Hidden hut agenda

I REPLY to your beach hut article (Herald, February 3). I own a beach hut at Goring and all private owners received a letter from the council, dated January 17.

This was regarding the increase in the cost of the licence to have a beach hut (set at £433.60), commencing April 1.

It also has revised terms and conditions and it is these terms that has outraged the owners.

If we sell our beach hut, we are now required to pay the council three times the annual licence fee, or 10 per cent of the sale price, whichever is the greater, even if we sell at a loss or make no profit at all – outrageous.

In addition to the licence fee, we have to pay non-domestic rates, yet another tax, on top of this fee.

Laughably, they refer to the exorbitant licence cost and demands to “steal” a cut of the sale price when a beach hut is sold, as “embracing opportunities to improve its services”.

What service? I’ve never noticed any service or maintenance in the area surrounding my property.

The council does not collect rubbish from the property or provide street lighting.

If vandals destroy the hut, or it’s damaged in storms, it is the owner who has to pay. If the beach huts weren’t there, they would still have to maintain the greensward on Goring beach, regardless.

Paul Yallop believes and states that “people (owners) have been getting away with it for years”.

Getting away with what? He goes on to say that “they (the council) spend an awful lot of money on keeping the beach in good order”.

Really, surely the beach and its defences are maintained by the county council, not the borough council?

If they do spend a lot of our money on the beach, they should let us know what they are spending it on.

I’m extremely disappointed at the attitude to owners displayed by Worthing Council, particularly Paul Yallop.

These people are paid by us, the rate payers of Worthing, and to have nasty comments made by Paul Yallop is outrageous.

As for Neil Parkin to refer to beach huts as “overpriced sheds”, it’s condescending and flies in the face of a great British tradition of “having our own place by the sea”.

Dear reader, there is a hidden agenda here, as the council makes a fortune out of council-owned beach huts. I think it is jealous and wants to take over the private ones and it is these ridiculous terms that are forcing owners to leave.

Also, consider this – Brighton & Hove council charges its beach hut owners £288 a year for the licence and an admin fee of £50 when a beach hut is sold.

Why, then, do the feckless pointy heads at Worthing council want so much?

Roy Humphreys

New Road