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A look back at Wirral's Summer Plan successes

With summer 2021 now well and truly a thing of the past, Wirral Council has reflected on the impact of a dedicated Summer Plan put in place to address seasonal issues at some of the area’s popular coastal areas.

The summer months nearly always place a great deal of pressure on Wirral’s coastal resorts as residents and visitors head there in numbers to enjoy the good weather and the numerous attractions.

A larger volume of waste, irresponsible parking and more incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour are just some of the knock-on effects that come with these increased visitor numbers, but all have the potential to spoil people’s day.

This is why the council decided to invest £500,000 in a plan to address some of these problems – and some of the statistics suggest it was money well spent.

Part of the plan was to ensure there were more bulk bins in place in known litter hot-spots and an enhanced street cleansing service, particularly at weekends.

Taking July as a snapshot, the figures show that 40 tonnes of waste was collected and disposed of through a combination of the additional bulk bins and weekend street cleansing – which includes emptying regular street bins. This demonstrates the effectiveness of – and the need for – these additional resources during the busiest periods for coastal resorts.

Incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour also tend to see an increase when there are more people visiting and congregating in coastal areas.

Towards the end of last summer, the council consulted on and successfully implemented two Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) covering parts of New Brighton and West Kirby, which gave enforcement partners additional powers to tackle issues before they escalated to crime or anti-social behaviour.

These measures have contributed to a reduction in the number of reported incidents this summer, compared to last summer, in coastal areas, backed up by a range of other activities undertaken by the council’s Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Team, supported by police and other partners.

Over the summer, the Neighbourhoods Engagement Team co-ordinated 16 PSPO multi-agency Environmental Action Days in coastal locations, backed up by the ‘4 Es’ approach of ‘engage, educate, encourage and enforcement, as a last resort.

There were also four multi-agency ‘Operation Staysafe’ activities to identify any people or groups involved in anti-social or risk-taking behaviour.

Nine unauthorised traveller encampments on council land in coastal areas were engaged with and ultimately ordered to leave.

Between the months April to September 2021, incidents of anti-social behaviour reported across Wirral were lower each month compared to the corresponding time in 2020.

Other elements of the summer plan included:-

  • Parking restrictions and traffic management zones implemented in New Brighton
  • Improved partnership working between the council and agencies such as the police, fire service and RNLI and increased community patrol presence at key points
  • Barriers to prevent vehicles accessing New Brighton Dips
  • The reopening of a number of public toilets - complemented by portable toilets - for emergency and medical use
  • Full operation of the beach lifeguard service provided by the RNLI