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Finally replacing top fence and pedestrian gate
For reasons that I won’t go into, the association was disbanded in 2009 and the bank made the account dormant.
In a conversation with one of the allotment officers I asked whether there was any way that the money sitting in this account could be used by the council to maybe match fund and replace the top section of fencing. As a result I was pit in contact with Claire Smith an engagement's officer with the council.
Claire made various enquiries and it became apparent that no match funding was forthcoming but that we could afford to replace the top fencing with a cheaper type of fencing than originally planned.
Whilst Claire worked on getting the work organised, Martyn and I approached the bank to claim the money from the dormant account. Five months later, after completing forms - twice, hours of telephone calls, stupid bank errors and frustrating meetings with the bank culminating with a visit where we made it clear that we were going nowhere until something was sorted out, we received a cheque which was passed to the council.
We only had enough money to fund a new piece of fencing but not enough to replace the gate so Claire explored other funding routes and grants but with no success.
We then decided to try appealing for support from our ward councillors and received a very positive response.
Now an ex-councillor, Rory Bickerton was successful in an application for funding from the Neighbourhood Improvement Fund which would pay for the gate.
The first stage of the work involved the clearing the area of brambles etc. This proved to be more problematic than expected and so an arborist was called in before fence installation could proceed.
Claire requested new padlocks which the council agreed to provide and so finally after various glitches along the way this phase of our original plan has been completed.
As can be seen in the photos below the removal of the old fence revealed years' worth of litter that Claire is hoping to arrange to have cleared up.
Many thanks to Claire for her efforts and support, our local councillors for obtaining the additional funding for the gate and to Jan for adapting the gate so that the lock is accessible from both sides.
Our original long term plan was to go on to replace the fencing behind the allotments alongside the main entrance and repair gaps in the hedge down the long boundary.
Obviously neither of these projects will be completed unless someone else takes them on and as for the new piece of fencing it’s better very, very late than never.