With lockdown restrictions having eased further, a bank holiday weekend approaching and warmer weather predicted, the council are urging residents and visitors to be respectful whilst having fun.
Led by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and developed with the local stakeholder group that includes traders, Leigh Town Council, Southend BID and Southend Tourism Partnership, Operation Heatwave has been in place since the end of March to ensure the Borough is ready for the summer season, and help visitors plan their visit, dispose of litter responsibly, find available parking spaces and stay safe.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture, tourism and planning said: “We want people to come to Southend to enjoy themselves, enjoy the warmer weather, bank holiday weekend and all the great facilities, venues and open spaces we have here.
“However, we would also ask that those visiting the town are respectful of the area and the residents who live here. Please dispose of litter properly or take it home with you. Please park with consideration for others. Please drink safely and responsibly, and if you are leaving late at night, please be mindful of noise in residential areas.
“Teams responsible for waste, highways, parking, community safety, CCTV along with the police and local businesses are continuing to work hard and work together to prevent and respond to the opportunities and challenges long weekends and extra visitors to the seafront can bring, but we need visitors to play their part too, so if you are visiting this weekend, please respect, protect and enjoy. Please also remember the public health measures in place, and the hands, face, space and fresh air approach."
In addition to our security base at Jubilee Beach, a new frontline security base in Old Leigh is now operational and is located inside the Leigh Heritage Centre. This is being used by our community safety officers (CSOs). Other council departments and partners including the police to enhance the overall visible presence in the area. An extra officer has been deployed to monitor our CCTV suite at weekends with a particular focus on the seafront.
The community safety team will also be gathering specific seafront data and insights to help prioritise our resources and inform our partnership work with the police.
Our community safety team will be supported by two ambulance crews from Friday to Monday, late afternoon and into the evening.
The Council also has an existing Car Cruise injunction in place which gives police and council enforcement officers extra powers to deal with dangerous driving and antisocial behaviour at unauthorised car cruise events.
Please be mindful that close contact continues to carry a risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and people must consider the risk to themselves and others.
Some people are more vulnerable to Covid than others. Therefore, continue to exercise caution and where appropriate consider using the hands, face, space, fresh air approach.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss of smell or change to your sense of smell or taste), you will need to book a PCR test online and continue to self-isolate until you receive the results.
For those without symptoms, the Council’s community collect initiative is still running and rapid Covid-19 self-test kits are being offered to everyone living and working in the Borough.
You can collect LFD testing kits from participating pharmacies which can be found on this interactive map.
Alongside its usual street cleansing programme, the council has introduced the following additional measures to manage waste during peak times:
- Additional larger EuroBins are in place across the Borough including two more in Old Leigh (making four in total), four at East Beach and ten more at City Beach (20 in total).
- Additional litter picking and bin emptying is taking place in our main parks at weekends and during the school holidays, with four staff based at Belfairs Park, Priory Park, Chalkwell Park and Southchurch Park from 11:30am to 7:30pm.
- Additional litter picking and bin emptying is also taking place at Thorpe Bay Gardens, Shoebury Common, Leigh Cliffs and Marine Parade/Belton Hills (in addition to Southend Cliffs, Prittlewell Square, Warrior Square Gardens). Two extra mobile litter pickers will support other areas.
Other additional resources:
- Extra resources for the peak season include toilet attendants at key locations, additional cleaning staff for open spaces, beachcombers and evening cleaning.
- Extra medical support will be in place over the Bank Holiday weekend
- Additional temporary toilets have been installed in Old Leigh, City Beach, Shorefields and Darlows Green
- Additional toilet cleaning is taking place at weekends and school holidays at Belfairs Park, Priory Park and Southchurch Park
- Additional hand sanitizer stations are in place
- Six extra seasonal foreshore staff are in place to accommodate expected higher demand and providing first aid, information, advice and guidance. They will be located at Jubilee Beach (first aid base), Shoebury Common Slipway, Two Tree Island and Old Leigh. The Jubilee Beach office will be open for extended hours.
For more information on car parks and charges, visit the car parking page on our website.
Visitors can plan ahead for parking by downloading the Southend 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. You can also purchase the Southend Pass via this app, an annual parking pass that offers discounted parking. For more information and to download the Southend Parking app, please visit our website.
The Blue Flag award winning beaches at Shoebury Common, Shoebury East Beach and Thorpe Bay also offer great places to enjoy the seaside and thousands of parking spaces, with many available when central areas are full. Signage is in place to help direct visitors to these beaches.
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. As 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.
- Observe signs and flags: Be aware of your surroundings and the times of the tides. There is a link to tide timetables on our website: Mooring Application and Tide Tables – Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. Heed warning signs and flags: they could save your life!