Operation Heatwave: Plans in place for hot weather

With Southend-on-Sea sizzling today and into the weekend, the Council and its partners are ready for an influx of visitors, and reminding people to Visit Southend safely.

Visit Southend Safely

Operation Heatwave brings together teams responsible for highways, parking, waste, parks, pier and foreshore, the police, CCTV and local businesses to prevent and respond to the opportunities and challenges good weather often bring.

A raft of measures are in place to help visitors find available parking spaces, dispose of litter responsibly and keep everyone safe.

Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism, said: “We want people to enjoy their time here and it is more important than ever that people can Visit Southend safely. When temperatures soar, visitor numbers follow suit, and so we have our usual plans in place to deal with an influx of visitors. We are also urging people to plan their trip at Visit Southend, and familiarise themselves with some of the safety measures in place locally.

“We know the impact tourism has on our local traders, and so we hope everyone stays safe and enjoys their time in the glorious sunshine. We would also urge anyone visiting to respect the local area and environment. Please use the numerous bins provided, and if a bin is full, it will be emptied, but please take your rubbish home with you.”

Cllr Trevor Harp, cabinet member for adult social care and health, says: “We know that many people will be planning a trip to the seaside, and so we ask that they visit safely. Coronavirus is still very much with us. Everyone needs to continue social distancing from people they don’t live with, washing their hands regularly, wear a face covering in our shops and supermarkets, and if they have COVID-19 symptoms, then please don’t visit - stay at home, isolate and get tested.

“We also ask that local businesses keep reviewing the measures and risk assessments they have in place too, which will help reduce the spread and keep them open.

“We have seven miles of wonderful blue flag and seaside award winning beaches, so please make use of that space and stay safe by staying apart.”

Visitors are also being reminded to check the tide timetable before entering the water or walking out to the mudflats. The tide timetable for Southend-on-Sea is available on the Port of London Authority website.

For all the latest visitor information, go to Visit Southend.

The following actions all contribute to Operation Heatwave:

Keeping safe

Southend’s Community Safety unit will be patrolling the town centre and seafront throughout the weekend. Community safety officers will provide a welcome and reassuring presence to visitors and residents alike and deal with reports of antisocial behaviour and work with the police.

Parking

You can find a list of council car parks on our car parks webpage

We have staff deployed at our busy seafront car parks, to help visitors find parking spaces and assist them with paying for parking.

Visitors can avoid queuing at parking meters by downloading the Mobon parking app before they depart and paying on their phone when they arrive. This also offers the added benefit of enabling you to top up your parking from your phone if you end up staying longer than you thought you would.

Remember that parking is free from 4pm in all council owned car parks. Visit our parking offer webpage for more information on this and our pay for one hour, get an hour free offer.

Beach safety

The Council offers the following advice to help ensure a visit to the beach is remembered for all the right reasons.

  • Supervise children and vulnerable adults at all times. There is safety in numbers.
  • Wear jelly shoes or other sensible footwear on the beach and in the sea. Like with all seafronts, hidden dangers such as sharp shells and rocks may be hidden under the sand or water.
  • Don’t climb the rocks: Several areas of our seafront have rocks, including our seafront lagoon at Three Shells Beach. Please do not climb them. Not only could you become injured, but you also risk falling injured into the sea, impeding your chances of swimming to safety.
  • Slip, slap, slop, seek, slide: Sunburn is a leading cause of skin cancer. Sunstroke and dehydration are also extremely dangerous. Slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sun cream slap on a hat. Seek out some shade and slide on some sun glasses to protect your eyes too!
  • Observe signs and flags: Heed warning signs and flags: they could save your life!

Please always make sure to check the tide timetable before you enter the water and before walking out to the mudflats. Visit our website for more information.

Litter

Don’t be a mug, don’t litter! There are hundreds of bins along the seafront. Please use these. If a bin is full, please take your rubbish home with you.
The Council’s waste contractor, Veolia has extra staff on duty to quickly respond to any issues of beach littering. Their beach-combing machines will be combing the beaches during the mornings to prepare for visitors while litter pickers will patrol the beaches in the evening. Staff from the council’s waste team will also be part of a high-visibility presence over the weekend.

Extra beach bins are available across the central seafront..

Full bins should be reported via MySouthend.

Published: 31st July 2020

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