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Felixstowe: Couple to saw off part of their beach hut as protest against rent rise

19:06 20 February 2013

Alan Sarfas and Barbara Grace are angry about rising charges for their beach hut in Felixstowe. They are going to cut 18 inches off to reduce the cost. L-R Alfred Buck, Roberta Hicks, Barbara Grace, Alan Sarfas.

Alan Sarfas and Barbara Grace are angry about rising charges for their beach hut in Felixstowe. They are going to cut 18 inches off to reduce the cost. L-R Alfred Buck, Roberta Hicks, Barbara Grace, Alan Sarfas.

Archant

A COUPLE furious at a 12% beach hut rent rise are today preparing to take the saw into their own hands – to cut their bill.

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Barbara Grace and her partner Alan Sarfas are going to saw 18 inches off their hut as a protest against Suffolk Coastal council, so that their bill will not be so big this year.

Ms Grace, whose hut Idle Hours is at The Dip, Old Felixstowe, said the pair were disgusted at the rent rise.

She said: “The rent has gone up leaps and bounds in the past ten years but this latest rise is just obscene.

“Many of the hut owners are elderly and wouldn’t know how to complain and also would be too scared to do so.

“It is making it very difficult for ordinary people to afford a hut.”

The couple are among a growing group of hut owners who are furious at councillors for imposing such a huge hike in ground rents. Chalet tenants face a 20% increase.

Ms Grace said: “The council says hut owners pay around £300 and so will pay £36 more, but this is only part of the truth.

“Owners have to pay extra for their huts depending on how big they are.

“They start at a base rate of £300 and then size really matters – ranging from £600 to almost £800, as is the case with mine and many others.

“If we saw 18 inches off our hut it will certainly make it cheaper.”

Geoff Holdcroft, cabinet member for economic development and leisure, said councillors knew it would be an unpopular decision to raise hut and chalet prices but felt they were still good value for money.

He said: “We are in tough financial times and need to generate enough income to ensure that we can still provide our free services such as our public toilets and rubbish collection and street cleansing that visitors to our tourist attractions such as Felixstowe are receiving.”

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13 comments

  • I'm slightly at a loss to understand how they think this will help? Do they really think the council will care? Personally I object to the ridiculous cost of fuel but there is actually nothing I can do about it and I have no intention of destroying my car to make a point!

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    MZH

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • “Many of the hut owners are elderly and wouldn’t know how to complain" Are you kidding me? the elderly do nothing but complain!

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    RC

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • I'm fairly 'ordinary' and I couldn't afford day at the seafront let alone a beach hut. Did also laugh at the 'Elderly wouldn't know how to complain' - who are they kidding, they are serial moaners and complainers !!!

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    Dave Martin

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • If you don't like the increase get rid of your beach hut.

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    Mr Sensible

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Can I suggest that if you can afford a car you can afford any increase in petrol and if you cannot, then do something about it, sitting on your hands just make people assume that you are happy with any increase. I am glad that the elderly do complain, young people seem to just accept increases with the 'whatever' attitude and just put it on the credit card and hope that one day they will be able to afford to pay the card off. Classic case of ostrich with head in sand. I applaud these hut owners, they may be ignored but they are making a point.

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    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • I think there has been a miss understanding! by taking of 18in of hut we will be saving £160 per year! we also have a council that does not give concessions to us council tax payers if they did in line with every other resort south of us we would save another £400! go back to school and do the math!! our hut is £800 and it is all about standing up to people that think they are dictators ...if everyone stood there ground we would not be in a state as we are now!!

    Report this comment

    gracey

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • ................and this will bother the Council in exactly what possible way?

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    england1770

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • @dale craven - great idea, it will also save on food costs, water etc too, why didn't I think of that before?! :-)

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Is this really news??

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    miss piggy

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • If you can afford a beach hut you must be able to afford the assoicated costs which go with it. £36.00 is a minor amount. Think how much petrol and heating is going up by then begin to moan !

    Report this comment

    the opinion man

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • Well i hope they enjoy their shorter beach hut. Cant help thinking that the work involved in doing it and the subsequent work involved in making good will far outweigh the cost savings but . . . Anyway just going to divorce the wife now as i understand you get 25% off of your council tax for single occupancy.

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    dale craven

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

  • thats why we have a hut! and wot cant you afford thers nothing on our front anyway save chips n beer or tea..

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    gracey

    Wednesday, February 27, 2013

  • Supply and demand. If you dont like the rise stop crying to the local rag and accept you can no longer afford it.

    Report this comment

    fuztownsend

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

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