If the council plans to raise the price by 4 times over 2 years without any improvement, and put more pressure on plot holders who work mostly hard to maintain plots, we must say “NO” this expenditure . We have hard work to grow our cheap vegetables. When the price per plot rises by 4 times, I will give up and will buy vegetables. The quality of earth in our plot is very low with 90% of clay, we spent a lot for cultivation each spring to buy manure, compost , nobody helps us in our gardening. "
However there are older people on my allotment site who do not use email - that I know were not contacted by post re this matter? Therefore your survey will be deeply flawed and not reflect all the plot holders views.
I know for myself that an increase of over 300% plus unknown water charges will be too much for me, on top of the cost of seeds,compost,pots,tools etc.
I have worked in mental health and community gardening projects for over 17 years and am shocked at the increase cost proposed when the benefits to people, often who are on low incomes, are so huge - socially, good exercise, mental well being, the satisfaction of eating what you have grown, being in nature, nurturing something: meeting targets for communities with both hard and soft outcomes all of which make so much difference to people.
I wonder if an increase of this much is actually legal?
I am very disappointed by this and wish I had been told of it before I took on the allotment this spring and worked so hard on it."
increase and so does everybody I have spoken too.
I have had absolutely no information from Eileen Law or anybody else, not by email or post!! First I knew about it was from my friends at the allotment. I'm really hoping that this doesn't go through as I love my allotment and can't see how I can afford the increase."
I have studied the plots at GasHouse fields over the past 5/6 years and as the pensioners give up a plot(which were very well kept) due to ill health it is cut into 2 or 4 smaller sections which remain un-worked for a couple of years with young tenants not knowing what to do and only turning up after receiving a letter from the council and mowing the weeds and making it look good which goes on for a couple of years then when it is in a very poor state they get evicted which goes on & on & on, so we really do need the retired pensioners to keep the allotment going, as they make up the bulk of plot holders prepared to put in the hours a graft to keep the allotments looking nice. So making us pay £133.00 plus water rates and a large deposit is just too much so i for one will definitely give up my plot as it is not cheap growing your own so it will be cheaper to go to the supermarket."
We, like most people, were appalled to hear of the new proposals. Although charging in advance and with a refundable deposit is a good idea to ensure commitment, the exorbitant amounts suggested will mean that many will be unable to afford their plots anymore and instead of encouraging commitment will lead to many longstanding committed plot holders giving up. Allotments will then become either an elitist pastime or a thing of the past.
And finally can we suggest that people are encouraged to write to their local councillors and the MP regarding these proposals and the way in which this survey has been conducted"
"It hardly seems fair to only survey people with email addresses, rather than posting survey forms to people without email, which I understood was agreed previously at meetings.
It appears discriminatory, as these are the very people most effected by large price rises, or reduced/withdrawn concessions.
In order to avoid accusations of discrimination, wouldn't it be best to send surveys to all plot holders who have no e-mail and wait for replies - before any decisions are considered?"
Also quite a few of us feel the questions on the survey are unfairly weighted and do not allow the user to give the full answers that they would like to give. Question 4 was heavily weighted towards the answers to increase prices rather than allowing options to explore other alternatives. Basically if you did not agree with the price increase the only option you could choose was to give up your plot. This is not a fair survey and I would implore you to reconsider your questions, I honestly feel you will not get a rounded-honest result." This respondent was, I think, under the impression that the Society had sent out the questionnaire; I have asked them to make their valid and entirely justified protest in the right quarter!