Bournemouth beach deckchair hire suspended

BCP Council say the weekends of August Bank Holiday and the Air Festival may be the busiest yet. Credit: ITV News Meridian

BCP Council have confirmed that deckchair hire on Bournemouth beach has been suspended for the second year in a row.

The council say the chairs are a 'high-touch item' and this contributed towards their decision to suspend the service.

They say the decision was made at the beginning of summer and there weren't any comments or objections in two all-member council meetings, a cross party Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Councillor Mohan Iyengar, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, Leisure and Culture said: “More people of course are now vaccinated in 2021 but the risk is still there".

"We’ve had especially large numbers of visitors this summer, and the weekends of August Bank Holiday and the Air Festival may be the highest yet".

A busy Bournemouth beach promenade. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"Staff have rightly been deployed in more beach cleaning, litter picking, toilet cleansing and as general help-points for people rather than in handling deckchairs".

"A smaller benefit has been that deckchairs not abandoned on the prom or beach in the busiest spots have helped ease congestion".

Councillor Iyengar went on to quashed any concerns about a loss of income from the cancelled deckchair hire, saying: "Deckchairs have always been marginal in terms of generating a financial surplus".

Local councillor Vikki Slade said she is against the move, but was told it was done to avoid any repeat of anti-social behaviour seen last year when the beach was overcrowded and because of Covid.