Letter published in the Wigan Observer 22nd Jan 2013
In recent months, the Wigan Observer and the Wigan Evening Post has highlighted the tremendous success of Wigan in Bloom and the fantastic displays throughout the Borough in 2012. I wrote to your papers to congratulate all involved for the magnificant efforts. However, as an avid campaigner of the allotment movement, I have made it a priority to establish the current state of the allotments service in Wigan.
Allotments are vital in promoting the environment and bio-diversity, improving the health & well-being of local people and promote initiatives such as anti-poverty and community cohesion. Therefore, I am very disappointed to establish that in Wigan, people have to wait for an allotment from anything between 4 and 7 years to be able to grow your own.
I have established that Wigan Council allocates a paltry sum towards its allotments service and around 50% of allotments in Wigan, are in the non-statutory provision, meaning that these allotments are designated as temporary and get no or very little support from its Council. I accept a temporary allotment is better than no allotment at all, but the devastation that an established allotment holder could be evicted at anytime deters personal investment from that individual for the long-term.
As a twenty year member of the allotment movement and a current member of The National Allotments Society, who has had responsibility for managing many allotment associations all over Lancashire, it is clear to me the allotments service in Wigan is neglected.
On behalf of the Community Action Party in Wigan, I have submitted an official government epetition to persuade government that allotments should be given a higher priority. I will be personally raising the profile of allotments in the Borough and I hope many of your readers will sign our epetition for government to adopt a "Nationwide Allotments Strategy" at - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/44634
Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader, Community Action Party,"