Sunday, February 17, 2013
SIR - I have been visiting the town since a babe in arms and have close relatives and friends in Sidmouth to this day. My aunt used to hire a beach hut for many years for two or three weeks in the summer for the family to use and latterly, up until 2011, we ourselves have hired a hut for the next generation of my family, and myself, for at least one period during each year.
I am saddened to discover that the council has decided to block the availability for hire to everyone, except residents in the county and who now have to hire for a whole season.
We have made lifelong friends through meeting at our beach hut and our family would have continued to enjoy such happy times in the future as the younger generation are growing up.
It is very inconsiderate and mean-minded of the council to exclude anyone who is willing to pay the rent for a short hire [possibility because it would be a little more difficult for them to handle the bookings] although at the right price more monies could be collected should some of the huts be let for one or two weeks at a time.
We have always had a great affinity for Sidmouth but feel a little let down and rejected now that one of our reasons for bringing the family, apart from visiting the relatives, was to enjoy the beach - and having the use of a beach hut was the icing on the cake.
ED: An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokesman said: “This lady is correct that short term lets are no longer offered, and haven’t been for over a year. However she is mistaken about long term lets only being available to people who live in the county - anyone can join the waiting list.
“The background to the change is that the concessionaire who ran the short-term lets retired, and no-one could be found to replace them.
“We tried to continue the service for a while, but it created a costly administrative burden which in tight times couldn’t be justified, especially given the existing demand for long term lets in the area.
“At the time the decision was made we wrote to every short-term user who we had records for, telling them about the decision and why it had been taken.”