A lone Thanet council cleaner is caught on camera battling against a tide of waste on Margate sands yesterday (June 12) as beach-goers dropped litter just yards from where he stood.
In baking conditions the worker cleaned, and re-cleaned, the main sands as some careless visitors simply dropped their trash where they stood.
It was the same story along the coast with reports the shelter on Princes Walk, Palm Bay was the site of a party last night with revellers leaving behind their trash for someone else to clear up.
TDC enforcement have been notified and are dealing with the situation.
Mess left by the Lido prompted furious resident Tina Raven to share a poster showing the litter. An indication has been made of a person responsible for the party but this is unsubstantiated and has been denied.
At Botany Bay there were also reports of rubbish, an evening bonfire and several overnight campers. One resident cleared barbecues, bottles and plastic waste from the bay at 8pm yesterday.
One visitor to Botany Bay was also caught on camera urinating in public.
Disgusted residents have questioned where enforcement officers where and say new ‘PSPO’ powers brought in by Thanet council on April 1 to tackle anti-social behaviour across Thanet are proving toothless.
However, there were police officers evident in Margate yesterday with a number of stop and searches understood to have taken place.
Ironically, yesterday a PSPO awareness day was being held with Environmental enforcement officers from the council alongside representatives from Kent Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Service at Westbrook beach (3pm – 5pm) and Stone Bay beach (7pm-9pm).
The Beaches and Coast Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) includes the power to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs). Under the new order, council and police officers can now issue the fines of £100 to help deter and reduce anti-social behaviour.
Thanet council said a dedicated enforcement officer for the coast was being employed but there are also questions over whether one coast enforcement officer is enough.
Earlier in the week Barry Manners, from the Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate, said action rather than advice was needed to make the PSPO effective.
In one morning he cleared five discarded barbecues and human excrement from Botany Bay
He said: “Thanet council need to be enforcing the PSPO not doing it as an advisory. It is now past t time for the council’s softly softly educational advice and they need to start enforcing it.
“Start handing out some fines. I don’t mind barbecues on the beach but because a minority of people do not know how to behave then we all have to suffer. It is either enforcement or just a free for all.”
Extra bins and cleaning teams
Last month Thanet council installed 200 additional summer bins, including 80 new 1,100 litre colourful bins. These bins are emptied twice a day, seven days a week.
How Thanet District Council tackles litter
- TDC provide and empty over 400 litter bins across the district. In the summer months there are an additional 180 bins in busy locations.
- TDC has a dedicated team of street cleansing staff who work 7 days a week from 6.00am to 8.00pm (6.00pm in the winter) Monday to Friday and 6.00am to 2.30pm Saturday and Sunday
- Additional street cleansing staff are taken on over the summer months.
- Monthly inspections are carried out to monitor standards.
- High footfall areas such as town centres are swept daily and our mechanical sweepers are out frequently in all other areas.
- TDC prioritise reports of increased litter in public areas and aim to deal with these as quickly as possible.
The Beaches and Coast PSPO prohibits:
Parking/driving on the promenades or beaches without permission
Cycling on the promenades between 10am and 6pm from 1 May to 30 September where localised signage requires you to dismount
Bonfires, balloon and sky lantern releases on any council land
BBQ’s on council land apart from on beaches after 6pm
Horse riding on beaches or promenades between 9am and 7pm from 1 May to 30 September (or all year round at Pegwell Bay)
Encampments (including tents, campervans, marquees, yurts etc) on beaches, promenades, clifftops, nearby green spaces, car parks and surrounding areas of the public realm without prior consent of the council,with the exception of sun shades.
The use of personal powered watercraft (including jet skis) in a manner that poses a risk to the safety of people or wildlife
The use of personal powered watercraft(including jet skis) in a manner that has the potential to cause harassment, alarm and distress to any other beach or coast users, or residents
Preaching, lectures, music and entertainment or sporting events unless prior permission has been granted by the council
Urination, defecation, spitting or littering
Drinking alcohol in a public place, after being told not to
Ingesting, inhaling, injecting, smoking or otherwise using drugs or substances reasonably believed to be psychoactive substances
Possessing or releasing any canister containing compressed gas.
Barry Manners, from the Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate, said: “This is all flap and no propeller if there is no enforcement. It almost looks as though the council is trying to keep residents quiet by fobbing us off and hoping that once the summer is over it all goes quiet again.”
New signs detailing the restrictions have been installed along the coastline.
More information about the Public Spaces Protection Orders can be found online.