Gallery/Video: Felixstowe beach hut owners and chalet tenants take part in seafront protest march
PUBLISHED: 10:02 02 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:02 02 April 2013
BEACH hut owners and chalet tenants are today demanding that the rents they pay each summer are invested in resort facilities and new attractions.
Those taking part in a protest march along Felixstowe prom said they were fed up receiving little in return for the cash – in some cases up to £1,440 a year – they pay for their holiday havens.
Around 100 angry owners and tenants of all ages braved a biting north-east wind to march the two-miles from Manor End to Cobbold’s Point, waving placards and carrying banners protesting at this year’s steep rent rises.
Placards proclaimed “Fair rental fees for chalet tenants”, “Resort income should stay in Felixstowe”, “One bin, one tap, no toilet – £580”, and “We are hacked off with SCDC”, a tongue-in-cheek reference to Barbara Grace and her partner Alan Sarfas cutting 18inches off their hut to save £200 rent.
The new rents will see hut owners paying 12% more and chalet owners 20%.
Julie Downton, a member of the steering group for the new hut and chalet association, said: “We have been disappointed that we have not been able to persuade the council to reverse their decision this year, but this is an issue which is not going away.
“There is a lot of strong feeling, a lot of very disgruntled people, which is shown in the support for this protest.
“When September comes and we start talks with Suffolk Coastal over next year’s rents, we hope they will be listening.
“People don’t get a lot for their money. If the rents were actually ploughed back into Felixstowe, we would all feel a lot better about it.”
Hut owner Carol Crabb, 63, whose husband Tony, 75, is in a wheelchair, said: “There is nothing here at Manor End – we have to go across sand to get my husband’s wheelchair to the hut door, and it’s a 40-minute round trip to the nearest toilet.”
The council said hut and chalet prices were still good value for money and the authority needed to generate enough income to ensure it could still provide free services that visitors to Felixstowe enjoyed, such as public toilets, and street cleansing.
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