Date: 19th September, 2012
In response to concerns raised at a recent Council meeting, Councillor Geoff McBride has written the following letter, which explains the recent announcement to increase the Allotment Rental Fees.
Andover Town Council would like explain the general principles of our decision to increase the allotment rents as well as give you details of what the Town Council has done to date and what we intend to do in the future, based on concerns raised at the Full Council Meeting, on Thursday 6th September at The Guildhall Andover.
Our general principle is, that the allotment holders should pay for the services provided to them without the need for any subsidy.
Having managed the allotment sites for just over a year we now have true costs of the provision of the allotment service at a standard that is expected by our plot holders and us.
The following information is provided for you so that you have a better understanding of the reasons why the decision has been taken to increase the allotment rent from 0.19psqm to 0.40psqm. For a full fee paying allotment holder this equates to an increase of £26.46 on an average plot size of 126sqm, this does not include the fixed water rate.
There are 149 allotment holders who are currently receiving the over 60 discount of 50% offered by the Council.
Detailed below are the figures showing allotment rent income
Allotment Income based on the current charge of 0.19p sqm
Total amount of rent collectable £11,443.81
Less senior discount £2,697.00
Actual monies collected £8,746.82
The above figures do not include the water rate which is charged at cost to you.
We have also enclosed on a separate page, for your information, details of expenditure.
Questions were raised regarding costs for each site, however due to the current level of Town Council resources we have made the decision to apportion the costs across all allotments sites.
We are always willing to listen to plot holders who raise issues and we will work with them within the constraints of our Rules and Regulations.
The Council has recognised the need to review its Rules and Regulations to ensure that they remain in line with current methods of cultivation and a copy of the revised Rules and Regulations will be made available to every plot holder in due course.
Councillor Geoff McBride BSc (Hons) MIET GSM
Vice Chairman Andover Town Council
Maintenance Forecast 2013
From April 2013 Andover Town Council will be providing the following services:-
General site maintenance:
• main path cutting 3x yearly
• provision of site toilets (on hire)
• hedge/tree trimming
• rodent and insect control
• replacement pipes and taps
• turning water on in spring and off in autumn (to prevent frozen pipes)
• provision of site for Association meeting point (where requested)
• site access key (to be replaced with combination locks long term)
• replacement locks
• allotment signage and noticeboard maintenance
• maintenance team
• yearly skip for site clearance
• maintenance and repair of boundary fencing
• welcome pack (new plot holders)
• bi annual newsletter
• Allotment Sub Committee dedicated to improving services
• administrative team
• dedicated website space (maintenance)
• support of site warden (duties to be re- viewed and will be published on website)
• weed management
• maintenance of access roads and pathways to site
• 3rd party liaison for boundary maintenance
The forecast cost to provide the above services is £29,065
There are often unforeseen costs which cannot be predicted for instance this year so far the Town Council has carried out the following extra maintenance works since April 2012:-
• welding site gates
• removing diseased trees
• maintenance of portaloo’s (owned by Andover Town Council)
• replacement fencing due to vandalism
Total cost £1576.41
Set out below is Andover Town Councils expenditure on Allotment Maintenance since April 2012 to end of August 2012
Expenditure from April 2012 to August 2012
Rodent Maintenance £ 100.00
Grassing Cutting £ 1,708.00
Pest Control £ 100.00
Gate Repair £ 760.26
Replacement taps £ 128.50
Warden remuneration £ 140.00
Rubbish clearance £ 450.95
Water turn on £ 337.69
ACE Toilet Hire & cleaning £ 2,289.55
Strimming £ 1,388.00
tree limb removal £ 124.00
replacement padlock £ 76.00
Removal of diseased tree £ 400.00
hedge cutting £ 483.54
Repair of Town Council owned portaloo £ 74.48
Fence Repair £ 341.67
Total £ 8,902.64