A revamp of Bradford Council’s allotment services, designed to transform derelict sites and reduce waiting lists, has received praise from plot holders.

Over the past year, the council claims it has speeded up the letting of vacant plots by improving communication with allotment holders and site representatives.

Further improvements are set to include new site notice boards and changes to the allotments website, which will enable people to apply for a plot, pay rent, report any faults, or check their position on the waiting list online.

Marilyn Taylor, who helped form the Allotments Action Group after becoming dissatisfied with a lack of urgency from the council, said the group was “very pleased” with the progress made.

“The services have improved no end, “ she said.

“Until 12 months ago, there seemed to be a lot of talk and no action but the council is now taking the issues as seriously as we do as plot holders.

“There was talk of enormous waiting lists but in some cases it was just that plots were either unworkable or simply weren’t let.

“Now there are more regular site inspections and procedures have really been tightened up.”

The council allotments team now visits the 36 council-run sites across the district more frequently to check tenants are cultivating plots. If this is not the case, the council can cancel their agreement and re-let to someone else.

Coun Andrew Thornton, portfolio holder for environment, sport and recreation, said: “The service to allotment holders has improved considerably.

“Vacant plots are being let more quickly and waiting lists are shorter and better managed.

“We want to support allotment holders, but if people have lost interest then we would encourage them to tell us so we can re-let the plot to someone on the waiting list.”

For more information on council-run allotments, visit bradford.gov.uk/ allotments.