Opinion: ‘Be warned - this is the first of many price rises’


Sidmouth beach huts hike: ‘If you don’t believe me, take a look at transformation strategy’

Re beach huts price rise. Whilst shocking, it’s also interesting to me 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, maybe. People living away from the affected coastal towns will probably be wondering what all the fuss is about. But be warned – this is likely to be 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. Beach huts today, public toilets and parks tomorrow. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the EDDC ‘Transformation Strategy’ (http://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/1442491/transformation-strategy.pdf) – it will transform our lives alright.

I’d also like to inform readers that many councillors wanted to challenge this huge rise, but were refused the opportunity to do so. Sadly, with the way the council operates, we feel unable to influence these decisions as the vast majority of Conservative councillors support them. This support also comes from the cabinet and senior officers, where the real power lies.

Cllr Cathy Gardner

East Devon Alliance, Sidmouth Town Ward

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