Lynne Featherstone MP concerned as allotment fees set to double

Lynne Featherstone MP previously visiting Alexandra Palace Allotment to support lottery winning project.Liberal Democrat MP Lynne Featherstone has today expressed concern over Haringey Council’s proposal to increase allotment fees in the Borough.

The Hornsey and Wood Green MP recently contacted Haringey Council on the matter on behalf of a number of constituents. In a response dated 9th January, a Council official confirmed that a proposal to increase allotment fees by 100% from 2013/14 was being considered.

This proposed rise has been criticised by the Haringey Allotments Forum, and comes on top of a recent 40% increase in allotment fees.

The final decision on allotment fees will be made at the full Haringey Council meeting on the 25th February.

Paul Hamilton, Haringey Allotments Forum representative, said:

“The Haringey Allotments Forum is very concerned about plans to increase allotment fees by 100%. This will generate a £60,000 annual surplus, of which only £30,000 might be reinvested in the allotment’s service in 2013/14.

“The Forum strongly opposes the proposal to increase allotments fees above the rate of inflation to make a profit out of allotments, and we have written to the Council to this effect. I am glad that Lynne Featherstone MP has stepped in and shown support for our submission.”

Commenting, Lynne Featherstone MP said:

“Allotments are vital community resource – preserving green space, benefiting the environment and encouraging healthy eating. Under no circumstances should they be used solely as a revenue generator.

“Haringey Council should be encouraging residents to use allotments, and making them accessible to everyone. It’s hard to see how doubling fees will achieve this.

“If the proposal is pushed through by the Labour Council, I call on them to ensure that the money is reinvested in the allotments, and that allotment holders have a say on what the money is spent on.”