AN OLD shelter which has become a magnet for vandalism is set to be demolished and replaced as part of a £50,000 scheme.

Four wooden shelters in Shoebury Common have been targeted by vandals in recent years and Southend Council is carrying out a project to replace them with new, stronger, metal structures.

Two have already been replaced and now a £50,000 contract is being advertised by Southend Council to replace the third.

A council spokesperson said: “The council is seeking a qualified contractor to dismantle and remove the existing shelter at Shoebury Common and replace it with a new metal-framed structure.

“This project is part of the council’s planned preventative investment and maintenance programme.

“This upgrade will enhance durability and longevity while reducing maintenance needs and providing long-term cost savings.”

The closing date for bidders is July 11 with work expected to start on August 19.

Once all four shelters are done it will have cost the council around £200,000.

Peter Lovett, chairman of Shoebury Residents’ Association, welcomed the work but said other areas are missing out.

He said: “Anything the council does to improve local services and structures in Shoebury is great. However, as we support the whole of Shoebury, so we are concerned that once again, all the structures and services on East Beach have been left out.

“The council has recently installed four new beach access steps on Shoebury Common to replace the old ones, but East Beach, which had all their steps removed with a firm promise of funding, has been totally ignored for three years.”

Mr Lovett added: “We used to have a fantastic team caring for East Beach, who we supported by funding a trolley to collect water from the far end, so they could continue to clear weeds, plant flowers and litter pick.

“They wanted a small security shed which we also funded so they could store equipment, plants and pickers but the council refused to allow any part of this site to be used, so they now volunteer for Trust Links in Shoebury, who have greater respect for their volunteers.”