Sunday Snippets, 22 October 2023

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.

Trader questions viability of Birkenhead Market relocation plans

A trader has called the local authority’s plans to possibly relocate Birkenhead Market to a former Argos unit as “grossly unfeasible.”

Will Featherstone was asking a question at a Wirral Council economy and regeneration committee meeting following reporting of council’s plans for a “temporary decant” of market traders to the former Argos behind the bus station in Birkenhead.

The plans were first reported by the LDRS and the council has already confirmed it has spent £24,000 on these new plans. This is after it confirmed it was reviewing its proposals for a brand new market at the House of Fraser site in light of the Pyramids and the Grange shopping centre purchases.

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The worst record covers ever made? See for yourself at Williamson Art Gallery exhibition

From the unintentionally funny to the completely bizarre, Steve Goldman’s collection of more than 500 record covers is something to behold.

Collected over a seven-year period from charity shops and online marketplaces, Goldman’s selection criteria is stringent: Is this one of the worst record covers in the world?

Visitors to Birkenhead’s Williamson Art Gallery & Museum will be able to make up their own minds when they go on display in November. Worst Record Covers is a unique celebration of some of the most questionable design choice in music history.

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Lantern Walk raises £15,000 for Claire House

Claire House Children’s Hospice held their first ever Lantern Walk on Saturday 14 October.

Over eight hundred and fifty people turned out to walk the route from Seacombe Ferry Terminal to New Brighton, carrying lit lanterns along the walk.

The walk was organised in partnership with Eureka! Science + Discovery, where lanterns were collected at the start of the walk. Arriva North West kindly donated two buses which took walkers back to the start from New Brighton.

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New images reveal scale of work as part of £11m Queensway tunnel upgrade

New images show the scale of work inside the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnel as it receives an £11m upgrade.

Night-time closures began in June as part of a major investment to improve electrical equipment, including replacing the current lighting with an energy-efficient LED system.

The latest images were taken during last weekend’s full closure of the tunnel which saw new cable ducts installed across the carriageway and metal carriageway access covers replaced.

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Wirral Council expected to appoint contractor for ‘key’ Birkenhead regeneration project

Wirral Council is expected to appoint a contractor for a “key” Birkenhead regeneration project by the end of the year.

The local authority has moved ahead with an extra £1.6m in Birkenhead which will go towards new cycle lanes and walking routes outside Conway Park station in Birkenhead.

£3.9m of Future High Street funding and Active Travel funding had already been approved for the scheme and the latest additional £1.625m had previously been approved by the council’s environment and transport committee meeting on 24 July.

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Mural honours Oscar-winning actress and MP, Glenda Jackson

A new mural is the latest tribute to the late Oscar-winning actress Glenda Jackson.

Glenda Jackson, an Oscar-winning actress and Labour MP for 23 years, died peacefully following a brief illness on 15 June 2023 at the age of 87. The star was born in Birkenhead and her family later moved to Hoylake in west Wirral when she was a child.

The mural sits on the banks of the Mersey near the Woodside Ferry Terminal on the edge of the Woodside Business Park. Nearby is a mural to another Birkenhead legend, the late Paul O’Grady.

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Disability group asks council not to repeat past mistakes

Wirral Council has been urged to not repeat past mistakes ahead of potential cuts to services.

Community interest company Together All Are Able (TAAA) was set up in 2011 to advocate for disabled people in Wirral and in 2022, they accused Wirral Council of breaching the Equality Act 2010 for not providing an easy-read version of its budget consultation.

An easy-read document improves accessibility for those who may find it difficult to read by giving important information in simpler words and pictures, making some words bold, and offering explanations for certain terms.

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Oxton Art Fair returns this autumn

Oxton Artists was founded in 2004 by a group of friends who were aware there was a core of artists residing in the area.

With artists formerly of the area returning from overseas and newcomers attracted to the community atmosphere and picturesque village, the Oxton Art Fair was born.

Since then, it has held its annual November Oxton Art Fair event at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum. All of the member-artists and craftspeople have connections to and/or live in Oxton and exhibit regularly in the North West, some nationally and a few internationally.

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Council finding it ‘more and more difficult’ to balance books

Wirral’s council leader said the authority is “finding it more and more difficult each year to find ways to balance the budget.”

Cllr Paul Stuart appealed for government support as analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA), a national group for councils, warns local authorities across the country face an “inflationary storm” and a national budget black hole of £4bn over the next two years.

Cllr Pete Marland, chair of the LGA’s resources board, said, “Councils remain firmly in the eye of the inflationary storm and severe funding and demand pressures mean that council finances are under pressure like never before.”

