This week Edinburgh Council have declared that there is a £20,000 shortfall in the rental income for their Allotments. To bridge the funding gap they have proposed any or all of the following:
- · Rental increases of 10% per annum until the gap is bridged.
- · Withdrawal of rubbish collection and pest control.
- · Restriction of the current reduced rate to over 60 year olds and benefit claimants.
Also this week Edinburgh Council have declared that they will underwrite the next phase of the Edinburgh Tram Project to the tune of £144,000,000. As yesterday’s Evening News quotes Council leader Andrew Burns “If the decision was to go ahead, the project can be funded without any impact on the short, medium or long-term revenue budget for the council.” (stress added by me)
Edinburgh Allotment budget is 101,000 and the rental income is £80,000. So why all the fuss about the missing £20,000 that the Allotment subsidy costs?
If the Council were as committed to Allotments as they are to the Tram EXTENSION they could cover the cost of the current allotments until the year 3440 (at zero rent). If they froze rents at current levels they could afford to do so for 5 times as many years - over 7 milenia!
Edinburgh Council not only INSIST that allotments pay for themselves, net of the subsidy they have trumpeted in the past, the current consultation contains the statement that “Their fees should also make a contribution to the development of future sites so that the allotment service becomes self-sustaining.” (stress added by me)
The sources for these seemingly outlandish assertions of mine are:
My message to City of Edinburgh Council:
STOP PICKING ON ALLOTMENT HOLDERS
WE DON'T HAVE DEEP POCKETS. AS YOU KNOW MANY OF US ARE OLD AND UNEMPLOYED/UNWAGED AND WE HAVE BUDGETS TO RUN TOO . YOU'VE ALREADY HIT US WITH DOUBLE DIGIT RENTAL INCREASES FOR EVERY YEAR IN THE LAST DECADE. WAGES/BENEFITS HAVE RISEN BY NO MORE THAN THE RPI. GOVERMENT PENSION RISES FOR NEXT YEAR HAVE BEEN FROZEN. STOP THIS BULLYING OF A SMALL VULNERABLE SECTION OF THE SOCIETY YOU HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO GOVERN - FAIRLY.