|Looking for improvements by next Spring|
The meeting had been requested as a result of concerns over difficulties in making rental payments as well as overgrown and uncultivated plots which were not being relet and thus spreading weed seeds to neighbouring plots. LINK
The officers recognised that management of Brent allotments had not been going well for 18 months to 2 years since the non-replacement of the Allotments Officer when she moved on to another job. An officer is going through the process of auditing the many sites in Brent and as he toured the allotment with us today he took note of the uncultivated sites and maintenance issues and another collected photographic evidence.
We were promised better communication with updates on when plots had been allocated to new tenants and action to make the billing process more efficient. I have been trying to pay rent on one of my plots for 2 years without success! An apprentice has been allocated to deal with the paper work. I suggested as an early essential is a spreadsheet recording all the plots, tenant's name, whether it was being cultivated and whether a bill had been sent.
The efforts of the Allotment representative at Birchen Grove, a voluntary elected position, has already helped reduce the number of unallocated plots from 25 to 10, although work has not started on some because of the colder weather. There will be another tour in the Spring to make sure that clearing and cultivation is taking place. It was pointed out than unlet plots represented a loss of income to the Council.
There is now a Birchen Grove Facebook page LINK that could be linked to a sustainability network that Brent Council is working on.
Cllr Krupa Sheth, lead member for the Environment, was unable to make the meeting but has asked officers to feed back to her on the issues raised.