This post is devoted encouraging Edinburgians to fight against the proposed rental increases set out in the City of Edinburgh consultative document "Cultivating Communities: A Growing Challenge – An allotments strategy for the City of Edinburgh (2010-2015)". The full document can be downloaded:
Tucked away on page 29 is Table 6: Proposed allotment rent increases over next five years with the following projection:
The fact is that Edinburgh allotment rents have already doubled over the last 5 years from £30 to £60. This far outstrips the rise in cost for any other amenity run by the Council. To continue this punitive policy is madness.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
· Contact your councillor – remind them that our elected representatives are there to rein in the beurocrats when they get carried away with their own power.
Search for your councillor
· Respond to the consultation objecting to the increases email: email@example.com
· Let FEDAGA (The Federation of Edinburgh and District Allotments and Gardens Associations) know that they do not have the support of their members when they agree to higher rents. email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You might want to mention that :
· To keep pace with inflation (RPI) in the last five years rents should have gone up by £4.20. In fact they have gone up by £30.
· If the council tax, road tax or TV Licence fee had gone up by the same rate there would be uproar.
· Far from disadvantaging future allotment holders keeping rents low is in their interest too!
· Present allotment holders cannot be blamed for the Council’s inability to respond to the new demand ( I recall being told there was a two year waiting list back in 1989!)
· Allotment holders make considerable investment in time, effort and money in order to increase the fertility, sustainability and biodiversity of their plots. They are the best custodians and should not be treated so badly by their landlords, City of Edinburgh Council.
FEDAGA have acted without the support of their members by agreeing to above inflation rises in allotment rents for each of ten successive years. Like turkeys who have made a pact with the farmer they are voting for Christmas.
Here's my strategy for keeping good allotment provision in Edinburgh. I think it would be a fair rule that the Council could raise rents only by the amount that they increase provision. 5% more allotments = 5% higher rents across the board. 5% fewer allotments = a 5% cut in rental. (Just by the way, last year Edinburgh added no new allotments, and some were lost, as they have been year on year)
Consultation means that if we Edinburgh Allotment Holders don't kick up a fuss now (via our elected representatives and the media) we will only have ourselves (and FEDAGA) to blame. Act now!
Councillor contact details (click on pictures to expand):
Hope the blogoshpere will excuse me addressing just Edinburgh residents on this occasion.
This can now be found at FEDUPAGA