Greens promise new deal for allotment holders

Cllr Darren Johnson AM, Leader of the Green Party Group in the London Assembly and a tireless champion of allotments said, ‘Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of allotments, but unfortunately in many parts of London the waiting list for a plot is as long as 5 or even 10 years.

Allotments need to be recognised for their environmental, health and social benefits. Greens believe more should be done to encourage the popularity of allotment gardening.

As well as benefits of personal well-being, allotment gardeners enjoy affordable fresh produce and tend to eat more fruit and vegetables than average. In addition, using composted waste on allotments plots is a means to cut household rubbish.’

At its recent conference the Green Party pledged to introduce the following policies:

• Local authorities to provide more proactive support for allotments and to work to cut waiting lists where demand for allotment plots is high.
• New allotment sites to be created on brownfield land and new housing estates
• More public information on the availability of allotments and improved public education on the benefits of allotments
• Improved access and better facilities for disabled people, such as raised beds
• Allotments to be given much greater protection through the planning system
• The removal of restrictions on the selling and bartering of allotment produce, as long as it conforms to food safety standards
• Allotment provision to be tailored to meet the needs of those wish to take them up including different sized plots and ensuring provision is as close as practicable to all who would like them.

Until recently, allotment gardening has been a pastime for lower income, older men. In 1993, only 6 per cent of allotment gardeners in the UK were under 35 and 65 per cent were over 50.

However, this picture is changing radically. People from different ethnic backgrounds, younger people and families are taking up allotment gardening.


Notes for Editors

Darren Johnson can be contacted at the London Assembly on 020 7983 4406


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