A head of CIVIC for tourism and recreation tried to explain the decision not to rent deckchairs or sun loungers at Bournemouth and Poole beaches this summer.
As first reported in the Daily Echo, beachfront rental furniture will remain absent during this peak season.
Former PCO Council chief and Liberal Democrat adviser Vikki Slade told the Daily Echo that an officer informed her that the move was largely due to concerns about items being used as weapons.
She said she had questioned officers on the matter on several occasions and learned that the move would lose local authorities £ 200,000 in revenue this year.
A spokesperson for the BCP Council provided an initial statement in response to questions from the Daily Echo earlier this week.
The spokesperson neither dismissed nor disputed suggestions that fears of anti-social behavior and violence had been a key factor in the decision that was made.
And in another statement released Thursday evening, Mohan Iyengar, cabinet adviser to the Conservative Council and PCO, did not dispute this point.
Councilor Iyengar, Tourism, Leisure and Culture portfolio holder, said: “It is true that we do not have a deckchair rental available this summer. This did not happen last summer with the previous leadership of the board either. The sunbeds are a highly tactile element and for the safety of Covid-19, we have made the decision in our multi-agency planning for the summer of ’21 to maintain this position. The plans were discussed with all councilors in early summer ’21 in two full-member sessions and the multi-stakeholder oversight and review committee – and no comments or challenges were raised.
“Of course, more people are now vaccinated in 2021 but the risk is still there. We’ve had a particularly large number of visitors this summer, and the August Bank Holiday and Air Festival weekends are perhaps the highest yet. The staff have rightly been deployed in more beach cleaning, garbage collection, toilet cleaning and general help points for people rather than handling sunbeds. A smaller benefit has been that the un-abandoned loungers on the ball or on the beach in the busiest areas helped reduce congestion. ”
“We have seen comments on the loss of revenue attributed to sunbeds,” added Cllr Iyengar.
“This needs to be put into perspective with the fact that sunbeds have always been marginal in terms of generating a financial surplus, alongside the fact that other seaside facilities such as catering are currently selling extremely well and will do more. that make up for any deficit that we do not re-rent our sunbeds this year. ”