SCORCHING summer sun and mercury-rising temperatures have been the icing on the cake of an extraordinary year for Littlehampton’s east beach.
In the past few months the town’s treasured coastline has basked in national acclaim, as one of only two in West Sussex to receive the prestigious Blue Flag award for cleanliness.
It has also been celebrated in several articles across a number of national newspapers.
And now, as the summer seasons draws to a close after such an impressive year, Terence Chapman, the chairman of Arun District Council, has praised all those who helped to keep Littlehampton’s coastline well and truly on the map.
Cllr Chapman said: “I would like to convey my thanks to everyone who has been working so hard and with great enthusiasm to provide residents, visitors and their families with such a fantastic experience on Arun’s beaches this summer.
“We have been extremely lucky with the weather over the school holidays and it is a credit to the council and its contractors that we have been able to deliver this wonderful service to the thousands of people who travel to the district’s award-winning beaches, parks and nearby attractions and events each year.”
Cllr Chapman met the council’s foreshore and cleansing staff and contractors, who work on the district’s coastline, last week.
Arun’s foreshore inspectors are fully trained to deal with accidents and emergencies on the beaches and operate a ‘kid care’ armband scheme to quickly reunite lost children with their families.
They have enjoyed a successful partnership with the RNLI in Littlehampton, which became the 200th beach to be patrolled by the charity’s lifeguards, in May.
On Sunday, members of the West Kent Freemasons donated a new boat to the lifeguards which will help keep the beach even safer in years to come (see page 16).
The foreshore team works in partnership with the council’s cleansing staff and contractors Biffa, to keep the coastline clean.
Seasonal foreshore inspector Paul Booth patrols in Littlehampton. He admitted he was proud to hear about how successful the town’s shores have become.
He said: “As a local man it’s a great opportunity to work at the seafront throughout the summer months, giving advice and assistance to local people and tourists alike.
“We cover a wide range of work from first aid, lost and found children and giving advice on tide times and general beach safety. It’s a really rewarding job that we all enjoy doing well and hope to return to next season.”
The Mirror and The Mail on Sunday newspapers have both featured Littlehampton in ‘top British beaches’ lists, while The Times recently featured the iconic East Beach Café in a list of top British eateries.