8. Section 124 – Promotion and use of allotments: expenditure
8.1 Section 124 permits local authorities to incur expenditure for the purpose of promoting allotments in their area and providing training to allotment tenants and potential tenants about the use of allotments.
8.2 In the 2017 survey Greenspace Use and Attitudes Survey by greenspace scotland  , 32% of people said that they lacked the knowledge or skills to grow their own vegetables or fruit.
8.3 In exercising the power in section 124, local authorities should consider how best to promote allotments in their area. This can include linking with organisations such as health boards and housing associations to encourage non-growers to visit allotment sites in their areas in recognition of the wider benefits growing food has in our communities. Special consideration should be given to how best to engage with communities in areas of multiple socio-economic disadvantage.
8.4 When considering action to promote allotments, local authorities may wish to take into consideration the possible increase in demand for allotments, particularly if allotments in that area are already oversubscribed. There is a balance to be struck between raising and meeting expectations about availability of allotments.
8.5 Local authorities should use waiting lists to understand the demand for allotments in their areas and may choose to offer funded training to those on the list who are going to be offered a lease. This will ensure that new allotment-holders have the confidence and skills to begin growing their own food successfully. Such training would be optional for new allotment holders.
8.6 There may be merit in local authorities considering the value in offering training to existing tenants should there be issues identified surrounding allotment cultivation or allotment maintenance when landlord inspections are performed in accordance with section 115.
8.7 When considering what training provision to provide to tenants or prospective tenants, local authorities may wish to consider a range of options such as electronically signposting to a website or range of sites containing online guidance. Local authorities may also consider facilitating a "buddy" scheme to match new tenants with willing, voluntary existing tenants if there is insufficient assistance from the immediate allotment community in that area to support a new tenant. Local authorities may wish to consult with local stakeholders prior to developing and offering training.
8.8 Local authorities may wish to concentrate much of the training that they may offer to new tenants on new allotment sites where there are few, if any, experienced allotment tenants to offer support or guidance to new tenants.
8.9 When adding information to their food-growing strategies relating to activity to identify land that the local authority considers may be used as new allotment sites, local authorities may also consider whether it is appropriate to include training budgetary information in their strategies relating to that land. Such information would provide details of the planned provision of training for new or potential allotment tenants who may be granted leases on the newly identified land, should it be used to accommodate a new allotment site.
8.10 When local authorities are determining, as set out in section 124(2), whether to exercise the power to incur expenditure for the purpose of promoting allotments or providing training, they will wish to have regard to the costs versus benefits of providing such services. Local authorities will wish to consider what activities would present them with best value for money, and note that such activities are not mandatory.
Question 15 Is section 124 of the statutory guidance clear and understandable, to allow the local authority to deliver its statutory obligations under Part 9?
If no, i.e. you consider that the guidance is not clear and understandable, please tell us why you think this, and how it needs to be improved. Please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 15 comments:
Question 16 Are there any gaps or omissions in section 124 of the statutory guidance?
If yes, i.e. you consider that there are gaps or omissions, please tell us what you think is missing. If appropriate, please include the relevant paragraph numbers in your response.
Question 16 comments: