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Francesca Di Fazio

Reporter

The strategy would maximize the usage of existing growing spaces by creating more plots within single allotments and to simplify the legal process to access available council sites.

The Glasgow City Council has opened an online consultation on a new draft strategy to promote local food growing in the city.

The Glasgow Food Growing Strategy puts forward a five-year-long action plan to support residents and local communities who want to grow their own fruit and vegetables. The plan was drafted following the outcome of 15 engagement sessions with allotment owners, local growers and residents, held across the city from 2016 to the end of 2019. The draft strategy document reports that participants expressed a strong interest in local food growing initiatives. The main demands that emerged from the consultations were for the Council to provide access to more growing spaces and to offer guidance on how to start up and maintain community growing projects.  

The Council’s strategy aims to address the demands partly by building on existing resources. The strategy would maximize the usage of existing growing spaces by creating more plots within single allotments and to simplify the legal process to access available council sites. More growing sites are also expected to be developed where there is local demand for them. New allotments may be obtained from unused council land or even through a new housing development plan. The Council also intends to cooperate with housing associations to help create growing spaces for residents.

Support for local growing communities will be provided through a variety of sources. If the draft strategy is approved, a Community Food Growing Mentoring group formed by local growers, community members and council representatives will be set up. The establishment of a Let’s Grow Together Fund to provide seed capital to finance new community growing projects is also under consideration.

The plan is part of the wider strategy to make Glasgow the first carbon-neutral city in the UK. According to scientists, growing food locally is an important step to curb GHGs emissions due to the pollution associated with intensive agriculture and food imports.

“Ensuring Glasgow becomes a sustainable food city will help the city tackle the challenges of climate change, but also address issues of food poverty and general well-being” said Anna Richardson, Glasgow’s Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction.

The Glasgow City Council is also acting upon existing obligations under national legislation. The 2015 Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, Part 9, assigns a duty to local authorities to develop local food growing strategies by 1 April 2020.

The draft strategy document is available online on the Glasgow City Council Consultation Hub. The public consultation is now running and will last until 16 March 2020.



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