New machines to fight litter on the beaches

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Fort Perch Rock at New Brighton Beach. Pic © Harry Leahey JMU Journalism

Wirral’s beaches are to benefit from a £175,000 investment in new state-of-the-art machinery, which will be used around the peninsula to keep them clean.

Already the council has been using heavy-duty cleaning equipment for the past eight years, but following issues of corrosion they have become almost unusable.

Rather than using funds to carry out more refurbishment and repair work, a proposition was agreed for new machinery instead.

According to the council, replacing the current kit will be a newer and future-proof beach cleaner, which will be loaded onto the back of a replacement tractor.

Altogether, the equipment is expected to cost £150,000, with the additional £25,000 being used for running, servicing and maintenance costs throughout the year.

Councillor Anita Leech, cabinet member for the 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.”

YouTube: Harry Leahey

As well as the equipment, the council already has local voluntary groups do what they can to keep Wirral’s beaches clean too.  One of them is The New Brighteners, set up to keep New Brighton’s beaches and its surrounding area litter-free.

Chris Cureton, who is one of the committee members for The New Brighteners, welcomes the plans but admitted to having some reservations. He told JMU Journalism: “In principle the idea is fantastic and as a group, we wholeheartedly welcome this investment.

“In the past, the frequency New Brighton beach has been visited has been ad hoc at the very least – particularly after hot weekends and bank holidays. As avid beach cleaners we see this aftermath and just roll our sleeves up and get on with it. It would be really useful if we had a direct line to request the machine to attend.

“We need to know how often the cleans will occur and also a contact for rapid response to isolated mass litterings.”

The new equipment will be based in Frankby but will be deployed to all of Wirral’s beaches when needed, including New Brighton, West Kirby, and Hoylake.

About Harry Leahey, JMU Journalism