had not been warned of the increase.

Chairman of Borough of Richmond Allotments Group (Brag) Tim McGough said allotment holders’ tenancy agreements included a clause that allowed the council to increase rents at short notice.

He said the proposed increase would hit individuals, especially pensioners or those already struggling financially, but would not raise that much cash for the council.

He said: “I am really concerned. The council increased allotment rents last October by over 46 per cent, which is really bad for people on fixed incomes or pensions.

“Horror upon horror they are suggesting increasing the fees again - this time by about 5 per cent.

“It’s just unbelievable. On the on hand they are raising the fees and on the other we are getting extremely poor service from them. They can’t have it both ways.”

Councillor Pamela Fleming, cabinet member for environment, planning, parks and highways, said the increases were part of a long-term strategy.

She said: “All of these increases up to now have been through the overview and scrutiny committee as this one will.

“It was quite clear in the strategy that a more realistic price for allotments should be brought in gradually.”

The council’s environment, sustainability and community overview and scrutiny committee will comment on the proposed fees at a meeting in York House, Twickenham, on Monday, January 27.

If agreed, the charges will be set by cabinet members before coming into force on April 1.

Comments (6)

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2:26pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Julie Hill says...

I don't believe plot holders are getting value for money in LBRuT.

If you object to this second price increase in less than a year, as a matter or urgency email your objection to: henry.langford@richm
ond.gov.uk and ask him to pass it onto Councillors to record your objection and reasons at the Scrutiny Meeting on Monday 27th.

Here's the link to the Council's Scrutiny Committee so you can see the list of Councillors on the Committee and lobby them too if you wish:

http://www.richmond.
gov.uk/home/council_
government_and_democ
racy/democratic_proc
esses_and_events/cou
ncil_committees_list
.htm?mgl=mgCommittee
Details.aspx&ID=537
I don't believe plot holders are getting value for money in LBRuT. If you object to this second price increase in less than a year, as a matter or urgency email your objection to: henry.langford@richm ond.gov.uk and ask him to pass it onto Councillors to record your objection and reasons at the Scrutiny Meeting on Monday 27th. Here's the link to the Council's Scrutiny Committee so you can see the list of Councillors on the Committee and lobby them too if you wish: http://www.richmond. gov.uk/home/council_ government_and_democ racy/democratic_proc esses_and_events/cou ncil_committees_list .htm?mgl=mgCommittee Details.aspx&ID=537 Julie Hill
  • Score: 9

2:30pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Julie Hill says...

sorry the email for the Scrutiny Officer is henry.langford@richm
ond.gov.uk
sorry the email for the Scrutiny Officer is henry.langford@richm ond.gov.uk Julie Hill
  • Score: 6

3:53pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Twickenham Bob says...

I can't see what people are complaining about - £7.10 per year is an absolute bargin.

It's less than two large coffee at Starbucks. The council should allow for monthly dd payments and charge something more appropriate like £2 per month for those on benefits and £4 for everyone else.

We need to reduce the number of freebies and inappropriate rebates. Many pensioners are better off than those who work. Any concessions should be means tested.

There are huge waiting lists for allotments, whilst many pensioners Hogg two or three plots at my allotment.
I can't see what people are complaining about - £7.10 per year is an absolute bargin. It's less than two large coffee at Starbucks. The council should allow for monthly dd payments and charge something more appropriate like £2 per month for those on benefits and £4 for everyone else. We need to reduce the number of freebies and inappropriate rebates. Many pensioners are better off than those who work. Any concessions should be means tested. There are huge waiting lists for allotments, whilst many pensioners Hogg two or three plots at my allotment. Twickenham Bob
  • Score: -3

8:27am Thu 23 Jan 14

Julie Hill says...

Misleading information Bob.

If you are an allotment holder you will know that the charge is PER ROD - which is actually quite a small patch and the current cost PER ROD is £13.50 (unless you have concessions).

The cost PER ROD doubled in price only last year. Most plot holders will have at least 2 rods and many longstanding plot holders considerably more. Do the sums.

Not everyone who has an allotment is called Margo or Jerry so please don't be so judgemental,
Misleading information Bob. If you are an allotment holder you will know that the charge is PER ROD - which is actually quite a small patch and the current cost PER ROD is £13.50 (unless you have concessions). The cost PER ROD doubled in price only last year. Most plot holders will have at least 2 rods and many longstanding plot holders considerably more. Do the sums. Not everyone who has an allotment is called Margo or Jerry so please don't be so judgemental, Julie Hill
  • Score: 6

9:49am Thu 23 Jan 14

aspicer says...

With a housing shortage locally, it's about time these were built on.
They are no longer required socially for the poor or unemployed (as during the middle ages), nor economically as during the World Wars. The historic purpose they have been serving has long since expired, and it is now time for the plots to evolve once again and convert for today's needs and today's broader community - my vote is for trendy flats!
With a housing shortage locally, it's about time these were built on. They are no longer required socially for the poor or unemployed (as during the middle ages), nor economically as during the World Wars. The historic purpose they have been serving has long since expired, and it is now time for the plots to evolve once again and convert for today's needs and today's broader community - my vote is for trendy flats! aspicer
  • Score: -7

5:38pm Sun 26 Jan 14

sweeneyted says...

I agree with aspicer we should be building high density housing on these plots. In fact if you think about Richmond Park, thats a lot of land doing nothing, we could get 50,000 units in there. Then there's Bushy Park, another 50,000 there. Obviously the housing waiting lists would instantly fill up again but we could maybe take a look at private gardens. I mean if everyone can't have it, then nobody should have it. Lets hope the Lib Dems get back in, then we can have the peoples paradise everyone deserves.
I agree with aspicer we should be building high density housing on these plots. In fact if you think about Richmond Park, thats a lot of land doing nothing, we could get 50,000 units in there. Then there's Bushy Park, another 50,000 there. Obviously the housing waiting lists would instantly fill up again but we could maybe take a look at private gardens. I mean if everyone can't have it, then nobody should have it. Lets hope the Lib Dems get back in, then we can have the peoples paradise everyone deserves. sweeneyted
  • Score: 0

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