Sunday Snippets, 12 November 2023

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

Remembrance services to take place across Wirral today

Wirral will fall silent as residents gather to remember the fallen at Remembrance Sunday services taking place across the borough on 12 November.

The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Jerry Williams, will lead the Civic Service, which starts at 10.55am at the Cenotaph in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead.

A two-minute silence will be observed at 11am, followed by a traditional Service of Remembrance, taken by the Vicar of Birkenhead Priory Parish, Rev. Paul Bentley. The reading and blessing will be given by the Bishop of Birkenhead, the Rt. Revd. Julie Conalty.

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New mural celebrating Wirral Scouts unveiled in Seacombe

Street artist, Paul Curtis, has over two hundred murals on display around the region, so when Wirral scouts wanted an artwork of their very own, they knew Paul was the person for the job.

The piece entitled, #SkillsForLife, measures 72 square metres and is situated on Brighton Street in Seacombe. The image was designed with the help of young Scouts, including the two members featured in the final composition, Birkenhead Explorer, Jack and West Wirral Scout, Beatrice.

The picture hopes to represent fun, unity, inclusion and pride; the repeated themes young people wanted to focus on during the design process. When the Scouts Association was set up in 1907 it was originally exclusively for boys but now it welcomes all.

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Port Sunlight War Memorial conservation work completed

Remembrance Sunday sees the reopening of one of the most significant War Memorials in the country, following months of vital conservation work to protect it.

Port Sunlight’s War Memorial – called Defence of the Realm – is one of the largest in the UK and is Grade I listed. It is owned and looked after by Port Sunlight Village Trust, an independent charity which aims to preserve the famous ‘model village’ in Wirral.

Port Sunlight was created in the late 19th century according to the vision of William Lever, who wanted to provide beautiful and sanitary housing for the soap factory workers of his Lever Brothers company, which later became Unilever. The village is arguably the finest surviving example of early urban planning in the UK.

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Autism Together seeks community input for Bromborough Pool Village restoration

Wirral charity, Autism Together, is calling on the local community to share their thoughts on the restoration and development of a number of listed buildings in historic Bromborough Pool Village.

Earlier this year, Riverside Housing gifted three of those buildings to Autism Together – the Grade II-listed Enterprise Centre, Giles Shirley Hall, and the former St Matthew’s Church building.

Now the charity wants to undertake some much-needed repairs to the buildings while looking to provide greater community access to the Enterprise Centre (the village’s former school building) and Giles Shirley Hall.

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Wirral Council delays £12m spend on new Birkenhead market until 2024

Wirral Council has moved spending nearly £12m back a year on building a new Birkenhead Market.

The money due to be spent this year will be moved back to the council’s building works budget for the next financial year 2024-25. It comes after weeks of uncertainty about the market’s future and the council’s plans for it.

At a policy and resources committee meeting on 8 November, the local authority’s finance director Matthew Bennett also said the whole budget for the market will need to be reviewed.

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REVIEW: The Harry Beswick – a ‘criminally good’ dining experience at former police station

New pub on the block, The Harry Beswick in Heswall – whose name pleasingly seems to evoke the syllables of its location – is named after the architect who designed the old police station.

Local lad Beswick, son of a schoolmaster, was born in Chester in 1856 and developed quite a line in designing civic buildings – church halls, schools, and more than his fair share of police stations, including, in 1911, the handsome redbrick and sandstone nick in Heswall.

Vacant for several years, Hydes Brewery, whose portfolio boasts interesting and original buildings and includes The Boat House in Parkgate, attempted to purchase the plot a few years ago BC (before Covid) and finally secured it this year.

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Improvement works start at Ashton Park

The popular lake in Ashton Park, West Kirby is undergoing a restoration programme that began this week.

Wirral Council has commissioned Ebsford Environmental Ltd to carry out works which will include desilting of the lake, grading of the lake bed, and disposal off-site of items that shouldn’t be in the lake.

The aim is to improve water quality within the lake, which will in turn enhance the biodiversity of the area for the local wildlife and the community.

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£150K funding secured for The Oval’s swimming pool

Nearly £150,000 of government funding has been secured to help with the day-to-day running of the Oval Leisure Centre’s swimming pool.

The council successfully bid for the money as part of the first round of funding from the Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund.

The funding is intended to offset some of the 2023/4 cost increases and operational costs at the Oval including energy, water, swimming pool chemicals, and cleaning supplies.

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Artists and makers to host Oxton Open Studios weekend

The third Oxton Open Studios event will see four studios and 10 artists and makers take part in the event.

All studios are within a few minutes walk from Oxton Village, where you can browse, chat to the artists, or buy original pieces across every price range.

