Town council-run huts could be ‘better for Sidmouth’

Sidmouth's beach huts. Ref shs 0839-03-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth's beach huts. Ref shs 0839-03-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Civic leaders have opposed plans to sell off Sidmouth’s 24 beach huts to the highest bidder - and are to explore the possibility of managing the leases themselves.

East Devon District Council (EDDC) previously announced its intention to terminate existing contracts for the seafront properties and auction off the leases in a bid to cut costs and reduce the current 10-year waiting list.

It was suggested last week that if the town council took responsibility for the huts, it could offer a better service for the people of Sidmouth.

Councillor Ian Barlow raised the possibility of offering EDDC the cash for all of the leases.

He said: “Why are we letting them do this? Why can’t we go to EDDC and say we will have them?

“We should at least look into the possibility of leasing them and us taking on the management of them.

“I think that we are worrying about administration, and that is not necessarily the best for Sidmouth.”

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Cllr Graham Liverton, who had previously been responsible for managing the huts in a senior role at EDDC, warned they were costly and time consuming to administer. “They are nothing but a millstone around one’s neck,” he added.