Social welfare recipients are favoured in allotment allocation
I wanted to highlight what I believe is an unjust assessment procedure used by City Hall in deciding who receives one of the newly made available Shantalla allotments. Allotments have been promised by the council for the last few years and are part of the City Development plan. I have long awaited their provision and was delighted to see that the council were offering 32 allotments in Shantalla, which is a few minutes walk form my home.
After downloading the application form from the council website I was quite surprised to find that there was a significant section of the form asking about which social welfare payments the applicant was in receipt of. There was a whole list of payments and you had to tick which applied to you.
As I am not on the dole, sick, a single parent, etc, I just skipped on to the next section. I soon saw that there were actually more questions about social welfare entitlements than there were about relevant growing or garden experience!
After contacting City Hall and asking others who were applying for these allotments, I found out that being in receipt of social welfare gives you a better chance of getting an allotment.Why? Surely having no garden to grow in, having experience growing fruit and veg, living within a certain distance from the allotment site, etc should be conditions which give you a better chance of getting an allotment, not being on the dole.
Why should I be penalised for paying my taxes? There are many areas in which those on social welfare payments get a deserved break, but I see no reason for this to be one of them.
Name and address with editor