Appendix 2: Allotment Strategy Action Plan Update



1.    Social inclusion and Participation







1a.  Allotment provision for both the population as a whole and for vulnerable groups, to be regarded as an effective intervention for the prevention of ill health, and evidence of the health benefits cited in the allotment plot holder’s survey to be incorporated into the city’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and decision making about public health.

BHAF/ Project officer/ Public health


Following an investigation evidence provided to the Joint strategic Needs assessment.



1b. Analyse the survey findings to demonstrate the health benefits of having an allotment



BHAF/Food Partnership & Public Health




3 Months (dependant on University survey results)

To understand better the possible health improvements of having an allotment.

Note that for both 1a &1c, BHAF is funding study to quantify benefits of allotments – so these questions may be answered at least in part from this work.


1c. Work to be undertaken on the Social Return on Investment of the allotment service for the city looking at if participation by certain groups can lead to savings in health / social care costs. 





BHAF/ Food Partnership/ Public Health


3-6months (for handover of research)

To understand the saving made to health/ social care cost by having an allotment.


1d. As part of the equalities impact assessment, access to the service to be reviewed to ensure that those that those who most benefit would participate including:

-communities at risk of poor physical and mental health (see later) for example via community plots,

-fast tracking opportunities for certain groups (perhaps via GPs) or specific promotional work with certain communities.


BHAF/Public Health/ Equalities/Project officer




Making a better connection with allotment sites and the communities of poor health.


1e. Information about allotments to be included on the city's Information Prescription website and include in any future work on social prescribing 

BHAF/ Public health


Allotment information on social prescribing.







1f. With 1 in 20 people in Brighton & Hove having a disability (and strong evidence of the benefits of allotments for people with disabilities) more to be done to promote allotments to them via disability support organisations. To include detailed information about the options – easy access, limited mobility, co-working, and community plots. Site Reps and the Allotment Officer to monitor the demand for limited mobility and easy access plots. Limited mobility plots at all sites to be promoted to people on the waiting list who have indicated that they are interested in a limited mobility plot (rather than just the site they are waiting for).



project officer/ BHAF/ Site reps/






To promote accessibility plots to people with disabilities.





1g. Greater diversity amongst the plot holder community to be encouraged and barriers to this identified and addressed.


Site associations/ BHAF/ Allotment Off.


6-12 months


Encouraging diversity

Linked to 1f

1h. The City Council’s public health team to consider if there is scope for public health budgets funding some of the concessions thereby in the long-term moving the subsidy for this concession away from plot holders towards health and wellbeing budgets.


Public Health/BHAF/Project officer.




3 months

To explore additional funding Public health.


1j. Opportunities for Site Reps to take part in training about accessibility issues (including for example understanding mental health or physical access) could be provided. These courses are often run by the voluntary and community sector and Site Reps could be signposted to them or they could be run for Site Reps as part of an ongoing programme of training. Some courses may be free for others there may be a small charge for which funding would need to be found.



Project officer/ site reps/ site associations




3-6 months


To explore training around physical disabilities & mental health for site reps.




1k. Promote opportunities for people on the waiting list to learn about organic growing for example at BHOGG and the Whitehawk Community Food Project, co working opportunities & open days.

Project officer/Site association/ Alan Phillips?

 3-6 months

Signpost waiting list people to organic growing.









2.    Governance and Democracy – Site level








2a. The Governance:  How Allotments are managed section includes reference to work to make the governance structures of allotments more representative of the demographics of plot holders.

-Site rep elections

-Training & Support

-Formal processes for complaints, disciplinary.

- The Site Rep role to be clarified, supported, and strengthened

-Encouraging diversity amongst the site rep community



Project officer /BHCC/ Site associations/ BHAF

3-6 months

To encourage diversity within the governance structures.



2b. Site Associations to be encouraged to make formal links with the Allotment Federation, ensuring the Federation’s accountability. A sense community to be fostered, with shared ideas and learnings to better improve the allotment community.



BHAF/ Site associations/ BHCC




To encourage collaboration between site associations & BHAF.

