Edwinstowe allotment holders take poll position

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A parish council is being urged to scrap plans to take over village allotments after a parish poll saw hundreds of people vote against the idea.

The unique poll, thought to be only the second of its kind held in the region, was held in Edwinstowe to help resolve a dispute between the local council and allotment holders.

The council proposed to take over the administration of the Ollerton Road allotment site, which sparked anger from allotment holders.

Thursday’s poll saw a return of 379 votes - with 327 rejecting the council take over - a turnout of 8.9 per cent of the parish’s 4,257 eligible voters.

Despite costing the parish between £1,500 to £2,000 to organise, it is still not legally binding and the decision still sits ultimately with the parish council.

But allotment campaigner Sheila Norton is calling for the council to now abandon their plans.

“It sends a clear message that a large number of people are unhappy with this council,” she said.

“The council needs to realise that this vote was as much against them as it was for the allotment holders.

“This is a victory but we have to realise that the council has repeatedly told people that the poll is not legally binding, which some people gave as a reason for not voting.”

Parish council chairman Celia Brooks said that a working party made up of allotments holders has already been working with the council since August to draw up a letting agreement.

She added “I shall be asking the council to talk to the allotment holders themselves and other members of the public who voted ‘no’ to find out more about their concerns.

“I can’t say what the parish council will choose to do until it has been put to the full meeting, what I can say is I would like feedback from members of the public, whatever their views.”