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Some help needed - regarding allotments


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I have successfully rented an allotment from my local parish council for the last three years, they were fully aware that I was a childminder when I applied and was planning to take the children in my care to the site. Just over a month ago my parish council decided to stop me from doing this, claiming that I was breaking the 1922 Allotment Act.

 

I know that many councils throughout the country are happy to have childminders, nurseries and pre-schools on their allotment sites and this is where you can help. In a couple of weeks time I am having a meeting with the council to try and find a way forward and what I would like to be able to do is to show them, is that the 1922 Allotment Act is not a law that is in forced nationwide as they are claiming.

 

If your setting rents an allotment or if you know of another setting that does, could you please tell me whereabouts in the country you or they are, and who it's rented from?

 

Your help would be gratefully appreciated, not just by me but by the children who love going to the allotment and their families.

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Which part of the 1922 Allotment Act are they saying is applicable here? I'm not an expert by the way but I can understand why you are annoyed, and I would want to get the bit between my teeth if they wanted to stop me. You are not really using it for business use or selling produce presumably?

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I used to take the children to the local allotment when I worked at a church pre-school. It was never a problem. I think our local infant school have a plot on the adjoining allotments. I would have thought that they should be encouraging you not stopping you.

 

Perhaps one of those lovely allotment people has made a complaint! I watched a programme about it a while ago, they can be really awful. Perhaps your cabbages are bigger than theirs!

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Which part of the 1922 Allotment Act are they saying is applicable here? I'm not an expert by the way but I can understand why you are annoyed, and I would want to get the bit between my teeth if they wanted to stop me. You are not really using it for business use or selling produce presumably?

the parish council are quoting

Interpretation.

(1)For the purposes of this Act, where the context permits -

The expression "allotment garden" means an allotment not exceeding forty poles in extent which is wholly or mainly cultivated by the occupier for the production of vegetable or fruit crops for consumption by himself or his family;

 

no definitely not selling any produce, the children are just helping to grow some fruit and vegetables.

 

I used to take the children to the local allotment when I worked at a church pre-school. It was never a problem. I think our local infant school have a plot on the adjoining allotments. I would have thought that they should be encouraging you not stopping you.

 

Perhaps one of those lovely allotment people has made a complaint! I watched a programme about it a while ago, they can be really awful. Perhaps your cabbages are bigger than theirs!

it was a councillor who raised the issue, not any of the tenants.

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Are you sure this isn't about their insurance? (although i realise they are quoting the act...i don't think it really applies!) I used to take our pre-school down to my allotment (and sometimes still do!!) but the secretary was always a bit concerned if they hurt themselves. They would be covered under our insurance terms so not really a problem but sometimes people get twitchy.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps one of those lovely allotment people has made a complaint! I watched a programme about it a while ago, they can be really awful. Perhaps your cabbages are bigger than theirs!

Hurrum.....excuse me ! What are you insinuating?......I am ONE of those lovely allotment people....i have 3!!! :angry: :blink: xD

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It may well be that the Councillor is acting on someone's complaint . You have been there for three years so why would s/he be checking you out now? I cannot imagine that a Councillor checks out all allotment holders. Do indiviidual Councillors check out all allotment holders? I think not. This seems very heavy handed. You are growing your veg etc. for your personal use, aided by the young children you care for. Presumably you are covered by your own insurance as regards the children's safety and have risk assessments in place. You can take these to your meeting plus lots of reasons why you do what you do. Have you got your council's rules and regs, policies etc. re their allotments? Take some pictures along showing the children enjoying themselves.

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I'm wondering if there is a waiting list for allotments in your area? It may appear to someone wanting an allusive allotment that you are using the space as an extension to your setting rather than a place to grow veg so they've raised the issue as a way of shortening the list. Just a thought. Best of luck. I think it's terrific that you're getting the children involved in the garden.

 

Honey

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Yes me too - a fantastic opportunity for the children in your care.

 

One of my nieces has an allotment - she waited years for it and is always very concerned about losing it - lots of rules and regs associated with this allotment business :blink:

 

Some great advice there from Jacquie

 

Good luck - hope it all works out well for you :1b don't forget to let us know.......

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They have said their insurance will not cover us on site, but they only looked into insurance cover a month after they banned us from going there. Many councils including one near by, have written into their tenancy agreements that they will not be held liable for the health and safety of any allotment tenant or visitors on site. I have tried to explaining to them that I have my own public liability insurance to cover us, they have also just rented out a plot to the local scouts group. The councillor who raised the issue of us being on site was the same councillor I made a complaint about, unfortunately once something has been raised at a council meeting it has to be looked into, it would have made their life a lot easier if someone else had made the complaint. I know that all the surrounding council both village and large town councils are happy to have childminders on their allotment sites, but I don't drive which would make it impossible for us to get to them, it's only our village council that saying this and they have a number of vacant plots currently.

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ask them if they wish to be seen as discriminatory.......................WHY is it ok for scouts, but not your children?? Get the local press involved too...........lots of children holding floppy vegetables and sad faces

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This is ridiculous! I agree, get the local paper involved if it goes any further! We should be encouraging children to take an interest in nature, gardening, healthy eating, where their food comes from etc etc...

I had an allotment in the village I used to live in when I was a childminder, and took my minded children there all the time. (That was in Gloucestershire.) Now I run a preschool in another village (in Devon) and we often take the children to the village allotments to have a look around and see what's growing. We are always made to feel very welcome by everyone we meet there. In fact we visit so often we were offered a plot last year, but declined (sadly) as I know I would end up doing most of the work and I just don't have time!

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I agree with Narnia - if they are letting the scouts on the allotments then the committee has set a president of having such young groups on the land. Honestly, this is so ridiculous that if makes my blood boil. Surely if these children were your own and you were taking them down to the allotment as a family then there would not be a problem. Please do keep us in touch about this as I would love for your to get it resolved and a positive outcome for you and the lucky children in your care.

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how interesting - we took the children down to our local allotment for a walk and to see what was growing - met by lovely local lady ( who I know) she picked fresh rhubarb for the children to suck on and bought a whole load down for us to cook - which we did today and had with custard - we looked at her chickens that spend the day there and the children have been asking ever since - when can we go and see the chickens . my friend and I are going to rent a plot and we will be taking the children along - the sign on the gate just states no unaccompanied children ! DIg for victory and children rights !!

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and just in case anyone worries - no rhubarb leaves consumed as very toxic !! The lady did say many years ago when preschool was playgroup run by mums they made rhubarb jam whilst the scorers apprentice played on an old record player and the jam bubbled away -the children then had jam and bread with some earlier prepared jam .' I doubt you could do that now' she said - 'oh yes we can I said - what a fab idea

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