Allotments costs don’t add up

At last week’s Andover Town Council meeting I queried the costs of running the town’s allotments because the fiugres recently published don’t add up.

In a letter to allotment holders the chairman of the town council’s allotment committee outlined the costs of running the allotments at almost £22,000 and to balance the books they have raised rents accordingly.

Until the town council took control of allotments they were run and maintained by Test Valley Borough Council the costs being charged to all residents through the Andover levy. Therefore I must assume TVBC were spending about £22,000 a year of the levy on running the town’s allotments.

When Andover Town Council took control of the allotments there was a reduction in the Andover levy of just £15,661. So what happened to the rest of our money?

If Andover residents have been paying £22,000 per year to TVBC for them to run the allotments then now they are being run by ATC then the Andover levy should be reduced by this amount. For a council that prides itself on prudence and value for money I am surprised that no-one on Andover TC has asked this. or is it that someone can’t add up?

I was also disappointed to hear the chair of the council (who as a non-resident of Andover doesn’t pay the levy) dismissing this as just a small amount of money. I also wonder with so many Test Valley Borough councillors sitting on the town council (many of whom were opposed to the formation of a town council) whether there may be conflicts of interest here. Have these figures been given due attention before the agreement to transfer the allotments was completed?

I have submitted a list of written questions on this and look forward to the council’s response.

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