2021 has been a great summer – but can the region start over, this time without Â£ 3.5million in government support?
That was the question asked by councilors in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole after a review of summer activities which saw 40,000 parking tickets issued and some anti-social behavior … but most people are having fun.
The PCO board team, along with partner organizations, were congratulated at this week’s Synthesis and Review Committee meeting for stepping up measures to keep record numbers of visitors to the region happy and safe.
In the polls, the majority said they felt safe, welcome and well cared for.
Committee Chairman Cllr Steve Bartlett added his thanks – but said the trick now would be how to repeat the process without the high level of financial support from the government.
Tourism portfolio holder Cllr Mohan Iyengar said he is confident the lessons learned will enable the council and its partners to deliver the same level of service in the coming season.
He said it was not yet clear what level of government assistance there would be, if any, but the council would set an appropriate budget for next year, if further action was needed again.
The meeting was briefed on the additional council staff and hundreds of additional bins brought in to keep beaches and open spaces clean, to combat illegal camping and reckless parking which included 43 towed vehicles.
Additional CCTV cameras had been installed, including two with thermal imaging at Boscombe and Bournemouth piers.
Relay parking at King’s Park was successful, with a similar facility to the Poole Civic Center proving less appealing, although some advisers said this may have been due in part to poor signage and the wrong message being broadcast. it was Â£ 5 per person, not Â£ 5 per car.
One advisor, Chris Rigby, has suggested a new park and ride for all three towns next year – set up at the Bournemouth Airport site, giving visitors a choice of beaches from Christchurch, Poole or Bournemouth.