Sunday Snippets, 19 May 2024

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.

Pensby welcomes new coffee shop and antiques store as library reopens

A new coffee shop, antiques store, and reopened library has opened its doors in Pensby.

Pensby Library reopened on 16 May after nearly two years of being closed. The library closed in October 2022 as part of sweeping cuts to balance Wirral Council’s budget that year. This saw the library as well as eight others closed alongside two golf courses and a leisure centre.

Pioneer People, a local charity which previously took over a community centre, looked to take it over putting in a bid to manage the library going forward. It got access to the building in February and has since been moving in.

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What market traders think of independent M&S plans

Birkenhead Market traders welcome the idea of a move to Marks and Spencer over fears decades-old family businesses will have to close.

Traders at the market which has existed in some form since 1835 are currently looking to go their own way following a controversial decision by Wirral Council to turn a former Argos unit on Princes Pavement into the market’s new location by 2026.

Alan Featherstone, who runs the Big Flower Shop with his son Will, is speaking to Marks and Spencer about using their vacant unit.

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Floral Pavilion announces exciting new Folk Festival

New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion has announced the launch of a brand-new folk festival called Folk on the Coast.

The weekend-long event is set to take place from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 September and promises an eclectic mix of intimate shows with pioneers of the genre as well as tomorrow’s rising stars.

The first wave of artists has been announced and includes Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, Martyn Joseph, and Jackie Oates and John Spiers. Also announced are Jon Wilks, Mikey Kenney, Gilmore & Roberts, Joe Topping, James Delarre & Saul, Rose and Jack Rutter.

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Adam passes out as helmsman at New Brighton RNLI

Adam Bidston, a volunteer at New Brighton RNLI, officially passed out as helm on Thursday, 9 May.

A sunny Thursday morning brought fair winds and tidings for Adam, who has been with New Brighton RNLI for five-and-a-half years, as he was passed out as a helmsman on the station’s Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat.

Adam is the latest addition to the command team, after Tom McGinn passed out late last year.

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Crowdfunding campaign launched to save historic Merseyrail train from scrapyard

On 25 October 1978, a new era dawned on Merseyside’s railways when Queen Elizabeth II travelled from Moorfields to Kirkby on a brand new class 507 electric train.

46 years later that very same train, once again resplendent in blue and grey livery, is heading for retirement after travelling over five million miles in service.

With the introduction of the state-of-the-art class 777 trains, the former workhorses of the Merseyrail fleet are gradually being sent to the scrapyard.

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Reporter Ed Barnes goes in search of Wirral’s biggest potholes

As Wirral Council prepares to spend millions fixing roads, I went out with a tape measure to try and find Wirral’s biggest pothole.

Despite a planned £7.2m spend on 450 roads and bridges later this year, Wirral Council was ridiculed on social media in March after AI-generated images of people swimming or fishing in potholes circulated across Facebook with many claiming it represented the state of the roads in their area.

To see what the roads were really like, the LDRS went out with a measuring tape to try and find Wirral’s biggest pothole.

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Wirral MakeFest returns for second annual event

Wirral MakeFest, the highly anticipated festival celebrating creativity, innovation, and community, is set to return for its second annual event.

Taking place on Saturday, 1 June, at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum and Birkenhead Central Library. Wirral MakeFest promises to be a day filled with inspiration, learning, and hands-on experiences for all ages.

With a wide array of activities, workshops, and exhibits, Wirral MakeFest 2024 offers something for everyone.

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New Wirral mayor sworn in

Wirral is “on the brink of major transformational changes” according to its new mayor.

Cllr Cherry Povall was elected by councillors at an annual general meeting held on 15 May as the borough’s new Mayor as Wirral Council celebrates its 50 year anniversary.  Cllr Povall has represented the borough ward of Clatterbridge since 2008.

