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Makeshift camps full of rubbish 'spoiling' Folkestone's main attractions

By Sam Williams

Two makeshift camps full of rubbish are spoiling Folkestone's main attractions, it has been claimed.

Images show the extent of the two encampements, one close to the Leas Cliff Hall and the other near the car park by the old Leas Lift - both areas part of the Lower Leas Coastal Park.

Clothing, discarded food and drink packaging and camping equipment, such as tents, chairs and camp beds litter the two sites.

Photos of litter and tents near the Leas Lift Folkestone. Picture: George Bauer
Photos of litter and tents near the Leas Lift Folkestone. Picture: George Bauer

It is not known if anyone currently lives there.

Now, Folkestone resident and frequent walker George Bauer, 68, has slammed the untidy sights and is calling for something to be done.

He said: “They have been there over a year.

“It is a disgrace, does Folkestone have any pride?

“Shame on the council. It feels like nobody cared.

Clothing, discarded food and drink packaging and camping equipment have been dumped at two sites
Clothing, discarded food and drink packaging and camping equipment have been dumped at two sites

“It is called a coastal park and is even advertised on the London underground, but this is the state of it. It is a beautiful park and this is a shame to see."

He added: “People moan about the town but we need to keep it to a certain level for visitors.

"We don’t want the standard to go down.”

The camps can be found on land owned by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

But despite claims they have been in place for around 12 months, the local authority says nothing has been reported to them.

A spokeswoman said: “We hold weekly meetings with our partners at which issues like this are discussed as we work to find the best ways to support more vulnerable members of our society such as rough sleepers.

The Lower Leas Coastal Park is a popular attraction
The Lower Leas Coastal Park is a popular attraction

“If an encampment presents a health hazard or other danger to the public then we will clear it, after first engaging with the people using it to offer them advice and support.

“If we do clear a site, we give notice before we do so and store belongings for seven days so people are able to collect them afterwards.”

Council staff now plan to visit the sites, to establish why they are there and who is using them.

The council said it would then "work out how best to proceed".

Fly-tipping - dumping any rubbish illegally - is removed by the district council when it occurs in streets, parks and open spaces. But this comes at a cost to the authority.

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