ALLOTMENT holders in the town must now have photograph identification under a new rule enforced by the local authority.
Notices have been put up around allotment sites across the town stating that all holders must have photograph identification, a rule enforced from yesterday.
Allotment holders told the Mail the move is a “pointless council exercise”, with many saying they have been allotment holders for more than 30 years and never needed photo identification.
The annoyed plot holders say they are sent a new book of rules every year by the council and accused the local authority of “making up the rules as they go along”.
A group of the allotment holders were set to take their concerns to the Civic Centre today and raise their issues at the South and Central Neighbourhood Forum, which was due to take place at 10am and the North and Coastal Neighbourhood Forum, set to go ahead at 2pm.
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Allotment holders are being asked to have photograph identification just so our officers within the allotment team can have more certainty about who is the allotment holder.”
George Forbes, 73, who lives in the Chester Road area of town and has had an allotment for more than 30 years, said: “I just think this thing about needing photograph ID is stupid.
“We’ve never needed it in the past so why should we have to have ID now? It’s just a pointless council exercise.”
Notices put up around the allotments in the town say plot holders must provide their name, current address, date of birth a contact number and a photograph for the ID cards.
Sessions are to be held in Church Street at dates and times to be arranged where those who are unable to provide a photograph can get their picture taken.
Kev Moore, 48, who lives in York Road, in the town, and has had an allotment on the Chester Road site for three years, added: “There’s always something with the council, every year there’s something new we have to do or changes to the rules.”
Hartlepool Borough Council also introduced temporary restrictions at the Chester Road site for vehicles accessing certain paths after the track got churned up during the winter months.
Allotment holders must pay a £20 deposit for a key to some of the gates around the site.
Council chiefs have assured plot holders it is a temporary measure and the gates will be opened again in the summer months ahead.