PEOPLE living in caravans should contri- bute towards helping improve sea defences along Lincolnshire’s east coast, according to a county councillor.
Cllr Colin Davie believes a hidden population of holiday-goers in the county’s tourist hot spots are using local services while staying for a number of months, but not contributing towards them or the upkeep of the east coast.
He wants those in caravans to be registered as part of the population while they stay, so Lincolnshire qualifies for larger amounts of central government funding.
“We need, in my view, about £1 billion in the next 100 years to fund sea defences on the East Lincolnshire coast,” he said.
“Quite clearly the view is that there is going to be a requirement for local contribution towards it.
“We don’t get all the funding we are entitled to as we have a population that don’t declare themselves, if they are living in caravans.
“It is not right for residents to have to foot the bill for people not wanting to contribute.
“If there is more money in the pot we may not have to cast the net so wide in terms of finding solutions.”
It comes after comments surrounding tourism tax shortly after Friday’s full meeting of Lincolnshire County Council, which it was suggested could be used to fund sea defences by collecting monies from holiday-goers and caravanners.
Skegness town councillor Robin Hunter-Clarke was quick to oppose the idea of any tax on tourists.
He said: “My division relies on tourism in the summer months and a tax would kill the industry.”
Fellow town and district councillor Mark Anderson, added: “I think it’s ill-conceived at this moment in time because obviously the economy is just starting to recover and the last thing we need for the largest industry we have in Skegness is a tax on the tourists.
“When it comes to funding of our sea defences, it should be funded nationally and not locally by businesses and residents.”
However Cllr Davie said: “All American states have tourism sales tax.
“I was not advocating that kind of tax in Lincolnshire as you can’t bring it in without it coming in nationally, or penalising the county.
“It is not feasible, unless the Government decided that they wanted to bring in a flat rate across the country, but I am not advocating it as it is not in my remit.
“The question for me is what do communities want in future? What are they prepared to pay for and who do they think should pay? That’s bearing in mind the Government and council do not have any money and it is all from taxpayers.”