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Allotment tenants to be offered control of sites

Allotment holders in Swansea could soon be given control of their own sites under plans going to Swansea Council's cabinet next week.


There are 16 allotments in the city providing 307 plots.

Some sites are successfully self-managed by the users themselves while others are still run by the council.

Under the plans all sites would be transferred to membership associations on long-term leases and they would pay a peppercorn rent and then have full responsibility for the land.

It would mean they would be able to collect their own rent and spend the income on their own priorities.

They would also be able to draw-up their own site rules and apply for various grants that are not available to the council.

Cllr June Burtonshaw, Cabinet Member for Future Generations, said: "Some of our allotment sites in Swansea are already very successfully managed by the users but others are run by the council.

"One of those proposals going to cabinet is that all sites are transferred to membership associations so that there is consistency across Swansea.

"It would mean that the sites can be managed and maintained more economically and efficiently by the tenants, securing their future while there would be no ongoing costs to the council."

Many local authorities in Wales have already adopted this approach including Newport and Bridgend.

As part of any lease transfer the new management groups will have to join The National Allotment Association.

Cllr Burtonshaw added: "We want to make sure that there is support and advice readily available to the new membership associations in Swansea so that they can make the most of their allotments and the opportunities available to their tenants, while knowing that expert assistance is at hand should it be needed."

The report going to Cabinet on February 15 states that council officers have already met with representatives from all the sites and generally the plans have been welcomed.

The allotment holders are now considering whether to form individual associations or whether to combine sites and create an association covering a few sites.

It is likely that going forward there will be a combination of both.

At the moment five sites are partially self-managed in Swansea: Castle Road (Mumbles); Gelli Aur (Treboeth); Heol y Gors (Cockett); Singleton (Ashleigh Road) and Upper Norton Field (Mumbles).

There are interim arrangements in place at six other sites: Eynon Street (Gorseinon) Fairfield (Townhill); Frederick Place (Llansamlet); Grenfell Park Road (St Thomas); Lon Mafon (Ty Coch) and Plunch Lane (Limeslade).

Five are currently managed directly by Swansea Council: Acre Field (Mumbles); Castle Acre Field (Mumbles); Grange (West Cross); Lower Norton Field (off Mumbles Road) and Seaview (Mount Pleasant).

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