Council pledge to tone down Norwich allotment warnings

Paul Kendrick, Labour councillor for Catton Grove ward.

Paul Kendrick, Labour councillor for Catton Grove ward. - Credit: Archant

Council leaders in Norwich have pledged to reword future letters to allotment holders after concerns were raised about 'heavy-handed' warnings.

Members of the Green Party on Norwich City Council raised their concerns after some allotment holders feared that they would have their plot taken away from them following letters from officers urging them to bring their allotments up to scratch.

Claire Stephenson, leader of the Norwich Green group, urged the council to make its letters to allotment holders 'less antagonistic in future.'

The city council currently owns 1,772 allotments across Norwich.

Labour cabinet member Paul Kendrick told councillors on Tuesday night that the local authority had conducted around 3,000 plot inspections, with 150 tenants being issued with warnings urging them to work their plots within the adopted rules. He added that 35 of those received a second notice and 20 people had their allotments taken away from them because they were not following the rules.

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'The process was reviewed last November, which resulted in the development of a second notice and a fact sheet which is now circulated with the warning notices to ensure all recipients have an understanding of what is required. When allotment holders receive a notice they are invited to contact the allotment officer to discuss any concerns they have and given the opportunity to put in place an improvement programme. As part of the process the letters have been reworded to reduce unintended upset being caused,' he said.

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