Fareham council bosses commit to funding £250k sea defence repairs

COUNCIL chiefs have committed to spending £250,000 on shoring up the crumbling sea defences in Hill Head.

Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 6:00 am
The deteriorating sea wall at Hill Head

The move was agreed last night at a meeting of Fareham Borough Council’s executive committee.

It comes after emergency work to repair the damaged defences began last week.

The news has been welcomed by Hill Head councillor Arthur Mandry, who urged council bosses to use some of the authority’s unallocated budget to fund the much-needed improvements.

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He said: ‘The esplanade has been undermined and is collapsing, which would expose the beach huts and the cliffs to greater damage.

‘Repairs are unlikely to attract government funding as there is little risk to life and property.

‘The estimated residual life of these defences is less than 10 years, but recent events have shown this may be reduced to a number of weeks.’

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘It’s fortunate we don’t have properties at risk due to breaches in the sea defence. But we do have the important promenade, the beach huts and an awful lot of people who want to use it.

‘I think we should give the commitment to fund the promenade repairs from our spending reserve.’

As well as offering more support for the sea defence project, the council also agreed on harsher punishments for those who fail to pick up their dogs’ mess or who litter on the streets.

Cabinet members agreed to increase the fine people can receive for these offences following an impassioned plea from councillor Peter Davies.

The Fareham North West councillor said urgent action was needed to clamp down on ‘disgusting behaviour’.

He told the committee: ‘Many residents are just thoroughly disgusted with a small number of our neighbours who don’t know how to live in a community.

‘We need to clamp down and transport to Australia all those who drop litter, all those who allow their dog to foul, all those who fly-tip or dump their shopping trollies.’

Those caught littering will now face a fine of £80, up by £5, while irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up their pet’s filth will be fined £100, up from £75.