Budleigh fisherman: rising costs forcing me out

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 March 2017

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5575. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh beach. Ref exb 31-16TI 5575. Picture: Terry Ife

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A Budleigh Salterton fisherman claims a decision to ‘force’ him into taking expensive public liability insurance on vital seafront huts will ‘screw’ his livelihood.

Earlier this year, the Journal reported that Budleigh fishermen were being saddled with a 350 per cent rent hike by East Devon District Council (EDDC) on sheds currently used to store equipment and fuel.

While it now appears that rise will now be phased in over three years, long-time fisherman Roger Pym said his tenancy agreement is being turned into a lease.

This means he may have to take ‘expensive’ public liability insurance believed to cost in the region of £400.

He said the plan to enforce the insurance on shed users was ‘screwing’ fishermen out of their livelihoods.

Mr Pym also claims the district council wants to increase rent from £100 to £150 this year with further increases in the next two years, meaning that by 2019 the price to lease a shed will be £450 annually.

Roger Pym added: “It’s still going to go up the same over three years.

“It’s ridiculous – the council haven’t really backed down from the original hike, they have just taken one step back instead of two.”

In response, EDDC refused to confirm or deny whether they were forcing the tenants to take the insurance.

An EDDC spokesman said: “These are on-going private negotiations between the council and its tenants and we are therefore unable to comment.”

Town mayor Councillor Chris Kitson has accused the district council of showing a lack of concern for Budleigh’s fishermen over the proposal.

He said: “Someone makes a decision without it being formulated by a committee, then they are surprised by the reaction to what is suggested.

“They didn’t think this through and it just shows a lack of concern for an important part of the community.”


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