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Petition to step up allotment fee fight

Dan Bilton, Walkley Bank Allotment Society Chairman, protests outside Sheffield Town Hall at the cost of having an allotment in Sheffield

Dan Bilton, Walkley Bank Allotment Society Chairman, protests outside Sheffield Town Hall at the cost of having an allotment in Sheffield

Pressure is mounting on council bosses to re-think a planned increase in allotment charges.

Green-fingered campaigners say Sheffield will be charging one of the highest rates in the country if city leaders agree to increase rates to £160 a year - a threefold rise on charges for 2011.

A petition set up online calling for a freeze on the current £100 charge has already been signed by more than 200 people.

Dan Bilton, chairman of Walkley Bank Allotment Society, said: “I’ve had my allotment for 12 years. The charge has always gone up gradually but in the past three years it’s gone up by more than 100 per cent.

“There are private allotments in the city which cost only £20.

“They are saying there will be help for people on benefits but other people will lose out. This rise will make Sheffield one of the most expensive places in the country for allotment space.”

Sheffield GP Dr Lisa Newton said: “Allotments are important for the community, health and reducing our carbon footprint. They should not be the preserve of the wealthy.”

A protest involving allotment tenants from across the city has been organised outside Sheffield Town Hall next month ahead of the council’s annual budget meeting.

Coun Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, said: “We are in this position because the Government has taken £190 million from the council.

“It is important to say people on lower incomes and the disabled will pay less as a result of these changes.”

 

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