CALLS for a reality check on ecological issues surrounding a planned flood wall in West Kirby have sparked a councillors' war of words.

Hoylake and Meols Conservative Andrew Gardner and West Kirby Conservative Geoffrey Watt had expressed concerns about the possible design and material to be used in the wall, echoing fears from locals that it could 'have a huge carbon impact' and lead to a fall in footfall to the town.

They also called for an 'urgent' Marine Lake dredge and clean up.

But Cllr Liz Grey, Labour cabinet member for environment and climate change, said the wall's purpose was to protect hundreds of homes sea levels that are expected to rise over the next 100 years. She added that suggestions from a recent public consultation would be used to shape how the flood wall will look.

Cllr Andrew Gardner said: "The proposed flood defences will have a huge carbon impact.

"The council is about to pour several thousand tonnes of concrete onto South Parade and needs to do better environmentally with this.

"Wirral's ruling cabinet has been tweeting all over the beaches this summer but it's time they got on with the real job at hand.

"It's all very well promising inquiries into their own failure on the Hilbre fire and patting themselves on the back about protecting the Marine Lake from flakes of paint, but that's the tip of the iceberg."

Councillor Watt said: "Many locals do not like the look of the proposed wall and traders are worried about a further decline in footfall.

"Electric car charging points would increase eco-traffic and offset the carbon in the wall.

"Surely it's possible to make this massive project more attractive, more environmentally sound and better for West Kirby?"

He continued: "In the real world, we urgently need funding for a Marine Lake dredge and clean up – that is an environmental priority for everyone in West Kirby".

Cllr Liz Grey, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: "The reality is that the flood wall is being built in order to protect 70 properties that are at risk of flooding from the sea now, and around 500 more over the next 100 years as sea levels rise due to the climate emergency we are in.

"That risk - to property, to the local economy and potentially to life - has to be considered a priority for the council.

"West Kirby residents and other interested people from further afield have been very active in the consultation process that has been conducted about this scheme over the last 18 months and their suggestions around the aesthetics and design of the structure are very much still shaping how the final flood wall will look."