Sunday Snippets, 21 April 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.

Birkenhead Market traders could go it alone and move into former Marks and Spencer

Birkenhead Market traders are looking to go their own way as they hope to move into a former Marks and Spencer.

Marks and Spencer vacated its store in the Pyramids and Grange Shopping Centres in Birkenhead in 2018 and since then it has remained largely vacant.

According to a property portfolio of the shopping centres done in 2023, its lease is due to expire in 2042 paying a rent of £235,000 a year.

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Volunteers explain exciting plans as Wallasey library set to reopen

Volunteers are hoping to bring a “buzz” back to their town as a library closed for two years is set to reopen with a new cafe.

Wallasey Village Library situated off St George’s Road in Wallasey was 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.

Following the decision to close it, neighbours, volunteers, a nearby primary school, a café, and Wallasey councillor Ian Lewis came together to form a new charity that would take the building over and run it for at least the next 25 years.

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Model of historic Hoylake RNLI lifeboat built to mark 200 years of lifesaving

The 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been commemorated by a North West model maker, who has built a remarkable model of a historic Wirral lifeboat.

Kevin Gleave, who is also a dedicated RNLI fundraiser, was inspired to create a model of Hoylake RNLI’s Hannah Fawsett Bennett and used the stories and images on display at Hoylake Lifeboat Station to guide the design.

The Hannah Fawsett Bennett was a 38ft Liverpool class non-self-righting lifeboat, stationed at Hoylake for 25 years from 1906 to 1931. Powered by sail or a crew of local RNLI volunteers on oars, the Hannah Fawsett Bennett is recorded as having saved 20 lives during her service on the Wirral coast.

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Environment Agency says storm that hit West Kirby ‘largest in over a decade’

The storm that hit West Kirby last week was “the largest in over a decade,” according to the Environment Agency.

On 9 April, a new £19.7m flood defence in West Kirby was put to the test with waves crashing over the top of the sea wall that runs along South Parade on the town’s waterfront.

The water flooded Coronation Gardens and the café there forcing staff to be carried out by the RNLI. Videos showed water coming over the wall and moving cars in the road.

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Will Young tour to hit New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion

To celebrate his new album ‘Light it Up’, Will Young is embarking on his most intimate tour yet.

The 50-date UK tour will kick off following the release of ‘Light it Up’ in August, running from September through to November, with a date at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion in October.

About the tour, Young says: “I’m very excited to be going to a lot of places I haven’t been. I wanted to go to smaller venues so I could properly get around the country rather than just playing the big cities.”

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More than 200 species of flora identified at beach that could be partly cleared

More than 200 species of flora have been identified at a beach where Wirral Council is looking to part clear of vegetation, according to a botanist studying it.

Josh Styles has been analysing the beach for several years carrying his first survey in February 2020. This took place several months after the local authority decided to stop using the weedkiller glyphosate on it and later paused beach management.

This found 24 species but more than three years later, Mr Styles said he has found 236 species of plant on the beach. He said there was no indication this was stopping and he expects the number to increase further.

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Council rejects Bebington bar’s late opening bid amid neighbourhood concerns

A mum said she’d be forced to leave her flat if a bar downstairs had been allowed to stay open to 1am.

The Cow Shed on Broadway in Bebington applied to have its opening hours extended to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and to be able to sell alcohol until midnight on those days.

It said it had asked for these changes as well as extended opening hours during the week because current rules meant it was closing too early when hosting events.

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Plans to restore Birkenhead WWI Captain’s memorial in French village

A fundraiser has been launched to restore a memorial to a WWI Captain from Birkenhead.

Captain Houston Stewart Hamilton Wallace was killed in action trying to capture a German machine gun post on 22 July 1916 in the French village of Bazentin-le-Petit.

The plan for restoration involves more than just returning the private First World War Memorial to its original state, complete with a fresh plaque. It will also improve the site by installing additional steps for accessibility and creating a levelled area featuring an information board detailing Houston’s story.

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New homes ‘positive step forward’ as New Ferry plans approved

New homes to be built in New Ferry following the 2017 gas explosion have been hailed as “a positive step forward” to help it “turn a corner”.

On Thursday, 18 April, councillors approved unanimously the creation of 43 new affordable homes on the Woodhead Street car park and a former Co-op store in New Ferry.

It is the next phase of plans to regenerate the town following an explosion that took place in March 2017 providing 33 homes and 10 flats.

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Kitesurfer hoping to develop Wallasey watersports club fears new parking restrictions will put him out of business

A kitesurfer hoping to develop a watersports club in Wallasey fears a new parking ban will put them out of business.

Wirral Council has brought in a temporary traffic order to prevent parking on the New Brighton and Wallasey seafront from 11pm – 6am along Kings Parade and Coastal Drive for the next 18 months. The move comes as a response to local firm West Wallasey Van Hire regularly leaving its fleet of 100 vehicles parked in the area.

As it is a temporary measure, Wirral Council did not need to ask the public for their views before moving ahead but it will need to ask for public feedback before the move can be made permanent.

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Independent panel says Wirral Council ‘much improved’

Wirral Council is in a “much improved” position and has “clearer vision for the organisation and the borough” according to the chair of a high-level panel put in place to oversee changes to the authority.

The Independent Assurance Panel (IAP), chaired by Carolyn Downs, included specialist advisors with significant local government experience including two Local Government Association peer representatives.

Over the last two years they have had oversight of the council’s Improvement Programme designed to put the authority on a more secure footing and ensure it is moving in the right direction.

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Unique project uses the power of football to bring art alive for young people in Birkenhead

A unique collaboration will see a group of young people from Birkenhead get up close and personal with one of the world’s most famous sports paintings.

On display at the Williamson Art Gallery, Going to the Match by LS Lowry will provide the opportunity for young people to create their own version inspired by a visit to a Tranmere Rovers match.

Lowry’s ‘Going to the Match’ is renowned for its depiction of crowds flocking to a football match, capturing the communal spirit and passion that the sport inspires.

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Go ahead given for 40 flats at former Hoylake town hall

People will soon be able to live in a new block of 40 flats linked to a development that also promised a cinema backed by James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

The development, which was labelled the Beacon Project, promised to transform the old Hoylake town hall into a cinema and arts space, cafes, a fine dining restaurant, and small retail units. 40 apartments on four levels above ground floor artisan spaces were also approved by Wirral Council in 2018.

However, the commercial side of the development managed by Hylgar Properties has stalled while the flats built by Torus Housing have since been completed.

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Tranmere Rovers condemns changes to FA Cup

FA Cup replays will be scrapped from the first round onward from the 2024-25 season.

Additionally, all rounds of the FA Cup, including the fifth round, previously held during midweek for five seasons, will now occur exclusively on weekends.

These adjustments form part of a fresh six-year pact between the Football Association (FA) and the Premier League.

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Victory for Tranmere in final home game of season

Tranmere Rovers secured a 3-2 victory over AFC Wimbledon in their last home match of the season, with goals courtesy of Harvey Saunders, Rob Apter, and Connor Jennings.

Saunders, displaying his trademark vigour, made an early dash towards Nik Tzanev but was thwarted by a robust tackle from Ryan Johnson.

In the 20th minute, Regan Hendry delivered a superb pass to Saunders, leading to a corner. Hendry earned a free kick on the edge of the box for Rovers. He executed a quick one-two with Connor Jennings before unleashing a shot, which was blocked.

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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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