Letter to members following Richard Griffiths Letter dated 3rd December 2012

Posted on 6th December, 2012

7th December 2012

 Dear Members

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 alan.ratford@hernebaybeachhuts.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 businessunit@canterbury.gov.uk

 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.

 Yours sincerely

 Alan Ratford


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