One woman’s fight to keep her allotment

By Ayo Ada Ogolo | Thu 25 May 2017

Ayo Ada Ogolo working in community allotment

Ayo Ada Ogolo explains the history and challenges involved in her campaign to keep the community garden allotment shes had for over ten years.

I have had an allotment for the past 11 years, however one evening I noticed that the locks had been changed on the gates. There was a notification expressing that possession of my 3/4 plot had been taken by a new tenant and a firm of Manchester City Solicitors respectively. This seems to have stemmed from the fact that I had been involved in a serious accident in early 2016, which had caused problems with my mobility. When I was able to return to my allotment I noticed two items had disappeared. I made contact with the police and the allotment committee secretary.

Earlier this year, I had received a hand delivered letter from the allotment society asking me to move certain items from my allotment. When the treasurer and secretary came to my home, they did not ring my bell, or knock on my door but instead, pushed a letter through my letter box. My privacy was being compromised. I emailed them to tell them not to do this again, they ignored this and delivered a termination notification of 28 days.

The council offered a mediation service and indicated there had been clear cases of discrimination repeatedly practised on this allotment. A relative of mine also sent an email to Manchester City Council (MCC) about the discriminatory behaviour on my behalf. However this was ignored until last November 2016.

I then made contact with the National Allotment Association, who referred me to the Regional Allotment Society (RAS) for the North-West. The RAS failed to tell me how they would address this matter although they did confirm that they had 14 similar cases in the North-West. I was advised to contact both my local M.P and the police. A female police officer advised me not to return to my allotment, (due to the amount of verbal, bullying and physical threat) until this matter had been resolved. I have since contacted and delivered this information of my campaign to Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Ayo has been bullied of her community garden allotment

Victimised and bullied

I believe that these new tenants have colluded with the previous allotment society to turf me off my plot through illegal means. I have asked for allotment accounts over the past 11 years, but this request has been ignored. I have had to call the police on two different occasions, first when one of the allotment tenants used his 4x4 vehicle to physically threaten me, second, after being assaulted by a male, after I caught him and his wife taking apples off of my allotment.

I have been physically threatened, sexually harassed, racist remarks have been made, victimised and bullied by some of the men and wives on this allotment. One of the racist secretaries, even had the audacity last year to confirm that they would do anything they wanted to me, and that they would box me in.

So my campaign is looking for:

1. A full inquiry regarding the delayed complaint first made, and to Manchester City Council.

2. A full apology made by the committee members identified in my harassment, and those who have colluded with them.

3. A means for me to return to my beautiful allotment.

Please support me by signing my petition which includes the full story of my journey.

Sis Ayo Ada Ogolo with her sunflowers

External Links
MCR City Council lock a black disabled woman out of her 11 year old plot

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