Used just once – now chalets to be sold off
SWISS-style Christmas market chalets that were used just once and cost East Hampshire tax payers about £34,000 are in the process of being sold off as secondhand goods.
The 22 sheds and a wooden Santa’s grotto were bought by East Hampshire District Council for the 2008 Christmas Festival, and ever since have been in storage near Bordon.
The wooden huts cost £22,295 to buy from Erlestoke Social Enterprise, and since Christmas 2008 have cost tax payers £3,000 a year to store them.
Organisers of this year’s Christmas Festivities wanted to rent or buy the used sheds for town events, only to be told they had been beaten to the deal, said Ben Errey of Petersfield Festivals.
Since 2008 the council has been reluctant to talk about the sheds and a Freedom of Information request was needed to get the authority to reveal costs, and whether they would ever be seen again.
In response the council said it was “in the process of considering a profit share arrangement whereby the chalets could be stored, maintained and hired out by a third party, on behalf of the council, to maximise the profit potential of the chalets.”
But now it says it is preparing to sell the sheds, although it won’t reveal to whom, or how much is being offered.
Council Executive Head of Economy and Communities Tim Slater said: “We are currently looking into the sale of the Christmas chalets and have interest from several prospective buyers.
“At this stage we cannot reveal the details of these discussions.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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