Laura Sharman 26 June 2020

Council declares major incident as thousands flock to beach

A council was forced to declare a major incident yesterday after thousands of people flocked to the beach on the hottest day of the year.

The leader of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch (BCP) Council, Vikki Slade, warned that services were left overstretched after visitors arrived in large numbers.

Cllr Slade said: ‘The irresponsible behaviour and actions of so many people is just shocking and our services are stretched to the absolute hilt trying to keep everyone safe.

’We have had no choice now but to declare a major incident and initiate an emergency response.’

The council reported widespread problems of illegal parking, excessive waste, anti-social behaviour, gridlock on roads and prohibited overnight camping.

Waste collection crews were also subject to abuse and intimidation as they removed rubbish from the coastline.

Trade union Unite said extra council funding needed at tourist ‘hot spots’ and blamed the ‘Dominic Cummings ' effect on the situation.

Unite national officer for local government, Jim Kennedy, said: 'Unite is calling for extra government funding to councils in those areas, which are tourist ‘hot spots’, to help pay for services under pressure, such as refuse collection and security, caused by the influx of Britons taking ‘staycations’.

'Councils will also need to spend more money on publicity and marketing to say what is and isn’t allowed in their areas, and which attractions are open.'

Photo: Matt Gibson / Shutterstock.com

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