Training offered and evictions threatened in bid to cut waiting lists
Green-fingered hopefuls could be given compulsory training before taking on an allotment in Preston, in a bid to cut the waiting list for plots across the city.
It’s a great idea for people to think of picking their own strawberries, but then it comes to the nitty gritty and it starts to dawn on people that it’s a lot harder work than they realise
A council task group has come up with plans for new tenants to be put on probation when they first take on a plot, with fast-track evictions and a yellow and red card system.
Waiting lists for allotments are currently a year long, having previously peaked at four years.
Coun Nick Pomfret, chairman of the environmental scrutiny panel that came up with a list of recommendations to the council’s cabinet, said people often didn’t realise the commitment involved in taking on an allotment.
He said: “It’s a great idea for people to think of picking their own strawberries, but then it comes to the nitty gritty and it starts to dawn on people that it’s a lot harder work than they realise.
“So we thought if we got them a smaller patch to wean themselves on and then they can say it’s for me or it’s not.”
Among a list of recommendations include a fast-track eviction system in the first twelve months, with a yellow and red card system.
He said: “If you’ve got neglected plots there’s got to be some sort of system. The yellow card would be to say you’ve not attended the plot for a certain amount of time.
“There are concessions if it is beyond their control but we need to start investigating why plots aren’t being attended.”
He said some training was already being given and waiting lists were reducing, and he said training was hoped to prepare people for what keeping an allotment involved.