After many years of relatively low rentals coupled with relative neglect of its allotments Aberdeen Council has decided to take allotments seriously. In February 2008 the council took the decision to increase rentals by a whopping 80% starting in November 2008. This takes the rental for a full plot from a slightly below average £27.75 to a well above average £50. The council also published its Allotment Policy document in October 2008. In this document one of the management objectives is that allotments “should be economically sustainable to the council”. As a result some allotment holders fear that there will be substantial further rental increases.
These increases came as a particular shock to the allotment holders because no prior consultation was held with them. Aberdeen City managed the allotments directly and the holders were never encouraged to form associations or committees. When it came to making policy the plot holders had no representative bodies to be consulted – and the council officials are on record as saying that there was no point in putting the draft into the public domain because there was no resource to process any responses and there was no point in raising unrealistic expectations that individual views could be taken into account!