Huntingdon allotments holders ordered to quit amid ‘abuse’ claims

The Sallowbush Road allotments.

The Sallowbush Road allotments. - Credit: Archant

Three allotment holders have been told to quit their plots after reports of abuse towards council staff and ‘childish behaviour’.

Huntingdon Town Council issued the notices amid what it described as ­continuing “arguments and accusations” among tenants on the Sallowbush Road allotments.

The three concerned have been asked to leave by the end of the year but could be offered another plot on a different site if their behaviour improves.

However, they could be asked to leave immediately if they continue to cause problems.

Councillor Tom Sanderson, chairman of the town’s leisure and community service committee, said: “There were accusations being made and it all got a little bit out of hand.

“It’s supposed to be a relaxing leisure activity but, unfortunately, it was ­becoming quite unpleasant.”

All tenants have to uphold a number of site rules, particularly concerning the tidyness of their plots, but the ongoing argument was reportedly between ­representatives of allotment holders on the site and did not concern their own plots.

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The tenants were reportedly abusive to council staff and caused trouble for other tenants.

A town council report said ‘childish behaviour’ had continued after ­interventions by staff were ignored.

The issue was brought up at a leisure and community services committee ­meeting in July and again at a recess committee meeting last month.

Administration assistant Kate Yerbury said: “It is now being dealt with by the council but I can’t really say much more than that.”

The council has been dealing with a number of issues raised by plot holders recently.

A series of thefts on the Primrose Lane allotments earlier this summer has led the council to evaluate security across its sites.

HTC has introduced keys to each tenant as a measure to make the sites safer.

An allotment newsletter said: “The council takes criminal activity and theft seriously and will continue to work with plot holders to ensure that the sites are secure and safe.”

Bonfires have also been a hot topic as several plot holders have made suggested using them to burn waste.

The council is investigating the ­possibility of controlled burning on site.