Sunday Snippets, 1 October 2023

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from Birkenhead News. It is a round-up of important local news stories from the last seven days. Click or tap on each story to read the full article.

Girl who died in M53 coach crash named

The family of a 15-year-old girl who died following a road traffic collision on the M53 in Wirral on Friday 29 September have issued a photograph of her. 

Jessica Baker sadly died as a result of the collision on the M53 northbound carriageway on Friday. 

The coach driver, Stephen Shrimpton, aged 40, passed away after it was reported that a bus had struck a reservation near Junction 5 and overturned.

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Family pay tribute to man who died in M53 coach crash

The family of a bus driver who sadly died on Friday 29 September, in a fatal road traffic collision on the M53 in Wirral have issued a tribute.

Stephen Shrimpton, aged 40, passed away after it was reported that a bus had struck a reservation near Junction 5 and overturned.

In a tribute his family said, “Stephen sadly passed away in a traffic accident. Stephen was a loving husband and father to his wife and his wonderful children, a caring and thoughtful man who would always prioritise others over himself. Stephen will be sadly missed by all his friends and family. The family have requested privacy at this devastating time.”

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All articles relating to the M53 tragedy

Victory for St Mary’s Catholic College students at The National Careers Challenge

Three students from St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey were victorious as they were crowned winners at The National Careers Challenge.

Across the country, over 40,000 students entered The National Careers Challenge, with over 300 schools involved in the final.

The Year 8 team from St Mary’s Catholic College team consisted of three students, Manny Edwards, Harry Kneen, and Jake Atkinson.

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Wirral launches £10m Birkenhead to Liscard cycling and walking project

Wirral Council is beginning a major public consultation and engagement exercise to gather people’s views on a significant regeneration project that aims to encourage more people to walk, cycle, or wheel for short journeys along a route connecting two of the borough’s busiest town centres.

The Birkenhead to Liscard scheme is the first part of the Liverpool City Region Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure project (LCWIP) proposed to be delivered in Wirral.

It would extend across a 3.5-mile-long route running from Chester Street, Birkenhead, connecting Hamilton Square station, Woodside Ferry, Wirral Waters, Seacombe Ferry Terminal, Eureka! Science and Discovery Museum and Liscard town centre.

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Family pay tribute to retired Wirral teacher killed in Morocco earthquake

The family of Wirral man, David Barden, who died in the Moroccan earthquake, have spoken of their devastation at the loss of a “wonderfully warm and special man.”

David, who lived in Oxton, was a retired educator and was visiting Morocco as part of a mammoth cycling charity fundraiser.

A keen cyclist all his life, the 71-year-old had cycled all over the world, raising thousands of pounds for charity and documenting his adventures in public talks, feature articles and his blog 

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Fundraiser set up to save Woodchurch Leisure Centre from demolition

A call has gone out for help to save a Wirral leisure centre deemed “one of the few things the community has got left.”

A fundraiser has been set up by Woodchurch Wellbeing, a community group looking to take over Woodchurch Leisure Centre. Wirral Council closed the site in 2022 following massive budget cuts as it heavily subsidised keeping it open.

The leisure centre was closed alongside nine libraries, five public toilets, and two golf courses. Some of these have moved through a process where community groups or companies take over running them and Woodchurch Wellbeing hopes to do the same.

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CQC explains why it has not closed ‘inadequate’ Wallasey care home

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has explained why it has not looked to close down a Wirral care home that has been rated inadequate for more than two years.

Sandrock Nursing Home in Wallasey has been rated inadequate four times and placed in special measures by the CQC since April 2021. Before this it had been in and out of being rated inadequate since June 2017 though it was rated “Good” in April 2019.

Wirral Council has also suspended putting people under its care since July 2021 due to quality of care concerns about the home. This has been made public due to a new policy brought in by the council to address poor care home standards.

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Wirral tips set for winter opening schedule

From Sunday 1 October, Wirral’s recycling centres will be open for winter hours from 8.00am until 5.00pm – changing from the summer hours of 8.00am to 8.00pm.

There are 16 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the Liverpool City Region. They are operated by Veolia on behalf of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA).

