Coronavirus update for Torfaen Allotments
As you are aware the situation has changed regarding how much time we are to spend outside and where we are allowed to visit. All allotments, for the time being, will remain open until the Council are advised otherwise. This is based on recent advice given by the Environment Minister, Michael Gove. It must be remembered that these are exceptional circumstances and the use of allotments cannot be considered as “business as usual” as government and public health wales advice must be strictly adhered to at all times.
Whilst the Council’s allotments remain accessible, before entering the site, we would ask you to consider if your visit is really necessary. If the answer is yes, then please observe government advice around keeping your distance from others (two metres) where practical and treating any publicly accessible surfaces as potential sources of infection. In particular you should exercise caution when using gates and padlocks and consider using gloves when operating them (a clear plastic bag as a glove also works). Time spent on site should be kept to minimum and only essential work carried out during this time. Please stay on your plot at all times and do not enter another plot under any circumstances. Do not share tools or any other equipment with another plot holder.
Travel to and from the allotments is permitted if due precautions are taken. If any plot-holder is self-isolating because a household member as symptoms then they must stay away from sites. If there is a community or trading hut on the site then this should remain closed until the current level of isolation has been lifted. Any toilets found on site are now off limits for use by anyone. Please do not use them under any circumstances. If a plot-holder feels that they are unable to follow guidelines, or have personal concerns regarding site hygiene, then they should not attend site.
Please note – there will be no plot inspections taking place across sites until further notice and no non-cultivation or termination letters will be sent out to plot holders during this period.
Advice for on-site activity has been issued by the National Allotment Society. This advice, plus government and public health wales advice, can found in full by accessing the links below.
Additional advice is available at www.gov.uk and https://phw.nhs.wales
Allotment gardening provides an affordable source of fruit and vegetables which are an essential part of a healthy diet, and is a rewarding past-time which improves the quality of people’s lives.
There is no denying that the initial effort that may be required to achieve the necessary standard of cultivation on an allotment plot can appear to be quite demanding, however, once achieved, the rewards of growing your own produce and the health benefits far outweigh the efforts put in.
Some of the benefits associated with allotment gardening are:
- A source of affordable good quality food
- A physical recreational activity providing health benefits
- Being a part of an allotment community and the sharing of a wealth of knowledge with differing age groups
Not every resident in Torfaen has the luxury of having a large enough garden to afford an area for growing fruit and vegetables. Any resident in Torfaen may wish to consider applying for an allotment, however, they allotments are in high demand and there is likely to be a waiting list.
Where a site or an area within a site is regarded as being suitable, provision has been allocated to cater for those with disabilities. The individual needs of a disabled person will be considered by the site secretary.
There are 41 allotment sites in Torfaen which are self-managed under a Devolved Management Agreement. They are managed under one of the following two Allotment Associations:
- Cwmbran South Allotments Association who manage 21 allotment sites in the South of the Borough
- Eastern Valley Allotments Association who manage 20 allotment sites in the North of the Borough
The sites and the area they are located in are:
Allotment sites in Torfaen
|Cwmbran South Association||Eastern Valley Association|
||Lower Park Gardens
||Woodside Road 1
||Woodside Road 2
|Coed Eva 1
|Coed Eva 2
|Coed Eva 3
|Coed Eva 4
What are the Allotment Associations responsible for?
Each Association is responsible for the day to day management of their respective sites. Some of their responsibilities include:
- Managing the budget
- Maintaining waiting lists
- Letting of plots
- Issuing of Annual Tenancy Agreements
- Collection of rents
- Maintenance/improvements on their sites
- Monitoring and control of water usage
- Dealing with allotment disputes
- Termination of a Tenancy
How much is the rent for an allotment plot?
There is an annual fee for renting an allotment plot which can be subject to review. The total fee is made up of the following:
- Insurance cover
- Membership of the National Society Allotment & Leisure Gardening
- Rental charge per 25M2
- Membership of the relevant Allotment Association i.e. Eastern Valley or Cwmbran Allotment Association.
An individual allotment site may include an additional fee to assist with the development or administration of their site. The Site Secretary or a member of the Allotment Association Group will provide an explanation and breakdown of all associated charges.
Every allotment Tenant is required to pay the rental fee and sign a Tenancy Agreement every year. The Tenancy Agreement contains the main rules which an allotment Tenant is required to adhere to, however, a Tenancy Agreement should always be read in conjunction with the Site Secretaries Handbook. Please see Tenancy Agreement which can be subject to review.
Site Secretaries Handbook
The Site Secretaries Handbook contains the rules and standards to which all allotment sites and tenants are required to adhere to including the disputes procedure. Please see Site Secretaries Handbook which can be subject to review.
Please note: It is the responsibility of a Tenant to make themselves familiar with the terms and conditions of their Tenancy Agreement and the Site Secretaries Handbook.
How are all the Allotment Sites Managed?
All allotment sites are managed under a Devolved Management Agreement under one of two of the above mentioned associations otherwise referred to as the Allotment Association Group which consists of the following:
- Association Secretary
- Association Chair
- Association Treasurer
- Co-opted members
The Association Group are responsible for the day to day management of all the allotment sites under their jurisdiction. Bi Monthly meetings take place between the association groups and the Council’s Allotments Officer of which there is a Chair and Councillor.
Please note: Because the Associations are Self-Managed, the Council’s Allotments Officer will not get involved in any disputes. Please see the Site Secretaries Handbook – “Disputes Procedure”.
How is an individual allotment site managed?
Each site has a democratically elected Site Secretary, Treasurer and Committee members. All allotment Tenants are accountable to these people.
There are specific standards and conduct which must be met. The site secretary or committee members will be able to provide guidance regarding all aspects of the site rules etc. Once again, it is a Tenants responsibility to ensure he or she is fully aware of the rules in the Tenancy Agreement, the Site Secretaries Handbook or any additional individual site rules.
It is important to note that a breach of any of the above could result in the immediate termination of a Tenancy and the Tenant can be asked to immediately leave the site.
How do I apply for an allotment?
You can apply using either of the following options:
- Visit the site or sites of your choice and ask to speak to the Site Secretary who will take your details and contact you when an allotment becomes available.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01633 648035. You will need to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Your preferred area or
- The name of your preferred site or sites
- A telephone number
The above details will be passed on to the relevant allotments association who manage the waiting list and they will contact you when an allotment plot is available.
How long will I have to wait for an allotment?
It is not possible to provide a time-scale for when an allotment will become available. The availability will depend on when an existing allotment tenant relinquishes their plot.
In addition to the above, if you choose more than one site, it will increase the likelihood of obtaining an allotment plot.
How can I become a member of the Site Committee or Association Group?
Over time, some allotment Tenants become passionate about the site and how it is run and therefore may feel they would like to contribute to the development and running of the site. All such interests should be expressed to the Site Secretary or Committee who will welcome the interest. Each site will democratically vote in members.
This same process will apply for anyone interested in becoming a member of the Association Group.
Last Modified: 26/03/2020
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