Sunday Snippets, 21 May 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.

New Brighton coastal bathing area most polluted in country

The ‘Top of the Poops’ website says that most, if not actually all, of the beaches and designated coastal bathing locations around England and Wales are regular recipients of a good layer of sewage.

Sadly, the New Brighton coastal bathing location tops the list for the whole of England and Wales by the duration of sewage overflows, as reported by the water companies.

In 2022, there were 1,149 sewage dumps in Wirral that affected the New Brighton coastal bathing location, for a total duration of 7,056 hours. On average sewage discharge happened 3.1 times per day from Wirral overflows.

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Public urged to have their say on ‘garden village’ plans for Birkenhead

Consultation is now underway on transformational plans to deliver a new sustainable urban village next to Birkenhead town centre.

Ion Property Developments (Ion) and Wirral Council are seeking feedback on the plans which would transform former industrial land to the north and south of Hind Street not far from Birkenhead Central railway station.

This new urban village would be a unique and aspirational place to call home, framed in the grid iron plan of Birkenhead and responding to the historic characteristics of the area.

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Wirral Met exhibition celebrates 30 years of Arts Degree Shows at Williamson

For three decades, students from Wirral Met have showcased their Degree Shows at the Williamson Art Gallery.

In keeping with tradition, this year’s show at the Williamson Art Gallery carries forward the legacy of showcasing the latest emerging talent from the region. It presents a diverse range of works encompassing Fine Art, Illustration, Animation, and Photography.

This event also marks the final year of the Fine Art course, making it a special year for the graduating students. It provides a unique opportunity to witness a retrospective exhibition that runs alongside the main show, offering a glimpse into the artistic journey and growth of the participants throughout their studies.

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Rare venomous fish caught off New Brighton coast

A “very rare” venomous deepwater fish has been found near one of the UK’s worst sewage-polluted beaches in Merseyside.

Steven Mayes was fishing off the coast of north Wirral at 4:30am near New Brighton on May 6 when he found what he believes is a bluemouth rockfish, a small predatory fish often seen between 150 and 400 metres under the sea and sometimes as deep as 1,000m.

Though the rockfish is common in deeper water, experts said it was unusual to see it so close to shore. In fact, according to British Sea Fishing, there is no record of the bluemouth rockfish being caught from the shore in the UK.

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Plaques unveiled to mark Wirral Country Park’s 50th anniversary

Two plaques have been unveiled to mark the 50th anniversary of the official opening of Wirral Country Park.

50 years after Lord Leverhulme officially declared Britain’s first designated park open, the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jeff Green, unveiled a new plaque on the very same sandstone at Thurstaston Visitor Centre to mark Wirral Country Park’s 50th birthday.

As well as celebrating the landmark event, the plaque recognises the staff and volunteers who have helped look after the park over the years, as well as visitors who ‘come here to explore and enjoy this Park of Great Worth’.

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Wirral Council budget cut by 25% since 2010

Wirral Council’s budget has been cut by nearly a quarter since 2010.

Analysis by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) showed that Wirral Council has seen a 24.9% cut in government funding.

Though not one of the highest figures in England, this means Wirral has seen above average cuts to government funding since 2010 according to the campaign group’s data.

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Wirral MakeFest 2023: Connecting creatives and inspiring learning

Wirral MakeFest 2023 is coming to Birkenhead on Saturday 3 June to connect local creatives involved in science, technology, engineering, arts and maths, and those who want to have a great day out and learn new skills.

There will be coders, basket-makers, animators, project mappers, glass artists, photographers, engineers and so much more. There will be opportunities to join in and have a go as well as learn from demonstrations and talks. The event is for everyone.

Wirral MakeFest is fuelled by Dr Diana Powell, CEO of Wirral Unplugged, which was recently crowned Organisation of the Year at Liverpool John Moores Student Union’s Societies and Volunteering Awards, award-winning eco-artist and former press officer for the Williamson Alison Bailey Smith, and John Howard of Wirral Code Club and Wwham – “Wirral will hack and make”.

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Outgoing Mayor praises “splendid madness” of Eurovision as new Mayor takes over

Wirral’s outgoing civic Mayor praised the “splendid madness” of Eurovision as the new Mayor takes over.

