Sunday Snippets, 17 December 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.

Hoylake beach ‘Village Green’ approval wouldn’t ‘change anything’

An application for a Town or Village Green (TVG) was submitted earlier this year by those campaigning to see vegetation and embryonic dunes cleared from a section of Hoylake beach.

A TVG allows sports and recreation activities to take place in an area including games, picnics, dog walks and community events. People are now being asked to give their opinion on the plans.

It also prevents an area of land being developed as well as stopping anyone disturbing, occupying, or interfering with the soil “other than for the purpose of the better enjoyment of that green.” However as the beach is a site of special scientific interest, this means it is already protected from a number of activities or developments.

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Bus, train, ferry, and tunnels changes over the 2023 festive period

Passengers using the city region’s public transport during the festive period are being urged to plan ahead – with seasonal timetables operating across all services.

A round up of transport information is now available, with confirmation the annual network of free supported Christmas Day bus services covering most hospital routes will operate between around 12 noon and 6pm.

The Mersey Tunnels Tolls will also be free, as usual, between 10pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on Boxing Day.

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REVIEW: All singing, all dancing Jack and the Beanstalk at the Floral Pavilion

Sharing a pantomime performance with 800 primary school children sounds like the stuff of nightmares, does it not?

But let me tell you, dear Reader: it was an absolute pleasure. In fact, I think it may be the only way to really appreciate panto. For the Floral’s Jack and the Beanstalk the other day, the inmates of three of Wirral’s primary schools joined me and my mate (51).

As soon as the lights went down, the entire auditorium (minus two 50 somethings; can’t vouch for the teachers) began screaming with glee.

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Government gives Wirral regeneration plan the go-ahead

Wirral Council is forging ahead with its ambitious regeneration plans after being given the green light to take part in a new project giving greater freedom in using grants.

Earlier this year the council had been offered the chance to join a pilot programme which gives more flexibility in how Government funding is used for regeneration projects.

However, before this could go ahead an Investment Plan had to be submitted for approval by Government experts.

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More than 500 new trees to be planted by residents across the borough

Thanks to local residents, 559 small seedling-sized trees have been adopted and will be planted in gardens and land in Wirral.

Trees were available for residents to collect from dedicated hubs at Eastham Country Park, Royden Park, and Central Park, to plant in their gardens.

Hubs were operated thanks to the support of volunteers from Wirral Tree Wardens, Wallasey Tree Planting Group and Volunteers of Royden Park. All trees planted will help Wirral’s ten-year tree strategy, which aims to plant more than 210,000 trees.

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Calday Grange Grammar School celebrates victory in Regional Bar Mock Trial Competition

Calday Grange Grammar School has announced that its Bar Mock Trial Team has emerged victorious in the Regional Heats of the Bar Mock Trial Competition, held in Chester on Saturday, 9 December.

This significant achievement has secured the team a place in the prestigious National Bar Mock Competition, which will be held at the Old Bailey (Court of Appeal) in London in 2024.

Bar Mock Trial is an educational competition where students from various schools engage in a mock court case before a real judge. The competition tests students’ understanding of the legal system, their ability to think critically, and their public speaking skills.

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West Kirby flood wall scoops regional design award

The company behind the design of the West Kirby flood wall has scooped an award at a prestigious local awards ceremony.

AECOM’s work on the scheme led them to pick up the award for Best Landscape Project at the Merseyside Civic Design Awards, which took place at the Arts Bar in Liverpool at the end of November.

The awards focus on high-quality projects that enhance people’s ‘shared experience of the places that surround us’.

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Dock Branch Park plans move ahead

A major step forward is set to be agreed upon in the delivery of a new park in central Birkenhead.

Dock Branch Park is intended to be at the heart of a new neighbourhood in Birkenhead adjacent to the town centre.

Based on the land that formed one of the oldest railway lines in the world the site is now being proposed to become a linear park providing a link for walking and cycling. It will connect the new urban garden village at Hind Street with Wirral Waters, passing through the heart of the town.

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Arrowe Hall raises thousands in memory of much-loved sisters

Arrowe Hall, a supported living home in Wirral, has kick-started its festive celebrations with a Christmas Wonderland event – made all the more special by being in memory of three much-loved sisters, two of which the home supported.

