Allotment holders offer help

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The allotment gems we must not lose

An open letter to the Rye Amenity Community Interest Company (CIC) directors :

I would like to alert you and your members of the CIC that there is a feeling amongst allotment plot holders that the CIC is not functioning any more. It might be useful to explain to us what the problem is, and a couple of us are very willing to help with any necessary administration.

A) People who have tried at length to get hold of you to find out where on the waiting list they are, or how many plots are available, have not heard back.

B) The CIC has only sent out some invoices, but most have not received one for last and this year. If it goes on, a few plot holders might find it difficult to pay 2/3 years worth when they eventually get the invoice.

C) We would quite like to know if the public liability insurance has been paid should the CIC be short of money.

D) A local plot holder has relocated to Germany, and he had about five plots. Myself, I share one of his with a friend, and the one next to us is also taken. However, there must be at least 2/3 empty ones and, since he has left, others have become available. There are several locals who are waiting for a plot and are not sure which number on the list they are. Where is the list and how many are on there? I realise it is difficult to name names because of data protection, but it would be useful for those on the list to get an email with details.

The silence from the CIC raises questions and anxieties for locals as we do not want the two sites to revert back to Rother Council. You did  a great job initially to form the CIC and get a lengthy lease, which we are thankful for, but the present situation is not sustainable.

I offered my help before the lockdown when things were difficult for you and I offer it again as my next door allotment holder has done. We can, with you, sort out who has paid, who needs an invoice for both Rye allotment sites, and other issues like the waiting list. I wondered what the lease stipulates ? Maybe it allows you to co-opt one or two new members which would be helpful to the CIC. Myself, as many others, would appreciate to hear from you rather than let these feelings of unrest and anxiety continue.

[Editor’s note: The current directors of the Rye Amenity CIC are Ian Potter, Pat Hughes and Shaun Rogers, all Rye Town councillors]

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .

17 COMMENTS

  1. Last year the plotholders were exempt from paying their annual sub because of the lockdown. This was general advice given out by the National Allotments Association. Just letting you know that so that plotholders know that it is only this year s sub which is due for which we re still awaiting invoices. I am speaking as a Love Lane plotholder, I have nothing to do with the CIC.

  2. Thank you lin for news. I didn’t know that.
    The CIC is also responsible for Love Lane but maybe all is well with plots there.

  3. In our allotment we seem to be all on same page, were disatisfied but I now have had an email from CIC explaining rather complicated reasons for what is happening or not.. Apparently an email everybody got exept Carol and myself set out where the problem was.

  4. Rye Amenity CIC’s lease from RDC for both allotment sites (Love Lane & South Undercliff) is for 25 years starting in 2013. That leaves around 17 years left on the lease.

  5. I have sent in 2 separate applications for a plot at love lane & had no reply on either occasion. It would be good to have some sort or reply even if it’s just to say your application has been unsuccessful. Very poor organisation.

  6. There are many many people desperate for plots.
    And MANY PLOTS VACANT. Some lying fallow for years.

    Allotments have been a safety valve throughout the pandemic as mental health has been serious problem for people as a result of lockdowns and all the changes to our normal life.

    My heart breaks for those who could have had the benefit of an allotment during these dark days.

  7. I so agree Joyce , not having a private garden the allotment greatly helped . I have had an email since my article explaining how complicated it all was re invoicing (don’t think it was gd enough) but I had no response about list of people waiting, the free plots available or the fact could they co opt new members to help with admin. So not satisfactory really. Allottment
    Committee from Rock channel also have written to CIC wanting answers. Maybe Love Lane committee needs to contact them as well.

  8. Covid is a very handy scapegoat.
    This non management has existed long before Covid days.

    I feel so desperately sad for those people who try and fail to get even acknowledgement of their applications and who believe it’s because the allotment is full.
    Far from it!

  9. DIGGING FOR VICTORY
    DURING COVID

    I am happy with my own company but isolation is a very different matter.
    I live alone and I have never, ever felt more grateful for my allotment during the last 15 months. I do not know how I could have survived these COVID-19 Lockdown days without it.
    Being an allotment plot holder has many benefits. But during Lockdown, the most significant advantage is having Open Space and Human Contact in a Safe Place.
    Working the soil, generating seeds, nurturing plants, harvesting your produce; all of these activities are Life Affirming and SO good for Mental Health.

    Give it a try!
    We have MANY Vacant plots at our Love Lane Allotment. I would encourage anyone to take a plot.
    It is hard work but it comes with so many rewards. Our allotment plot holders will always give you a warm welcome and help you get started.
    You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    To rent a plot contact:
    http://www.ryeallotments.co.uk
    email: info@ryeallotments.co.uk

  10. Plots are available and people have put names down but I also have heard from applicants that they have trouble getting responses. Not really good enough.
    If people here agree and nothing happens I am happy to collect the responses and in time write another plea for CIC to act

  11. Joyce, I have collected most comments and will continue to add if more come through.

    Then I intend to write up something again and hopefully keeping up the pressure, just might, get more
    comprehensive response to me but also the people on the list. I will leave it till after Thursday, another important event for our local future.

    Thank you for your offer to collect comments.

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