News and Events
Read through the latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.
You will be pleased to learn that these Loo's are now open!
We understand that they will remain open until Mid October.
The irony is that I am writing this whist outside it is snowing! But that's life!
7th December 2012
You will all have received the letter dated 3rd December 2012 from Richard Griffiths of Canterbury City Council. His letter says in several places that the two Associations have been consulted about these matters. Whilst that is true, it is not a complete answer. It is certainly not the full story. We have not agreed to all of his points and one section of it has not been brought to our attention at all.
Our request to you is that you read the letter very carefully and send your responses using the routes shown in the letter. It will help us enormously if you send a copy of your letter to me at the above address or by email to email@example.com . In writing your response, please include your Hut Number. It is vitally important that we get our views heard at CCC.
We are also anxious to use email for as many communications with members. Please be good enough to provide your email address and confirm that we may use it for member communications.
1 Rent for Year 2013-14
The Rents proposed by the Council are not yet clear. In 2010 we agreed a formula by which to automatically set the annual rents. CCC is continuing with that agreement but will not set the full budget until mid-February. For your guidance we believe that the Rents will increase by about 4% in total.
2 Sub-letting There has been a long running discussion about how to operate the Beach Huts in the longer term. One of the suggestions raised is that some Hutters might like to sublet their Huts. Indeed a few actually do. When we saw the charges proposed by CCC we ridiculed them. The numbers shown in Richard’s letter are much lower but are still absurd. We had in mind that some Hutters might like to legally sublet their huts on an occasional basis. CCC’s view is that they want to catch the tiny handful who let their huts on what amounts to an illegal commercial basis. We will continue to fight this absurd suggestion. Of course if you do want to pay CCC £500 plus VAT to sublet. Then please let me know.
3 Adaptations For many years there has been a formal design for both Herne Bay and Tankerton huts. The design has been modified from time to time. You will recall that there was what they call an Audit of the huts some time back. Some of you received letters to say that there was a problem of an adaptation that not had written approval. (Disability aids will generally be approved).
It has been agreed that if a Hut is larger than the standard then some extra Rent will be charged. This is not a significant problem at Herne Bay. If it does affect you then you will generally be aware of it
4 Agent’s Fees
This section of the letter is confusing. They have described two new charges.
a) An Administration Charge of £360 plus VAT making a total of £432. This is so new that we have not had any intimation that it was proposed. It is totally unacceptable!
We agreed that on a sale the Vendor would pay a Supplemental fee of 5 times the local annual rent. That fee is currently £1,072 plus VAT. Their description of the work to be done amounts to making a handful of new records in their files. It is a significant overcharge on the work to be done.
b) Agency Fees of 5% of Sales value. This seems to relate to fees that they propose to charge if they act as an Estate Agent. Their first intention is of course the new huts to be built. As you know we already carry out this service for our members at a much lower fee.
Our Request to you
As mentioned earlier please consider Richard’s letter carefully and send your responses to this letter by letter to Mr Griffiths at Community and Leisure Canterbury City Council or email Mr Griffiths at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have not provided a draft response for you to use in your letter to use in writing to Richard Griffiths as it is important that the letters are personal and not sent in duplicate. By this means each letter is counted separately
It is vitally important that we get our views heard at CCC
Thank you for your assistance with this matter.
Beach Hut Day
Sunday 12th August 2012
Join in by dressing up your hut
We would love to see as many huts as possible in different guises
Pebble Art Competition
For children and Adults
Please show support for the Beach Hut Association
Judging commences at 2 pm
FLY THE FLAG!
As you are all well aware HM The Queen will celebrate her Diamond Jubillee over the weekend of 2nd to 5th June 2012. We are hoping that as a part of the celebrations as many of possible of us FLY A UNION JACK from our Huts with particular emphasis on the Sunday 3rd June.
If a lot of huts are decorated this way the sight along the length of the Huts will be amazing. This was a suggestion that arose at the recent AGM.
Subscriptions Your subscriptions for 2012 are now due. We have increased Subs to £10 this year. It is the first increase since we formed back in 2005.
We are happy to receive payment in any legal format except actual coins. Cheques, Standing Orders or by Internet banking are equally welcome.
I am aware that the title is a bit questionable but I am serious. On 3rd January there is the regular HB Area Members Panel meeting of our City Councillors. There are two points of interest as Hutters.
1) The proposed additional huts and how they are to be administered is to be discussed by the meeting before proposals are passed up to the Executive Committee in February.
2) The Queens Diamond Jubilee occurs next summer. The list of events and activities that CCC are describing include our annual Beach Hut day. In a related list it includes our Beach Clean activities.
Clealy we are getting recognised as a force for good in the Town. That is a considerable achievement in comparison with how we were regarded only 6 years ago when we formed..
You may be aware that for several months there has been reseach into posible additional sites along all of the Coast line.
There are proposals that along Herne Bay's West Beach several additional huts might bebuilt. They will not be built immediately nor is it decided how they will be released to the public.
The original proosals have been considerably changed during the discussions and present plans call for 3 Huts on the Pier side of the Red Shelter. Also 12 Huts on the other side of the Shelter.
Look at the CCC Website for a copy of the Beach Hut Appraisal Report
There are Maps on the appropriate page of the CCC Website Click here for a Link to the full details
The Council have now published their draft budget for the next year. Our Hut Rents are included within that budget report. As many of you will know for the next few years we have fixed a formula to calculate the Hut Site Rents. The Budget has honoured that agreement.
The Rents will increase by a total of 3.5% the following figure include VAT at 20%
Herne Bay Hut Sites 2012 2011
Local Residents 268 259
Out of Canterbury Council Area 404 390
Long Term Discounts for Local Residents 132 121
Tankerton Hut Sites 2012 2011
Local Residents 357 340
Out of Canterbury Council Area 530 504
Long Term Discounts for Local Residents 167 143
The Budget will not be finalised for some time and the above figures are still draft
Today's post brought the Credit Note that I had expected. The cancelation of The NDR bill for 2011-12 on my hut. It's not much money but it represents the cancelation of an additional charge to we Hutters for not just 6 months but in fact for a full year.
I have often said that if the Government can find a difficult way to do things then theres no prize for guessing which choice that they will make. What marketing genius came up with the slogan that Tax needn't be Taxing? HMRC should take it to heart.
So there are perhaps three things that need to be done. If your Business Rates Bill just issued shows a Zero Balance then you do nothing other than file it away. That's as it should be.
However if your account shows that you have paid the charge made in April then you need to claim a refund from CCC Rates department. I am sure that they will be happy to do this.
The third category is more complicated. If you do not have any business property then you should apply for the Small Business Rates relief. It is a simple form asking not much more than your name and address. Simply call the Rates department at CCC and ask for the form call either 01227 862 326 or 01227 862 316 Alternatively email to Businessrates@canterbury.gov.uk
Once the form is completed then it is noted on your records and you are charged only the correct amount of Non Domestic rates on your Hut.
We have just been voted the WINNER of BEST BEACH HUT ASSOCIATION OF THE YEAR 2011
This is a competition run by our Insurers TL Risk Solutions in assocaition with COAST magazine
"" There were a number of Associations that were nominated & as an Association you beat off some very strong competitors. Passion, dedication, creating a Hut Community were all factors taken into account & as an Association you clearly demonstrate all these traits & more…""