Keep Congleton’s heart green

Spread the word – raise awareness and help raise funds.
A green patch of Congleton town centre is up for sale and under threat.

Why is this important?
Congleton is unusual for the green fingers of land that reach the centre of town. Tucked away behind the main shopping street, Moody St and Waggs St, there is a strip of land alongside The Howty brook that leads to Priesty Fields, Lambert’s Lane and open countryside beyond. This stretch of green is much loved and used by locals, forms part of a conservation area, and is a wildlife corridor. It also contributes to community facilities for leisure, being cultivated as allotments.

What’s happened?
Cheshire East Council has designated the allotments as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), giving the local community the right to bid for the land, with a deadline of 25th April 2014.

Congleton Sustainability Group initiated the application for the Community Asset designation, and now are co-ordinating the awareness-raising and fund raising required to put in a bid. The Town Council is supportive in principle, and Peter Aston (chairman of the the group) has been asked to speak at a Finance and Policy Committee meeting.

A public meeting was held this morning (Sat 3rd Jan) with a turnout of around 50 people, who were encouraged to spread the word to as many as possible, to show support vocally or financially or in practical terms, volunteering some time to deliver leaflets and put up posters, or do whatever else is needed.

What next?
One possibility is to encourage share buying, where many residents each pay a modest amount to own part of these allotments, thus preserving them for perpetuity.

What can you do?
Spread the word and check for updates. If you are a Facebook user, then ‘like’ and ‘share’ info on the Vale Allotments Facebook page. If you Tweet, then use #ValeAllotments #Congleton. Contact your town councillor to show your support (the town council might be able to make funds available if enough people state their strength of feeling over this).

Also be sure to contribute to the Congleton Neighbourhood Plan consultation, once details are announced, so your voice is heard here about protecting spaces in the town.

Keep an eye on what’s happening via Protect Congleton group too.

Read the Stoke Sentinel’s coverage too.
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