Rare parish poll is set for Edwinstowe

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Angry allotment holders in Edwinstowe have called for a parish poll to help finally settle a long-running dispute over the management of the village site.

The poll, earmarked for September, is thought to be the only the second of its kind called in the district with the parish council and members of the allotment association unable to resolve their differences.

The parish council proposed to take over the administration of the site following a number of complaints about the conduct of some allotment holders on the Ollerton Road site, among other concerns.

But this has led to opposition from the allotment association, who say they have now dealt with the problems.

The issue has sparked angry confrontations between the two parties and even culminated in the police being called to an Edwinstowe Parish council meeting in April.

But following a recent parish meeting, called at the request of local residents and attended by nearly 50 people, allotment association supporter Sheila Norton described it as the ‘usual angry impasse’ and the call was made for the poll.

Mrs Norton said: “We feel like we’ve had no choice. We’re hoping it will bring this to an end.

“Newark & Sherwood District Council say it’s only the second one they have dealt with, so it’s a rare occasion.

“This allotment association has a lot of support, but we are exhausted and we hope this can finally help resolve the matter.”

The poll is set for Thursday, 11th September, when registered voters will be able to vote between 4pm and 9pm at the village’s usual polling stations on whether the council should take control of the allotments.

However, both the parish council and the allotment association are aware that the result of the vote is not legally binding, and a unanimous victory will guarantee and end to the matter.

It will also cost around £2,000 to organise, money that will come out of Edwinstowe Parish Council’s budget.

Chairman of the council, Coun Celia Brooks, said she was ‘disappointed’ that it had reached this point, and had set up a committee made up of councillors and allotment holders to help resolve the issue.

She added: “There are some that just will not accept that we will take over the administration, and that is all

“We don’t want to interfere with the individual plot holders or the running of the allotment association.

“Whatever the result of the parish poll, we will discuss it at a parish council meeting and come to whatever conclusion we come to.

“The last parish poll held was in Newark and was over a green belt land, a key issue, and the turn out was 3.8 per cent, so what will come of this I don’t know.”