Pottering amongst the Cabbages.

Brighton and Hove Council met on Thursday 23rd February to debate the Green administration’s proposed budget. The allotment rent rises look to have been prevented or at least temporarily limited as a result of Labour amendments, and the proposed 3.5% Green Council Tax rise has become a freeze. These changes have implications across the council budget. Here I outline the issues raised by the proposed allotment rent increase, a relatively minor part of the overall council budget, but one that became a focus for action and debate. The issue: why allotments weren’t central to the vision for a ‘green’Brighton, and anger at the lack of meaningful consultation by organisations supposed to ‘represent’ allotment holders and growers across the city. Continue reading

Allotment rent rises in Brighton – action you can take

There’s been a flurry of activity in Brighton & Hove over the proposed allotment rent increase. This will increase the cost of a full plot to £110/year (from £66)& a half plot to £55/year (from £33), with no guarantee that this will be the end of rent rises. A petition at Seedy Sunday attracted 160 signatures on the day, and was presented to the council at the cabinet meeting on Thursday 9th February. The Greens stick by their intention to increase allotment rents by 67% over two years, as part of their proposed budget, which will be voted on for the final time at the full council meeting on Thursday 23rd February. An amendment on allotment rents is  being proposed on Thurs by B&H Labour/Cooperative Party; you can find the details here.

What can you do?
If you have not emailed your Councillor on this please do so tomorrow (Wednesday), putting in your own words what you feel about the proposed rent increases.  You will find there email address here and cc the email to Pete West, cabinet member for environment and sustainability. You could also copy your email to Sven Rufus who has responsibility for allotments, Bill Randall & Jason Kitcat, past & present leaders of the Greens on Brighton Council.

If you are on Facebook, there is a group here.

If you’re on Twitter please tweet this information to your followers with the hashtag: #Allotmentrents

There have been a number of callouts to lobby the budget meeting 4pm Thursday 23rd February, Bartholomew Sq.

We will be posting about the background to the proposed rent increases, but also intend tackling the issue of access to affordable land for growing that this whole episode has highlighted.

If you have ideas for action or ways of highlighting the value of allotments to our cities & their role in developing sustainable food resources, please do leave a comment.

For now, please act quickly!