Disappointed beach hut owners accuse council of “kicking sand in their faces” after 10% rent rise (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Disappointed beach hut owners accuse council of “kicking sand in their faces” after 10% rent rise
DISAPPOINTED beach hut owners have accused the council of “kicking sand in their faces” by choosing to hike rents by 10 per cent.
The Bournemouth Beach Hut Association (BBHA) said it had built up an excellent working relationship with the council and had been led to believe rents would be increased by 3.1 per cent next year, in line with inflation.
They said they had suggested several other ways in which Bournemouth council could generate income and save money, including turning lights off in locked toilet blocks, charging non-Bournemouth residents more for their huts than local owners, employing staff to enforce the dog, cycling and litter regulations and issue fines where appropriate and re-letting vacant hut sites more promptly than at present.
Debbie Dowsett, secretary of the BBHA, said: “We understand that the council is under financial pressure and were resigned to an inflation-linked increase.
“However a 10 per cent increase far outstrips affordability for so many local families, many of whom have a hut instead of taking family holidays.
“We understand that the council has to generate as much income as it can from its assets but feel that charging such a small group of, mainly Bournemouth residents, such a disproportionate amount of money is unfair.”
Bournemouth council said it did not want to add to its previous comments on the issue. Cllr Lawrence Williams, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, left, had previously said: “In these challenging economic times it is important that the council obtains good value for all local taxpayers from their assets and to continue to provide the essential services they expect.
“The council has therefore chosen to protect frontline services and increase the beach hut prices above inflation.”
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