A POPULAR pub has hit back at claims its customers left huge amounts of rubbish on a beach.

Bosses at The Peterboat, in Leigh, say people are misinformed and in fact their staff spent hours clearing the mess left on the seafront along Leigh and Southend after each day over the busy bank holiday weekend.

Daytrippers had slammed the pub on social media and blamed it for making the mess.

But Paul Barthaud, director of East Anglia Pub Company, the firm behind the pub in Leigh, said: “This is rubbish on public land and nothing to do with The Peterboat.

“We have done this every day for about ten years.

“We do it as we believe it’s the right thing to do.

“We are appalled and disgusted and want people to understand and support us in our efforts to clean the area.

“Regarding criticisms over plastic and not glass, we use it for safety reasons.”

The 48-year-old added any mess is out of the pub’s control but staff will always do their bit to keep the seafront tidy.

He also alleged his staff are regularly abused and spat as they attempt to tidy the area.

The pub boss comments come as tens of thousands of people flocked to the south Essex coast for the scorcher Easter bank holiday and the Southend Shakedown. Southend Council said it added extra bins.

The pub posted a full comment online saying: "The Peterboat are overwhelmed with the response on social media regarding the abuse of the public areas in Leigh-On-Sea over the bank holiday weekend, however there has been misinformation and conjecture in relation to The Peterboat. As such, East Anglia Pub Company will be issuing a full statement later this week.

"Having operated The Peterboat for in excess of 10 years, we appreciate that there is a high usage of the public areas/sea wall adjacent to our premises, and we therefore endeavour to maintain this public area ensuring it is kept clean and tidy to the best of our ability. We employee staff during peak season to permanently patrol and clean this area, you will often see them in our hi-vis jackets along the public areas of the sea wall and the beach below. We also provide and empty additional litter bins on and off of our premises.

"The photographs used in various social media posts over the weekend have been taken before our staff began clearing the public areas - due to the risk of projectile objects and other health and safety concerns we only permit our staff to clear the beach area below the sea wall from dusk, before the tide.

"These photographs have prompted further discussions regarding our use of plastic straws and glasses. The Peterboat do not use plastic straws or stirrers, for over a year Repa straws (which are fully biodegradable) have been used by the site. The use of single use plastic cups is not a decision made by The Peterboat, it is a requirement for us to use these by the council and applies to all venues in Old Leigh. This being said, we are currently looking into alternative, viable options with the hope the council will aid us in this endeavour.

"We will release a further statement regarding this in the coming days.

"Thank you,
The Peterboat"