Thursday, 24 October 2019

Fires On Allotments Update

Question to Adam Brind and the Answer received on the 24th October 2019 

5) When will you formally verify the proposed changes re Bonfires on Allotments

I have circulated the revised text and only had three comments back, all asking about open fires and community events for bonfire night.  I think an additional line saying: "Open fires may be held on site for 5 evenings before or after 5th November to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night".

The text now reads as follows:

Policy P22

From 1st January 2020 open bonfires are not allowed on the council’s allotment sites. However waste material that cannot be disposed of by composting or other means may be burned in an incinerator or clean oil drum during the period 1st October to 15th March.  Fires should not be lit more than 2 hours before dusk and are not permitted on Bank Holidays during this period. Material that is damp or green must not be burnt until it dries out fully. See the allotment Gardeners Guidelines for more information on how to dispose of material without burning and never burn materials such as plastics that may cause pollution.

To allow for Guy Fawkes night celebrations, open bonfires are permitted on allotment sites for 5 nights before and five nights after 5th November each year.  Green, damp and plastic materials must not be burnt on open bonfires. 

Note that by law you could be fined if you light a fire and allow the smoke to drift across the road and become a danger to traffic.  If you cause a nuisance by frequently having fires or allowing smoke to drift into neighbouring properties the Council can issue an ‘abatement notice’ and you can be fined up to £5,000 if you do not comply with the notice.  In addition, failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of the allotment agreement. 

This Policy supersedes the guidance in Version 6 - 2018 of the Allotment Gardeners Guidelines.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Bonfire Ban - Lack of Consultation

Just before the annual gardening group meeting one of the Site Reps became aware of the draft Parks and Open Spaces Strategy for 2019 – 2026 in which Policy P22 had been added which states 

“From 1st January 2020 fires of any kind will no longer be allowed on the council allotment sites. Failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of the allotment agreement of any plot holder found having a fire on the site. This Policy supersedes the guidance in version 6 -2018 of the Allotment gardeners Guide. “

The assembled Site Reps brought this matter up under any other business, as

1) There had been no discussion / consultation with the site reps and the 2500 or more plot holders in the borough regarding the possible change in policy.

2) The on line consultation period had expired, it has been reopened following our complaint however there are no specific questions in relation to Fires on Allotments so we are still not being consulted.

3) The Policy states “fires of any kind” thus could be taken as including those for brewing tea of coffee, and BBQ’s and as written the policy is unclear.

The whole concept of the Gardening Group Meeting is for the consultation and discussion of these matters and at a previous meeting a few years ago it was agreed that bonfires would not be allowed between the 1st April to the 30th September.

This allows for the burning of wood, weeds that cannot be composed and tomato and potato blighted foliage and the production of wood ash that is a valuable source of fertiliser and alternative for lime, It also allowed new plot holders taking over new plot to burn the weeds and timber debris they inherited on a vacant plot between October and the end of March.

During this time of year it gets darker earlier and there are not as many neighbours with their windows open. With Bonfire night in November it allows for the drying of weeds and cleared vegetation in October and the burning on the 5th November.

With thirty six allotment sites with over 2,500 plot holders we are a significant group within the borough and should be consulted on this issue. There are many things that can be done to reduce any complaints regarding bonfires and stove fires on allotment sites causing nuisance, we have not had the opportunity to explore and discuss these.

I would suggest that as many of us write to our local councillors as possible, stressing how difficult this is going to make things for us, and the fact that we have not been consulted at all on the change, particularly that we have not been given the opportunity to work out a compromise to alleviate the problem. You can find out who your local Councillor by putting in your post code in this link 

Your Neighbourhood Manager can be found here

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Frost Fair this Saturday

EcoLocal and the Friends of Honeywood Museum are delighted to bring back the Frost Fair this year on Saturday 1st December 1- 6pm. Held by the beautiful setting of Carshalton Ponds it’s a traditional winter event for all of the family. Browse 40 stalls to find local produce and craft gifts. Enjoy hot mulled wine, hog roast and vegan food, while live music in the Memorial Garden, choirs in Honeywood Walk and twinkling fairy lights create a magical atmosphere. 

Santa’s Grotto is inside Honeywood Museum along with Christmas Magic Shows and Story Telling. Tickets can be purchased on the day at the ticket booth outside the museum. And you can drop in to the Winter Wonderland Trail to discover who has stolen Santa’s sack at the Ecology Centre 1 to 4pm. See Ecolocal website for details.

There's more fun in Carshalton High Street where the Christmas lights will be switched on at 6pm.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Best Allotment Garden

Download the application form Here  
There is a Best Allotment Garden Category.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Welcome Ramona

The Allotment Site Reps would like to welcome Ramona and look forward to working with her to reduce the massive backlog of people that have been waiting to be informed that there are plots available for them to view and potentially take over and work.

We are heading into the months when the site inspections are due to take place, so make sure your plots are up to standard as we don't want to overburden Ramona with sending out non cultivated warning letters.  

Ramona Boboc
Merton & Sutton Allotment Administrator
Tel:      020 3876 8808
Depot: Cheam Park Depot, Tudor Close , Cheam, Surrey SM3 8QS