Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Extra security to keep allotment holders safe

NEW security measures to prevent trespassing and fly-tipping at a Henley allotment site are being explored.

The Henley Allotments Association is  investigating installing an automatic closing and locking gate at Waterman’s, off the A4155 Reading Road, to improve safety for plot holders, particular women, when working alone.

Mayor Kellie Hinton told the Henley Standard: “Some of the women have been on their own and, whilst they haven’t been attacked or hurt in any way, there have been people wandering onto the allotments and it makes people feel unsafe.”

A report to the town council’s recreation and amenities committee on Tuesday said security has been a topic of concern for some time and ways to restrict access to plot holders only had been investigated.

This was to prevent incidents of vandalism and the theft of produce and tools, to stop flytipping – which in recent months has increased - and to increase the “sense of safety” for plot holders.

Dave McEwen, chairman of the allotments association, said: “At the moment it’s a combination lock. It causes all sorts of problems – people forget the combination and it gets left open.

“The fly-tipping is a real issue at Waterman’s because of its position.”

He suggested holders could have a fob which would open the gate while they were sat in their cars and which would then close behind them.

Councillor David Eggleton suggested installing solar panels to power the gate.

There will be further investigation on the type of gate and costs involved and a report will be brought back to the committee.

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