Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nanny's Retrospective Rules

I was "gemused" to read a story in the Telegraph a few days ago about a "typically British" dispute between an allotment holder (Michael Rock) and his local council (Hastings), over the thorny issue as to whether he should be allowed to grow fruit trees instead of vegetables on his plot.

Nanny contends that fruit trees are not a productive use of a "scarce resource" (ie the allotment), and that if Mr Rock does not want to use the plot productively then he should vacate it.

On the face of it, the council has a point; allotments are a scarce resource and there are waiting lists of years for many of them. However, Mr Rock argues that he used to grow veg etc but that much of the produce was wasted and he instead wanted to use it for fruit in order to make jam.

Now, here we come to the crux of the matter, if he had signed an agreement when he first took over the plot that he could only grow certain produce then the council has a prima facie case for throwing him off the plot if he has broken the rules.

Question: did he sign such an agreement?

Answer: No (the original agreement contained no such restriction).

The council are trying to force him to now sign an agreement that would be applied retrospectively, preventing him from growing fruit, thus on signing he would be in breach of the agreement.

Mr Rock, not unreasonably, refuses to sign.

As the the National Allotment Society says:
In our mind the spirit of allotment gardening is that it’s a communal activity which everybody can enjoy; it’s a hobby, at the end of the day.

We do understand the reasons for tenancy agreements, but would always advise councils not to impose them retrospectively. Allotment gardening is something people do in their spare time and it’s important that rules are imposed in the spirit of fairness.” 
Sadly Nanny doesn't do "fairness"!

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  1. Tonk.1:24 PM

    We are the state.

    We are in charge.

    Do as you're told or we'll have you......A frightened population is easier to control compared to a confident, well educated and non frightened one.

  2. Well, I for one am mightily impressed by Hastings council.

    Clearly, unlike the vast majority of councils, they've sorted out all issues of pot-holes in the roads, school maintenance, care provision for the elderly etc and even more impressively, worked out how they are going to cope with the largest percentage cut in government grant of any English council. Otherwise, how else could they be free to turn their attention to such weighty matters?

    Considering that the overarching EU Nanny in her infamous European Union Jam Directive cunningly redefined "the edible part of" rhubarb stalks and carrots as fruit to suit her own purposes, presumably most of the other allotment holders are similarly criminally growing "fruit", so will the jackboot of Hastings council be similarly used in those cases I wonder?

  3. Anonymous6:41 AM

    I am not much of a gardener myself but I do know that fruit trees can grow quite tall. If I was on a neighbouring allotment I might be concerned that the trees would put my own efforts in the shade. Also, Mr Rock does not own the allotment; he is just a temporary tenant. Sooner or later he would vacate the patch and some unlucky bastard would be faced with the job of having to dig up some established trees.

    No I don’t believe that the council have any right to apply rules retrospectively, but I do believe that they should have used some diplomacy to persuade Mr Rock to act with more consideration.

  4. To anonymous:

    It depends on the fruit trees. There are many hybrids that do not grow to more than 2 metres high. I live in an urban area and have a garden about the size of a postage stamp yet have 10 assorted fruit trees in pots (apple, pear, plum) plus two fig tres and a small veg plot. I usually get a nice crop of assorted fruit and veg from them too...nothing like home grown apple and tomato chutney, beans, 'Ragu sauce' from the courgettes, tomatoes and peppers, plum jam, apple jelly and preserved pears :)

    However, the council in this case are utter pillocks for trying to apply rules retrospectively when it suits them.