A PUB firm came under fire after taking three weeks to remove illegally dumped waste containing asbestos.
The rubbish – made up of plastic sacks filled with building materials – was left at the rear of the vacant Stanley Arms pub in Eastham on August 10.
Concerned Eastham resident David Cox, who saw two men drive up to the site and unload the waste from their van, contacted Wirral Council the same day after noticing what appeared to be asbestos fibres in the bags.
They were finally removed last Friday after the council served a legal notice on landowner Enterprise Inns.
Wirral Council told the News the rubbish was on private land, meaning the onus was on Enterprise to clear it.
It confirmed there “appeared” to be asbestos waste present.
But Mr Cox, who lives adjacent to the pub, said he was angry it took so long for the matter to be resolved.
He said: “It may be private land but it’s accessible to the public, which I couldn’t seem to get into anyone’s head at the council.
“I don’t think it’s right and proper to leave something there for that long. People have dragged their heels over this and didn’t move as they should have done.
“It’s just not good enough. It’s completely unacceptable.”
Enterprise Inns has promised to beef up security at the pub, which has been empty for six months, and said barriers would be erected to stop people accessing the site.
Wirral Council has launched an investigation in a bid to find out who dumped the rubbish.
Eastham Cllr Phil Gilchrist said: “I agree that the time taken to remove the building rubble, corrugated roofing, timber and bedding is too great.
“The premises have been empty for some time and security has been increased.
“It may well be one of many empty buildings on their books, but it’s in the heart of a conservation area, close to properties, and the company need to recognise this.
“The tipping is not the fault of the company but irresponsible elements. There are, after all, proper ways and local sites to deal with waste.”
A spokesman for Enterprise Inns said: “We have spoken with the council directly and can confirm the rubbish has now been removed and we will put some temporary barriers in place to stop people driving onto the property while it is closed.
“It is our intention to refurbish the pub and look forward to welcoming the community back to a pub they will be proud of.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Streetscene is investigating the tipping of the material and that investigation is ongoing.
“In terms of getting it cleared, it was on private land which is owned or managed by Enterprise Inns.
“Our environmental health team have been liaising with them to get the material shifted.”
Cllr Brian Kenny, cabinet member for the environment, said the council had been asking Enterprise to remove the waste.
He said the notice served on the company would have given the council the power to remove the waste as a matter of urgency if it had failed to comply.