Council prepares as forecast likely to bring more people to the Thanet coast
The council will be activating its multi-agency Beach Management Plan this weekend. The plan aims to help everyone respect, protect and enjoy the beaches and towns across Thanet, as temperatures are set to rise.
Together with key agencies*, Thanet District Council’s Beach Management Plan has coordinated resources, intelligence and support across the region to together tackle an expected increase in the number of visitors over the coming days.
A new coastal supervisor will travel the length of the coast at weekends. They will proactively liaise with bay inspectors and beach concessionnaires, street and toilet cleansing teams, as well as Enforcement and CCTV officers. They will act as a central point of contact for these staff, providing intelligence and information from along the coast. Where bye laws are breached, e.g. dogs on beaches or jet skis launched at unauthorised sites, they will challenge and educate where appropriate.
Other preparations in place, include:
Parking and roads
- Civil enforcement teams (parking wardens) on duty throughout the day and into the evening to tackle illegal parking, especially at known hotspots
- Use of static and electronic signage to direct visitors to the beaches where sufficient parking is available.
Anti-social behaviour and safety
- 24/7 CCTV control room operations to support the Civil Enforcement team and Kent Police, as well assist retailers who are subscribed to Thanet Safe radios
- Links formed with RNLI as part of their water safety programme
- Security staff on duty across several beaches and bays to tackle anti-social behaviour
- Temporary road signage encouraging people to take their litter home with them
- 200 extra litter bins in place along the coastline
- Dedicated beach cleansing crews on duty daily from 6am-10am and 4pm-8pm, litter picking and emptying bins. Beach tractor/surf rake out in the mornings on main beaches for large scale clearing.
- Re-organisation of refuse fleet, enabling bigger vehicles to collect more litter from high footfall areas at weekends
- Litter sacks distributed to all bay inspectors to give to the people on the beaches
In addition to the practical and operational elements of the plan, the council is using its social media channels to proactively communicate key messages to its followers about being responsible at the beach and taking litter home. It is also working alongside local residents who have started campaigns to encourage people to ‘respect our beaches’ by amplifying their activity with bin stickers and signage at visible locations, including on beach and high street public litter bins.
Cllr Rick Everitt, Leader of Thanet Council, said: “Since the launch of our Beach Management Plan last month, we have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for when hot weather is forecast. This weekend which marks the beginning of the summer holidays, looks to be the start of a period of good weather, so operational plans have been enhanced and will be strengthened by collaborative partnership working.
“With 19 miles of beautiful coastline, and a tourism sector that is vital to the Thanet economy, we want to do all we can to support local jobs by ensuring those who do visit have a positive experience. Most importantly, we want our residents to be reassured that if the weather attracts more people to where they live, we’ll do all we can to prevent disruption so that they can enjoy themselves too.”
Advice for visitors planning to visit Thanet’s beaches:
- Plan ahead: check parking and toilet provision. If a beach is busy, choose another to avoid crowds, or consider coming back at another time when it is quieter
- Follow Government guidelines: take personal responsibility for social distancing to protect yourself, your family, and those around you. If you feel that the distance between you and other people is too close, then please move to a section of the beach that is less crowded and more comfortable
- Be beach safe: check there are lifeguards on duty if you plan on entering the water and always follow RNLI guidelines
- Be responsible: Use the bins provided – waste is everyone’s responsibility, and we have seen bins overflowing while nearby bins have had space. When a bin is full, instead of leaving it, find an emptier bin. Or, even better take your litter home with you and recycle it.
*Partner organisations involved in the multi-agency Beach Management Plan, include representatives from the NHS, Kent Police, British Transport Police, Kent County Council, RNLI, Your Leisure and Southeastern.
The council has launched a new coastal booklet to educate beach businesses, bay inspectors and its partner agencies on current byelaws in place across Thanet’s 19 mile coastline.
Margate was one of 101 places given the opportunity last year by the Government to bid for funding of up to £25 million as part of the Government’s £3.6 billion Towns Fund.