New system of managing council allotments in Rotherham will bring a £100,000 investment windfall for the sites

Allotment tenants in Rotherham could see their rents reduced and improvements made as the council hands control for its sites to a new management alliance from January.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 4:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 4:11 pm
Home grown: Rotherham's allotment tenants could have more opportunity to control their own sites under management shake up

All Rotherham’s council owned allotments will remain in ownership of the authority, but all will be governed by a new alliance from the turn of the year to take direct burden of responsibility away from officials.

Some sites have been self-managed in the past and those involved have been consulted, along with tenants, ahead of the changes.

Coun Brian Steele, of the borough’s allotment holders, has been heavily involved in steering through the new arrangement and told colleagues it could lead to lower rents and changes to improve sites as those involved took greater control.

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The new Allotment Alliance will also be awarded £100,000 by the council, though no decisions have yet been made on the best ways to invest that cash.

The alliance will have a full-time administrator to help with the paperwork and it has also used other specialists to help get it established as an organisation.

A result of the change was that next year allotment holders would only get a bill for nine months’ rent, said Coun Steele, because of a change in the way the system would be operated.

The alliance is expected to report back to the council at some point next year with an update on how the new arrangements have settled in.

Coun Emma Hoddinott said: “Having seen the work of the Allotment Alliance, the dedication and expertise is really quite impressive.

“They have started from scratch and there are some really good ideas there. It is a really interesting approach. We are only a few months from going live and there has been a lot of hard work,” she said.