Introduction to the Allotments.
There are sixty plots divided into three categories Full – Reduced and Half plots. All charged at different rates accordingly. There are very few half plots as the layout of many of the large plots make it difficult to split them successfully. All the plots are individually fenced and tenants are responsible for the maintenance (See Agreement). A plot number must be displayed at the entry point (See Agreement) and it is recommended that gates are lockable.
As a security measure, Palisade fencing and a robust hedge surround the Allotment Gardens
boundary. Access (pedestrian and car) is via a padlocked gateway, which must remain secured at all times.
(See Agreement). Keys are issued on a refundable deposit and a second key may be obtained for a further deposit. A refundable deposit is also required as ‘Surety’ against significant neglect when a tenancy ends. The Council will assess the condition of the plot and should remedial work be required, a report will be submitted and the deposit will be withheld. A Notice to Improve is usually issued before a Notice to Quit.
The Town Council rents the allotment land from Lady Hullock’s Trust on behalf of the tenants. The trust reviews their rental rates every three years and the Council will bring any change in the rental rate, which affects the tenants, to their attention a year in advance. The guidance is that allotment gardens will be self-financing in day to day costs i.e. Rent, Water Rates, basic maintenance where possible. Greater demands on annual income can be augmented by application to appropriate funding streams and Special Project reserves held by the Town Council, via the Town Council’s Allotment Committee.
The Annual Rent is collected in the Legal and traditional way in January at a general meeting in the Town Hall. This is both a Formal and Social Event. There is also a more informal meeting at the end of the season in the autumn for prize giving and guest speakers. Information gathered at both these events is included in the Agenda of the following Allotments Committee Meeting. When the minutes of those meetings are published a Newsletter is circulated to tenants by e.mail or a paper copy by post. Tenants up to date contact details are essential. We only share information by prior agreement.
There are two Notice Boards at the Gateway requiring tenants attention. The first displays an up to date copy of the Tenancy Agreement and on the reverse of the Notice Board is an up to date copy of the Health and Safety Risk Management Strategy for the allotments. The second Notice Board is provided for the use of tenants and related information. The key is in the Key Safe (no code) attached to the fence behind it. We ask tenants to keep notices up to date and remove them when expired.
We provide contracted Rat (but not Mole) Control services (see agreement) and general areas are sprayed bi-annually. We do ask tenants to keep their own track boundaries in good order – spraying, weeding, cutting and edging. (See Agreement).
The track leading to the allotments across the back of Lady Hullock’s Court is the responsibility of Broadacres Housing Trust, as is the hedgerow and verge there.
It is worthy of note that tenants are advised to carry a mobile phone at all times, make a note of the allotments postcode (displayed at the gateway) and have a first aid kit to hand, as safety measures. There is an access key safe on the main gatepost for the Emergency Services, who have the code.
Contact, initially and subsequently, may be made with the Town Clerk (located at the Town Hall) by phone, e-mail or in person, Allotment Committee Chair by e-mail or the Allotments Volunteer Caretaker (contact details in the Notice Board). When invited to view an allotment a Council representative meets applicants. This is usually the Allotments Committee Chair, who can answer any further questions and provide a copy of the Tenancy Agreement to read before visiting the Clerk’s Office to sign, receive a key and pay the deposits.