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£250,000 repair bill for Wirral's storm damaged sea fronts
10:50am Thursday 9th January 2014 in News
Damage to Wirral’s coastal areas caused in December’s storm will cost council tax payers £250,000 to repair.
Wirral’s Council cabinet will be asked to approve the expenditure from its general fund when it meets next week.
Council leader Phil Davies explained the borough will not qualify for any financial help from the Government.
He said: "It's very frustrating but access to central funds only kicks in if the level needed goes above £900,000."
The storm struck on Thursday, December 5; tonnes of concrete was ripped from sea defence walls while pavements, railings and road signs were torn up when gale force winds created a tidal surge that left a swathe of destruction across coastal towns.
Meols, West Kirby and Hoylake promenades were all affected, but New Brighton’s redeveloped seafront suffered worst.
Destruction: Meols promenade
Shops, supermarkets, restaurants and the Travel Lodge hotel at Marine Point were badly flooded.
Storm damage: New Brighton prom under water
But fears that shopping outlets, restaurants and entertainment venues would be seriously hit in the run-up to Christmas were allayed when a massive clean-up operation involving local authority staff, contractors, emergency services, a major power companies - and a small army of volunteers.
Wall of water: A massive wave crashes into Morrison's
New Brighton councillor Pat Hackett said at the time: “The Spirit of the Blitz was very much in evidence which was great to see.
“Everyone involved did an outstanding job to such an extent that almost all of the businesses hit by the storm have re-opened.”
Work on repairing the structural damage is still on-going.
Councillor Davies said a new Wirral Emergency Volunteer scheme has attracted more than 200 people willing to help out should there be any similar incidents in the future.
"It has been a fantastic response and underlines the tremendous sense of community spirit in Wirral," he said.
Anyone wanting to volunteer should do so online by clicking here or by telephoning 606 2020.
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