In August I spoke to a fellow allotment holder who told me he was giving up his cherished allotment after suffering two break-ins to his shed, breaking down the door and stealing a generator.
In the light of further recent events, and having acquired a part-share in an allotment at Wardles Chase, I feel I have to make a comment.A recent letter to the Lynn News told of discontent at the increasing rents assessed by square metered area. The increases were justified by the council by the fact that rents had not increased in a decade and had fallen behind a realistic rent.However, it has to be said that allotments vary in facilities provided, some having water laid on, some with secure perimeter fencing. Wardles Chase has neither. A dedicated team of council workers keep the grass paths cut and green space adjacent in pristine condition. But the allotments have a dilapidated half grown-over noticeboard by a broken iron gate that informs that the paths and ground beyond is for allotment holders only. People cycle through, walk through, vandalise and steal with impunity. Produce grown is stolen along with the attendant damage to fence climbed over. It’s quite clear that Wardles Chase was once a secure, gated allotment site, but now after decades of neglect, it is seen as a right of way by the general public. How can an increase in rents be justified to allotment holders who have experienced regular loss and damage? Although these violations are reported to the police, they treat these reportings as trivial and cannot justify a police presence at any time. It says something about law and order in this country today.