The Value of Allotments
What value can you put on allotments? If you were to add up all the benefits, the physical material benefits, the financial benefits, the benefits for the environment, the psychological benefits for old and young alike, the benefits for our communities and for our wildlife, the benefits for our personal health and therefore for our health service, what kind of figure do you think we could arrive at?
A million pounds, two million pounds, priceless?
According to the council’s figures, the council spends just £66,000 on allotments in Brighton and Hove, and in early 2012 they wanted to cut that amount to zero. A local organisation whose purpose is to promote local food has a budget over 10 times that amount, with up to 70% of their budget being spent on wages alone. How much actual food do these organisations produce? I would wager it is negligible compared to the food grown on allotments. As usual organisations seem to soak up the money with very little getting to the actual roots. Do we need organisations promoting local food anyway, I’d say with 2000 people on the waiting list for allotments the answer is possible ‘no’. What we actually need are more allotments. The budgets for these organisations would pay for the allotments outright for years to come, or be used to open more allotments overnight. Someone, somewhere has clearly ‘lost the plot’