Busy weekend in Thanet results in 450 penalty notices issued and dozens of sacks of rubbish collected by volunteers

A tiny Rise Up Clean Up volunteers helps clear the mess left behind Photo Joanna Bongard

Thousands of sunseekers headed to Thanet beaches over the hot weekend – but unfortunately many did not take their rubbish home with them.

Beaches at Margate, Botany Bay, Joss Bay and Viking Bay reached capacity and Ramsgate main sands was also very busy.

Thanet council appealed for people to think about using other beaches and bays in the district so that social distancing could be maintained.

Speaking on Radio Kent this morning (August 10) council leader Rick Everitt said the crowds were expected but resources had been in place.

He said: “We were getting the message out and reminding people that we have 16 beaches.”

He said it was ‘not practical’ to tell people to go home. He added: “We make sure we have enough staff and bins out there, we talk closely with the RNLI (about) numbers of people on the beaches.

“People are going to come, government policy is that people can come to the beaches so we just have to deal with that.”

He added: “We do appreciate that everybody is affected but we are a seaside area.”

Cllr Everitt said the numbers of visitors this year was “an unusual degree” but he did not think outdoor interaction would make the beach crowds “a vector” for spreading the Covid virus.

Thanet council civil enforcement officers issued 121 Penalty Charge Notices on Friday, 166 on Saturday and 163 on Sunday.

There are some 300 extra public bins available for use across the isle but rubbish was still left on the beaches.

Photo Joanna Bongard

In Margate on Friday evening the Rise Up Clean Up volunteer group went out with 40 volunteers.

They collected 71 bags of rubbish in 90 minutes, along with several large items, such as a boat, parasols, beach inflatables.

Founder Amy Cook said: “The council provided us with a special rubbish truck at the end of the clean, so that we wouldn’t have to put the bags in the public bins. Lots of people were really shocked and upset by the levels of rubbish left on the beach.”

The Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate also collected an extraordinary amount of litter during their clear up event last night (August 9).

Barry Manners, who runs the volunteer group, said the scheduled litter pick went ‘very well.’

He added: “Volunteers cleared lots of litter – at least 15 large sacks, and there was a great social atmosphere with a few drinks and nibbles after

“The Thanet council cleaner was there. He was working flat out so we were glad to pitch in and get the beach cleaned and prevent another load of plastic ending up in the sea.”

Cllr Steve Albon, Cabinet Member for Operational Services, said: “Huge volumes of litter were collected by the council this weekend as visitors to beaches, parks and open spaces left tonnes of rubbish behind. A big thank you must go to all our staff  who worked hard in extremely hot conditions to clear these spaces in time for people to enjoy the following day.

“As part of our Beach Management Plan, we have put out nearly 300 extra bins in key locations and increased the number of litter pickers and bin collections in response to the expected number of visitors. The plan continues to prove effective at targeting resources where it is most needed.

“The cleansing supervisor works closely with concessions and bay inspectors to ensure beach cleaning teams are sent to the areas most in need. The bay inspectors are also supporting the cleansing service by issuing rubbish bags to the public, warning people who litter and monitoring bins.

“We are urging residents and visitors to take waste home and dispose of it responsibly, rather than leaving it next to bins. There is no excuse – if you can carry bottles and cans to the beach, then you can take them away again.

“A special mention must go to our wonderful volunteers who pick litter and make such a big difference to our beautiful beaches. It is a great testament to the community-minded people in Thanet that they take great pride in where they live. We continue to work with partners and community groups on campaigns to remind people to take responsibility for their own waste and respect the environment around them.”

Find the Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate on facebook here

Find Rise Up Clean Up Margate on facebook here


  1. Joss Bay yesterday. Dogs in the beach. Groups openly having huge bbqs at lunchtime. Parking a total joke. No sign of any parking attendants, security officers, coastal supervisor or beach inspector.

    Thanet Council have completely lost control of the beaches this summer. It’s sad to see.

    • Bet they haven’t been issuing parking ticket to the travelers at Joss Bay, I’m still waiting for answers from tdc

  2. Rick Everitt says “We make sure we have enough staff and bins out there”

    But, obviously not enough to cope.

    Barry Manners said “The Thanet council cleaner was there”

    Is there only one cleaner? TDC absolutely ridiculous as usual.

    Well done to all those volunteers, excellent work, that the council are not capable of completing.

  3. Children clearing up adults rubbish, what a very sad situation.

    Well done to those who care about where they live, perhaps you could teach others on how it’s done.

