Adopted by Council: 29th September 2020
Planned Review Date: September 2023
Introduction and Scope
Allotments are an important asset to Crewe, providing a wide range of benefits to communities and the environment. They are not just a great way of producing good, low cost food, though this is still important today. Allotments offer people a viable means of recreation involving healthy exercise embracing the fun and challenge of growing vegetables, fruit and flowers. Communities can be strengthened through active participation, landscape quality can be improved, biodiversity can be enhanced and innovative approaches to site design and management can encourage urban regeneration offering benefits to the whole community.
Crewe Town Council owns 11 allotment sites which were transferred from Cheshire East Council. These are managed by Crewe Town Allotment Federation (8 sites) and West End Allotment Cooperative (3 sites). A majority of the sites has its own committee and it's members make all of the decisions regarding their site, including financial decisions, rules and regulations.
- The Town Council recognises its statutory duty to provide allotments where that need is established and will work with the federations to ensure where possible, the need is satisfied.
- The Council believes that self-management fulfils the twin aims of ensuring greater control of a site for allotment holders and of reducing the Council’s administrative responsibilities. It is also a route to engaging with local communities in the management and regeneration of important environmental assets. The Council will therefore continue to offer the sites to the federations through lease agreements.
- The Council will continue to have responsibility as the statutory provider of allotments; ensuring devolved management practices are exercised appropriately so as to demonstrate compliance with legislation and statutory requirements.
- The properly constituted allotment federations will accept responsibility for a range of duties under a lease from the Council. These will be set out in the agreement as will the Council’s responsibilities. The Council retains defined oversight and strategic functions.
- The Council will work with the federations to ensure that allotments are promoted to attract new allotment holders from all sectors of the community.
- The Council will encourage the mentoring of young people by older people in cultivating plots, fostering education and community cohesiveness. Gardeners are great resources, with years of experience and knowledge of working allotment plots that if passed on to newcomers will remain in the community for generations ahead.
- The Council will encourage the provision of allotments to industry best practice and will provide support for major improvements. It will remain cognizant of the guidance by the National Allotment Society.
- The Council will encourage the provision of allotment sites that are welcoming and accessible to all, with good and safe access to sites, access for people with disabilities. It will encourage sites to be attractive throughout, with an option of smaller plot sizes, raised beds and wheelchair access, where there is a demand.
- The Council will work in partnership with allotment stakeholders on management and development issues promoting community involvement and social inclusion.
- The Council will expect the federations to have policies which provide for:-
- Well maintained paths, roads and parking areas
- Remedying neglected plots
- Opportunities and encouragement to individuals and communities wishing to be involved in the cultivation of allotments
- Efficient and effective allotment administration
- Fair, open, equitable treatment and safe tenure
- Opportunities for developing gardening skills
- Fair rents
- The Council will encourage the federations to ensure well-maintained, clean and safe allotments through:-
- tenancy agreement to reinforce tenant’s responsibilities.
- undertaking individual site audits to identify any unwanted waste on each site.
- disposing of all dangerous and unwanted waste on each site and work with allotment holders to ensure they dispose of their waste responsibly.
- provision of good allotment guides for all tenants to support the terms of the tenancy agreement and to clarify tenant responsibilities.
- working to control weeds on vacant plots before they go to seed, where possible.
- The Council will work with the federations to encourage sustainable practices, including:-
- improving waste management on sites.
- minimising the amount of pollution generated on allotments.
- maximising water efficiency.
- investigating the demand for the creation of ‘organic only’ plots.
- promoting the use of water butts to reduce the use on mains water usage.
- The Council will work with the federations to encourage bio-diversity and conservation, including:-
- identifying, recognising and protecting any areas rich in wildlife value, such as hedges and marginal areas.
- promoting the range of habitats available for wildlife.
- assessing and recording the heritage value of each allotment site.
- raising awareness of the heritage value of allotments.
- The Council will encourage healthy, safe and secure allotments, including:-
- adequate water provision.
- toilet and hand washing facilities.
- basic first aid kit.
- a reasonable level of security as necessary.
- sites that are secure places for all members of the community.
- sites that are free from hazards to health.
- ensure dogs on sites are kept under control and that sites are free from dog fouling.
- The Council will jointly undertake with the federations/associations yearly risk assessment visits to all sites.