Partners work together for successful summer season in Rother
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Local agencies and authorities have once again joined forces to ensure the annual tourism boom benefits the local economy, while causing as little disruption to residents as possible.
Rother, Camber Parish and East Sussex councils, Sussex Police, RNLI, South East Coast Ambulance Service and local MP Sally-Ann Hart are working together to help keep visitors safe, the beach clean and traffic in the area flowing and tackle inconsiderate and illegal parking in Camber village.
Cllr Doug Oliver, leader of Rother District Council, said: “We are fortunate to have some of the most beautiful beaches and public spaces in our district and we want to encourage people to visit and boost our local economy.
“But we are acutely aware that, as with other coastal towns in the UK, an influx of visitors to Camber Sands can have a potentially detrimental impact on the local community. Our partnership approach under Operation Radcott means we can work together in a bid to address issues before they cause major problems.”
The challenge at Camber Sands is to get visitors to be considerate of the environment and the local community. Camber Community Group is supporting an awareness raising campaign and raised money for the design of posters urging people to enjoy the beach respectfully. The posters were produced with the help of donations from the Nisa store in Camber, Jemspon’s Foundation and The Gallivant Hotel.
John Bradford, chairman of Camber Parish Council, said: “Tackling the issues we experience during the summer is a real team effort and we are extremely grateful to the local community for working with us. We want people to visit Camber Sands and enjoy the beautiful beach, but we also want them to have respect for those of us who are lucky enough to live here.
“The posters stress the importance of greater social responsibility with the message ‘Our Beach – Your Beach – Our Home’. The designs were prepared by local graphic designer Jen Sinclair to create a common theme and get the message across to residents, visitors and holidaymakers that we need to share responsibility and show consideration towards others.”
Rother District Council coastal operations officers, and beach and car park staff, will spend the summer working with the Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service to support beach safety messages, giving out wristbands to children, administering first aid, and addressing anti-social behaviour, while RNLI lifeguards will also keep a watchful eye on those in the water.
Inspector Chris Varrall, of the Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful district, but be able to do so safely and with consideration to others.
“We are continuing to work closely with partners to manage the influx of visitors to the area over the summer season, particularly on the roads, and our officers will be out and about engaging with the public and visiting beaches and public spaces to detect and deter any anti-social behaviour.
“Our priority is the safety of all residents and visitors to Camber Sands and the wider district, and we encourage people to come and speak to us with any concerns or issues they may have.”
Rother District Council has worked closely with its waste contractor to increase the number of litter bins both on the beach and in the village and car parks and, this year, a change to the beach cleansing operation means beach litter picking and waste removal will continue later into the evening, when tides and safety allows.
Having discounted ‘Park & Ride’ schemes and pre-booked parking as not viable due to the single road access to Camber Sands, management of car parking at Camber will be supported by regular social media messaging and matrix signs will be in operation on the local road network to advise visitors when car parks are full.
In addition, Rother District Council are participating this summer in a new UK wide ‘Beach App’ that will enable coastal officers to broadcast to potential visitors how busy the beach is before they travel so they can make an informed decision. More details will be available when the app is up and running.
On peak visitor days, car parks at Camber Sands become full by mid-morning resulting in inconsiderate and illegal parking which can block resident access and adds to the congestion. For the first time, East Sussex County Council will be enforcing parking restrictions and parking enforcement officers will be on patrol throughout the summer.
Electric bikes will be used to ensure parking officers can easily access areas of the village and anyone wanting to report a breach of parking restrictions can contact the team on 01273 335 500 and select option 1.