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Thirsty tourists left without water as vandals smash seafront taps and pipework

The beach in Frinton. Picture: PETER BASH

The beach in Frinton. Picture: PETER BASH

Citizenside

Tourists to a popular seafront have been left without a water supply in the hot weather after mindless vandals smashed taps and pipework, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

The criminals also targeted a toilet block in the vandalism along the Walton promenade and Frinton stretch of seafront overnight on Friday, July 20.

At least 10 taps and the pipework that connect them were damaged beyond use, with Tendring District Council workers estimating that the cost of repairing the damage will run into thousands of pounds.

Staff from the council’s engineering services went out over the weekend to disconnect the water supply and make the taps safe, while a more thorough assessment of the damage will be carried out this week.

The damage is set to take weeks to repair.

Mick Skeels, Tendring District Council cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said it was a shame the behaviour of a small minority affected so many people.

“This vandalism is absolutely disgraceful and I would encourage anyone who has any information about the perpetrators to tell the police,” Mr Skeels said.

“We believe this is vandalism, rather than metal theft, as the value of the taps and pipework as scrap is negligible.

“We fitted new taps along a lot of our seafronts at the start of the season, and we don’t have the stocks to replace them all immediately – though even if we did, the damage to the pipework will need repairing first.

“The taps are specialised for use on seafronts and to be used for drinking water.

“The really disappointing thing is the impact on the people who enjoy our seafronts the way they are meant to be enjoyed, without causing any trouble.

“These taps are a key part of the service to beach hut owners, and also to others to make sure they keep hydrated and safe while visiting our coastline, along with their pets.

“I would like to apologise to anyone inconvenienced by this, and reassure people that we are working hard to get the water back up and running as soon as we can – but that this may take a few weeks.”

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