Koksijde municipal council rejects proposals regarding secondary residents.

One of the main objectives of the non-profit association TWERES, is to establish a dialogue and a constructive cooperation with local authorities.

TWERES was therefore very satisfied with the positive reaction of the Mayor of Bredene, Steve Vandenberghe, towards our association, indicating when we met on 18 September 2020: “together we can achieve much more”. The Mayor agreed to a participatory-formula at the level of the municipality, and supports a pilot project of TWERES to optimize cooperation with the local population.

At the initiative of the Mayor of Bredene, TWERES was also discussed at the Joint Consultative Meeting of Coastal Mayors of October 2020, where it was decided to invite a representation of TWERES to a subsequent Coastal Mayors’ meeting in order to give TWERES a forum to present itself.

On December 14, 2020, the Municipal Council of Koksijde – upon the initiative of Independent Municipal Councilor Ms. Dominique Gillet Wolter Hofmans – discussed an agenda item regarding second residents, asking specifically to vote upon two specific proposals: “(1) to have a listening ear for the voice of second residents with a view to initiate a constructive collaboration, and (2) to establish a permanent working group between the second residents and the municipal administration.

Both proposals were unfortunately rejected by the Municipal Council. A video of the meeting is available on the website of the municipality (see point 21). One can also find a report of the meeting on the same website.

TWERES will actively pursue this matter, wishing in particular to discuss this further with the local authorities in Koksijde. To this end, President Marie-Anne Coninsx has addressed a letter including a request to meet in a near future, to the Mayor of Koksijde with copy to all municipal councilors.

Read on the RTL Info website (19 May 2020): A caravan on the coast is the only leisure activity for Frédéric and his family, but they can’t enjoy it: “an injustice!

Read on the RTL Info website (19 May 2020): A caravan on the coast is the only leisure activity for Frédéric and his family, but they can’t enjoy it: “an injustice!

Frédéric, his wife and their two sons, 17 and 13 years old, live in an apartment building in Charleroi. Since mid-March, the family has been saying that they respect the lockdown as carefully as possible: our witness and her son are asthmatic and want to protect themselves against the coronavirus at all costs. But with no balcony, no garden, no car, no place to walk in their neighbourhood… the lock-down is long, very long. But what hurts Frédéric the most is that they use all their savings to pay for their caravan on the coast. So every day, our witness imagines how he, his wife and their children could have spent the lockdown in their second home: small garden, walks, bike rides, fresh sea air …

Click here to read the full article – in French.

Linda has an apartment by the sea, but still has to drive 400 kilometers every day for her work: “Governor advised to stay in a hotel.”

On 7 May 2020 the following story appeared in a number of Flemish newspapers.

Nobody wants to go back to her second stay on the coast as soon as Linda from Maasmechelen. She now drives 400 kilometres to and from her work in Diksmuide every day.

Linda has been working in the Absolute Jobs temporary employment agency in Diksmuide since the beginning of this year. She rents an apartment in Koksijde but her residence is still with her parents in Maasmechelen. When the Security Council decided that the companies could reopen, Linda was also told by her boss that she is expected at the office.

“I didn’t think that was a problem,” Linda said. Or at least: second-in-command is not welcome at the coast since the lockdown.

“I already e-mailed the governor of West Flanders: can’t an exception be made for people like me who rent on the coast because they work there? But the answer unfortunately was that I’m not allowed to sleep in my apartment. So I have to drive more than 400 kilometres every day. That will be fun rides. Good for the environment too,” sighs Linda cynically.

The governor advises Linda to stay in a hotel. After all, they are allowed to stay open for guests who make an essential journey. But Linda finds that absurd. “Then I’ll be in contact with other people in the same building, won’t I? I have a perfect little apartment, just for myself, for which I already pay 600 euros a month. And then I’d have to pay for a hotel room?”

Click here for the full article (only for subscribers of Het Nieuwsblad)