Call to keep Cleethorpes clean for Armed Forces weekend

Councillor Oliver Freeston with swan and goose droppings at Cleethorpes Boating Lake
-Credit: (Image: Donna Clifford/GrimsbyLive)

A Cleethorpes councillor has called for more to be done to make the resort tidy and welcoming for the mass influx of visitors for Armed Forces weekend.

Councillor Oliver Freeston, (Reform, Croft Baker) said the mess left by wildlife around the Boating Lake was "unacceptable" and needs cleaning to leave a good impression to the tens of thousands of visitors expected over the weekend. The Boating Lake area is set to be a focal point for D-Day anniversary commemorations but North East Lincolnshire Council says the issue of bird droppings "is impossible to eradicate and maintain completely".

Councillor Freeston said: "The state of our boating lake is unacceptable. The pavement is covered in geese faeces which is horrible to walk in and presents a real health hazard to young children who go to feed the ducks.


"The council need to pay more attention to the area, they should be regularly jet washing to ensure it is clean and looks presentable. We are in the middle of tourist high season, it looks poor and uninviting to visitors too.

"It is Armed Forces weekend coming up, the area will be full of visitors and locals, it is unfair to expect people to be walking in faeces which simple care and attention would remove.

"I have spoken to local businesses in the area who said it is an issue which they have raised time and time again but it is not addressed.
I task the council to focus on areas like this with their street cleansing team, recognise the importance of Cleethorpes to locals and our tourist trade.

"They say millions of pounds are being invested into Cleethorpes but we are failing to get the basics right. It is an embarrassment during high season to see the Boating Lake suffer such neglect. The council need to clean this area as a priority this week ready for the weekend."

Swan and goose droppings at Cleethorpes Boating Lake
Swan and goose droppings at Cleethorpes Boating Lake -Credit:Donna Clifford/GrimsbyLive

Meanwhile, Cllr Edward Kaczmarek (Labour, Sidney Sussex) said his party had campaigned to see “clean roads, clean streets” at the local elections in May. He said: "It’s still something that the Labour councillors are pushing,” including plans to support local residents and activists in cleaning up the streets and working alongside them.

Regarding the Boating Lake, he said: "Yes there’s a lot of wildlife and they will do their business where they want to." Cllr Kaczmarek also said he would like to see a lot of cleaning, both at the Boating Lake and the Promenade, “especially North Promenade”.

Nathan Taylor, owner of Cleethorpes Kitchen and Taphouse, said staff at his venue have to regularly clean around the entrance way due to the amount of mess that is trailed in by visitors but added it was a "perennial problem".

He told Grimsby Live how North East Lincolnshire Council regularly go around the lake with a machine which washes the faeces back into the lake . "It causes no end of issues. As soon as it is cleared, the wildlife are straight behind them making more mess. It would be nice if it was cleaned more frequently.

"But with the best will in the world it is an impossible task and we understand the constraints on local authorities. This is a perennial problem and gets worse this time of year."

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: "We are constantly trying to keep on top of the level of bird droppings around the Boating Lake. However, with the sheer volume of geese, ducks, swans, pigeons and seagulls in the area it is impossible to eradicate and maintain completely."

They added: "We understand this may not be appealing to visitors, but our Parks and Open Spaces team are doing everything humanly possible to remove as much of the bird droppings as possible."

Ahead of Armed Forces Weekend extra staff will be drafted in to ensure the resort is kept clean. The spokesperson urged people to take their litter home with them and dispose of any litter responsibly. The steps the council will take include:

  • Stationing a waste vehicle on Alexandra Road to cope with extra demand

  • A large bin vehicle parked along the Central Promenade

  • Two smaller vehicles working around the resort at all times

  • The beach will be raked daily from 6am

  • Increasing how often they empty the bins along the seafront from North Promenade to the Fitties with all available staff in place at 6am to clear away any rubbish from the previous day

  • Litter picking on foot for the duration of the event.

Armed Forces champion Alex Baxter said the Armed Forces Major Events Team of volunteers have organised a wide range of displays and attractions for the weekend, along with information stalls.

"We would urge people not to discard their rubbish away by ditching it where they are, but to find a bin. They will be emptied regularly. It would help if visitors could bag it up and take it with them in order to keep Cleethorpes clean," said Mr Baxter.