Among a long list of new cost saving and income generation proposals going before Reading Borough Council (RBC) policy committee on Monday 17 July is one which will affect Reading’s allotments holders.
£35,000 could be generated in the two financial years starting on 1 April 2018 and ending on 31 March 2020 by carrying out a review of allotment services including:
- regularising plot sizes,
- simplifying and increasing charges comparable with other providers,
- improved enforcement to optimise use of plots.
The increase in charges proposed is about 100% which will double revenue from rents and cover the total maintenance costs of £70,000.
Although the RBC website no longer gives regular statistics for waiting list numbers on each site and merely states that the wait can be between two months and six years, Appendix D to the committee paper supplies current information for each plot. For Waterloo Meadows the waiting list is stated as 14, with 28 offers of a plot in process and for Newcastle Road it is 24 with 10 offers in process.
The possible reduction in existing tenancies because of an increase in plot charges is noted by RBC as the impact of this proposal. The Whitley Pump expects that improved enforcement and the implied better management of plots would be welcomed by most Waterloo Meadows tenants.
Subject to the outcome of the decision at policy committee, a public consultation on the proposed changes will be required.