IMPASSABLE: Problem alleyways in Wirral
The alleyway shared by Kenilworth Road, Mulberry Grove and Myrtle Grove in Seacombe, Image: LDRS
Overgrown weeds, vermin and fly-tipping are blighting alleyways in one part of Wirral, according to a local councillor.
Labour’s Paul Stuart, who represents Seacombe, said the problem was so severe that some alleyways in his ward had become “impassable”.
Cllr Stuart is calling on Biffa, the company contracted to deal with bins and alleyways by Wirral Council, to sort it out.
He added: “Over the last few months, many residents have contacted me concerning the overgrown weeds and vegetation in the alleyways, causing accessibility issues, attracting vermin, and encouraging fly-tipping.
“I have asked council officers to conduct a full investigation into why the alleyways across the Seacombe area have got into such a state.”
The Labour member suggested one reason the problem has become so bad could have been Covid-19, however he has regularly voiced concerns over the state of Seacombe’s alleyways.
Cllr Stuart said: “I’m aware that street cleansing resources have been re-prioritised because of the implications Covid-19 has had on operations.
“Nevertheless, I and my fellow ward councillors and residents have repeatedly flagged the deteriorating position in the alleyways.”
An email sent by a Wirral Council officer reveals the council’s frustration with Biffa’s handling of the issue.
It read: “Discussions are continuing with Biffa’s management team about the condition of the alleyways and obvious lack of management to them.
“The Covid pandemic may have caused a prioritisation of operations such [as] street and alleyway cleansing, however we are trying to get to the bottom of why Biffa did not inform [us] of the position developing in Seacombe.
“As Cllr Stuart pointed out there are contractual implications against delivery of specifications, and this is what we are in discussions with Biffa about.”
The officer also apologised for the state of the alleyways.
The email continued: “I wish to apologise to you [councillors] and the local residents for the condition they [Seacombe’s alleyways] are now in and following an assessment of the area it is clear that a sizeable task needs to be undertaken to address the condition of the alleyways across the area.”
The officer revealed that the problem will take about three months to solve, with an extra month built into the programme for contingency in case issues such as staff absences due to Covid-19 arise.
To improve the state of Seacombe’s alleyways, the officer said that cutbacks will be carried out to clear vegetation.
Regular meetings will be held to make sure progress is being made, with reports detailing how far workers have got in solving the problem produced.
Biffa was approached for comment.
Words: George Morgan, Local Democracy Reporter
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