Council urged to tidy up vacant allotment plots

The Wilton Park Road allotments in Hawick.
The Wilton Park Road allotments in Hawick.

The state of some of Hawick’s public allotments has been described as “appalling” by one town councillor.

Hawick and Denholm councillor Clair Ramage made a site visit to the Wilton Park Road gardens this month, and she has vowed to keep up the pressure on Scottish Borders Council to tidy them up.

The Wilton Park Road allotments in Hawick.

The Wilton Park Road allotments in Hawick.

“I would say that two-thirds of the gardens were overgrown,” she told Monday’s meeting of Hawick Community Council.

“Nobody is going to take them on in that state.

“Some owners are even using it for dumping all sorts of stuff. It’s a real shame.

“They need help. The council can’t just leave it and say that people are on the waiting list.

“They need to get a mini-digger in there to clear the vacant plots out.

“One allotment owner at Guthrie Drive says they haven’t even been billed for theirs. It’s a real mess.”

That vow came after community councillor and allotment tenant Duncan Taylor claimed lack of inspections and maintenance at some of the £40-a-year council-owned plots mean over half of the 19 at Wilton Road are lying unused despite prospective owners being told there is a two-year waiting list for them.

“To me, it seems to be a total contradiction,” he said.

“Some of them haven’t been touch in years. They have gotten into this condition because the council has not given them out when they were in a reasonable enough position for someone to do something with.”