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Hansard 14 Dec: Column 1098 ...
Hansard 14 Dec: Column 1098

The DETR is working with the Local Government Association, council representatives and allotment interest groups to produce best practice guidance on allotments for local authorities, environment

minister Lord Whitty told the lords yesterday.

Replying to Baroness Sharples, who asked whether the government would encorage local councils to promote the use of allotments, Lord Whitty added: 'The government recognise the importance of the promotion of allotments and in March placed an additional requirement on local authorities to demonstrate the active promotion of allotments before they can dispose of statutory allotment land'.

Baroness Sharples said great concern had been expressed expressed at the number of allotment sites that had been sold off. Birmingham City Council, however, had been active in promoting allotments,

especially for use by ethnic groups and women.

Lord Whitty said vacant allotments at the moment far outnumbered the applications for them. 'That is one of the reasons why we asked local authorities to give consideration to greater publicity. I understand that a number are doing so', he added.

The minister told Lord Skelmersdale that where a disposal was in the offing and there were a significant number of plot-holders, they were offered alternative allotments. 'With many of the allotments which have been disposed of recently - certainly those which have come to the secretary of state for approval - there are no extant plot-holders', he said.

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