Beach hut price rises hit the headlines

“To help us decide how much to increase our rents by, we compared our hire charges for beach huts sites in East Devon with those made by other local authorities (Torbay, Teignbridge, Torridge, Brighton & Hove, Adur & Worthing and Poole).”

http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/news

Interesting that they use 3 local areas and then 3 of the richest areas in the south of England to make their decision!

5 thoughts on “Beach hut price rises hit the headlines

  1. Presumably the person who has cobbled together the statistics needs to be investigated also, plus the chain of command that led to this. Does being on the waiting list count? It will certainly adversely affect my family’s interests.

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    • my understanding is that any resident of East Devon can ask Scrutiny to investigate a decision like this, as long as they can provide reasonable concerns for doing so. eg. incorrect process or undue influence. worth a question to the Chair of Scrutiny maybe?

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  2. Someone who rents a beach hut needs to make a formal complaint to the Scrutiny Committee who needs to investigate whether Mr. Williams contention is valid or not.

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  3. Not only do they use a majority of completely irrelevant authorities to benchmark their notion of value, even by manipulating things to that extent without publishing figures or practical comparisons for the individual authorities they can only come up with an average 2015 annual rent of £1,040 (± £674). That ± £674 shows the variation and is far and away the highest deviation I have ever seen in any excuse for a statistical analysis. Anyone trying to say this is valid evidence is either innumerate or a fraudster.

    However the chief executive Mr Williams refuses to allow councillors to call in this undemocratic decision for debate. His reasoning is that the Portfolio Holder’s decision was in conformity with Minute 84 from the October Cabinet which approved that market rents could be achieved without auction/sealed bids and that the standard hire charges be increased for 2016/17 with the aim of achieving open market rates in the future.

    His justification would only be true if their benchmark figures were statically valid, which clearly they are not. The minute clearly does not justify the dramatic rises proposed, just rises to achieve market rates in the future. This implies a much more gentle process than the one they are undertaking.

    EDDC have also claimed fairness in their actions, but since they give no details of individual differences or comparability in their benchmarking authorities we cannot trust the honesty of this any more than we can their useless statistics.

    So not market value, not fair and for reasons of their own in an intemperate rush. This surely is maladministration, and Mr Williams personal part in this needs to be challenged and investigated.

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  4. It’s interesting that a price hike for beach huts makes the front pages of the local papers. Surely this is a small issue in the grand scheme of things? Well, yes, in some ways. People living away from the coastal towns will be wondering what all the fuss is about. But be aware – this is one of the first of many price rises and new charges to come. As EDDC (and other councils) implement all kinds of measures to raise income to fill the huge hole left in their finances by government grant cuts. If you don’t believe this, take a look at the EDDC ‘Transformation Strategy’ – it will transform our lives all right. http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1442491/transformation-strategy.pdf
    Beach huts today, public toilets and parks tomorrow. More potholes? No library? Too expensive to go swimming? Welcome to Conservative Britain in the 21st century.

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