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Council warns it will shut beach toilets in Thanet if people continue being abusive to cleaning staff

Council chiefs have warned beachgoers that if they are rude or abusive to toilet cleaning staff they will shut facilities again.

The warning comes as toilets on Thanet's main beaches were opened at the weekend to cater for the crowds of people descending on the coastline during the hotter weather.

Toilets are now open on Botany Bay. Picture: Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate
Toilets are now open on Botany Bay. Picture: Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate

But Cllr Steve Albon, cabinet member of operational services, warns that the council will have no choice but to close them again if people mistreat cleaning staff, as seen over the busy Bank Holiday.

Hundreds of people have been packing onto the isle's beaches after Boris Johnson announced some easement of lockdown restrictions, allowing people to enjoy the outdoors for unlimited time and drive to places to get fresh air.

During the busy Bank Holiday weekend only a few toilet facilities were open and horrified residents living near to beaches took to social media to condemn those urinating behind beach huts and in other public places.

Cllr Steve Albon, cabinet member of operational services, says with people now able to venture further afield, the toilets have been opened by the council.

"We have put in place a number of measures to provide a clean and safe environment for people using them." he said.

"Hand sanitiser is provided and there are posters with information about maintaining social distancing, keeping cubicles clean and hand washing.

Viking Bay in Broadstairs
Viking Bay in Broadstairs

"We urge people not to use the facilities as a changing room as sand blocks the toilets.

"We are relying on members of the public to respect the space and to act in a responsible manner - leaving them as they would expect to find them.

"Our staff in the toilets are cleaners and are not there to manage or enforce social distancing.

"They worked extremely hard over Bank Holiday to keep our facilities open.

"It is a tough job, particularly in the current circumstances, and it is absolutely unacceptable to be abusive or rude to those members of staff.

An art installation was put next to Botany Bay by Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate urging people not to use the beach as a toilet.
An art installation was put next to Botany Bay by Friends of Botany Bay and Kingsgate urging people not to use the beach as a toilet.

"If this continues to happen, we will be left with no choice but to close the facilities."

From Saturday, the main beach toilets were opened from 10am to 5pm daily, including disabled facilities accessible with a Radar key.

Toilets are open on Minnis Bay, West Bay, Westbrook Bay, St Mildred’s Bay, Botany Bay, Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap.

Facilities on Joss Bay, Margate Main Sands, Ramsgate and Viking Bay had already been opened.

Here you can take a look at what public toilets are now open in the county and when you can use them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet


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