Battles still to be fought to make the CEB really work for allotments

The Community Empowerment Bill has now been passed by Holyrood. Thanks to the hard work of our members it establishes the principles of 250 sq.m. standard plot size, 5 year maximum waiting time and fair rents.  We are delighted and you can see our press release here

However it is too early yet to celebrate ‘job done’.  A lot of work still needs to be done to flesh out the bones of the legislation and this will be done over the next few months in guidance notes and secondary legislation.  For example at the moment no money has been identified to enable local authorities to acquire land for the allotments they are supposed to provide.  Until the 1970s the health budget could be tapped, but this was removed in new local authority legislation and no other budget has been identified.  Without money LAs may argue that it is not possible to take ‘reasonable steps’ to provide allotments.

We need to ensure that this anomaly and others are dealt with.  Any pressure that can be brought to bear on the government to ensure the legislation is not watered down will be greatly appreciated. Please write or email your MSPs, telling them how pleased you are that the legislation has been passed, and that you hope the secondary legislation and guidance notes that are to follow will ensure that the local authorities cannot wriggle out of their obligations.

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