September 2 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Beach hut and chalet owners are facing a small price rise in 2014 – after major protests at this year’s huge hike.
Users of the holiday havens were furious after Suffolk Coastal council put the rents up by 20% for chalets and 12% for huts at Felixstowe in the spring.
After holding public meetings and a protest march along the prom, they formed an association to represent their interests and negotiate with the council over rents and other issues affecting the seafront and their hut sites.
Councillors have deferred a decision on the rents for 2014 until January, but are being recommended to impose a 2.5% rise – roughly in line with inflation.
This will mean chalet rents at Bath Tap going up from £1,117 a year to £1,145.
Beach hut charges vary along the seafront, but those next to the pier will increase from £314 to £322, at Brackenbury Fort from £407 to £417 and at Clifflands £346 to £354.
Roy Gray, a member of the committee of the Felixstowe Beach Hut and Chalet Owners’ Association, said: “We didn’t want to see any rent increase at all after last year but the council said the rents needed to go up in line with inflation. I think we have to accept the increase – at least it is not as bad as this year.
“On a positive note, we have had some good meetings with the council to discuss a range of issues, including litter, maintenance of the chalets, paths and activities on the seafront.
“There has been some good progress and we are looking forward to the year ahead.”
In a report to cabinet, Robert Whiting, cabinet member for resources, said: “Fees and charges are a significant source of income for councils.
“A widely accepted public sector pricing principle is that fees and charges should be set at a level that recovers the full cost of providing the services, unless there is an overriding policy or imperative in favour of subsidisation.”