Lesley Worswick, Chief Executive of MRWA, said, “We shorten the hours over the winter to coincide with the darker nights over the forthcoming months.”

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Record fair returns to Pacific Road

VOD Music returns to Birkenhead on Saturday 21 October for its second record fair of the year at Pacific Road.

The Record Fair will see the venue filled with 32 stalls, with music from all genres and across all formats including vinyl, CDs, and cassettes, as well as merchandise, memorabilia, and Hi-Fi.

There will also be DJ sets throughout and refreshments available from ‘Ginger Cat Coffee’.

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Public control of region’s buses expected to be signed off next week

Buses could come back into public control across the Liverpool City Region for the first time in a generation after proposals were overwhelmingly backed in a consultation.

When the region’s combined authority meets at Mann Island next week, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram could sign off on proposals for a franchising model that would take the power to set fares and routes back.

Should the move go ahead, the city region will become just the second area outside London to run a publicly operated network.

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Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride announces 2024 return

After a hugely successful 30th anniversary LCL Bike Ride this year which saw a phenomenal 2750+ cyclists take to the streets of Liverpool, The Wirral and Chester, Pennine Events have announced that the event will be returning once again on 7 July 2024. Early-bird tickets for 2024 are on sale now. 

The Liverpool Chester Liverpool Bike Ride has become a firm fixture in the Merseyside events calendar, welcoming people of all ages and skill levels to challenge themselves while taking in the beautiful surroundings of the local regions and raising money for a good cause.

The classic LCL route, which gives the event its name, is a 50-mile bike ride that passes through Liverpool City Centre, Wirral, and Chester. It is a wonderfully scenic route that will put riders to the test without overwhelming them with too many tricky obstacles. 

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Wirral Council to face huge financial pressure in coming years

Wirral Council may find it “impossible” to avoid bankruptcy in three years.

A council report on the local authority’s budget position ahead of a Policy and Resources committee meeting on 4 October said that in the financial year from April 2026 to 2027, current projections “would likely make it impossible to balance the budget at this point given the low level of reserves that are currently held.”

This is due to the latest assumptions around changes to social care provision as well as a current surplus provision for the Merseyside Pension Fund which is due to end that year.

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Time capsule installed at new £25m surgical centre in Clatterbridge

A time capsule has been installed at Cheshire and Merseyside Surgical Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital during phase two of the project. 

The metal capsule contains items specially chosen by staff at the centre to mark this year, including mementoes, pictures, newspapers, and personal messages.

Joining staff and contractors as the capsule was delivered to the site, Hayley Kendall, Chief Operating Officer at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH), said, “All the items in the time capsule have a special meaning to the staff who selected them.”

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Wirral councillor calls for ‘prohibitive’ fines for parents to curb term-time holidays

A Wirral councillor said fines for parents should be “so prohibitive” they don’t take their children on holiday during term time.

Conservative councillor Kathy Hodson made the comments at a Wirral Council children and education committee following concerns raised by Labour councillor Stephen Bennett over the cost of penalty notices given out to parents for school absence due to the rising cost of living.

Overall attendance has dropped by 2.7% in Wirral with the biggest reason for school absences being illness but the local authority can’t issue fines for this reason.

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Tranmere convincingly beaten at Wimbledon

Ali Al-Hamadi scored a hat-trick as AFC Wimbledon secured their first home victory of the League Two campaign, staging a comeback to convincingly defeat Tranmere Rovers.

Nigel Adkins selected an unchanged starting eleven from the previous week’s triumph against Accrington Stanley, and the sole modification to the squad was Lee O’Connor’s return to the bench, replacing the injured Chris Merrie.

Right from the outset, Rovers displayed their attacking intent, with Sam Taylor narrowly missing the target with his shot, delivered by a Josh Hawkes cross, just two minutes into the match.

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Wirral Police weekly news round-up

This is the Birkenhead News weekly round-up of police activity in and around Wirral during the previous seven days.

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What’s On? Guide

Visit our “What’s On?” guide for Wirral and the surrounding areas in the coming weeks.

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