Beach hut fees rise anger
By Juliette MaxamBEACH hut owners are threatening to fight a plan to put up fees by more than 30%.Tendring District Council is due to approve a proposal to increase ground fees for beach huts when its cabinet discusses the coming year's budget on Tuesday.
By Juliette Maxam
BEACH hut owners are threatening to fight a plan to put up fees by more than 30%.
Tendring District Council is due to approve a proposal to increase ground fees for beach huts when its cabinet discusses the coming year's budget on Tuesday.
Fees around the Tendring coast vary according to popularity and location, with Frinton the most expensive and Dovercourt the cheapest.
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The council is looking at putting up fees by an average of 32% as part of its five-year financial strategy to increase income.
Fees in Dovercourt could rise by 37% from £82.25 to £112.80 a year, including VAT, while in Frinton the charge might increase by 32% from £229.13 to £301.98.
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Betty Holloway, secretary of Dovercourt Beach Huts Users' Association, said: “Our members won't be happy. That's a big increase. We expect every year for it to go up a little bit, but this is ridiculous.
“Our beach hut users are going to take on the council. I shall be contacting all the other beach hut associations in Tendring - they're all going to be involved.”
Last year beach hut users overturned a council proposal to bring parity between beach hut owners who were Tendring residents and non-Tendring residents, who currently pay higher fees. Mrs Holloway threatened to use the same tactics against the current proposal.
Brian Bennett, head of leisure services at Tendring District Council, said although it was proposing to increase ground fees, most beach hut users were set to benefit from a 50% decrease in rates.
The council's overview and scrutiny committee had suggested fees should go up by a further 10%, but council leader Terry Allen would not agree to it this year, although it will be considered in the budget for 2006/7.