Allotment rents in Birmingham 2014-17

By on 16/09/2013 in Cllr McKay, News

The following is a statement from Cllr James McKay on plans to increase allotment rents in Birmingham on a gradual and phased basis over three years between 2014/15 and 2016/17 to ensure the service operates on a break-even basis.

Cllr James McKay

Cllr James McKay

Cllr McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City, said: “The budget challenge we face as a result of government cuts mean we have to place the allotments service on a sound financial footing - that's why we're moving to a full cost recovery model on a phased basis by 2016/17.

“At present the service receives a 37 per cent subsidy from the council - which is simply not sustainable given the £825million shortfall in funding the city faces as a whole by 2017.

“Given this bleak financial landscape, the council has been consulting on a series of gradual rent increases and a new operating model for allotments, which would decommission management of the service to allotment holders to save money on staffing costs.

“It is also proposed to alter to concessionary discounts. At present a 50 per cent discount is offered to all plotholders aged over 60.

“From 1 October 2014 this will be changed and the discount offered only to those who reach the age of 65 after that date. All current recipients and those that reach 60 before 1 October 2014 will receive the discount as is the case currently.

“Birmingham's offer will still continue to be very attractive when compared to that offered by other councils, many of which offer no or lower concessionary rates as well as none of the additional facilities enjoyed in the city such as toilets, storage buildings, water and roadways.

“By 2017, mini plots will still only cost 46p per week for pensioners, while large plots will cost just £1.06 a week.

“This isn't something we want to do, but circumstances out of our control mean there is no other feasible option - but the allotment service is still one that offers very good value for money to citizens, who can enjoy their plots as a hobby and a way of producing cheap, fresh, healthy food.”

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  1. Brian says:

    “Birmingham’s offer will still continue to be very attractive when compared to that offered by other councils”,
    I don’t believe that is true, I took a look around other council charges and couldn’t find any council run allotments as expensive as Birmingham.
    I also find it hard to believe that they subsidise allotments, I have not seen evidence that they spend anything at all.
    At the new price it is no longer cost effective to grow your own, so I will be giving mine up this year..