Listed below are the RECOMMENDATIONS Scrutiny Committee made, It must be stressed they are NOT DECISIONS – the decision will be made at full council next month.
•Consider the requirements of all the community in line with equalities legislation in considering any proposals relating to beach huts
• Consider the validity of waiting lists for beach huts and sites and to review their management
• Confirm to tenants of beach huts and sites that the current arrangements will remain in place for 2016
• Ensure an annual review of hire charges for beach huts and sites be put in place
• Review its decision to establish an annual £19k sinking fund
• Give consideration to the difference between town and parish locations in relation to equality and best value requirements
• Give consideration to further discussions with town and parish councils on the options of undertaking the management of beach huts
• Give consideration to increasing the number of available beach hut sites and to review more diverse letting arrangements;
• Give consideration to wider environment and economic issues when bringing forward any proposals.”
There was also controversy as to whether beach hut users are already paying rates: some users maintain that rates have been included since 2006, EDDC maintaining that this has not been the case.
Hut users also point out that, if East Devon sells off all its huts to its current renters as it has said it will do, costs to the council will be minimal from 2016, with only sites to be allocated.
So why the £19,000 per year sinking fund – what would it be for? Or was that just added in to inflate future costs?
Will common sense prevail? Hard to say.