Allotment taken off gardener for bad hip

A PENSIONER in Eastwood has had his allotment taken off him for having a bad hip.

Arthur Martin is angry and upset after being told by Eastwood Town Council he can no longer have his allotment because of his health, saying councillors are ‘denying him one of his life’s pleasures’.

Mr Martin says it is up to him, not the council, to look after his health.

“How can they say what the state of my health is? Surely that’s up to myself and my doctor?

“Health and safety is your own responsibility. Not anybody elses.

“I’m very very upset about it,” he said.

The 73-year-old – who has rented the allotment for six years – said the council dealt with the matter ‘atrociously’, just writing him a letter with three weeks notice to pack up and leave.

“I would think they would be a bit more diplomatic and talk to the people involved,” he said.

“They have not even given me any information on the health and safety rules that I have supposedly broken.”

Mr Martin, who is also the chairman of the Dovecote Road Allotment Society, said the council had been ‘after him for years’.

“One of the councillors asked me two years ago to give up my allotment because of my health,” he said.

“They’ve been on at me for quite a while.

“I think they’ve got someone else in line for it. It seems strange that I get a letter at this time of year with just three weeks notice,” he said.

Eastwood Town Council, which owns the allotment site, said in a meeting on Monday night that they had asked Mr Martin to give up his allotment on grounds of health and safety and had a ‘duty of care’.

Leader of the council David Bagshaw said: “We have a duty of care and if this guy’s hip pops out again as it has in the past and he ends up in a wheelchair what would people say?

“People will ask us why we didn’t stop him. I don’t want that to happen due to neglect from this council.”

Cllr Bagshaw said there was a list of 24 people waiting for an allotment.

Mr Martin said he had resigned himself to the fact that he will not be able to get his allotment back, but said he wants people to know what the council had done.

“I loved the pleasure of going up there, the company, and doing what I could. They have deprived me of that,” he said.

“There’s quite a few chaps up there my age. It was a social activity for me,” he said.