Posted: 03.06.20 at 11:24 by Joseph Bulmer
Manor Gardens in Exmouth had to be closed at the weekend after anti-social behaviour and public drinking prompted a police response.
According to East Devon District Council large groups of people were on Exmouth beach ignoring social distancing restrictions and government guidelines, with groups of more than six people gathering at one time.
With no lifeguards on Exmouth beach currently, signage is being displayed to remind visitors to stay safe around the water.
Many of those on the beach who were moved on by the police settled in Manor Gardens, which in turn prompted the police to request the park’s closure.
A spokesperson for EDDC said: “The council will continue to work with the police and consider closing open spaces if people are not behaving responsibly.”
Councillor Olly Davey, Exmouth Town ward member for the district council, said: “We welcome visitors to our wonderful beach but ask you to remember that we are still required to comply with government measures to keep everyone safe.
“Please act responsibly and leave our town as you would hope to find it, taking your litter home if need be.”
As Government lock down restrictions are easing, beaches, parks and public spaces in East Devon are busier than ever and visitors are being asked to help the council keep the district tidy, behave responsibly and keep to the two metre social distancing rule.
Since the early May Bank Holiday, people have been taking advantage of the good weather, and the council has seen exceptional levels of demand on its services such as street cleaning, litter bin collections, and toilets.
The council is asking visitors to help them keep ‘our beautiful public areas as outstanding as they usually are’, by using bins provided and if they are full, to take home their own litter and recycle, and not leave their rubbish alongside the bins.
It has received many reports of rubbish being left on beaches and in parks and gardens and EDDC would like to appeal to visitors to collect their litter as they leave these areas, take it home and recycle it.
The council spokesperson added: “We want everyone to be able to enjoy these beautiful places and not have them blighted by a minority of people who leave their litter behind.”
Ten of the council’s 27 public toilets are open from 8am to 4pm each day and following government guidelines are being thoroughly cleaned three times a day to reduce the risk of viral transmission.
Staffing these facilities is adding further pressure on the council’s services and the council is assessing how it can open further toilets or existing ones for longer.
Skate parks and play parks remain closed in line with government advice and beach huts also remain closed.
Councillor Geoff Jung, the council’s portfolio holder for Coast, Country and Environment said: “With people unable to go away on holiday, they are visiting our beaches and beautiful places instead and we’re finding that levels of demand on our services are equal to the busiest of summer holiday days.
“Our staff are coping magnificently but we ask for your help by using the bins provided or taking your own litter home if the bins are full. Currently our staff is reduced by 20% due to coronavirus and our budgets have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
“We are doing our very best to contend with the demand but I would ask that people think twice about their visits, and check information on local services before you arrive. Remember your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
“Take the time to read signage, respect the measures that local authorities and site management have put in place to help ensure social distancing, and please act responsibly.”