Allotment holder slams council over ‘through the roof’ water rate rise
- Credit: Archant
An allotment owner has criticised a parish council over an 'upsetting' rise in water rates, which he claims have 'gone through the roof'.
David Rowe, an allotment holder in Hellesdon, said a rise in water charges had led to upset among gardeners at the Norwich site.
The 47-year-old bricklayer, who has held a plot at the Boundary Road gardens for the past three years, said: "The water rates have gone through the roof.
"It was £20 this year per person. The total price is like £60 for the year. That's causing a bit of an upset."
Full allotment holders were charged £20 for water use at the site, compared to the £5 charge in 2017 and 2018 - making the total cost of a plot for the year a total of £61.25, while half plot holders were charged just a £10 fee.
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And the parish council hit back at the father-of-two's complaint, saying the increased water charge was due to an "exceptionally high bill" following a long, hot summer.
Mr Rowe said the increased charge had come at a time when many allotment holders seemed to be abandoning their plots.
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"Everyone seems to be giving up," he said.
"I've evaluated the situation and thought 'is it worth keeping it on' but I've got two young children and I want to show them how to grow vegetables. I think that rather than give up I should try and generate some interest.
"If more people have plots, the rate is divided among more people and would come down."
A spokesperson for Hellesdon Parish Council said: "All allotment holders were written to to explain a larger bill had been received due to the long, hot, dry summer.
"The council decided not to put the full water bill through to the allotment holders apart from a nominal charge of £20."
They added that the council had been in discussion with plot holders via the Hellesdon Allotment Holders Association (HAHA), and said: "This year the water bill really covers 2017 and 2018 and for that period it was the long, hot summer and there was an exceptionally high bill.
"They had a chance to raise it with the council if they felt it was inappropriate."