AS chairman of the Bembrook Allotment Association. I would like to congratulate your paper on the article “Gardener evicted from allotment after a spat” (January 7, 2011).
It made a nice human interest story. However, Michael Rock is a person completely unknown to the large majority of allotment holders on Bembrook Allotments; indeed even I did not know his name until your article.
Mr Rock took on plot 64, easily the largest and best spot on the entire site, many years ago at a time when most plots were derelict and there were less than 10 allotment holders on Bembrook.
At that time there was local speculation that the site would be made a picnic and leisure facility and the remaining plot holders moved and/or paid compensation.
Over the years Mr Rock made little attempt to work plot 64 beyond occasionally cutting the grass with the communal mower until it broke down. After that he made his own arrangements.
All Bembrook plots are now taken and there is a great demand for allotments throughout the borough.
It is not unnatural that the council should want to split Mr Rock’s plot and let it to people who want to grow actual produce.
As for Mr Rock’s suggestion that the council bullies OAPs, it is ridiculous, indeed the opposite is true. We have the cheapest plot rental in the country and the council goes to great lengths and expense to ensure the comfort and safety of plot tenants, far beyond its legally required duties.
Perhaps you could find space to laud the efforts of both council and the other 600 or so allotment holders across the borough in addition to sticking up for the little man apparently taking on Goliath.
Bembrook Allotment Association