13. Stakeholder Engagement
13.1 When developing their food growing strategies, local authorities should consult with a wide range of external stakeholders in their area in addition to relevant internal stakeholders. Wider public consultation might be valuable and should be considered. Stakeholder consultation should involve the following, as appropriate, but this list is not exhaustive:
- Allotment associations and people on allotment waiting lists, including people on non-local authority lists;
- Community councils;
- Current allotment holders, including site visits;
- Delivery partners (see paragraph 16.1);
- Grow-your-own groups, including community gardens and orchards, school growing groups etc;
- Local private landowners;
- Other public sector local landowners;
- Other relevant local authority colleagues such as those responsible for health, economic planning/strategy, planning areas etc;
- People otherwise interested in grow-your-own who are not on an allotment site waiting list or other form of grow-your-own site waiting list;
- Scottish Land and Estates;
- Third sector organisations with an interest in allotments and grow-your-own opportunities
- Wider public consultation, if appropriate.
13.2 If it is considered appropriate at a local level, local authorities may establish working groups involving the local authority and local stakeholder groups to assist with the development of their local food-growing strategy. Such groups may also provide longer-term benefits in relation to information sharing and the promotion and development of good practice.
13.3 As discussed in paragraph 5.3 above, the Greenspace Use and Attitudes Survey 2017  identifies that 32% of people surveyed said they lacked the gardening skills and knowledge which prevented them from participating in grow-your-own opportunities. Local authorities should consider the sources of food-growing skills currently available in their local area and consider ways to facilitate a sharing of skills, knowledge and experience to address this gap. This might be by signposting people who may benefit from such skills development to appropriate third sector organisations or sources of information such as websites.
13.4 A reasonable and balanced approach by local authorities is required when carrying out landlord inspections of allotments as required under section 115 of the Act. When carrying out their allotments inspections, local authorities should be mindful of the level of skills and experience and personal circumstances of the tenant.