Reacting to the news of a Major Incident being declared by BCP Council due to the visitor numbers over the last few days, Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns and the BCP Council Conservative Group issued the following statements:
Conor Burns MP:
“The scenes we have witnessed over the last two days that have drawn national attention risk Bournemouth being known for all the wrong reasons. Sadly this was all too predictable. The Council have utterly failed to learn the lessons from the recent bank holiday. Illegal parking is rife with scant enforcement, some of our more selfish second home owners have returned and the beaches are packed. We should have been much better prepared for this and the messaging should have been stronger and clearer. The buck for this stops firmly at the door of the Town Hall.”
Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group and Shadow Portfolio Holder for Tourism:
“As one of the UK’s premier tourist resorts, we are used to a large influx of visitors. The volume of people we are seeing is nothing that would normally cause major concern. What is of major concern, however, is the Council’s response. Despite all the warning signs, the Council appear to have been caught inexplicably off guard by what is, by all accounts, a busy couple of days at the beach.
Why were there no extra bin collections? Why do some car parks remain closed? The Council were unprepared for the last Bank Holiday weekend. That was possibly excusable. This isn’t.
The Liberal Democrat Council Leader, Vikki Slade, has blamed the Government, the Police and everyone else. She’s even asked people to come back next month when “we’ll be ready”. But we should have been ready now. The Leader needs to stop blaming others and put clear plans in place for what are, in any other years, manageable levels of visitors. This is simply not good enough.”