Cardiff Council has released proposals to increase the cost of allotment rentals in the city next year.
If approved, costs would rise by an average of four percent, and would come into force on 2nd February 2018.
The exact increase in rents would vary dependent upon the type of plot. Plots sizes are measured in units known as perches, with each perch currently being rented for an average annual cost of £11.23. Under the new plans, this average price would increase to £11.69.
The council operates 2,500 plots across 28 sites, which are leased to Cardiff residents. In its proposal, it says that allotments will remain affordable for people across the city, despite the increase in rent. The rise was calculated according to the Retail Price Index for October 2017, which measures the cost of inflation for goods and services.
The council says concessions will be made for residents who are less able to pay for the increase, such as pensioners and those in receipt of benefits. It also says it encourages the public to make use of green spaces in the city.
But some allotment users say the council needs to improve its value for money if an increase in rent is to be justified. Richard Chivers (pictured) leases an allotment in Tremorfa, where he is also a committee member for the site. He says it is important that users feel they are receiving a good level of service.
“No-one likes an increase in rates, but what I would say is it’s still value for money in comparison to what other plots cost,” Mr Chivers said.
“The issue for me is what we can expect from the council in return in terms of support on allotment sites. There’s not much support, and it’s very difficult when we work as committees on allotment sites to get anything from the council when we need something to be done.”
The proposal by the council is yet to be confirmed, and councillors have until next Monday to scrutinise the plans. If passed, the new rates will be finalised on Tuesday, 19th December.