Councillor sows the seeds of change on allotment concession charges

Greenwich Council has decided to reintroduce concessionary rates for pensioners following questions from Eltham Conservative Councillor Spencer Drury.  The U-turn was confirmed following Spencer raising the issue at both the January and February meetings of the Council.

 

In answer to Spencer’s January question, the Cabinet Member confirmed that concessions had been removed for new allotment holders without consultation in March 2015, effectively doubling the charges for pensioners from £50 to £100pa.  The question and answer can be seen below:

 

Spencer confirmed that this was the highest rate of any south-east-London Council in the February meeting of Council using the figures below:-

 

Borough

Basic charge for 5 rod site

Concessions apply to?

Concessionary Rate

Notes

Bromley

£29.65

Over 65

21.65

Bromley Common Allotments – others may vary around this level.

(£30 to £60 depending on site)

Greenwich

£100

N/A

N/A

£200 for out-of-borough allotment holders

Lewisham

£44

N/A

N/A

No out-of-borough applicants permitted

Bexley

£37.50

Senior citizens

18.75

Out-of-borough is £47.50/£23.75 for full/concessionary rate

Croydon

£39

A 50% discount to senior citizens, the unemployed and registered disabled people

£19.50

No information

 

Following up on comments made in discussions outside of Council, the Cabinet Member stated in February that: “.. I doubt very much whether we will be looking at reductions in allotment charges.”

 

However at the start of March, Cabinet Member Cllr Jackie Smith emailed Cllr Drury to confirm that:

 

  • She proposed to reintroduce the concessionary fees for those aged over 65 or on benefit.

 

  • There would be an annual meeting of the allotment holder forum that would look at fees and charges as part of its overall brief.

 

Cllr Drury said: “I am so pleased to be able to work with Cllr Smith to reintroduce the concessionary rate for allotment holders around Greenwich.  It speaks volumes about Cllr Smith that she is prepared to listen to residents and change her policy where it is not working.  From a personal point of view, this is what being an effective ward Councillor is all about – raising residents’ concerns with Cabinet Members and helping to correct a policy that is not working.”

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