Clamping down on seafront nuisance

Damage to a Victorian shelter on St Annes Promenade
Damage to a Victorian shelter on St Annes Promenade
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Fylde Council is considering a double clampdown on seafront nuisance.

Recent spates of damage to outdoor furniture at Fairhaven Lake and an historic Victorian shelter on St Annes promenade have left councillors angry – and determined to find a solution ahead of the main tourist season.

Visitors’ barbecues have been blamed for scorched grass areas and damaged picnic benches at the Fairhaven beauty spot, while there have also been regular spates of smashed panes of glass in the Grade II-listed shelter close to St Annes Pier.

Now, councillors are to look into the prospect of introducing a Public Space Protection Order, as has been done recently with dog control, to guard against problems caused by barbecues, while fixed CCTV could be on the agenda for the seafront shelter area.

The council’s tourism and leisure committee will consider the Public Space Protection Order at its meeting next month and chairman Coun Cheryl Little said: “Fylde openly welcomes visitors to enjoy Fairhaven Lake but we need to alleviate the damage and costs to the council to continually repair, as well as the effect this could be having on the local wildlife.

“At the next tourism and leisure committee on June 22, we will be initiating a working group of elected members to look at the option of introducing a Public Space Protection Order as has been done recently with dog control in the area.

“There is a need to raise the topic and look at some viable solutions to ensure our gems such as Fairhaven Lake can continue to be enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year.”

Over the Easter weekend, benches were burned and patches of earth left scorched, while similar burned patch was also reported on Lytham Green.

It prompted calls for the public to take more care with portable barbecues with dry summer months ahead.

Coun Mark Bamforth said: “These places are for everybody and we shouldn’t let one or two people spoil it.”

He also raised concerns over the use of barbecues on dry grass during the summer and an increased risk of fire, adding: “It’s a matter of common sense. People should take more care and treat the area with respect.

“They should leave our beautiful spots exactly as they found them.”

Meanwhile, 15 windows were smashed in one particular Victorian shelter over the Easter weekend and Coun Little said “It is so disappointing the shelter is continually being vandalised.

“It is a part of St Annes heritage and not only is the glass being damaged, the actual structure is too.

“If this continues there will come a point when the shelter is damaged beyond repair, meaning the Victorian heritage will be lost forever.

“There is also the fact that ratepayers’ money is constantly being used to pay for the repairs.

“We are looking at several different options going forward, one of which could be to introduce CCTV in the area.”

The latest attack on the shelter left residents and business owners shocked.

Bryan Ward, Fylde Council’s community safety partnership manager, said: “There is a CCTV camera on the seafront which is monitored from our CCTV studio in Wyre.

“The police have been contacted and will be increasing their visits to both the seafront area around the shelters and at Fairhaven Lake .

“The council appeals to anyone having a barbecue at Fairhaven Lake to ensure that it is not held in an area and that extinguished embers and detritus are disposed of in the bins provided ”

Coun Little, who is also St Annes town mayor, added: “If anyone has any information regarding the vandalism they should come forward to the police and/or Fylde Council.”