Thursday, August 11, 2005

GTB dawn crackdown on beach 'reservations'

Camp bay dispute


Camp Bay Gibraltar
The Gibraltar Tourist Board (GTB) yesterday carried out an early-morning crackdown on the controversial practice of securing beach spots at Camp Bay overnight.

Armed with a pair of heavy bolt cutters and watched by two police constables, a team of GTB officials worked their way through Camp Bay removing beach paraphernalia that had been chained and padlocked to concrete tables.

Regular users had been warned earlier this week that any unattended items left on Camp Bay between 7am and 7.45am would be removed, but many chose to defy the ban.

The move by the GTB was described as aimed at facilitating beach cleaning, but its real underlying goal was evident.

By the time they had finished, the GTB team had removed beach items from 18 tables. Some of the beach umbrellas they collected still had pinned to them the official notices distributed on Monday warning users of the impending cleanup, suggesting that the items had been left unattended for at least three days.

Four women, all of them regulars at Camp Bay, turned up at dawn to watch the GTB and ensure that their beach umbrellas were not taken away. The tourist board team acknowledged their presence there and worked around them. Only unattended items were removed.

The women were angry at the way the issue had been handled and said Camp Bay users had been unfairly singled out.

“The GTB has given the wrong impression of the users of this beach,” one said. They defended the practice of ‘reserving’ space and repeated broader complaints voiced earlier this week about the general state of the beach, which they said had been neglected for years.

But the official position remains unchanged and, if anything, is now tougher than before.

The beach paraphernalia collected yesterday was itemised and stored at the GTB’s premises next to the 100 Ton Gun, ready for collection by its owners.

But from now on, any items left on Camp Bay during early morning cleanups will be removed and disposed of as litter.

Whether or not the move will ultimately prove successful in bringing to an end the practice of ‘reserving’ tables is questionable.

While it may require a little more effort than is currently the case, regular Camp Bay users who wish to secure a spot simply have to turn up as from 7.45am daily to stake their claim.

Related Article:

10 August 2005 - Camp Bay users angry over Government plans to quash ‘reservations’

08 August 2005 - Government moves to act on recurrent beach complaints

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