To: Councillor Bronwen Brooks, Deputy Leader and Member for Sustainable Places, Vale of Glamorgan Council
Stop the shocking Barry & Rhoose allotment rent hike!
Stop the proposed 72% Barry and Rhoose allotment rent increase.
Why is this important?
The proposed 72% allotment rent hike in Barry and Rhoose will mean many poorer allotment holders, who have often tended their plot for many years, will be forced to surrender their allotment due to the increased cost.
We believe that this level of rent rise is not proportionate with other council charge increases such as car parking, council house rents or council tax and will hurt those on the lowest incomes most.
Allotments have never been meant to be rented at an economic rent, they were and are a social and environmental benefit.
Increasing rents in line with inflation would be reasonable but making allotment holders plug council finances is simply wrong.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales)Act 2015 sets out a clear obligation for public bodies to enable positive change that leads to a more resilient, sustainable, secure and healthy Wales.
The Guidence for local Authorities, Town & Community Councils issued by the Welsh Government clearly states on page 8 under Costs and charges: "The rent charged for an allotment plot 'shall be let at such rent as a tenant may reasonably be expected to pay for the land' (Allotments Act 1950 section 10). While the temptation may be to increase rents to cover the cost of providing allotments, this may exclude the very people who need them most. Rents should be in line with the national average of approximately £45 a year for a full plot(correct as at April 2020) and its at the authority's discretion if they have concessionary rates."
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has declared both Climate and Nature emergencies. Allotments contribute to both climate by growing local food in a sustainable way and nature by providing green spaces where wildlife can find food, shelter and breeding sites.
Many allotments have ponds and honey bees both of which are vital for healthy ecosystems.
Although allotments will always be mainly used for growing food, they have other social and environmental benefits. They are great places for healthy exercise, providing good opportunities for socialising, and puts us in touch with nature.
Please do not make our allotments only affordable to the wealthy!