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Allotments in the Rhondd 8.


Allotments in the Rhondd 8. Handicapped by Land- owners. Why is there no General Demand? For several months past, the Rhondda District Council has been negotiating with local landowners for land for allotment purposes under the Allotments and Small Holdings Act. The following are among the replies received by the Clerk (Mr. W. P. Nicholas) in response to a com- munication enquiring whether they (the landowners) would be prepared to place at the disposal of the Council, if re- quired, land for the above purposes, and, if so, upon what terms: — Sir W. T. Lewis, Bute Estate: Shall have my attention as soon as I am free from the pressure of Parliamentary busi- ness." Mr. John M. Randall, Dunraven Estate: "-All the spare land Lord Dun- raven has at Treherbert is let out in garden allotments by the tenant of the farm, and at Tonypandy all the suitable land has been built upon. I do not know of any land belonging to Lord Dunraven available for the purpose of allotments." Mr. B. R. Heaton, Crawshay Bailey Estate: I am a little afraid that there is nothing on the Bailey Estate very suit- able for the purpose, but I will go very carefully into the matter and write you again." Colonel Turbervill: "I have only two farms over 50 acres in your district-Pen Pontrhondda (87 acres) and Troedyrhiw (214 acres), in both of which a consider- able amount is being taken up for build- ing. If you will let me know of any par- ticular piece of land which you wish to acquire for allotments, I will see whether I can arrange with the tenant to sub-let to you." Mr. David Treharne, Baglan Estate: There is no land available for allotment at present on the Baglan Estate in this district. We have, however, a number of plots already let for this purpose at Pentre, Pontygwaith and Bodringallt, but I may say that some of these change hands very often, whilst I let some 11 allotments at Penyfai, near Aberkenfig, four years ago, five of which have not been cultivated for the last year or two." Mr. A. O. Evans (Williams and Evans), Trealaw Estate: We placed your letter before Mr. Rhys Williams, who has not yet given us a reply. He is at present abroad, and will not be back for some time. We fear the matter must remain in abeyance until his return." The Clerk also communicated with the applicants for allotments, and pointed out to them that in any event the Council would not be able to provide allotments near their dwelling-houses as was desired in some instances, but that they would have to acquire a piece of ground in some part of the locality to be parcelled out to duly qualified applicants, and enquiring whether under those circumstances the applicants would be prepared to cultivate any land so allotted to them. The replies received disclosed a variety of tastes. While some of the applicants were prepared to cultivate land within a reasonable distance of their homes (the reasonable distance varying from a quarter to one mile), others declared they could not manage it if away from the house," whilst not a few were content to culti- vate land anywhere it was obtainable. The foregoing replies were considered at last Friday's meeting of the Council. The Clerk said the- had done every- thing in their power to get allotments for the public, but they were handicapped by the landowners. Moreover, there was an unwillingness on the part of the appli- cants to take the land unless it was near or adjoining their own gardens. It was for the Council to consider whether the replies received constituted a sufficient demand to justify the Council to com- pulsorily acquire these sites. Councillor Ben Davies was of the opinion that when the facts were more widely known that allotments could be had at a reasonable price, hundreds of allotments would be taken up. "I think," added Mr. Davies, "we should push this ques- tion further, and get to know whether these landlords and agents are prepared to let these portions." The Clerk: That is not the point. The question now is whether we are going to tackle these men. We cannot go and take so many acres in the hope that appli- cants will write. We must get the appli- cants to write first. Councillor Tom Harries: Is the proce- dure very expensive? The Clerk .I.o. Councillor Harries: Does it require a certain number? The Clerk: We must get a general demama. We have plastered the whole district so that people may know and give us their names. Councillor Harries said that one reason why there was not a greater demand was that there was no security of tenure about the land. After they had laboured with the land, the colliery owners or builders would require it for development and building purposes. Councillor Wight said that if they went further away there would be no insecurity of tenure. The matter was referred back to the Legal and Parliamentary Committee.

- Llwynypia.


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