Spennymoor has an abundance of allotments, and the Town Council would like to maximise their benefit for anyone interested in developing green fingers.

In November 2021, the Council’s internal auditors examined how allotments are run. They made the following statement:

A formal Allotment Policy should be compiled and agreed by the Council as soon as possible, to assist in the management of allotment provision.

Adherence to the policy should be included in the tenancy agreement, relating to Council run sites.

The Council should formulate an Allotment Strategy, providing guidance on management, development and maintenance of allotment provision.

They also pointed out that the current tenancy agreement, introduced in 2016, has a clause that tenants holding prior agreements could continue with these, even though some allow activities not permissible under the 2016 agreement. Often, there no evidence of such agreements. As a result, it’s difficult for the Council to enforce agreements demonstrating consistent treatment of tenants.

In January, councillors on the Council’s Facilities and Recreation Committee instructed the Grounds and Estates Officer to meet secretaries or representatives from each allotment site as soon as possible to establish views on a new agreement and Allotment Strategy.

Minutes and video from this meeting are available on the Council website, showing debate between the Councillors in attendance, what was discussed, and the instructions given.

Following a meeting with allotment representatives, a further report will be drafted so Councillors can decide on the next course of action, including plans for wider consultation in which all allotment holders can participate.

The Council is very much in the early stages of this process, and it is anticipated that it will take months to complete. If changes are decided upon these will not occur until 2024, as allotment tenants will be afforded 12 months to prepare for any proposed changes.