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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13832
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Allotments at worthing are being forced to self manage? can

Customer Question

allotments at worthing are being forced to self manage? can the council do this
JA: What steps have been taken so far? Has any paperwork been prepared or filed?
Customer: not yet, overseers have no information? just been told 3/oct/19
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: no, i'm just trying everything I can think of to help, only 100 plots, have looked at legislation, nothing covers this that I have found
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: this action is being forced on to the site, they don't have a clue where to start, and some are working, so time is an issue, we do have a WAGA rep, but all are accepting this can be forced on to the site
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 7 days ago.

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

what is the issue with being self managed?

WAGA?

is everyone else in agreement?

Customer: replied 7 days ago.
we are a small group, 100 plots. the council are not wanting any responsibility, we have no financial information., no list of members, we don't even know what the water bill is. If something big were to cause a problem, say a water leak, there are pipes underground etc. we would probably not have the finances.The only alternative management WAM has been voted against twice by the site, the last time was within a year. The council want this all settled this month I think the 19th Oct was mentioned. No information has been sent to plot holders, and we just all paid a years rent?? WAGA is an allotment association. Self management usually comes with some council support or back up, but our council want no more to do with their allotment sites.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 days ago.

If you don’t have the money to finance, for example, underground pipes or other infrastructure repairs, then you almost certainly won’t have the finance to litigate which could easily be into tens of thousands of pounds.

Your remedy would be an application to court for judicial review of this decision to dump responsibility on to you all. Bearing in mind that you only have three months from the decision to make the application as there is a time limit. It would only order (if successful) the local authority to revisit the decision which may end up being the same.

You can only make an application for judicial review on the grounds of irrationality, illegality, or procedural impropriety. They are the only grounds.

If there are 100 of you and you all paid GBP100 each, that would give GBP10,000 to spend on legal costs.

If one of you doesn’t want to risk or spend, they still get the benefit of the outcome.

This isn’t one that I be rushing off to court for judicial review. However there is something you can do and that is that you can make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

If that fails, then you are faced with putting together an allotment management committee and self managing. The problem is that getting 100 people together to all pulling the same direction is going to be like knitting fog.

Customer: replied 6 days ago.
Thamk you for your response.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 6 days ago.

I am glad to help. Please do not forget to use the Rating Service because that gives me credit. It is still outstanding.

It means that I can continue to give other people affordable accurate timely legal advice.

It isn’t just a marketing exercise. It’s an important and essential part of the process

The thread remains open, and we can still exchange emails.

Kind regards.

FES