There is one small challenge that needs to be confronted and that is to identify where these thousands of new plots are going to come from. In Sefton we have a new strategy document coming forward which I hope will make progress in that direction. Mind you when we discussing the plan for building land at cabinet-it is reckoned we need an extra 500 homes a year-the officer misunderstood Ronnie Fearn's question about allotment land thinking it may be an option for developers. We put him right.
One way to tackle the plot shortage is to link up all those with unwanted gardens with those who want a plot. Schemes like this have been tried often in the past and there have been success. I caught a bit of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage programme on Channel 4 where he is promoting such a scheme.
Landshare has just launched a web to allow growers to find landowners. Todate there are about 90 growers registered on Merseyside and over 200 in Lancashire. I think this is the sort of scheme that could well be successful in Southport. There are lots of big gardens which have defeated their now elderly owners and a big allotment waiting list. I don't fancy the idea of the council binding the project up with red tape but would encourage 'transitional Towns' and other similar bodies to promote landshare