News from Sustainable Food Places:
"Community groups, charities and even small groups of neighbours would be able to cultivate fruit and vegetables on suitable council land in what campaigners say will provide healthy local food, boost mental health and revive neglected spaces.
Hull councillors unanimously passed the “right to grow” motion that means the council will produce a map of suitable land it owns and help those who want to grow food on it overcome practical obstacles such as insurance or provision of water for the plants.
The motion, which will first go before the council scrutiny committee, follows a burgeoning local and national campaign for a “right to grow” on neglected urban land.
The waiting list for allotments in England has risen by 81% over the past 12 years as more than 150,000 people seek a place to grow fresh food.
“It will benefit Hull in many ways,” said Gill Kennett, a local councillor who backed the motion, which received cross-party support. “We are a deprived city and we do need cheap food. In terms of mental health benefits, growing food gives people something to do, it gives them confidence, it ticks so many boxes.”
Incredible Edible, a grassroots network of more than 150 community growing groups, is calling for a national “right to grow” law obliging all local authorities to keep a register of land that could be used for growing, and which people could apply to.
In Hull, the motion came about after Hull Food Partnership – a collaboration between local people, businesses, charities and the council – devised “food hustings” at the local elections, where councillors discussed how Hull could address local food issues from food banks to “food deserts”.