Sunday Snippets, 17 September 2023

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from 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.

Wirral RNLI Lifeguards presented with award for heroic rescue

The RNLI has recognised three Wirral lifeguards with the charity’s prestigious Alison Saunders Award for their part in the rescue of four people from a capsized pleasure boat off Harrison Drive last year.

The award was presented to Cameron Jacobie, Hayley Webb, and Holly Barden at a special ceremony at the Wirral’s lifeguard support centre. The award was presented by Stuart Wallace the Regional Lifesaving Lead.

The Alison Saunders Award is presented by the charity each year for a single notable rescue across the UK and Ireland, recognising the skill and bravery of RNLI lifeguards.

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Bebington born actress, Jean Boht, dies aged 91

Bebington-born actress, Jean Boht has died at the age of 91.

She was most famous for the role of Nellie Boswell in Carla Lane’s sitcom Bread.

The programme proved immensely popular, attracting 21 million viewers for a wedding episode in 1988, securing its position as the second most-watched show of the year, surpassed only by EastEnders.

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Memorial plaque on bench leads to fascinating and tragic wartime Merchant Navy story

When retired seafarer Captain Peter Thomson started to research the person memorialised on a bench at his home in Mariners Park in Wallasey, little did he know what a fascinating story he was going to uncover.

It was to be a story that would lead to a rarely investigated aspect of Merchant Navy History from the Second World War.

Peter was sitting on a bench and enjoying the sunshine when he noticed a small plaque in memory of Frank Walker. Peter did not recognise the name but knowing that many, if not all, seafarers have a tale or two to tell he decided to find out more.

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Wirral campaigner says Leverhulme appeal rejection ‘a fantastic result’

A leading Wirral green belt campaigner has hailed the rejection of hundreds of new homes as a “fantastic result.”

Leverhulme Estates has had seven of its planning applications for nearly 800 homes on green belt land dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate, a government body. The plans would have seen up to 788 homes built on countryside across Wirral.

This was for a number of reasons but mainly harm to the green belt and how the applications would undermine the council’s draft Local Plan which is currently under government inspection.

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Disposable vapes now recyclable at Wirral tips

All 16 Household Waste Recycling Centres across the region have new ‘Disposable Vape’ bins to help provide safe disposal and recycling routes for the three million vapes currently thrown away each week across the UK.

Single-use vapes contain lithium-ion batteries which can catch fire if broken and with a rise in vape-use, this is a growing risk across the country.

Research published by Material Focus shows that batteries not removed from electrical items cause more than 600 fires in refuse collection vehicles and at waste sites every year.

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All the open Wirral regeneration consultations listed

Major transformation is coming to Wirral’s Left Bank and everyone with an interest in the area’s future is being urged to use this latest round of consultations to have their say.

So far more than £100 million of Government funding has been secured by Wirral Council to support this regeneration and help attract even more private sector investment to make this happen.

It is a huge project and there are currently a number of proposals being put forward for Birkenhead, with additional proposals for the rest of the Left Bank area including Seacombe, Wirral Waters, New Brighton, and New Ferry/Bromborough also coming forward.

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Claire House lights the way this Autumn

Claire House Children’s Hospice has announced a brand-new event, the Claire House Lantern Walk, starting at Eureka! Science + Discovery at Seacombe Ferry Terminal on Saturday 14 October.

The 2.5km walk finishes in New Brighton, and starts from 6.30pm as the sun sets. The route is accessible to all and everyone gets a lantern at the start, lit with an electric tea light.

Events Fundraiser, Mark Pearson, said, “For 25 years, Claire House has been a light in the dark for so many local families. The Claire House Lantern Walk is the perfect opportunity for families and groups to walk together, light the way and walk in memory of a loved one

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Mosh Tots returns to Future Yard

The hugely popular Mosh Tots series of Gigs For Kids is back after the summer holidays for a new run of term dates in September and October.

Since launching in 2022, Mosh Tots has introduced hundreds of kids to the world of live music in a safe and fun environment, allowing families to share the joy of live music together.

After the roaring success of the fun-packed Mosh Tots Summer term, capped off by the amazing Mosh Tots Festival, Birkenhead’s Future Yard is delighted to announce the next run of term dates for Autumn Term 2023.

