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Thursday, 28 August 2014

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West Cumbrian allotment group raises cash for eviction battle

A fund-raising drive has been launched to help Seaton allotment holders dig for victory in a legal battle against eviction.

allotment 1801
PROTEST: Rob McCracken, one of the allotment holders

People using the allotments, on land off Lowca Lane, received letters in October, giving them until March 1 to quit the land, which had been bought by private owners.

Ken Walker and DW Hall bought the site at auction in December 2011.

But the allotment holders have vowed to fight the eviction plans and have so far raised £1,400 to pay for a barrister to look into the legalities of the land sale.

They have been plastering the village with posters using the iconic Dig For Victory campaign wording used in World War Two.

A race night, held at Seaton’s Royal British Legion, was attended by 85 people and raised the cash.

Rob McCracken, 43, of Inner Ling Road, secretary of the village allotment association, said: “We have all decided to ignore the eviction notice. Basically we are all going to stand together and not move from the land.

“We are having regular meetings and are getting more people on board.

“It was a good turnout at the race night and shows the solidarity and support we are looking for.”

The allotment holders have been getting free legal advice from a solicitor at Waugh and Musgrave in Cockermouth but were referred to a barrister with more specialist knowledge.

Mr McCracken added that they wanted to hire the barrister to pursue every avenue and make sure they were doing everything possible to fight eviction.

The barrister is carrying out an initial investigation and will report to the allotment-holders.

If he feels they have a case, they will continue with their fight.

There will be an event at Seaton Rugby Club on March 16, with the hypnotist Adam Night, to help raise awareness of their cause.

Mr McCracken said that about 1,000 people had signed a petition to save the allotments.

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