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Lazy gardeners forced to leave the land after hard word from the Council
Once-neglected allotments are now blossoming, thanks to a new crackdown on lazy gardeners.
More than 100 overgrown plots across the district have been brought back into use after tenants were told to improve them or face eviction.
And as well as the weeds, the long waiting list has also been cut down to size.
Bradford Council started its action plan in February after the Telegraph & Argus highlighted the problems of abandoned, weed-filled plots and growing waiting lists.
The number of people waiting for an allotment was then said to be 2,200, but officers discovered many people were listed more than once as they had joined the queue at a number of different sites.
In March, each person on the waiting list was written to, asking if they were still interested in taking on a plot.
A new, more accurate, waiting list was drawn up, which now stands at 762.
The Council also clamped down on people failing to look after their allotments. A total of 115 people were sent letters saying they must bring their plots back up to scratch or face eviction.
So far, 35 people have had their tenancies terminated.
And the Council has also set up a new ‘blitz team’ of contractors who clear overgrown plots to give new tenants a weed-free start.
The progress was welcomed by Paul Hirst, chairman of Derby Road Allotment Asociation.
He said the site now had only seven uncultivated plots, a reduction of about half over the past couple of years.
He said the Council’s new approach, of giving tenants three months to get their plots up to standard rather than waiting for their yearly rental period to expire, was making a difference.
Mr Hirst said this year’s good weather had also brought people flocking to the allotments.
He said: “It’s definitely improving, and it seems to be younger people taking over plots as well, which is good. It used to be people who were retired who were able to have an allotment, and now there are more families with children.”
David Priestley, chairman of Bullroyd Allotment Association, said things were slowly but surely improving there after they held a meeting with other groups to discuss their concerns.
But he said the Council could be stricter when enforcing its new rules on maintaining plots, to drive further improvements.
A report on the Council’s progress will go before the Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee at its next meeting on Thursday.
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