The Green Administration’s proposed 70% hike in city allotment charges could be scrapped if a proposal by the Council’s Conservative Group is agreed at the Brighton & Hove City Council Budget meeting on Thursday.
Under Green proposals, allotment holders would see their annual fees increase from £33 to £55 for a half plot and from £66 to £111 for a full plot over the next two years. The Conservative Group’s proposal, if agreed, would restrict these increases to just £3 for a half plot and £6 for a full plot, to be funded by reducing the amount of taxpayer funded Trade Union ‘facility time’ within the Council.
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, said: “This is a very simple choice for the Greens and Labour – do they support the city’s allotment holders or would they rather see taxpayers continue to fund Trade Union activity within the Council at a level which is the third highest amongst all unitary authorities in the country.”
Westbourne Ward Councillor Graham Cox, who is himself an allotment holder, added: “Many of us are completely baffled by the Green Party decision to scrap the historic allotment subsidy. Talking to fellow allotment holders, they are really worried that poorer people and pensioners will no longer be able to rent an allotment in our City. These increases of 70% by the Greens will raise a tiny sum of money in the context of a £750 million budget. The Green Party devoted a whole section of their election manifesto to the virtues of allotments, including how they help give people access to cheaper good food. It is hard to imagine a less green action, and I know that many allotment holders who voted for the Green Party are very disappointed.”