The home, which delivers high-quality care to adults with complex needs, hosted a heart-warming event which included winter wonderland lights, entertainment in the form of dance performances and music, as well as gift and craft stalls, cake sales, home-cooked food and a special memory tree.

The evening was in aid of the Huntington’s Disease Association, and has already raised over £2,000 for the charity so far, with many donations still rolling in.

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Wirral Council in race against 2026 regeneration funding spend deadline

Wirral Council said it can’t guarantee it will deliver its £73.5m investment plan for Birkenhead and New Ferry in full.

On 12 December, the local authority said an investment plan submitted to the government earlier this year had been approved. The plan outlines how the local authority plans to spend the money by March 2026 as part of an investment pilot that will give Wirral greater control over how it spends millions of pounds.

Money is expected to go towards projects like proposals to create a new Birkenhead Market in a former Argos, a new U-boat museum, new venues and community hubs, a new high street for Birkenhead, and improving New Ferry town centre following the explosion there.

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New commission by local artist Jacob Chan now on display at Williamson

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum has commissioned a brand new work by ceramicist Jacob Chan as the latest addition to the Williamson’s permanent collections.

Chan’s ‘Foo Dog’ takes inspiration from a duo of existing foo dogs in the Williamson collections as well as his memories, discoveries and experiences of visits to the museum.

Jacob was a finalist in the Great Pottery Throw Down competition on TV in 2019-20.

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Upton Lidl plans will not go ahead

A grassy area of land next to a busy Wirral roundabout will not be sold to supermarket chain Lidl.

Wirral Council officers had asked councillors to consider an £840,000 offer from Lidl to buy an area of land on Arrowe Park Road next to the Upton by-pass roundabout near a Sainsburys. This was on the condition any new supermarket plans were approved by planning.

If the new supermarket was built, its car park would have been built on the land and was expected to bring at least £160,000 a year in business rates into the council.

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£26m Mersey ferry to be built at Cammell Laird

A new Mersey Ferry will be built at the historic Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead after a deal was finally struck on the multi-million pound project.

More than a year ago, it was confirmed a new vessel to cross the Mersey for passenger journeys would be built – the first of its kind for more than six decades. Now, parties from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Birkenhead maritime firm have shaken hands on a £26m project keeping the shipbuilding on Merseyside.

More than 120 people are to start work on the “cleaner, greener vessel” alongside a three-week project to refurbish one of the existing ferries – Snowdrop.

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‘Temporary reprieve’ for 418 bus service

The 418 bus service will be extended to April 2024 in a “temporary reprieve” for those worried cuts would leave them stranded.

Bus company Arriva is considering cutting two bus routes in Wirral including the 418 circular route that serves Prenton, New Ferry, Upton, Birkenhead and the Beechwood estate. Passing by Arrowe Park Hospital, the route is used by people going for appointments and work at the hospital.

It had been proposing stopping the 418 service on 21 January 2024 but it will now continue until April due to financial support provided by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority while options are considered going forward.

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Humbug! Royal Mail management ask MP to leave delivery office during goodwill visit

A Wirral MP who was asked to leave a Royal Mail delivery office during an annual Christmas goodwill visit said she was “shocked and insulted by the treatment” she had received.

Wallasey MP Angela Eagle said she was abruptly asked to leave when carrying out an annual visit to the Liscard Royal Mail Delivery Office on Saturday, 9 December. The MP has visited postal workers for 31 years to deliver a bottle of whisky. Staff then usually raffle the bottle, with the proceeds often going to Claire House Children’s Hospice.

However, a postal worker at the office said this year Ms Eagle had been asked to leave because management “did not want her to see what a state the office is in”, though Royal Mail bosses today told the LDRS it was due to no appointment having been made in advance. Ms Eagle said the issue of the office environment had been suggested to her since, adding: “It did seem inundated with parcels and under-staffed compared to previous years.”

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Tranmere’s unbeaten run ends with defeat at Walsall

Tranmere Rovers suffered a 1-0 defeat at Walsall on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of a second-half goal by substitute Jamille Matt.

Rovers started the match with enthusiasm, showcasing several smooth passing sequences. One such play led to Kristian Dennis delivering a ball across the goal, only for keeper, Smith, to gather it.

As the game progressed, the hosts gained momentum, with Oisin McEntee coming close to scoring with a header 20 minutes into the contest. However, Tranmere Rovers successfully absorbed the pressure from the home team.

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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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