I'm paying my allotment rent today:
City of Edinburgh Council
Services For Communities - Parks
Business Centre C3
4 East Market Street
Att Ian Woolard, Allotment Officer
27 January 2011
I have today received your invoice for £70.00 for Plot 15 at Lady Road, and now forward my cheque for £18.40 made up of the Association Fee of £2.50 and the first quarterly rental payment of £16.90. Three further quarterly payments will follow in a timely manner.
While the option for quarterly payment has been available for Scottish allotment rents over £1 since the 1950 Allotment Act (Scotland) I have not until now felt the need to invoke it. With the rent rises in the last five years, and those already line up for the next three, I now wish to exercise my right to do so.
The reason I have titled this series of posts Green TAX is because, in Edinburgh, EXTRA TAXES are being raised from allotment holders (In addition to the Council Tax we already pay). This turns the traditional ethos under which allotments were set up right on its head.
Here's the FEDAGA 2009 proposal to the Council:
In their first Allotment Strategy published in 2002 (Cultivating Communities) the Council proposed that when setting rents the following comparability factors should be taken into account:
- the level of allotment rents in the rest of Scotland and the scale in England
- costs of other outdoor recreational or leisure activities provide by the authority.
Neither of these two factors has in fact been taken into account. Edinburgh rents are far in excess of the national average (this year they are £33.50 in Glasgow) and in England. (...and incidentally those across the USA)
Charges for other leisure facilities have gone up but by nothing like allotment fees.
My protest is, I admit, a token gesture. I hope it is one that other Edinburgh allotment holders will adopt too.