2c. At least one, and ideally 2-3 sites to pilot self-management (see also Participation and Self-Management) to explore whether this model could be more cost effective.



The Weald site association



6-12 months


To support self-management pilot schemes at 2-3 sites.



2d. Greater diversity within the site rep community to be encouraged and barriers to this identified and addressed.


Site associations/ BHAF/Allotment Officer



6-12 Months

Encouraging diversity








3.    Governance – BHCC-BHAF liaison and relationship with the allotment service, other stakeholders

To be added as a priority – clear complaints procedures for tenants including protocols and training for BHCC staff








3a. The Allotment Liaison group will oversee implementation of the allotment strategy and track progress.



Project officer



3 months

Oversee the implementation

of the strategy.

New liaison group. Confirm all stakeholders that will form this group.

3b. Rules to be clarified and streamlined – with an emphasis on overarching key principles but allowance for: 

      a degree of site-specific flexibility, as some rules are needed for some sites but not for others

      different styles of growing 


      Three-year review of rules by allotment forum

      Different rules for community groups?

      A clear delineation between which rules are enforced by the council, and those to be looked after by the Site Reps. A hierarchy of rules to be considered.

      The Allotment Rules to be subject to a 3-year review, led by the Allotment Forum (if necessary informed by a working group) to ensure that rules are up to date with current policy and that they are enforceable on a practical level.













Project officer/BHCC/Allotment forum/ Site reps





3-6 months



Rules to be clarified and streamlined. With flexibility for sites and their needs and review of the rules every three years.












3c. Site representatives have an important role in helping new plot holders choose appropriate size plots at the letting stage, ensuring that people are aware of the time commitments for different sized plots; and in future facilitating when people choose to upsize or downsize. The Allotments Officer to hold a workshop for site representatives to explain the new processes for both large and small sites.










3 months


To give site reps training and understanding of how to manage new plot holders and their plot sizes.





3d. A clear policy to be developed on what happens to someone’s waiting list position if they refuse a plot they are offered; or if they don’t show up.



BHAF/ BHCC/Site reps/Allotment officer



3 months

To give guidance on people who continually refuse vacant plots.


process needs to be reviewed with feedback from site reps.





4.    Improved site management







4a. Plot turnover efficiency to be improved, to reduce the number of vacant plots, how long plots are vacant and increase income. This can be achieved through

-support for site reps. (see Appendix

5:  Recommendations on the role of Site Reps – further detail) 

-enforcement of rules by BHCC

-Mentoring for new plot holders

- The figures which the council allotment service compile on number of vacancies at different sites to be shared with Site Reps via the allotment forum.






Project officer/BHCC/ Allotment service/Site reps






3-6 months






To improve the turnover of vacant plots.

A steady turnover of plots will happen when training for site reps, rules review & enforcement & growing opportunities waiting list people.


4b. Work to identify sites where the worst problems are for water leakage in order that any maintenance work can be prioritised. 










Project officer/Water &energy teams


3-6 month


To repair water leaks.


4c. A new ICT system implemented which would streamline the waiting list management and allotment service in time savings.



Project officer/BHCC



6-12 months

To implement new ICT system that contributes to time savings for the allotment service.



4d. Information on being safe to be included in the new plot holder’s pack and on BHAF’s website.



BHAF/ BHCC Admin team




 3 months



Info on security for new holders

More to be done for safety on site. (rules cover conduct behaviour, contact the police & advise the allotment officer).



4e. Reviewing the billing and invoicing process. Making direct debits, paperless invoicing the norm to use less paper and seamless payments.

Project officer/ BHCC/allotment officer




3-6 months

To use automatic billing as the primary way of invoicing






4f. Opportunities for people who want to volunteer (not just by joining committees) to be established for example helping with open days, mentoring new “allotmenteers” or taking part in routine maintenance.


BHAF/ Site associations/ Site reps


3-6 months

To encourage more volunteering and mentoring.


4g. At least one pilot to look at how some elements of site management and maintenance could be undertaken more cost effectively by plots holders or site associations, for example fence maintenance or rubbish removal (without full self-management).


Project officer/Site associations/site reps



6-12 Months


To pilot elements of self-maintenance