TRADERS in Hoylake are raising a stink over a council crackdown on roadside bins during the Open Golf Championship.
They have been told they must find somewhere else to store their waste containers for the whole of July when the tournament rolls into town.
Shops and bars who leave bins in Charles Road - which runs parallel to the main thoroughfare of Market Street - have received letters from Wirral Council informing them their trade-sized wheelies "will be removed” from July 1.
More than 200,000 golf fans are expected to flood into the area, and the issue of the Charles Road bins was identified as something that “must be addressed” following the last Open in 2006, when police and fire services reported it as “potentially posing a hazard” to pedestrians.
The letter, signed by senior enforcement officer Rob Cain, tells traders: “You have a legal duty to make proper and adequate provision for the storage and disposal of waste generated in the course of your business.
“Businesses do not have any inherent right or permission to store or present any waste on the public highway.”
Some shopkeepers have an agreement with the council to leave their bins on Charles Road, as there is no practical alternative place to store them.
But this will be suspended.
“Regrettably it will not be possible to continue with this arrangement for the duration of July and you must arrange an alternative means of storing your waste for this period,” says the letter.
Kate Verdin-Walsh, proprietor of Vanilla Lounge, said she’ll struggle to find an alternative.
Kate told the Globe she has been “battling” with the town hall over bin storage for several years.
She said: “I don’t know what the council expects us to do.
“We all have to have bins, and if it was just for a short period of time, we could do some lifts to the tip.
“But for the whole of July, that’s going to be a problem.
“We’re lucky we have an outdoor area where we can pull a couple of bins into.
"Even then, they’re going to be where customers are drinking or eating and that’s far from ideal.”
Stuart Hallam, owner of Maccomb’s Pet Store, also received the letter.
He said: “We have been told to shift the bin for the golf - or else.
“But we don’t have anywhere else to put it.
“We now know we have to get rid of it, so our only option is to put rubbish in the car and take it over to the tip at West Kirby.
"But that is soon going to get expensive.”
Stuart's wife, Ruth, said: "It is ridiculous - we don't even have anywhere for a domestic bin because the council took that away."
A Wirral Council spokesman said: “The return of the Open Championship in July is a huge event for Wirral and the council, along with local traders and residents, are keen to show the borough in the best possible light.
“Commercial waste bins in the area of Charles Road have been highlighted by police as potentially posing a hazard to members of the public.
“A significant amount of people are expected in Hoylake for the competition, so we have contacted businesses to ask them to work with the council to put preparations in place to manage their waste and keep it off the public highway for the duration of July.
“Businesses now have ample time to plan for storing and disposing of their waste and help to improve the local environment during what will be a very busy period.
The spokesman said it was not the local authority’s responsibility to deal with collections of commercial bins: “Most businesses will use private companies for their collections.
"It is not our responsibility – our responsibility is to make sure the highway is kept clear."
Domestic bin collections will take place as normal throughout July.
UPDATE: Wirral Council said this evening: "While it is the businesses’ responsibility to make appropriate arrangements, the council is actually in the process of identifying an alternative and practical location for their bins.”