In addition, the resident artists and invited guests of Wellington Road Arts Studio will be open for its, ’Made for Christmas’ event, where you will find a warm welcome and a good selection of artisan gifts.

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Birkenhead MP criticises government maths error costing Wirral schools £2.5m

Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley lambasted “the Conservatives’ staggering mathematical incompetence” which will see schools in Wirral lose nearly two and a half million pounds next year.

The Department for Education last month acknowledged that it had miscalculated the amounts of funding due to be granted to state schools in England next year, admitting to a £370m error in the information they gave schools in July.

Analysis of updated funding figures released by Labour has found that schools in Wirral will be on average £22,121 worse off or £52 per pupil down next year due to the Conservatives’ school budget maths bungle.

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‘Encouraging interest’ in new Birkenhead offices from several potential occupiers

All but one floor of Mallory will be occupied by Wirral Council for its new civic headquarters, with the top floor extending to 19,377 square feet available to the market. 

Lettings agent Neil Kirkham of CBRE says early interest in Irvine is very encouraging, with talks underway with several potential occupiers.

“The office specification is as good as any asset across the regional market and the flexibility of the floorplates makes the building ideal for a wide range of occupiers,” said Kirkham.

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Tomorrow’s Women Wirral to hold Violence Against Women and Girls event

Tomorrow’s Women (TW) is a charity led by women for women. They offer any adult woman who is aged 18+ a safe and female-only environment where they can access advice, support and guidance to make positive lifestyle changes.

Tomorrow’s Women aims to help women make these lifestyle changes by reducing the personal, social, health and economic disadvantages women face by working in partnership with other agencies and organisations.

Tomorrow’s Women offers support to women who have suffered domestic abuse, with in-house courses to help them set healthy boundaries for the future and allow them to build confidence. They also have solicitors who specialise in this area should women need that kind of support.

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Wirral charity launches new eating disorder service

A “revolutionary” Wirral charity is hoping to help those “falling through the cracks” with its new eating disorder service.

The Open Door Charity, which operates out of the Bloom Building in Birkenhead, provides mental help support to adults and young people across Merseyside.

The charity has been praised for its approach to tackling the stigma around poor mental health and is the largest independent provider of talking therapies in and around Wirral. Prince William and Princess Kate visited in January 2023 and praised the charity for having “such an exciting idea to have a one-stop place for this kind of support.”

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Cherry Tree Shopping Centre launches toy appeal

The annual toy appeal that helps support local charity, Stick ‘n’ Step, has returned to the Cherry Tree Shopping Centre.

For the second year running the centre has announced its plan to bring back the popular initiative that supports Stick ‘n’ Step. The charity helps children and young people with cerebral palsy, and their families, from all across North West England and North Wales.

Last year, the appeal allowed the charity to gift presents to over 100 families. This year all contributions will be donated to the charity before Christmas, who will then distribute the gifts to families they support in time for Christmas Day. 

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AI camera van to detect drivers using mobile phones

This week Merseyside Police has introduced the latest technology to support road safety enforcement with the implementation of a mobile device that utilises artificial intelligence to identify drivers using their mobile phone or individuals travelling without a seatbelt.

The device is fitted to a van to allow for mobile enforcement meaning the technology can be deployed across Merseyside to target two of the ‘fatal four’ offences.

Sergeant Berry from Merseyside Police said, “Last year 19 people died on our roads and 440 were seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Merseyside. Road safety teams across the country put emphasis on the fatal four in an attempt to drive down collisions and achieve Vision Zero.”

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Birkenhead Trampoline Club heads to World Championships

This week marked the start of the World Championships for Trampoline, Double mini trampoline (DMT) and tumbling this year to be hosted in Birmingham.

Birkenhead Trampoline Club is sending four athletes and a coach to the championships after they all qualified for the Great Britain team after two qualification events this year.

Beth Williamson (24) will be first to compete in the Senior Ladies DMT with her competition, which started on Friday, 10 November. This is Beth’s fifth consecutive World Championships for Great Britain which is an outstanding achievement.

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Tranmere triumph over Forest Green in commanding victory

Tranmere Rovers resoundingly defeated Forest Green at Prenton Park as the crowd noise could be clearly heard as far as the Lidl on Oxton Road.

In a crucial match with each team positioned near the bottom of the table, the hosts initiated a perfect start as Jordan Turnbull’s header struck Tyrese Omotoye, leading to an own goal.

After the half-time interval, Kristian Dennis doubled the lead with a beautifully curled shot from the edge of the box. The advantage further increased when Forest Green’s Dom Bernard received a second yellow card for a handball offence.

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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 last 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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