|The overgrown allotment next to my plot at Birch Grove, Kingsbury|
Cllr Long said that she was receiving a lot of complaints about the state of our allotments: the billing process is disorganised, the council does not therefore know who no longer requires their allotment and the result is that many are left overgrown - 'a mess.'
She went on to say that the Council had got rid of its Allotments Officer (something I campaigned against) and the work had 'been dumped on someone in the parks department.'
Long mistakenly said she thought that allotments had been converted to self management, in fact allotment holders except for one site turned this down but the Allotments Officer was nevertheless made redundant. There are however allotment representatives who can liaise between allotment tenants and the council. There used to be an incentive of free plot rental for people taking on this role but I am not sure this is still the case. My allotment site at Birchen Grove has recently elected a new representative and I hope this will result in some improvement. However I think the problem will only be resolved if Brent Council decide to reinstate the Allotments Officer position - there is a lot of potential income in those plots that are not currently being cultivated.
Cllr Krupa Sheth, lead cabinet member for the environment, responding to Cllr Long said, 'We definitely want to get the best out of our allotments. I'll take this back to the parks team and make sure the billing is done properly as well.'