In 2009 the Scottish Government published its first "National Food and Drink Policy - Recipe for Success". This policy made a clear commitment to support allotments and community growing spaces. The Grow Your Own Working Group was set up in 2009 and reported in 2011, one of its recommendations being to amend the legislation governing allotments, and in particular to review the duties placed on local authorities.
The legislative framework on allotments is complex and dates from the Allotments (Scotland) Act 1892, as amended by the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919 and the Allotments (Scotland) Acts of 1922 and 1950.
In its Manifesto of 2011 the SNP made a commitment to update the legislation relating to allotments. The Scottish Government undertook a number of consultations on the legislation governing allotments. The outcome of these consultations informed the development of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 (the 2015 Act).
Simultaneous to these developments, the next phase of Scotland's "National Food and Drink Policy: Becoming a Good Food Nation" was launched. The policy set out a vision that by 2025 everyone in Scotland is able to buy, eat and serve food that is affordable, healthy and sustainable.
The Scottish Government considers that growing your own food, on an allotment or through other means, has the potential to contribute to improving our environment, our health and well-being, as well as offering a means to gain access to affordable, healthy and sustainable food.
The 2015 Act brought forward a number of provisions that require secondary legislation to be made before Part 9 of the Act relating to allotments can be brought into force. The secondary legislation concerns provisions for or in connection with:
- Compensation payable to tenants of allotments for disturbance on termination of the lease.
- Compensation payable by tenants to landlords for the deterioration of allotments.
- Compensation payable to tenants of allotments for loss of crops where the allotment is resumed by the local authority.
The Scottish Government published a consultation paper to seek views on these issues on 20 August 2015 with written responses invited by 16 October 2015. Three stakeholder engagement events were also organised in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. The views from these along with those submitted in response to the written consultation will inform the future regulations relating to allotments compensation.
The Scottish Government received 23 written responses to the consultation. Table 2.1 shows the distribution of responses by category of respondent. A full list of respondents is in the Annex. The respondent category applied to each response was agreed with the Scottish Government policy team.
Table 2.1: Distribution of responses by category of respondent
|Category||No. of respondents||% of all respondents*|
|Local Allotment Groups||4||17|
*Percentages may not add to totals exactly due to rounding.
Overall, 57% of responses were submitted by organisations and 43% were from individual respondents. The largest category of respondent was Local Government bodies comprising 30% of all respondents. Although the number of responses was relatively low, some represented the views of wider groups and organisations. For example, one of the representative bodies submitted their response on behalf of 157 people, including 52 young people.
The written responses were submitted either via Citizen Space or by email. Content from the responses was entered onto an electronic database to enable comparison of views and analysis.
Analysis of responses
The analysis of the written responses is presented in the following three chapters and follows the order of the topics raised in the consultation paper. The consultation contained 14 questions all in an open format. The analysis is based on the views of those who responded to the consultation which are not necessarily representative of the wider population.
Throughout the report quotes taken directly from responses have been used to illustrate specific points, where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public. The quotes were selected on the basis that they enhance the analysis by emphasising specific points succinctly. Where respondents did not provide an indication of whether or not their response could be made public, the default position has been not to publish these.
Respondent categories have been abbreviated in the report as follows:
Local Government Bodies - LG
Local Allotment Groups - Allot
Representative Bodies - Rep
Individuals - Ind
Email: Robin MacLean