SEDGEMOOR District Council will be taking over the management of Brean Beach from April 2022.
Brean Parish Council formally asked SDC to consider their proposal for SDC to manage beach operations at their meeting in July and agreed the transfer at their December meeting.
Their request was based on a RNLI safety audit at the beach in February 2021, which identified actions that Brean Parish Council should make to its operations to improve safety at the beach, including better signage, equipment and staff levels.
The parish council felt they were unable to meet some of these RNLI recommendations, due to their limited capacity as volunteers.
Additionally, due to record numbers of visitors during the past two seasons – a knock-on effect from Covid restrictions, including people taking ‘staycations’ – there have been concerns from Brean residents about some anti-social behaviour from visitors.
Sedgemoor council propose to operate the beach, based on the experience and expertise of Sedgemoor’s beach safety and resort staff who manage Burnham-on-Sea and Berrow beaches, supported by the RNLI at peak season. This involves taking a proactive approach to general beach management and the monitoring and intervention in safety issues.
They will be investing in the region of £75,000 into the area in terms of staffing, equipment, signage and beach cleaning to make sure that the beach is a well-run and safe attraction as well as adding to the areas tourism offer for visitors and local residents.
The council will also be providing a grant of £10,000 to Brean Parish Council to allow refurbishment of their closed toilet block at Brean Village Hall. SDC will also work with the parish council to help clean their toilet bock, once it has been reopened.
Specific areas of operation:
Beach Safety Wardens: Similar to Burnham-on-Sea and Berrow beaches, who are on consistent and regular rotas to be on-hand for any safety issues, as well as managing the on-beach parking, taking into account tidal and weather conditions.
RNLI Lifeguards: In high summer season (July- Sept) Beach Safety Wardens will be supported by a RNLI lifeguard Team in monitoring and proactively intervening in safety issues or unsafe behaviour.
Beach Cleaning: All beach cleansing activities to be undertaken by Sedgemoor District Council including litter picking bin emptying and general cleansing.
Safety Signage: Sedgemoor will install beach safety signage as detailed in the RNLI audit to relevant best practice standards.
Concessions: Sedgemoor will take over the letting of and management of concessions allowing concessions to bid to operate on the beach such as ice cream vendors etc.
End of season review meeting: At the end of each season Sedgemoor will organise a meeting with residents to discuss how the season has gone and any issues that have arisen. This is in addition to the ability for residents to discuss with on-site beach staff immediately should any issues arise.
Toilet provision: SDC will also open, clean and maintain the toilet block by the access ramp at Brean and will consider the use of mobile toilet units at peak times.