As the four-day bank holiday weekend approaches to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the council and partners are encouraging local residents and visitors to enjoy themselves and celebrate safely.
Operation Heatwave takes place between April and October every year and brings together council teams responsible for highways, parking, waste, CCTV, parks, pier and foreshore, as well as the police and local businesses, to respond to the opportunities and challenges long weekends and good weather often bring.
Preparations have been taking place since March to ensure the City is ready for the spring and summer season, and a raft of measures are in place to help visitors find available parking spaces, dispose of litter responsibly and keep everyone safe and Southend-on-Sea clean.
The public will see a visible presence of council teams and contractors, with the council’s community safety officers, Business Improvement District (BID) Rangers, beach welfare officers, pier and foreshore staff, parking marshalls, parking enforcement officers, and other agencies such as Veolia on duty. This group is supported by the council’s team of CCTV operatives.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, said: “We have some wonderful events planned for over the Jubilee weekend, with more than 135 street parties spread across the four days, a beacon lighting, Music in the Park and Jubilee on the Pier, plus more.
“Teams responsible for recycling, waste, highways, parking, community safety, CCTV along with the police and local businesses will be working hard and working together to prevent and respond to the demands long weekends and extra visitors to the seafront can bring, but we need visitors to play their part too, so if you are visiting, please respect, protect and enjoy our great City and all it has to offer.
“We want residents and visitors to celebrate safely and responsibly. Please tidy up your litter, follow the advice of our community safety officers who are there to help, and be mindful of others.”
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.
The following actions all contribute to Operation Heatwave:
In addition to our security base at Jubilee Beach, a frontline security base in Old Leigh opened last summer season 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 also use the base to enhance the overall visible presence in the area.
The community safety team will be gathering specific seafront data and insights to help prioritise our resources and inform our partnership work with the police. This group is supported by the council’s team of CCTV operatives who play a vital role in highlighting suspicious behaviour or any potential flashpoints.
Please park safely and responsibly. Car park marshalls will be working at Eastern Esplanade, Seaway and Fairheads Green car parks to monitor vehicle levels, direct vehicles to spaces and other car parks if necessary and provide advice on how to pay.
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, the £8.50 a month parking pass that offers three hours of parking every day in each zone. 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.
Although the weather isn’t expected to be hot, the Council still 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.
Your waste is your responsibility. There are hundreds of bins along the seafront. Please use these. If a bin is full, please take your rubbish home with you, or find another bin. Additional EuroBins are in place across the seafront to support Veolia crews continuously emptying bins across the day. We are also asking visitors and residents to take their litter to the next bin, or home with them, if a bin is full. 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.
Full bins should be reported via MySouthend.