Wirral Council announces plans for £175,000 investment into cleaner beaches
(Published on 05/03/2019)
Residents could soon see £175,000 invested in the cleaning and maintenance of Wirral’s many beaches. With more than 25 miles of coastline to cover, the plans are to introduce state-of-the-art machinery set to leave the borough’s beaches sparkling.
Currently, the beaches are maintained, alongside the efforts of fabulous volunteer litter pickers, by the use of heavy beach cleaning machinery. If plans go ahead the funds will see the procurement of a heavy-duty five tonne trailer to keep the areas spick-and-span.
This latest investment forms part of the budget proposals considered by Wirral Council's ruling cabinet on Monday, February 18. Cllr Anita Leech, cabinet member for environment said:
“This is an exciting investment as residents will be able to see the difference in beach cleanliness thanks to the new machinery. Ensuring that all beaches are cleaned to a high standard is a major priority as, as we are a peninsula, we need to cover a lot of coastline.”
The specifications for the suitable replacement tractor with loader and beach cleaner itself amount to an approximate value of £150,000. The remaining funds earmarked for running, servicing and machine maintenance costs throughout the year, alongside additional specialist instruments used to effectively run the machinery such as diagnostic computer equipment.
Due to the nature of the environment within which the equipment will be deployed, it is essential that correct equipment is specified, sourced and used so as to maximise the life span of the devices and value for money.
The current machinery, used for the last eight years, has been refurbished and repaired many times, as is standard practice for this sort of equipment. However, due to multiple issues including corrosion and salt water/sand abrasion, further repairs are now deemed uneconomic. All of Wirral’s beaches will benefit from the new machinery.
While dedicated volunteer groups tirelessly comb many of these spaces already, the beach cleaning process is a vital part of the service provided by Wirral’s Parks and Countryside teams. A loading shovel on the tractor is used when items of debris are too large to be collected by the cleaner or by hand. In addition, there are often items that have washed up which need to removed quickly (such as dead animals) for health and safety reasons. Cllr Leech continued:
“The investment will ensure the people of Wirral and our visitors and friends can enjoy the clean and attractive surroundings of our seaside towns and villages, especially during the summer months when our coastlines are visited by people from all over the UK.”
The equipment will be based at Frankby but will travel to where cleaning is required across Wirral including West Kirby, Meols, Hoylake and Wallasey.