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Council considers future of West Kirby seafront restaurant

Wirral Council is looking to close a seafront restaurant as it continues to lose money.

The Sail Loft coastal kitchen sits next to the marine lake in West Kirby and first opened in July 2021. However, the impact of the pandemic, inflation, and the construction of the West Kirby sea wall has meant the restaurant continues to lose money.

Last year, the restaurant made headlines after a council report revealed it had significantly lost business due to the construction of the West Kirby sea wall. Many other businesses in the town had also linked a loss of business to the building works which saw a loss of hundreds of parking spaces in the town.

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Birkenhead Park volunteer group smash fundraising target

A group of volunteers “looking to make a difference” in the world’s first publicly funded park have raised 13 times their original goal.

The Friends of Birkenhead Park are a group of volunteers working with Wirral Council staff to look after Birkenhead Park which first opened in 1847. The park is sometimes known as the People’s Garden and is the first publicly-funded park in the world.

The park is currently on a tentative shortlist for UNESCO World Heritage status. If it gets this award, the park is expected to get more than 5m visitors a year, up from nearly 2m currently.

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Controversy as council refuses permission for Bidston church sign

There is fury and disgust and accusations of council tax waste over a council decision to refuse a church sign.

A replacement for a church sign at the St Oswald’s Church in Bidston Village had been refused by council officers over its size, location, and look, arguing it would be “harmful to the character and appearance of the conservation area and its key views.”

The sign would have been 1.8m high and 1.2m wide and made of aluminium. The church said they had gone with a metal sign because this would last longer after the old wooden one rotted away.

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Residents welcomed ‘Back to the Prom’

The Old Baths site in West Kirby proved to be the perfect stage for community events on Saturday (2 September), as the space was officially re-launched following its rejuvenation as part of the West Kirby Flood Wall project.

The weekend sunshine helped bring out the crowds, with an estimated 2,000 people visiting the waterfront space to enjoy the performances or take part in activities during the day, which included live music, drama and a range of exercise and wellbeing sessions.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee for Wirral Council, said, “We hoped that the ‘Back to the Prom’ event would showcase how the Old Baths site could be used for different activities that complemented its wonderful setting.

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Wirral Local Plan hearings resume

Wirral’s Local Plan examination restarted on Tuesday 12 September at Birkenhead Town Hall.

The Local Plan document, once approved, will underpin future development across all of Wirral for the next 15 years. 

Wirral’s Local Plan, once adopted by the council, will show where various types of development will be located in the borough to meet future needs, such as where new infrastructure – such as walking and cycling links, or new schools – as well as housing, shops and businesses, should be provided.   

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Birkenhead Wilko closure puts council finances under further pressure

Wirral Council is set to lose money when Birkenhead’s Wilko store closes putting further pressure on the local authority’s income.

400 Wilko stores are set to close by early October after hopes for a rescue deal for the company collapsed. Distribution centres will close on 15 September and redundancy is now likely for all 12,500 workers across the company.

In a budget report ahead of a Wirral Council economy and regeneration committee meeting, an update for councillors said, “A number of assets retained as investment purposes will not achieve the anticipated income targets due to surrender or reduction in rents.

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Tranmere sack Dawes

Tranmere Rovers has confirmed that lan Dawes has been relieved of his duties as First Team Manager.

Nigel Adkins will take over responsibility for the first team on an interim basis.

Tranmere currently occupy the 22nd position in League Two, just one spot clear of the relegation zone, following their defeat in six out of seven league matches this season.

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Crawley snatch win over Tranmere

Tranmere Rovers suffered a last-minute 3-2 defeat to Crawley Town on Saturday afternoon.

Acting manager Nigel Adkins made several changes in first Rovers lineup. Connor Wood made his debut for Tranmere, and Reece McAlear, Brad Walker, Josh Hawkes, and Charlie Jolley all re-entered the starting eleven.

The game’s first significant opportunity came four minutes in, when McAlear made space in the box, delivering a pass to Connor Jennings. Unfortunately, Jennings’ shot went over the crossbar.

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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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