A COUNCILLOR has been accused of bringing her council “into disrepute” – for questioning its beach huts colour scheme policies.
Cllr Lesley Dedman was hauled over the coals at a behind closed doors meeting at Christchurch Borough Council on Wednesday.
At the meeting councillors and staff at Christchurch Council recommended that beach huts should be painted one colour only.
This comes after the Daily Echo reported that former soldier John Sandford-Hart criticised demands from council staff to repaint his immaculately decorated stripey beach hut.
He described the rules regarding his beach hut at Friars Cliff as ‘bonkers’ and said he had refreshed the blue and white stripes already painted since before he bought it five years ago.
Cllr Dedman declined to comment on the meeting or the council’s beach hut policy when contacted by the Echo.
But she had stepped into the dispute earlier this month and criticised the ‘draconian’ decision by the council.
Another hut owner Gordon Espley has painted boats on his beach hut at Friars Cliff which is deemed as against the rules by the council.
He said: “I think the whole matter is dreadful – I have painted little boats on my beach hut and it’s so iconic that postcards have even been made from a photograph of it.
“I just wanted some kind of adult debate about this but it seemed like my quiet approach hasn’t worked. I just feel like we’re coming up against a brick wall if we want to have any individuality.”
Councillor Mike Duckworth, Chairman of the Beach Huts Task & Finish Group, speaking through the council press office, said: “All huts should have walls painted in one colour only.
“However, where previously only five distinct colours were allowed, the licence conditions now allowed any colour apart from neon or fluorescent.”
He added: “However, if we were minded to allow a small minority not to comply with agreed licence conditions, it would be very difficult for us to stop others doing the same.”
The final decision regarding the beach hut colours will be decided by councillors on February 26.