Statement on Recent Scenes at Camber Sands

I am horrified by the images coming out of Camber over the last few days. We have already seen packed sand dunes, inconsiderate parking and disrespectful behaviour over the last few months, but this is all growing in intensity in recent days.

As the weather gets warmer more people are wanting to come to Camber for its sandy beaches, which would normally be a token of pride for local residents and businesses. However, given recent scenes, this simply cannot go on.

This morning I have spoken with the local police and been engaging with local authorities at East Sussex County Council, Rother District Council and Camber Parish Council. We are all working closely together to ensure we bring an end to these intolerable scenes. Today the Police are using emergency measures to be able to deal with the traffic flows and ensure we do not see repeat scenes from yesterday.

At points yesterday we had children stuck on school buses, residents taking nearly two hours to travel from Rye to Camber and traffic so gridlocked the police were unable to reach Camber to sort the situation out. People visiting our area need to understand that whilst enjoying our coastline they must show decency and respect to local people. That was evidently lacking yesterday.

A meeting is being convened for tomorrow between the County Council, Police, Highways England, myself and others to work out a way in which we can reduce the numbers coming to Camber; keep our roads clear and ensure those visiting show respect and decency to local residents and businesses.

There is work to be done here and I, and others, are determined to ensure we do something as soon as possible to address the concerns of local residents.

Camber is wonderful place to visit and enjoy, but not at any cost, and local residents and businesses must come first.

Sally-Ann Hart MP