Plotholders shocked by idverde letters


Following her inspection on 28 June 2018 (see previous news items), idverde's Allotment Administrator has sent a standard letter to a number of plotholders advising them that she considers that their plot falls short of the standard of cultivation required. This has shocked a number of recipients who work their plot regularly and did not expect their cultivation to fall short of any reasonable standard.

CPAGA's Management Committee has not made this assessment, does not know the benchmark standard of cultivation or its basis and is not aware of all the plots affected. Two members of the committee attended the Administrator during her inspection and described it as 'thorough'. In their view, the Administrator sometimes took a harder line than they would have taken and they do not know if their own views, expressed at the time, had any influence on her own assessment.

Plotholders should not assume that the Administrator is aware of any mitigating factors affecting the cultivation of their plot, such as the presence of invasive perennial weeds (eg mare's tail), periods of illness or unexpected commitments away from the Site. The Management Committee advises affected plotholders who think the Administrator's assessment is wrong or unfair to contact her directly, as she requests in the letter. Plotholders should not be put off by the 'shortness' of the standard letter in contacting her.

Cases of mistaken identity can not be ruled out, as they have arisen in the past. Tenancy agreements oblige plotholders to number their plots conspicuously, but unfortunately not all plots are clearly numbered and easy to identify. The Administrator has acknowledged that some letters may have been sent in error. Errors can be corrected in idverde's systems, if the plotholder brings it to the attention of the Administrator.

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Cottenham Park Allotments are managed by Merton London Borough Council.

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