Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
New tenancy agreement for Spennymoor allotments
GARDENERS could face action from their council landlords if they refuse to sign a new tenancy agreement for their allotments.
Spennymoor Town Council wants tenants on all of its 19 allotment sites throughout the town and surrounding villages to agree with a series of new terms.
Amendments to the original agreement include rent payments to be made at Spennymoor Town Hall rather than to a site steward, plots being measured and charged per square yard and people with joint tenancies must have a direct relationship.
But members of the allotments committee, which met at Spennymoor Town Hall last night (Tuesday, February 5), heard that 83 of 790 allotment holders had not signed up.
Coun Liz Maddison said: “We cannot offer a two tier system and be biased against one lot.”
Town clerk, Pauline Waterson, said that in effect that is what is happening anyway as all tenants had signed the original one, so whilst most had agreed with the new version those objecting remain on the old contract.
Coun Kevin Thompson said: “We know we have all sorts of characters on out allotments, by having a two tier system does that give us less legal standing if they do something wrong?”
Mrs Waterson assured members that if there was a problem tenant, who for example failed to pay rent, then the authority could check which tenancy agreement the allotment holder had signed and both gave the council power to enact upon breaches which could result in eviction.
“In fact the only area likely to be difficult is the issue of trailers or retiring tenants not clearing plots,” she added.
Coun leader, Ian Harrington, said: “What we have is a pragmatic way through this. The main objection from people is a lack of adequate notice.
“I say we operate a two tier system for now, give notice to those who haven’t signed and within 12 months adequate notice will have been served for everyone to be signed up.”
Councillors approved his suggestion.