Increase in allotment charges approved despite opposition

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PLANS to increase charges for allotment holders in Portsmouth have been approved despite opposition.

From next year, the cost of keeping land for fruit and vegetables that is 125sq m in area – deemed to be the average size – will rise from £53.75 to £61.25 a year.

Councillor Linda Symes, Tory cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, approved the proposals.

She said the rise only works out at 14p a week, ensuring the service will almost be running at ‘full cost recovery’.

It comes despite Lib Dem culture opposition spokesman Lee Hunt insisting he had already made necessary savings while the Lib Dems ran the council to ensure the service was breaking even.

A petition against the proposals attracted more than 130 signatures.

Cllr Symes said: ‘Cllr Hunt’s aim in 2012 was to achieve full cost recovery.

‘He thought he had achieved it, but he had not, so I was finishing a job he started.’