22 March 2016
Allotment waiting lists slashed in Exeter
There’s never been a better time to have an allotment in Exeter.
The number of people waiting for an allotment in Exeter has been dramatically reduced from 804 last summer to just 131 in February, the City Council has revealed.
The reduction has been due to a quicker turnaround of vacant sites and the dividing up of plots to make them more manageable for first-time growers.
Cllr Keith Owen, Lead Councillor for Health and Place, said he was delighted that more people than ever before were having an opportunity to tend an allotment and that the waiting list had been reduced.
“Allotment associations across the city have now taken on the role of inspecting and letting the plots. Because they are more often on site, they have a better idea of when a plot becomes vacant. This allows them to let us know as soon as a plot becomes vacant rather than let it stand for weeks or even months and becoming overgrown and weed infested.
“As soon as we are aware of a vacant plot we can quickly tidy it up and get it back into use, freeing it up for someone on the waiting list. All this has been achieved by the good work of our own officers working closely with the allotment associations.”
For their efforts, allotment associations receive a £10 administration fee each time a new tenant takes on an allotment. The income helps the associations provide extra facilities like on-site notice boards.
“At the end of the day, we all want to see the allotments thriving and in use and it’s in the allotment associations interests to see them busy and pushing up fruit and vegetables,” said Cllr Owen. “No-one wants to see them standing vacant and cultivating weeds that can spread to other plots, so that’s why the new arrangement is working so well for everyone concerned. Now the allotment holders can look forward to a great growing season.”
The City Council has a total of 1,550 plots spread over 26 sites across Exeter. In certain parts of the city, particularly west of the River Exe in Alphington, Exwick and St Thomas, waiting lists are down to just one or two names. People are invited to put their names down for these sites and others across the city.
For more information on allotments in Exeter or to apply for allotment go to www.exeter.gov.uk/allotments