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Northumberland councilors say they feel misled by the reopening of Blyth beach huts UK News

Blyth County councilors said they felt misled by the reopening of the famous beach huts in the city of Northumberland.

Advance Northumberland, which manages the county’s leisure facilities on behalf of Northumberland County Council, recently revealed that popular beach huts will reopen for daily rentals. They were previously only available on longer rentals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A campaign by residents and councilors claimed this put the huts out of reach for most residents due to the substantial costs involved – and Advance subsequently agreed to return the hut rental to pre-pandemic arrangements . However, councilors remain disappointed as people wishing to book day rentals can only do so for six of the 20 shelters in June, July and August.

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Councilors say the huts should be available for booking all year round. Councilor Anna Watson, who represents the Isabella Ward, said: “They were telling us that the huts are only for rent three months a year. We don’t understand why it can’t be that way all year round.

“The way it came back, we were told it would be back to daily rental, they didn’t specify it was only for those months. We only found out after residents got back to us to say they couldn’t deliver. It wasn’t clear.

“The huts are something we are very proud of at Blyth. We believe they should be available all year round.”

Councilor Margaret Richardson, who represents the borough of Cowpen, added: “At the time we were told more or less that it was going to be open all year round – that it was going back to how it was before Covid.Children have a Easter weekend is coming up – should be open longer.Lots of groups are booking them too, that’s such a shame.

“There are people who live in this area who can’t afford a vacation, and the best thing to do is take the family to the beach. I just hope something can be done. “

The issue was raised by Croft Councilor Kath Nisbet at the March 30 full council meeting. She said: “Active Northumberland told me they’ve only ever done it in June, July and August. We’d like it to be extended all year round if possible?

“People with disabilities access the shelters regularly. You have Riverside (nursery) using it, it would be nice if they could come down whenever they wanted.”

However, the chair of the meeting, Councilor Barry Flux, claimed that Councilor Nisbet was making a “statement” instead of asking a question, and moved the meeting without addressing the issue. A spokeswoman for Active Northumberland said the beach huts are not expected to be used year-round and the huts have not been available for daily rental year-round since the end of the year. era of Blyth Valley Council.

She added: “Active Northumberland has operated the Blyth Beach Huts for eight years. During this time, five of the huts have been rented out on a daily basis during the summer months of June, July and August. The rest have been booked on specials. longer term rentals.

“We have found that this mix of rental options has provided a good balance for local residents and regular visitors, helping to ensure that the cabins are fully booked throughout the year, generating consistent income to pay for. their upkeep, cleaning and maintenance.”