Allotment holders in Peterborough have vowed to do “whatever is necessary” to save their plots from being sold by the city council.
The Peterborough Allotment Representatives Consortium (PARC) held a meeting on Monday where PARC chairman Mick Coulson said: “We read the article in the Peterborough Telegraph last week saying the council were thinking of disposing of three allotments, but gave no mention of where they might be.
“Since then I’ve been inundated with worried allotment holders concerned it might be their pieces of land up for sale.
“However, both leader of the council Cllr John Holdich and (cabinet member for resources) Cllr David Seaton have given me their assurance that no allotments in the city will be considered for sale without first contacting this consortium.
“We must explain to the council just how important allotments are to so many people in Peterborough, and the idea of selling them off to balance the books is like letting go of the Crown Jewels.”
Charles Swift, a former city councillor of 62 years and a member of PARC, said: “In my time bowling greens and allotments were considered the best of a council’s assets and would never be considered for sale.”
Allotment holder Amy Price brought in a box of week-old chicks for members to hold while she explained the benefits of keeping chickens on allotments. She said: “Chickens and allotments have a long history of being beneficial for each other.
“Apart from laying free eggs for you, the chickens also keep down the mites and midges, and their droppings can be used to fertilise the land.”
Chairman Mick Coulson said: “We really love and care for these little pieces of land, and currently Peterborough allotments are running between 90 to 92 per cent take up, with most having long waiting lists and very few vacancies.” Cllrs Ed Murphy (Labour) and Julie Howell (Green) were present to give the consortium their support.