  4. If the Councillor suggests going to other beaches then please equip these other beaches with toilets. Portaloos, anything…..the bushes are now open sewers…used toilet paper and used sanitary products with the usual rubbish laying in the bushes at Palm Bay Rec……watch out for Typhoid and Cholera as the hot weather continues.

    • You make a good point. It’s all very well telling people to go to other beaches but those beaches have got really basic (or no) facilities. No lifeguards, toilets which aren’t open for long enough, lack of parking etc.

      If TDC just had a beach inspector at the top of the slope at Joss Bay at the weekend stopping people going down with huge metal bbqs and their dogs and giving out rubbish sacks to those who didn’t bring them then this would have solved some of the problems. Taking it a stage further, if the beach is at capacity just stop people going down there, block entrances into the car park. Tell people it’s full.

      None of this is difficult but seems to be beyond TDC for some reason.

      • Thanetian, you have some good points, which are sensible enough. Unfortunately, TDC are not capable of understanding anything sensible.

        • It’s so frustrating. It’s a charade that plays out every single summer. Same problems, same level of inaction from TDC.

          What’s the betting that we are here again next summer debating exactly the same thing when the Council lose control for another summer ?

  5. I visited both Margate and Ramsgate beaches, over the weekend (not on the sand, much too busy). I couldn’t see any inspectors, security or authority of any kind, anywhere. People parking in loading bays, parking on kerb markings, parking on dangerous corners.

    Jet bikes going crazy in Westgate, Margate, Cliftonville, Ramsgate, no authority to police them.


  6. I was monitoring Margate beach as I do everyday.First of all good on the volunteers doing the job the council should be doing.with covid around they should not exploit their children doing this nobody knows if they can catch anything even if you use pickers.from Friday until late Sunday there was two council workers sitting in the Victorian shelter at the nayland rock end doing nothing litter everywhere these men could better spend their time on the beach collecting rubbish instead what are TDC paying them for. The bin men were doing their bit by emptying as often they can.

  7. The local Authority and Police need to do something about the teenagers coming in to Margate on the trains, thay leave so much rubbish and there has been multiple fights and anti social behaviour over the past few weeks. To drink a bottle of beer then throw the bottle as far as possible is reckless. These groups are out of control and someone is going to get hurt !!!

  8. The usual claptrap by the same old council faces saying how good they are doing when in fact they are doing nothing. There were no inspectors where they were needed, jet skis were menacing swimmers and wildlife all round the coast all weekend like last and no inspectors to do anything. Cars and vans parked in the usual hot spots on pavements without any worries of enforcement. If the council has all these officers to boot where are they at weekends and holidays? They certainly are not where all the issues are that need fixing. It’s nearly all over for another season of lies and no action. Year in year out it’s just all BS TDC!

  9. The beaches should be closed to everyone except those living in Thanet. They’re our beaches and we pay council tax for cleaning, if other people come here and dump rubbish they should pay for the cleaning, since there’s no way to do that, close the beaches!

    • How do you close beaches? Would there be a security guard right around the coast of Thanet, perhaps every 50 metres?

      Anyone is entitled to visit Thanet, just the same as Thanet residents are allowed to visit Dover, Canterbury, London etc.

  10. No excuse for littering,
    Ok look at the bigger picture , Litter bins overflowing car parks full up , toilets either unable to cope or closed in a factory 1 toilet per 10 users ,
    So it looks like we are trying to cope with Victorian infrastructure in a modern age , tight fisted Councils not wanting to spend to accumulate , you know the problems the cure is to supply the demand , if your litter bins are over flowing you need more . If you cannot park build a multi story , get your people working weekends ,
    Not everything is the public’s fault ,
    Your emergency is created by your own lack of planning ,you have had since March on furlough ,working from home to plan for the Hot weather and easing of restrictions , earn your pay and sort it you have a planning section get planning

  11. Yes it is all the public’s fault! What has gotten into people who think its acceptable to just leave their litter/rubbish behind them when they go home? Here’s a thought, TDC and volunteer litter pickers should stop picking up after these vandals for a week, no make it a week and two weekends! Leave their filthy rubbish on the beach, so when these day trippers come done, and see the mess, perhaps it may just make them take there’s home with them!

  12. Bring on in SPECIAL MEASURES and get this INEPT lot OUT…..they are totally incompetent! TDC are risible!

Comments are closed.