At present parish councils are required by law to provide allotements if there is a demand by 6 or more electors in a parish. This puts in a very unfair burden on small councils where the precept is low in comparison to the cost of providing allotments and the necessary infrastructure. The initial cost can be as high as 30% of the annual precept. This is too severe a burden on a council to provide facilities for a few people.
Moreover, the rents paid by the allotment holders are unrealistically too low and the councils are having to subsidise these allotments. There have been cases when a council is unable to find suitable land and they are having to go for compulsory purchase, thereby increasing the costs considerably.
I think the legislation for the councils to provide allotments was passed 100 years ago to help poor people or people living in flats or tenements or farm workers to grow their vegetables for healthier living. I think most of the people now wanting allotments are relatively well off and can well afford a proper rent for the privilege of growing and eating fresh food. I think the council should only subsidise public money on essential social needs which individual or families can not reasonably provide for themselves especially in this economic climate.
The government should abolish the requiremtnt for the parish councils to provide allotments at whatever cost or at least raise the limit from 6 electors wanting an allotment to someting like 10 -20% of the electorate.