What is the Rotherham Allotment Alliance?
From January 2020 the RAA took full responsibility for the management and administration of all allotment sites and plots previously managed by Rotherham MBC, this consists of over 25 sites and over 1000 plots. Within Rotherham, there are also a number of allotment sites provided by Town and Parish Councils and other providers. Please check under ‘Our Allotments’ for a full list of all allotment sites being managed by the RAA.
Our Mission Statement:
The Rotherham Allotment Alliance aims to provide, promote and develop allotments in Rotherham so that they offer people of all backgrounds and abilities opportunities to enjoy gardening in safe, secure, accessible and environmentally sustainable surroundings. In doing so, it will make efficient use of available resources to ensure that the service is financially self-sufficient whilst remaining affordable to those who want to use it.
We will do this by:
- enabling allotment societies to flourish on sites where they already exist
- providing guidance and support to such societies where required
- managing sites which do not have societies efficiently
- promoting the establishment of new allotment societies on sites that do not currently have them and/or establishing a volunteer base for sites that are unable to form a society
- developing and implementing plans for the improvement and promotion of allotment gardening across the borough of Rotherham
Council-owned allotments in Rotherham have suffered over recent years due to limited levels of investment in sites and services. Consequently, some areas of allotment land are in very poor condition making them difficult to cultivate, and they are failing to reach their full potential in terms of numbers of people using them. There are concerns that the viability of some allotment sites may be put at risk because of this. Many sites have waiting lists. It has also proved difficult over recent years to develop the wider benefits of allotments, including volunteering opportunities, skills development and community engagement.
A review of Rotherham’s allotments carried out by Rotherham Council working in partnership with Rotherham and District Allotments Association concluded that self-management offered best prospects for realising the potential of allotments within available resources.
The Rotherham Allotment Alliance is set up as a ‘Community Benefit Society’ and is responsible for the management of all allotment provision previously provided by Rotherham MBC. The Rotherham Allotment Alliance will allow allotment gardeners to control the development and operation of allotments in Rotherham to deliver sustainable service improvements, increase occupancy rates and promote the environmental and social benefits of growing within the wider community, including improved health and wellbeing. The main activities to achieve the objectives are as follows:-
- Letting of allotment plots on directly managed sites, including management of waiting lists, plot preparation and collection of rents
- Temporary letting of unused allotment land for other compatible uses, including grazing
- Maintenance and improvement of directly-managed sites, including grass, hedges, trees, boundaries, gates, water supplies, communal buildings, preparation of vacant plot
- Letting of allotment sites to allotment societies and/or establishing a volunteer base
- Developing networks to support existing allotment societies
- Encouraging and supporting formation of new societies on sites without self-management
- General promotion and development of allotment gardening across Rotherham
The Alliance is made up of a Board of Directors as follows:
- Chair – Brian Steele
- Secretary – Jack Taylor
- Treasurer – Sue Jackson
- Vice Chair – John Palmer
- Mohammed Suleman
- Mick Hirst
- Councillor David Sheppard (for RMBC)
- TBA (for RMBC)
Each director will discharge his or her responsibilities in a way which seeks to ensure that the Alliance remains committed to operating in the best interests of its members and the community at large.
The board have been meeting on a regular basis since 2019. All minutes of meetings can be found on our Minutes of Meetings page.
The Alliance operates with an Allotment Support Officer on a part-time basis who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the service including plot lets, invoicing and co-ordinating site maintenance. The Allotment Support Officer reports to the board of directors.