Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Monday, 29 June 2009 11:16 UK

Grow veg, not flowers, widow told

Edith Avery
Edith Avery says the allotment behind her kitchen is like a garden

An 89-year-old widow fears she may lose the allotment she has had for 30 years because a council says plot holders must grow mostly vegetables.

Edith Avery grew veg for years on the allotment behind her cottage in Rogerstone, Newport, but has gone over to shrubs and flowers.

Rogerstone Community Council has sent letters telling holders to comply with policy.

It said it was trying to find a resolution to Mrs Avery's case.

Mrs Avery began renting the allotment with her late husband, Albert, a D-Day veteran, and the pair grew vegetables for many years.

The plot is a few paces from Mrs Avery's home, and can be seen from her kitchen window.

She said she was upset by a letter which she said told her to bring her plot into line with allotment policy.

I have appealed to the council to show a little common sense and flexibility - destroying her work of 30 years would be a cruel and heartless act
Paul Flynn MP, Newport West

She said: "They said because there wasn't vegetables on there, only flowers, I had to clear the site, and if I didn't clear it within 14 days, they would clear it and I would have to foot the bill.

"It was the tone of the letter. It was very dictatorial. I tried to get in touch with somebody and all I got was 'write a letter'.

She said: "I'm that much older now and I can't do [grow vegetables]. It became a flower garden eventually.

"I don't want to lose the allotment. I look out on it. It's my garden. I only go out once a week because I have arthritis."

'Ridiculous'

Mrs Avery contacted Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, for help over the letter, which she said implied the deadline for action was on Monday.

Mr Flynn has highlighted her plight on his blog, describing her plot as "a well-tended pleasing sight".

He said: "The whole thing is so ridiculous.

"I have appealed to the council to show a little common sense and flexibility. Destroying her work of 30 years would be a cruel and heartless act.

"There are many neglected overgrown allotments nearby that cry out for the councillors' attention."

Mr Flynn said he had since been told no action would be taken until the community council met to discuss her case on Wednesday.

Council chairman councillor Andrew Cooksey said a colleague had been in contact with Mrs Avery to find a resolution.

He said: "We don't want to annoy or upset an elderly lady. Having said that, rules are rules."

The community council is to meet on Wednesday.



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific