Thanet council has put beach management plans in action three months earlier than usual in preparation for an expected influx of visitors.
TDC has installed 80 new 1,100 litre colourful bins which are normally reserved for the summer months. These bins will be emptied twice a day, seven days a week.
The authority has ordered 42 new blue recycling bins for its Blue Flag and Seaside Award beaches. These will be put out at the end of April and have ‘aperture’ type tops to accept bottles and cans whilst making it more difficult to dispose of non-recyclable waste.
There are extended working hours for cleansing teams on beaches/promenades for the duration of the school Easter holidays and two mobile litter teams have been assigned to the coastline. These are in addition to the static cleaners at Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and Joss Bay.
Sand levelling and large scale litter-raking has now been completed and the beach tractor will follow the normal summer rota from 5 April.
To tackle antisocial behaviour there are four Covid-wardens for beaches and promenades and the council has recruited dedicated enforcement officers to educate people on the new Beaches and Coast Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) and Coastal Code of Conduct.
The PSPO makes the rules of the coast clear. Enforcement officers will challenge nuisance behaviour and can issue £100 fixed penalty fines for serious and persistent breaches. They will be working alongside Kent Police officers.
Public toilets around the district were reopened yesterday (March 29) and will be cleaned throughout each day.
There are also portaloos in place at Margate Main Sands and Botany Bay.
After threats against toilet staff last year there is now increased security around public toilets.
Increased presence of Civil Enforcement Officers on foot in the Kingsgate/Broadstairs area is aimed at tackling problem parking and static signs will direct visitors to beaches which have more space and available parking when needed.
Gavin Waite, Thanet District Council’s Corporate Director for Communities, said: “Our Beach Management Plan is an integral part of keeping all the services we provide for residents and visitors along our coastline running smoothly.
“We have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to prepare for this latest stage of restrictions easing. Despite these plans normally being implemented in time for the summer season, we have them ready for this Easter weekend.
“Many people will choose to visit our 19 miles of coastline over the coming weekend and in the months ahead. We want to encourage everyone to do the right thing: respect social distancing, wear a mask when asked, and take their litter home when the bins are full.”
A new campaign is also being launched by the council to welcome visitors back to Thanet and remind them (and residents) to ‘Respect’, ‘Protect’ and ‘Enjoy’ Thanet’s towns, beaches and open spaces.
The concept, created by a local Thanet designer, will be displayed at prominent locations across the district including bus stops, roads to popular beaches, train stations, car parks, on litter bins and across the council’s social media channels.