Sunday Snippets, 2 April 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.

TV presenter and comedian Paul O’Grady dies aged 67

Paul O’Grady, the Birkenhead born presenter and comedian known for his iconic drag queen character Lily Savage, has died.

The 67-year-old died on Tuesday evening, as confirmed by his husband Andre Portasio in a statement. Although his death was unexpected, it was reported to have been peaceful.

“It is with great sadness that I inform you that Paul has passed away unexpectedly but peacefully yesterday evening,” Mr Portasio said.

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Join the Easter trail with the family and explore historic Port Sunlight

Families are being invited to explore a fun Easter trail around the historic Wirral village of Port Sunlight this half term – all for a chocolate egg reward of course.

Built in the late 19th century for William Lever’s ‘Sunlight Soap’ factory workers, the village now attracts thousands of visitors each year to admire the Arts and Crafts-style houses, picturesque gardens and parks, and a fascinating museum and art gallery.

The trail will run on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 April. It is organised by Port Sunlight Village Trust, who are responsible for preserving and promoting the village.

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Extended summer opening hours introduced at Wirral tips

Wirral Household Waste Recycling Centres will open longer over the spring and summer months.

During the spring each year, the waste and recycling centres open for longer so that residents can take advantage of the lighter evenings. From Saturday 1 April the region’s Centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm.

There are three Household Waste Recycling Centres in Wirral. They are operated by resource management company Veolia on behalf of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA).

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Pyramids and Grange Precinct put up for sale by Mars Pension Fund

The Pyramid Shopping Centre and the Grange Precinct in Birkenhead has been put up for sale by current owners, the Mars Pension Fund. 

Mars acquired Pyramid Shopping Centre for almost £70m in 2011.

The Pyramids and The Grange shopping precinct occupy a 12.9 acre site in the heart of Birkenhead town centre and together they dominate the local retail provision.

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Council leader steps in as Wirral over 60s potentially excluded from voting in upcoming elections

One of the two bus passes issued to residents would not allow them to vote in the upcoming local elections, according to new rules published by the government.

This May, Wirral will have its first-ever all-out elections, where every council seat is decided for the next four years.

Following the Elections Act, passed by the Conservative Government last year, voters must present photo ID from a list of acceptable documents to vote in person at local and general elections. This includes passports and driving licenses, and some other forms of photo ID.

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New scooting and walking zones at Bebington schools

Simon O’Brien, Liverpool City Region’s walking and cycling commissioner, visited Bebington this week to try out new scooting and walking zones introduced outside two local schools.

The five and ten minute zones were set up to encourage more children to walk, scoot or cycle to school, as part of the By Ours Bebington project 

The project, led by the charity Sustrans with Wirral Council, works with nine schools in the area, as well as residents and businesses, to redesign streets to be safer and healthier for everyone.

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Easter fun activities and meals for Wirral kids

Children across Wirral will be able to enjoy a huge range of activities from graffiti art workshops to sports activities to cookery sessions this Easter.

The Holiday Activities with Food (HAF) programme, funded by the Department for Education returns bigger and better than ever.

With 64 clubs across the area for eligible children this means that young people aged between 5-16 in receipt of free school meals can enjoy a variety of activities and healthy lunches over the Easter holidays.

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Nursery in Wallasey raises £370 for children’s charity with Sparkle Day

A nursery in Wallasey has raised £370 for children’s charity, Newlife.

Newlife raises funds and brightens the lives of disabled children and their families by providing much-needed support and specialist equipment.

When the charity told Kids Planet about Sparkle Day, the team couldn’t wait to get involved. Sparkle Day included face painting, glitter, sparkly clothing, afternoon tea and even a Strictly Come Dancing style ‘Dance off’.

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Beam signing marks milestone in construction of urgent care facility at Arrowe Park Hospital

The next phase of the construction of a new urgent and emergency care centre at Arrowe Park Hospital was commemorated with a beam signing ceremony.

Staff at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) and Wirral Community Health and Care (WCHC) NHS Foundation Trust gathered for the occasion and signed a steel beam, which will form part of the permanent framework of the new building.

Significant progress has been made in the construction as the steel frame of the new facility is now in place, giving a glimpse of the scale of the new facility. This project, which will see an investment of more than £30 million, in a collaboration between the WUTH, WCHC and additional funding from the Department of Health and Social Care, will transform care in Wirral.

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New principal announced for Wirral Met College

Following the announcement last year, that Sue Higginson OBE is due to retire from her post as Principal and CEO of Wirral Met College in July, the College is pleased to announce the appointment of their next Principal and CEO.

Gill Banks will join Wirral Met College as Principal on 1 August from the City of Liverpool College, bringing with her a wealth of experience gained in the further education sector over a 28-year period.

Gill first started as a teacher at Preston College in 1995 before moving to Southport College as a curriculum leader. She then progressed to Assistant Principal and then Vice Principal of Curriculum at The City of Liverpool College, before leaving in 2014 to join Knowsley Community College as Deputy Principal and then Principal.

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Caldy secures Championship status with bonus point win

In a closely fought game, it was the home side that came out on top to confirm their Championship status for another season.

Caldy’s taciturn Director of Rugby Gareth Davies was upbeat and delighted by the win. “For what is essentially a village rugby club to not only gain promotion to the second level of the English pyramid but secure their status with four games to go is an outstanding achievement. The lads did Caldy and the Wirral proud.”

This was a closely fought encounter. London Scottish raced into an early lead with a well-worked score by Luke Mehson which Caldy quickly countered through a typical forward drive with hooker Ollie Hearn dotting down and Elliott Gourlay converting.

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Tranmere and Harrogate share spoils in entertaining draw at Prenton Park

In one of the most entertaining matches at Prenton Park recently, the spoils were shared as Tranmere and visitors Harrogate drew 1-1. 

Harrogate injected impetus straight from the off, pacing forward and getting a shot off within the opening twenty seconds.

Kazeem Olaigbe laid off Dannty Grant who spotted an opportunity to strike and he did, but the boot of Tom Davies thwarted the visitors on that occasion.

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Wirral Police weekly news round-up

This is the 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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