Call to evict homeless and thwart drinkers by demolishing ‘disgusting’ beach shelters

Beach Shelters

Anti-social drinkers and the homeless have plagued beach shelters on Bognor Regis prom to the extent that they should be demolished.

That is the claim from one concerned resident who says the council and police have done “absolutely nothing” in a decade since the problem arose.

One of the shelters is a temporary home to two homeless men who have been using the amenity opposite the Waverley for some months.

And while he has every sympathy for their plight, Mark Saunders took to Facebook group Bognor Regis Matters to air his frustration over the problem.

In a heart-felt analysis, he said:

“The promenade was packed with people, on what was a beautiful December day today. Despite this the shelters at the far Western end of the prom were again not able to be used. For what must be ten years now these shelters have been venues for anti-social drinking and after all this time, following what must have been thousands of complaints and much public consultation, the Police and the Council have achieved absolutely nothing in terms of alleviating this problem.”

“At the moment one shelter is littered with cigarette butts and beer cans amidst angry political graffiti and urine, and hasn’t been cleaned for at least four weeks, whilst the other is home to two homeless street drinkers. These two men are respectful and genuine people and have been in contact with the authorities in the hope of resolving their current housing problem, and are still waiting.”

“Now I don’t think anyone is doing these two guys any favours letting them stay where they are in what are fast deteriorating weather conditions and, frankly, I worry about what it will take before they receive the help they so obviously need. So with a heavy heart, and bearing in mind the apathy on the part of the police, Council and Social Services regarding these issues, I ask if it is now time for us to follow the example set by those at the other end of the Prom and have the shelters removed?”

Keith Hardwell, who uses the prom regularly in his role as head coach at Tone Zone Runners, said the shelters were in a disgusting state.

He added:

“One of these gentlemen has a house in Horsham, the other a house in Thailand. True fact.”

“The smell and stench is disgusting. These shelters will fair the same as the one near Butlins. They will be demolished as it’ll be cheaper than the up keep and cleaning of these now health hazards.”

Frustrated Rob James said:

“We do seem to be powerless in this. The police are not interested and the council ‘outreach teams’ don’t seem to be solving the problems either. I despair!”

And Claire Maple said she has now ruled out walking along the prom. She added:

“I walked with my son yesterday afternoon past these shelters from West Park. The men were in one and a group of lads (early 20s) in the other. I will not be walking down there again any time soon.”

About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.