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UK beaches 'could ban people from daytime drinking’ after council introduces £1,000 fines

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
SOUTHEND, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Empty alcohol containers on the wall next to the beach on May 20, 2020 in Southend, United Kingdom. Parts of the country were expected to reach 29 degrees celsius, luring sunbathers and testing the capacity of parks and beaches to accommodate social distanced crowds. (Photo by Peter Dench/Getty Images)
Beachgoers across the country could be banned from drinking alcohol during the day. (Getty)

Beachgoers across the country could be banned from drinking alcohol during the day in an attempt to stamp out anti-social behaviour.

A combination of lockdown easing and warmer temperatures could see Britons flock to the coast in the coming weeks and months, giving a much-needed boost to the hospitality industry.

However, one council has introduced an alcohol ban in daytime hours, with anyone breaking the rules facing a fine of up to £1,000.

Hartlepool Borough Council has voted to prohibit people from drinking alcohol in parks alongside the Seaton Carew promenade at all times.

Drinking alcohol has been banned during the day for people visiting Seaton Carew in Hartlepool. (Geograph)
Drinking alcohol has been banned during the day for people visiting Seaton Carew in Hartlepool. (Geograph)
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth last year during the summer heatwave. (Getty)

However, alcohol can be consumed on the promenade between 6am and 8pm from April to the start of October, and between 8am and 4pm from October until the end of March.

Councillors voted for the exemption in an attempt to protect the local night-time economy following months of closures due to COVID lockdowns.

Cllr Marjorie James, who spoke in favour of the amended hours, said: "It actually cuts a line through the two areas of concern, one it secures the area for families and for the entertainment of young families in particular, which is why there's been a huge investment in Seaton Carew.

Watch: Beachgoers divided over social distancing

"The fact is the night-time economy is something slightly different and I think the hours are reasonable.

"It would see the best of both worlds, it would allow for the evening economy to take place after 8pm during the summer, but it would protect children and families before 8pm."

Cllr Sue Little said the alcohol ban was needed following antisocial behaviour while pubs opened for takeaway drinks last summer.

She said: "It's the nuisance that the alcohol causes that residents in Seaton are wanting to stop – we had about 12 weeks of hell in Seaton with people urinating everywhere and exposing themselves. We don't want that in Seaton, we don't want that in Hartlepool."

But Cllr Tom Cassidy warned that the proposal "is nothing but a business killer for the hospitality sector".

The move comes after brawls broke out on beaches and beauty spots in Brighton and Exmouth last year.

A young couple enjoy a beer in their deckchairs during the fine weather in Brighton, as people travel to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
A couple enjoy beer in their deckchairs during the fine weather in Brighton last summer. (Getty)

Other councils in England are also considering various options in how to tackle any potential antisocial behaviour.

Bournemouth Council is looking at introducing COVID marshals and drones to monitor crowds so they can "cope better across the resort with the anticipated surge in demand".

The potential measures come after over 500,000 people flocked to Bournemouth beach in June on the hottest day of last year.

According to The Mirror, Dorset and Margate beaches are also investigating ways to control large crowds, while Devon and Cornwall Police have called for 500 more officers to be able to cope with the expected demand this summer.

The morning after Saturday night crowds of young peoples' nightlife beach parties, their litter and rubbish from the night before stretches across the coastal paths and shingle, a local volunteer picks up and bags up piles of litter along the sea wall, on 19th July 2020, in Whitstable, Kent, England.  The volunteers and a council cleaner come every morning to clean-up the mess left by others which, they say, has got worse during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and now, the slow easing of health guidelines. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
The morning after Saturday night parties in Whitstable, Kent, in summer last year. (Getty)
BOURNEMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 25:  A can of lager is held as a crowd forms on Bournemouth beach on June 25,2020 in Bournemouth,England. A major incident was declared after thousands of people defied advice to stay away and descended on Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year so far. Services were overstretched as visitors arrived in large volumes, with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council issuing a record 558 parking enforcement fines. (Photo by Peter Dench/Getty Images)
A can of lager is held as a crowd forms on Bournemouth beach in June last year. (Getty)

Darab Rezai, from the Hartlepool Licensees Association, told Teesside Live the alcohol ban on Seaton Promenade would “give a negative image of Hartlepool compared to all the other seasides”.

He added: "We should deal with that minority misbehaving rather than punishing the majority of people."

Hartlepool's Public Spaces Protection Order on alcohol consumption does not apply to any area covered by a premises licence, such as beer gardens.

Yahoo News UK has contacted Hartlepool Borough Council for comment.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown