Working to ensure safe Easter weekend

Council teams, contractors and Essex Police worked hard to ensure a safe Easter weekend for all, with the unofficial Southend Shakedown and two car cruise meets taking place.

A member of the council’s pier and foreshore team and an Essex Police officer walking along the sunny seafront.

Operations were supported by the council's Community Safety and CCTV teams and CCTV van which was operating along the seafront and across the city keeping a close eye on everyone's safety and wellbeing. Veolia crews also ensured the seafront and other key areas were kept clean and tidy.

Alan Richards, executive director for environment and place, said: “Organisers’ plans for the Shakedown to be run as an organised event did not come off this year, and therefore the Council and Essex Police had to prepare for an unorganised event and prioritise public and pedestrian safety.

“We have seen many incorrect comments on social media over the weekend suggesting that the council cancelled the event. This is not correct, as there was no event to cancel. The council does not organise the Shakedown but has always worked with organisers. This year was no different, but unfortunately a formal event did not materialise.

“Hundreds of bikers took advantage of the good weather on Easter Monday morning to come to the seafront. With no official event or management plan in place and no contribution to resources, the council and its partners had to make plans to ensure that all visitors and pedestrians were safe and to ensure that all the bikes could be safely hosted, and the seafront kept open to through traffic. This included welcoming bikers to Eastern Esplanade car park with marshals and free parking and establishing protection measures along Marine Parade to protect pedestrian areas from being accessed by motorbikes. There were no incidents on the day and no major incidents reported.

“It was simply not possible to do all this and please all stakeholders, but we worked with the police and spoke to seafront traders and others in advance so that we could consider a wide range of views, take on board as much feedback as possible and manage the day safely for all our visitors during both the Shakedown, and two evening car cruises over the weekend.

“We want everyone visiting to feel safe and welcome and we hope to work with organisers to bring back an official, planned Shakedown event next year.”

Published: 3rd April 2024

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