Vale of Glamorgan Council takes action to prevent unacceptable mass gatherings at coastal resorts and car parks
The Vale of Glamorgan Council has taken many steps in coastal areas over recent weeks to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and protect the public from the spread of the virus. However, the easing of lockdown has seen a significant increase in visitors to the Vale of Glamorgan’s coastal locations.
Following recent incidents of antisocial and inappropriate behaviour and mass gatherings at Ogmore-by-Sea and Barry Island, the Vale of Glamorgan Council has taken steps to respond to such unacceptable behaviour.
The car park at Rivermouth, Ogmore-by-Sea, was closed last Thursday night and will remain closed until Monday 6 July 2020, whilst the Council takes steps to mitigate further issues.
A meeting with residents and the local community council was held on Tuesday 30 June to explain the steps the Council would be taking, in the short term, to deal with issues caused by antisocial behaviour such as littering, camping, inappropriate parking, overnight stays and noise.
- Temporary road closures will remain in place with access for residents only on Seaview Drive.
- Parking will be controlled on the main road through Ogmore-by-Sea (B4524)
- The Council has been working to ensure Police as well as Council Staff are present this coming weekend to deal with any potential issues.
- Further measures to control the consumption of alcohol in these destinations are also being organised where joint Police and Council Enforcement Officers will seize alcohol that is being carried and consumed in breach of existing regulations.
The Council is also seeking longer term solutions to better manage resort car parking at Ogmore-by-Sea, Barry Island, Cosmeston and Penarth Esplanade and the Council will engage with local communities in managing car parking in these locations.
Displacement parking in residential areas surrounding these destinations will also be addressed with provision for resident parking and short-stay spaces. This work will be progressed with close engagement with residents.
The Council will, in the coming weeks, be consulting residents, landowners, Vale Councillors and Community Councils to ensure that all concerns are addressed.
Speaking about the plans, the Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Neil Moore, said:
“We need to ensure that our coastal resorts and tourist destinations remain attractive and are equipped to offer a quality visitor experience, without having a detrimental impact on residents and communities.
"Our car parking infrastructure is being modernised and I have allocated money in this year’s budget to provide better parking management of surrounding residential areas where it is needed. We are seeking to address these issues as quickly as possible, given the significant increase in visitors to the Vale coast.
“Tourism plays a vital role in the Vale of Glamorgan’s economy and the Council is committed to supporting and further developing the local tourist and visitor experience whilst at the same time minimising impact on our residents who live and work in our coastal towns and villages.”
South Wales Police’s Chief Inspector for the Vale of Glamorgan, Anthony Williams, has also been meeting with local residents to provide reassurance about the work being undertaken by the force and its partners.
CI Williams said:
“We appreciate the Coronavirus lockdown measures have been difficult for our communities, but the kind of behaviour seen recently at Ogmore-by-Sea and other coastal areas is simply unacceptable.
“Mass gatherings are still prohibited under Welsh Government legislation, and I’d remind those considering attending our beauty spots to consider the risks they could be posing to themselves and their loved ones if they are not complying with legislation and guidance.
“Antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated at any time – regardless of whether we are in the midst of a pandemic or not – and we will continue to work closely with partners, including the local authority, to ensure those wanting to enjoy our beaches and parks within the confines of the law can do so safely and without fear or intimidation.
“Our communities can expect to see an increased police presence in some areas, and officers will make use of powers available to them, including dispersal orders, confiscation powers and enforcement action.
“We can’t be everywhere all of the time, however, and I would also appeal to people to take some personal responsibility and to be considerate of others. Parents should also be ensuring they know where their children are and what they are doing.”