Posted on March 16, 2017
By Ollie Cowan, Champion
Contractors could charge as much as £40 million to dredge the Marine Lake of a huge build up of rubbish.
Prams, trolleys and bikes are all known to be littering the Marine Lake bed on the promenade – a regularly recurring act of wanton vandalism – and the build up of rubbish is having a suspected detrimental affect on the local wildlife.
Councillors are now set to discuss a new report into what it would take to dredge the Marine Lake, with one option leaving them with a bill of anywhere between £0 million and £40 million.
A Sefton Council report to the Southport Area Committee, said: “To dredge the lake would have a significant effect on the lake users, the sailing program would be significantly disrupted affecting club membership.
“Contact has been made with one of the UKs most experienced aquatic management companies in order to establish the costs of dredging.
“There would be two options for the dredging process, either hydraulic dredging to local land or mechanical dredging with the material being taken away.
“The estimated cost for hydraulic dredging is £4.5 million; this would require the silt to be pumped onto local land. Due to the makeup of the silt and surrounding land this method would not be possible, therefore the alternative option is mechanical dredging.
“Mechanical dredging is more expensive as it requires the silt to be taken away in order for it to be disposed.
“The estimate cost for this process is circa £20 – £40 million. As a guide its costs around £66.00 per tonne of material to take away, this is not including removing the silt, plant and labour.
“The lake is filled and emptied via a sluice gate co-ordinated around high tides. This means when the lake is filled with water new sediment is brought in, the reverse happens when the lake is emptied.”
Cllr Sue Mcguire, leader of the Lib Dems, said: “This is absolutely ridiculous. I’m shocked at the brevity and lack of detail in the report.
“The cost quoted of between £20 to £40 million is ludicrous; it includes no breakdown of costs no information on the length of time it would take, the amount of silt present or the equipment that would be required.
“This report cannot be considered a serious proposal rather an excuse by Sefton Council to kick this idea into the long grass.
“There are many other things that £40 million could be spent on that would be of more benefit to the residents and businesses of Southport.”
Dukes ward councillor David Barton said: “As someone who used to row on the Marine lake during his youth I would suggest a more open dialogue with local stakeholders such as Merchant Taylors’ Schools to best deliver on behalf of the local community.”