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Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. (198682)

Government recognise the significant benefits that allotments provide. The Government do not hold information on allotment provision in local authorities, although we do collate information on the disposal of allotments. To improve information available on green spaces, including allotments, we have commissioned the development of a green space database. This will be an interactive mapping tool which will bring together several datasets and provide the opportunity for local authorities, and other users, to access and input information on quality and provision of green space, including allotments. The newly revised good practice guide, Growing in the community, published by the Local Government Association in March 2008, includes information on how local authorities can better maintain allotment sites and provide extra resources to do so. Local authorities have the freedom to manage their own resources. It is up to them to determine their spending priorities within the resources available to them.