Allotments in Parliament
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What's my MP doing?

Find out what your MP is doing in Parliament in your name, read debates and sign up for email alerts at

How can MPs help?

For a local allotment campaign, you should contact your own MP.

  • It may strengthen your campaign if your MP is willing to act as a figurehead. Local newspapers may be more likely to pick up a story involving the local MP.

  • MPs have contacts and channels of communication with the local council and may be able to help put your case to them.

  • They can represent your concerns in Parliament.

You can ask them to

  • put forward a question in Parliament

  • mention your campaign in a parliamentary debate

  • Propose or sign an Early Day Motion in Parliament

  • Present a petition to Parliament

  • Vote to pass or block a new law in Parliament

  • Write to a more prominent MP or minister on your behalf

You can, in theory, contact any MP if you want to campaign about the national issue of poor allotment provision, but be aware that MPs get huge post bags, have no duty to respond to your concerns and most of them (quite reasonably) will not reply.

However, if you have some facts or evidence about allotment provision which you think adds to the national picture, then you should contact MPs who have already shown an interest, as they might be more receptive. It's useful for you to say that you are writing to offer information and that you don't expect a reply.

What is an EDM?

The Early Day Motion is a way to publicise the views of individual MPs, and to show support among MPs for a particular cause or point of view. There are usually no direct consequences as a result of the EDM.



"That this House welcomes the big increase in home-grown vegetables, with seed sales up 14 per cent. last year; is pleased that the number of people wanting an allotment has increased by 20 per cent. in thepast 12 months; is concerned that according to the National Society for Allotment and Leisure Gardeners there are 100,000 people on waiting lists for an allotment; and calls on the Government, local authorities, other public bodies and private landlords to make land available for new allotments."
Proposed by Bob Russell, 7th Sept 2010
Find out who signed

Early day motion 165 - PROVISION OF ALLOTMENTS

"That this House recognises the importance of encouraging people to grow their own produce; notes the level of demand for allotments amongst people of all ages; realises that in many areas there is a shortage of land for allotments despite the fact that local authorities have a statutory responsibility to provide allotments for local residents; and calls on the Government to ensure that all local authorities honour this statutory obligation in relation to allotments."
Proposed by Lindsay Hoyle, MP, 8th December 2008.
Find out who signed

In Parliament

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asks Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the value of allotments to communities and individuals ... and whether they intend to change the duty of local authorities to provide allotments; and, if so, whether they have assessed the impact on the number of allotments available to rent. [reply] 11/5/2011

Lord Greaves asks whether local authorities have the power to lease land which they own to allotment societies or co-operatives on long leases in the case of (a) land used as statutory allotments, and (b) other land used for allotment gardens or intended for such use. [reply] 16/3/2011

Baroness Sharples asks "Her Majesty's Government whether they are encouraging local councils to increase the number of allotments" ...[reply] 16/3/2009

Questions to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ...

Tony Baldry - asks will he "take steps to ensure that local authorities provide allotments under the terms of the Allotments and Small Holdings Act 1908."...[reply] 10 Jun 2010

Robert Neill
- how many allotment disposals have been approved by the Government Office responsible for allotment disposals in each local authority area since 1997
[reply] 25/3/2010

Grant Shapps - pursuant to the answer to Baroness Byford of 18 March 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 213WA, on allotments, how many applications to dispose of statutory allotments were (a) submitted, (b) approved and (c) rejected in each local authority area in each year since 1997-98.
[reply] 30/3/2010

Caroline Spelman
- whether his Department has issued guidance to local authorities on the sale by allotment holders in municipal allotments of their surplus produce. [reply] 5/1/2010

David Anderson - asks will he "issue guidance to local authorities to encourage the allocation of more land for allotments"...[this question was not answered] 12 Nov 2009

Caroline Spelman - asks what obligations local authorities have to provide sufficient allotment sites to meet demand ...[reply] 15/10/2009

and - what estimate he has made of the average waiting time for an applicant to secure a local authority allotment ...[reply] 15/10/2009

Lyndsay Hoyle
- (1) if he will make it his policy to ensure that district authorities in Lancashire publish their waiting lists for local authority-provided allotments; what recent assessment he has made of local authorities' performance in the provision of allotments; and what formula his Department provides for local authorities to determine the number of allotments each should provide;
(2) if he will estimate the number of allotments which each district authority in Lancashire should provide under the formula prepared by his Department; and if he will estimate the number of allotments each such local authority provides. [reply] 1/9/2009

