Tuesday, 29 January 2008

The future of allotments in Morpeth

An interesting letter from John Langman in the Morpeth Herald about the problems the Borough Council has in administering allotments. Thinking about it – the situation will be even worse if the allotments are passed up to the new unitary authority! Of course, traditionally, allotments are owned and managed by parish councils – but, as with much in Morpeth, the delay in creating the Town Council after 1974 local government re-organisation meant that the allotments went to the Borough. We must try not to make the same mistake this time!

Of course, the Town Council wouldn’t want to take on a heavy burden of administration. On the other hand, Tommy’s Field Allotments are run very effectively by an association of the allotment-holders who pay an annual rent to the Borough. It seems to me that a similar arrangement, with allotment-holders managing all Morpeth’s allotments would enable to Town Council to take them on without too much trouble.

We’d need to sort out permanent status for Tommy’s Field Allotments first – but that shouldn’t be a problem, seeing that they been cultivated continuously since 1941! And of course the transitional authority would have to agree to the transfer – but why would they want to hang onto allotments?

1 comment:

Simon Leonard said...

I am in a very similar position to John Langman, in that I have been on the waiting list for about a year and have been told that people have had their name down for as long as 2003. My home faces the allotments in question and it is so frustrating to watch the vacant and badly maintained allotments go to no use, when there is obviously a desire by local people to use this precious resource. I was told in May 2007 that the councils "workforce" are aiming to bring at least 1 allotment back into use per month. I've not witnessed any such work at Middle Greens. I'm now number 20 on the waiting list for Middle Greens (17/01/08) according to the Green and Clean, Green spaces officer - Colin Marlee. Colin has not long been in post but has kept me upto date with the current position regarding waiting lists.

Another article that was published in the Herald "Has the plot been lost at Morpeth?" by Sarah Howells(31/01/08) was a responce to the John Langman article and more evidence than the Green & Clean Unit are.... well not very "Green" or "Clean".

We need a plan!!!