This week the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that they would not be issuing a decision before the National Election, on the third application by Watford Borough Council to ask for the deregulation of Farm Terrace Allotments.
This is a very significant announcement for us as the fight to save the allotments becomes an election issue as a new government may reach a different decision. As we know, Watford is a closely observed marginal seat in the national elections, so it will be a great time to raise the profile on not only our case but the whole issue of development on allotment land whilst bring public and media scrutiny on Watford Borough Council.
This proves that Dorothy Thornhill and Watford Council were somewhat over confident when stating in October 2014 that despite being disappointed with the outcome of the judicial review in favour of the allotment holders were confident that the Secretary of State would arrive at the same conclusion in re-taking the decision. Despite lodging a new application with the Government at the beginning of 2015, the defence and counter arguments made by the Farm Terrace has still left what seemed a straight forward decision to the council open to much debate in central government.
We will soon be announcing a new and exciting part of our Save Our Allotments campaign which will hopefully help spread our message far and wide across the country, informing people not necessarily on Social media sites, about our fight and petition as although we are now at 13,000 we still need many more signatures!
From now on I will be writing blogs more regularly to keep you informed on all the issues.
In the meantime although some people try to pretend it is just happening to us please see this piece – http://www.itv.com/news/west/update/2015-03-24/my-heart-sank-villagers-react-to-allotment-eviction-note/ Our sympathies lie with the tenants of Coombe Allotments and we will continue to support them in anyway we can. They are just one of many recent cases.
Finally if you haven’t already please sign – https://www.change.org/p/eric-pickles-secretary-of-state-for-communities-and-local-government-help-protect-the-uk-s-allotment-sites and share it with your friends, family and work mates. If you would like me to send you a copy of the email explaining the importance of the petition for you to share please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you and this in indeed a victory – for now!