The Committee considered a report on the
review of allotments.
Worcester City Council works in partnership
with the Worcester Allotment Forum to provide allotments around the
City, appendix A attached to the report, provided a map and details
of all the allotment sites.
An information report outlining how the City
Council’s allotment service operates was considered by the
Committee in October 2019. As part of
the work independent experts will review the purpose of the
allotments taking into account wider changes and trends in society
together with the City Council’s own aspirations for
allotments now and in the future.
The preferred option, outlined in paragraph 3
of the report, identified the appointment of an independent
organisation to undertake a review of the way that allotments are
governed and managed including their social, financial and
environmental impacts. It was
anticipated that a report would be brought back to the Committee
with the conclusions of the review in March 2021.
Some Members welcomed the report and accepted
that a review of the current system is needed and would like to see
more officer/member involvement. It was
however suggested that the review be carried out in house rather
than spending £12,000 appointing an independent
Other Members felt that they could not support
the proposal as it needed to be a much wider scope, the review
itself was not of concern but were concerned about the lack of
boundaries to the piece of work which were not found in the
The Chair stated that the service would not
have the capacity to carry out this piece of work in house, as a
huge amount of consultation and engagement would be
It was considered that the review would give
the opportunity to look at what other councils are doing and look
at best practice. To give everyone the
opportunity to be involved would be a huge task for officers,
therefore the appointment of an outside organisation would be a
Members agreed that engagement with the plot
holders was important and that the right people were being
involved, whether it was being carried out in house or
externally. The allotment holders were
key to all of this.
The Chair suggested a possible amendment to
1.2 of the recommendation that the Chair and Vice Chair initially
agree the scope then put to members of the Committee, this may be
able to be done by email or special meeting, before the next
meeting, to give reassurances as to what the scope would be.
The Deputy Director – Governance
suggested that there were two options open to Members to enable
them to reach a decision – a full scope of the review to come
back to Committee before work is commissioned or agree a form of
words in principle, that the outcome of the review has to report
back to Committee before it is implemented.
In referring to the Committee report, the
objective is about the sustainability of these as valuable
community assets. The review
the full minutes text for item 18.