The civic mayor represents the council at events and ceremonies, presents awards and honours like the Wirral Award and Freedom of the Borough, and chairs Wirral full council meetings. Upton councillor Jerry Williams was previously in the post.

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Seacombe family ‘overwhelmed’ after thousands raised in Home Office legal fight

A Seacombe family is “so overwhelmed” after £21,000 was raised in hours to support their legal fight against the Home Office.

Nelson Shardey moved to the UK in 1977 as an accountancy student from Ghana and has now lived and worked in the country for over 46 years. He has three adult children and in 1991, he set up Nelson’s News on Borough Road in Seacombe where he worked long hours for 31 years.

In 2019, Nelson found out that he was not a British citizen, coming as a shock to him and his family. They are currently taking legal action against the Home Office but will have to pay their legal fees if the family lose the case.

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Birkenhead based young people’s mental health charity wins top UK health award

Birkenhead-based Open Door Charity has won a major award for its creative and accessible mental health and wellbeing support for young people across the Wirral and Merseyside.

Following a rigorous selection and assessment process, Open Door Charity was chosen from more than 500 organisations across the UK as one of the 10 winners of the 2024 GSK IMPACT Awards which are delivered in partnership with The King’s Fund.

Now in its 27th year, the awards are a mark of excellence in the charity sector, designed to recognise the outstanding work of small and medium-sized charities working to improve people’s health and wellbeing in the UK. 

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Appeal to save 50 rescue dogs facing homelessness ahead of shelter eviction

A Wirral animal rescue is issuing an urgent appeal for help to save its dogs and secure its future after receiving notice to leave its kennels within four weeks.

Celandine Wood Animal Rescue – known as CWAR – is facing closure unless it raises enough money to set up new premises.

The organisation – run entirely by volunteers – has 50 dogs in its care and also takes in cats and wildlife from Merseyside and beyond.

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Birkenhead MP tables Commons motion regarding UK arms sales to Israel

Members of Parliament including Birkenhead MP, Mick Whitley, are demanding that David Cameron attend the House of Commons to answer questions concerning arms exports to Israel.

The MPs claim that the offensive on Rafah and the grave threat it poses to the civilian population makes this demand imperative.

David Cameron’s appointment as Foreign Secretary in the autumn of 2023 made him the first holder of that office to serve from the House of Lords in over forty years.

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College rides for Maggie’s Wirral

Birkenhead Sixth Form College has been supporting Maggie’s since 2018. To date the college has raised over £11,000 for Maggie’s, helping thousands of people living with cancer and their friends and families.

This year staff and students will be taking on the incredible challenge of virtually cycling the distance between all 26 Maggie’s Centres in the UK.

Alan Redfern, Head of Fine Art, will be completing the entire challenge over 11 days on the ZWIFT platform before and after work. The total distance of the challenge is 1325 miles, cycling approx. 6 – 8hours each day.

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Latest figures show £500k of parking fines issued in Wirral during 2023

New data shows which parts of Wirral have the highest incidences of parking fines issued.

In 2023, 16,785 fines were issued by Wirral Council, an increase of more than 1,700 fines compared to 2022. In 2024, the local authority said 2,957 fines had been issued by 19 March.

The data, which came from a Freedom of Information request, shows the council issued fines of £506,347 in 2023, up from £347,930 in 2022 and £67,665 so far in 2024. However, between 2022 and 2024, 5,543 fines are still outstanding, while 2,972 have been successfully appealed.

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Schoolgirl boxer wins England Boxing’s Schools National Title

On the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 May, schoolgirl boxer, Letitia McKee, captured her third consecutive England Boxing’s Schools National Title.

Letitia, a member of Birkenhead Venture Boxing Club, won by unanimous decision.

The semifinal took place on Saturday, 11 May, in Newcastle, where she won again by unanimous decision. In the quarter final the previous week, she won by first round stoppage.

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Wirral Police weekly news round-up

This is the Birkenhead News weekly round-up of police and crime news 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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