Cllr Jerry Williams, who represented Bebington and now Upton, was elected as the new civic mayor, taking over from the previous Mayor Jeff Green with Cllr Cherry Povall as his deputy. 

The Mayor’s role includes chairing full council meetings, representing the council at fundraising events, and carrying out official functions on behalf of the council. The election of a new Leader and Deputy Leader of the council, two political roles, will take place next week.

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Bar where trackies were banned wins fight to stay open

A Birkenhead bar where tracksuits are banned has won its fight to stay open after attempts were made to shut it down over reports of violence.

Platinum Bar, on Conway Street in Birkenhead, had its licence to trade alcohol taken away in August last year after Merseyside Police instigated a review citing “a considerable number of reports of violence occurring at the premises.”

The decision was subsequently appealed by the proprietors which led to an agreement being reached between Wirral Council and the bar allowing it to remain open subject to “stringent conditions” this month.

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Wirral Council acquires Birkenhead Town Centre Shopping Centres

A crucial step in securing the regeneration of Birkenhead town centre has been made with the purchase of key shopping areas The Grange and The Pyramids by Wirral Council.

The sites had been put up for sale by Mars Pension Fund just as the council was completing consultation on how the area could be improved for traders and local people as part of the Birkenhead 2040 Framework which outlines how the town’s future prosperity can be maximised.

The town centre regeneration is part of wider series of major regeneration schemes linking up across Birkenhead, along the Mersey Left Bank area from Bromborough through Wirral Waters to Seacombe, Liscard and New Brighton.

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Master Mariner sold at auction

The Master Mariner pub in New Brighton was sold at auction for £552,000.

Property company, Allsop, listed the property with an estimate of £300,000-£350,000.

The former nightclub and bar is part of a short row of seafront properties created by James Atherton in the 1830s. By the 20th century, the lodging houses had been converted into cafés and licensed premises and eventually nightclubs

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Wallasey MP expresses disappointment at voter ID ‘gerrymandering’

The introduction of mandatory voter ID has prevented hundreds of Wirral residents from voting in this year’s May local elections.

Data from polling stations in Wirral show that 577 voters were turned away on 4 May as they did not have an acceptable form of ID. Of those turned away, over half did not return with ID to cast their vote.

Behind this figure likely lies a far higher larger proportion of voters that were unable to cast their vote, as the data does not include those who left polling stations after being informed of the need for ID by greeters deployed outside, or those who did not even try to vote knowing they did not have the ID required.

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Rock Ferry shop could lose alcohol licence due to alleged ‘illegal activity’

A supermarket in Wirral could lose its alcohol licence due to alleged “illegal activity.”

This is according to a Wirral Council report ahead of a meeting on 19 May which could see the Family Shopper on Bedford Road in Rock Ferry lose its licence to sell alcohol.

The report said, “The grounds for the review relate to illegal activity taking place at the premises. It has been identified that individuals have been working at the premises who were not legally entitled to live or work in the United Kingdom.

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Call for Eurovision ‘lasting legacy’

A New Brighton businessman has called for a fund to help art, music and performance lead a revival of Merseyside post-Eurovision.

Dan Davies, the CEO of Rockpoint Leisure, has been helping regenerate New Brighton in recent years providing funding for people to start new businesses, supporting local music bands, and using street art to revive the seaside town.

Now he believes the Liverpool City Region and local councils should be capitalising on the success of the iconic music contest which brought half a million people and an expected £40m into the region in order to create a “lasting legacy.”

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Insight into Tranmere’s new opponents for next season

After the conclusion of the League Two season, Tranmere Rovers ended the campaign in 12th place, which is seen as a huge disappointment. 

Whilst we say goodbye to Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton, and one of Stockport, Carlisle, Bradford, and Salford, who are all promoted and Hartlepool and Rochdale who suffer the agonising drop to the non-league game, we welcome six newcomers who will visit Prenton Park next year. 

The four, MK Dons, Morecambe, Accrington Stanley, and Forest Green, suffered the drop from League One, and Wrexham and Notts County, who were promoted from the National League, will face Rovers next season. 

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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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