Barbecue 'Armageddon' on Brighton beaches
A pub landlord has called for on-the-spot fines for those flouting council rules against barbecues on the beaches and open spaces of Brighton and Hove.
Chris Taylor said he was on the seafront on Wednesday evening, where hundreds of barbecues were making the scene "look like Armageddon".
"There was thick, heavy, acrid-smelling lighter fuel-infused smoke all the way across the seafront," he said.
The city council said it had no powers to enforce the barbecue bylaws.
Barbecues are not allowed between the two Brighton piers or any of the beaches between Fourth Avenue and Hove Street or on Hove lawns, the promenade or the surrounding rules.
Barbecues are allowed on other beaches after 6pm.
Mr Taylor, landlord of The Greys, in Southover Street, said he saw barbecues in areas where they were not allowed, some only a few feet from signs banning them.
He said he and his wife were intending to visit one of the bars or cafes on the seafront but had gone to Shoreham instead.
"There were lots of other people standing and looking aghast at what was happening before their eyes and noses," he said, adding that there should be penalties, such as on-the-spot fines, for people flouting the rules.
"They can do it with traffic wardens and parking so why can't they give people the power to do that down here?"
Brighton and Hove City Council said the barbecue rules were intended to encourage beach users to behave in a safe and considerate way.
Seafront officer Jay Hunter said: "We have no legal power. We can't issue on-the-spot fines.
"It's how we approach people. We have to manage each situation as it comes and do our very best to try and get through to that person the rules and regulations."