Friday, 26 July 2013

Complaining can pay dividends

Afternoon all.

Those of you who regularly read this blog will know that I recently got an allotment - aka Plot 57.  What I didn't mention at the time was the argument I'd had with the local town council which allocates the allotments over the unfairness of their charging policy.

At the time housemate and I inspected the allotment site, plots 56 and 57 were both vacant, and the original plan was that housemate and I would each take one.  Until, that is, it came to the town council asking for payment.  I had (incorrectly) assumed the rent would be pro-rata to the number of months remaining in the charging period, which runs February-January, so in other words, I expected to pay for 7 months.  Not so as it turned out, and I vehemently objected to paying a full year's rent on both plots, particularly when they were in such a poor state.  My objection was duly noted and I was told it would be put before the committee.

Good news!  The committee agreed with my point and have amended their charging policy so that from now on, anyone taking a plot mid-way through the year will only pay pro-rata to the remaining months.  Quite a result as frankly, I didn't think I stood a snowball in hell's chance of getting them to agree, but they have.  I can't believe no one has thought to complain before, but apparently no one has.

So ... it looks like the 400sq metres of plot 57 is going to be joined by its mate plot 56, and become one large plot of around 800sq metres.

Given that as his carer, I do all the work on housemate's plot, It might seem totally insane to take on another huge area when the first plot is gigantic all by itself, and the combined area of the two plots equates to more than 3 average 250sq m plots, but there is method in my madness.  The plots are extremely long (around 80m) but are each only 5m wide.  By taking both, housemate and I will have only to fence the 5m across our respective plots, rather than one of us having to fence the 80m between the two.  In terms of economics and less labour to fence, it makes perfect sense.  (Can you tell I've spent the last few days doing math coaching with Small!?)

Quite what I'll do with the extra 400sq m, I've no idea yet, but I shouldn't run short of fruit and veg, that's for sure.

Until next time. x

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