2021 was a great summer – but can the area do it again, this time without £3.5m of Government support?

That was the question asked by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole councillors after a review of summer activities which saw 40,000 parking tickets issued and some anti-social behaviour…but most people having a good time.

The BCP council team, together with partner organisations were praised at this week’s overview and scrutiny committee meeting for ramping up measures to keep a record number of visitors to the area happy and safe.

Bournemouth Echo:

In surveys the majority said they did feel safe, welcome and well looked after.

Committee chairman Cllr Steve Bartlett added his thanks – but said the trick now would be how to repeat the process without the high level of Government financial support.

Tourism portfolio holder Cllr Mohan Iyengar said he was confident that the lessons learnt would mean the council and its partners being able to offer the same level of service in the coming season.

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He said it was not yet known what level of Government help there would be, if any, but the council would budget appropriately for next year, should additional measures be needed again.

The meeting was told of extra council staff and hundreds of additional bins being brought in to keep the beaches and open spaces clean, to tackle illegal camping and inconsiderate parking which included 43 vehicles being towed away.

Bournemouth Echo:

Additional CCTV cameras had been installed including two with thermal imaging on Boscombe and Bournemouth piers.

Park and ride at King’s Park was reported a success with a similar facility at Poole Civic Centre proving less attractive, although some councillors said part of that may have been due to poor signage and the wrong message getting out that it was £5 per person, not £5 per car.

One councillor, Chris Rigby, suggested a new park and ride for the three towns next year – set up on the Bournemouth Airport site, offering visitors a choice of Christchurch, Poole or Bournemouth beaches.