Allotment charge increase woe in Portsmouth

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General manager at the Royal Maritime Club in Portsmouth, 

John Alderson, pictured when the club's two historical visitors books were returned

Theft charge dismissed as mystery of stolen books signed by Queen Victoria goes on

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THE cost of running an allotment has more than doubled in the past four years for green-fingered Portsmouth residents.

An average cost of a full plot will be £62 a year from April, up from around £54.50 last year.

Portsmouth City Council has brought in the increase despite some councillors asking for it to be reconsidered.

A spokesman for the Allotment Association said the council should be encouraging people to get exercise and grow their own food and increasing the price of an allotment will put them off.

Councillor Linda Symes, who is in charge of leisure services at the council, said the increase will help plug the £31m shortfall in council funding over the next three years.

She added: ‘The Liberal Democrats started to increase the charges for allotments on the basis they should be self-funding so the council does not have to contribute. It should be cost neutral.

‘But when we looked at it was not cost neutral at all. This increase is only around 14 pence per week. It’s very small.’

Average price for large towns and cities

Southampton – £60

Bournemouth – £200

Leeds – £60

Brighton and Hove – £70