Adrian Sanders
- what research his Department has assessed on the effect of allotments on the environment and local communities, and how many complaints have been submitted to the local government ombudsman on maladministration in the provision of allotments in the last five years.
[reply] 15/7/2009

Lyndsay Hoyle
- how many allotments are provided by each district authority in Lancashire. [reply] 15/7/2009

Mike Gapes
- what applications each Government Office has (a) received, (b) approved and (c) not approved from each local authority in its region for disposal of statutory allotments between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2009; what the proposed alternative use of the allotments was in each case; and what the reason for (i) approval and (ii) refusal was in each case.
[reply] 14/7/2009

David Drew - what plans she has to encourage the development of more allotments; what guidance she has provided to local authorities on this issue; and what research her Department has undertaken into the potential contribution of allotments to local food chains and sustainable community agriculture ...[reply] 8/6/2009

Bob Russell -
what consideration she has given to strengthening the role of horticulture in (a) local development frameworks and (b) regional spatial strategies; and if she will make a statement ...[reply] 29/4/2009

Andrew George - what plans she has to ensure parish and town councils which wish to provide allotments for residents are able to do so ...[reply] 20/3/2009

Stewart Jackson - what her Department's policy on the sale for development of allotments is ...[reply] 12/3/2009

Caroline Spelman - what requirements there are upon local authorities to provide allotments for the use of local residents.
...[reply] 11/2/2009

Roger Williams - what area of land in each (a) constituency and (b) region of England was used as allotments in each of the last three years ...[reply] 4/2/09

Tim Farron - how many allotment allocations are vacant in each constituency ...[reply] 22/1/09

Adrian Sanders - what steps her Department is taking to increase the supply of allotments ...[reply] 13/1/09

Ian Gibson - what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals on the size and number of allotments provided by local authorities ...[reply] 16/12/08

David Anderson - what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on the provision of allotments ...[reply] 16/06/08

John Leech secures Commons debate on the provision of allotments by local authorities ...[5/11/2008]

Bob Russel asks the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals to increase food production through (a) agriculture, (b) horticulture, (c) allotments and (d) residential gardens; and if he will make a statement ...[reply] 29/9/2008

Ben Chapman secures a Commons debate on allotment provision.
...[more] 22/7/2008

David Drew asks the Secretary of State for DEFRA "Will he talk to his colleagues in the Department for Communities and Local Government about the importance of the garden, which has been underestimated, and in particular about reassessing the role of allotments, because many people would grow their own produce but have not had the opportunity to do so?" ...[reply] 12/06/08

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they have issued guidance to local authorities on what constitutes a "sufficient number of allotments" under Section 23(1) of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908; and

How many local authorities provide at least 0.5 acres of allotment land per thousand residents, in line with the interpretation of "a sufficient number of allotments" in Section 23(1) of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 proposed by the Thorpe report of 1969...[reply] 13/05/08

Ben Chapman's written questions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • what assessment he has made of the relationship between the use of allotments and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions ...[reply] 23/10/2008
  • what assessment he has made of the environmental effects which may arise from the maintenance of allotments ...[reply] 29/9/2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the public health effects of people maintaining allotments ...[reply] 17/9/2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • if she will consider introducing measures requiring local authorities (a) to keep figures on (i) the number of allotment sites in their areas and (ii) the length of waiting lists for an allotment and (b) to provide an annual return to Parliament incorporating such data ...[reply]
  • if she will consider initiating an allotment survey with mandatory participation on the part of local authorities ...[reply] 10/07/08
  • what guidance she has issued to local authorities on the use of waiting lists for allotments ...[reply] 9/7/2008
  • whether she has had recent discussions with those local authorities which have a waiting list for allotments on their provision of allotments ...[reply] 3/7/2008
  • whether she plans to ask local authorities for information on local quality and quantity provision standards for allotments as referred to in Planning and Policy Guidance Note 17 ...[reply]
  • if she will make exceptional funding available for the provision of allotments ...[reply]
  • what mechanisms exist to ensure that local authorities provide an adequate number of allotments ...[reply] 30/6/2008
  • what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the funding provided for allotments ...[reply] 23/4/2008
  • when the green space database will be (a) completed and (b) available for use by local authorities in relation to allotments." ...[reply] 23/4/2008
  • if she will (a) collate information on allotment provision held at a local level, (b) encourage local authorities to devote more resources to providing and maintaining allotments and (c) increase funding for allotment sites ...[reply] 3/4/2008