Leader of Brighton and Hove Council, Nancy Platts, has urged the Government to grant Brighton enhanced lockdown powers in order to protect residents.
Over the weekend, huge crowds descended onto Brighton beach and Hove Lawns to make the most of the warm weather. With government guidelines now allowing people to travel to their favourite places for leisure, Platts feels that the impact a sudden influx of visitors will have on tourist hotspots like Brighton “hasn’t been fully thought through”:
“Because so many people love coming to our city, this potentially puts people’s safety at risk and could undo all the work to prevent Covid-19 spreading which was achieved during lockdown,” Platts said.
The Council’s “resources are limited and powers few” when faced with the task of dealing with thousands of visitors, she added.
Stewards patrolled the seafront to manage the numbers of people accessing the beaches, but some people just walked around them.
Given the current situation, these large crowds of visitors have been putting Brighton residents off visiting the beach or their local park.
Platts said: “It’s incredibly upsetting to hear from people who live in the city, many of whom have no garden or balcony, that they can’t go to their local park or the seafront because they feel unsafe. We need more powers from central government to be able to call and implement a local lockdown if we see cases of Covid-19 increase in the city.”
Regarding people drinking heavily on the seafront, Platts emphasised the importance of behaving responsibly to avoid putting added strain on local emergency services.
“Some people have been overdoing it alcohol wise on the seafront and behaviour has become unpleasant and dangerous. Please don’t put pressure on our already stretched emergency services by drinking too much and needing medical attention.”
“The police will be focusing their efforts on the central beaches that were problematic yesterday, but they of course still need to respond to emergencies and other calls for help across the city. Please don’t create another issue for them to deal with.”
Featured image: © Wikimedia Commons.