Hut owners angry at price hike

BEACH hut owners are furious after being told they will have to pay nine per cent more to keep their wooden chalets on Felixstowe seafront this summer.

BEACH hut owners are furious after being told they will have to pay nine per cent more to keep their wooden chalets on Felixstowe seafront this summer.

Owners say they get little in return for their rent except a six feet square piece of shingle, a water tap, litter bin and the chance to use some of the worst toilets in the country.

“I cannot see how they can possibly justify this at all - the council tax is apparently only going up 4.5pc yet our site rents are going up double that and nearly three times the rate of inflation,” said owner Brian Godbold, of Ipswich, whose hut is at Manor End.

“I believe there is a gross inability to manage our beach hut sites properly and I think these increases are cruel and a disgrace.


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“Lots of people will not be able to afford it - most of the huts are owned by elderly and retired people who have enjoyed visiting Felixstowe and sitting by the sea for many years. Often it is their only pleasure and it can be great pleasure sitting at Felixstowe on sunny days.”

Mr Godbold said his rent would be going up 8.7pc from £299 to £326. Others were experiencing more than 9pc increases for larger huts, and some were now paying well over £400.

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“I think they are taking the mickey - all we get is water, a square of shingle and those dire West End toilets which are absolutely awful.”

A Suffolk Coastal spokesman said the council had had to review all its services to identify further efficiencies to bridge a £1m budget gap largely caused by external factors and the ongoing failure of the government to fairly fund rural districts.

“As part of its budget making process, the council published a package of nearly £400,000 worth of efficiencies last year,” he said.

“Among the many measures included in the package was the proposal to increase income from beach huts in the coming year by £20,000, albeit with a commitment to provide an even better service to beach hut owners, including better security.

“Our new charges for the coming year still compare favourably with other authorities, and we believe we offer a value for money service.”

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