CALPE is targeting people who nip down early to the beach, bagging prime spots with towels and sun-beds.
They then go back to their apartment or hotel, often not returning until mid-morning. Meanwhile other sunbathers and swimmers are obliged to respect the unofficial “reserved” signs and must place their own towels and beach umbrellas elsewhere.
The town hall is determined to stamp out the practice and has introduced bylaws covering “abusive use of the seashore.” These allow the Policia Local and beach-cleaning personnel to remove towels, deckchairs, sun-lounger and beach umbrellas left on the beaches before 9.30am.
“We are aware of complaints about this from complaints received at the town’s information points and on the social networking sites,” said Jan van Parijs, councillor responsible for Beaches and Tourism.
As well as irritating other beachgoers, the practice makes life doubly difficult for the beach-cleaners who carry out their work each day between 4 and 9.30am.
“With these new regulations we want to be able to clean and rake the beaches without the hindrance of umbrellas, towels and sun-beds,” Van Parijs explained.
All the removed items will be taken to the Deposito Municipal where owners can later reclaim them.