Alex Cunningham calls on Government to come clean about its plans for allotments

The Tory-led Government is putting the future of allotments at risk by threatening to abolish legal protection for local growers, according to Alex Cunningham MP.

Councils are currently required by law to provide allotments where there is a local demand. The Government, however, is reviewing the duty for councils to provide allotments.

The duty to provide allotments has existed for over 100 years and is set out in the Small Holdings and Allotments Act (1908). The National Society for Allotments and Leisure Gardeners has expressed concerns that the review could see this protection scrapped. The consultation closed on 25 April. It is now up to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to decide the future for allotments. Alex today commented:

“Allotments have become increasingly popular in recent years with rising food prices and more people turning their hand to growing food. They are also a great way to bring people together and help the local community. I’ll fight any moves to weaken legal protection for local growers. Despite the fact the Prime Minister said at Prime Minister’s Questions today that allotments have his “full support” the Government is in danger of ripping up important protections for allotments that have existed for over 100 years.”

Mary Creagh MP, Shadow Environment Secretary added:

“Allotments are a much loved part of our towns and cities. Yet instead of celebrating this as an example of the ‘Big Society’ in action, the Tory-led Government has branded them as red tape. We need to grow more food, reduce our food miles and cut our carbon footprint; allotments help us do just that.”