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Letters to the Editor: Birkenhead linear park – A lost opportunity?

Here was a ready-made route for a tram or rail link right into the major housing developments.”

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Battersea Dogs and Cats Home names vet hospital after Paul O’Grady

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, the leading animal welfare charity, has announced plans to help thousands of animals in need with money raised from public donations following his death. 

Almost 20,000 donations were made to Battersea in Paul’s honour from generous members of the public wanting to pay their respects and express their gratitude.

A staggering £480,000 was donated and after consulting with Paul’s closest family and friends Battersea is sharing how the money will go towards helping those animals most in need. 

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Birkenhead Park could become UNESCO World Heritage site

The idea of Birkenhead Park becoming Wirral’s first World Heritage site is now firmly on UNESCO’s radar.

The UK government recently formally submitted a further five sites to be considered for inclusion on the World Heritage List to UNESCO’s Paris headquarters and it is now official, having been published on UNESCO’s website 

Birkenhead Park is one of seven sites now on the UK’s ‘tentative list’, which is only published around every 10 years and only contains places that the government believes have the best chance of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Wirral Hospice St John’s ‘Light up a Life’ switch on date announced

On Sunday 10 December, Wirral Hospice St John’s will invite people from the Wirral community, alongside family and friends, into the hospice grounds for the annual Light up a Life lights switch-on commemorations.

People will start arriving from around 4pm to browse fundraising stalls, have some tea, coffee, cake, and other refreshments, to gather their personal thoughts and to find a position in readiness for the switch on service at 5.30pm.

This year, Mr Juan Parentini, and his daughters Amy and Zoe will switch on the 10,000 sparkling lights which will then glow in the trees at Wirral Hospice St John’s every evening in the run up to, and throughout, Christmas time.

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School Pantries help to fill the gaps for families

More than 90 Wirral schools have received bulk deliveries of food and other essential items as part of efforts to help young families deal with the impact of the cost of living crisis. 

The support has been provided under the Early Years Essential Hampers & School Food Pantries project, which is being co-ordinated by local charity Neo Community on behalf of Wirral Council.

Funding for the £1.3 million project has been provided by the Department for Work and Pensions under Wirral’s £6.1 million Household Support Fund 4 allocation.

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Plans for new U-boat story museum at Woodside

Plans for a new “international” centre as part of a £19.6m investment have just been revealed.

An application has been put in by Big Heritage CIC for a new U-Boat Story museum on the current site next to the Woodside Ferry Terminal in Birkenhead. The proposal is being funded by £19m of Levelling Up funding provided by the government to regenerate the area around Woodside.

According to documents attached to a planning application, the museum will have three storeys and include plans for a riverside café. The museum will be “designed as an immersive visitor experience, encompassing internal displays and exhibits together with the external enclosure, where the U-534 submarine will be encountered from multiple levels.”

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Traders uncertain about Birkenhead market’s future

Some Birkenhead Market traders are considering leaving following weeks of uncertainty about its future.

The current market sits in the centre of Birkenhead behind the bus station and has existed in some form or other since 1835 when it was first established.

There are currently 35 traders in the market according to Wirral Council’s website and there were plans to move these to a brand new market by 2025 following the demolition of the old House of Fraser on Grange Road. A consultation on these plans earlier this year was carried out by the council with traders generally optimistic about its potential.

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Scheduled works on Wirral’s roads nears completion

Annual repairs and treatments for Wirral’s roads are progressing well with most of the 130 roads on the programme already completed.

Every year, the council invests in Wirral’s roads to repair and treat those that are most affected to make sure that residents can continue to use them safely.

Nearly £6 million is being spent this year to repair and treat more than 130 roads or road sections for the 2023 maintenance programme, each receiving the most appropriate treatment type.  

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More than 500 runners take on BTR Wirral 10k

More than 500 runners pulled on their trainers on Sunday (15 October) to take on the challenge of the BTR Wirral 10K.

This was the ninth staging of the race, which was last staged in 2021.

The race started and finished on Ian Fraser Walk in New Brighton. The route took participants past Fort Perch Rock and along the picturesque promenade to Seacombe Ferry, before reaching the half-way 5K turnaround point and returning to the finish line.

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Tranmere defeated by Doncaster at Prenton Park

Doncaster’s recent League Two revival persisted with a win against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Friday evening.

Harrison Biggins opened the scoring by tapping in a square ball from Zain Westbrooke. Later, in the second half, Modou Faal extended their advantage with a skilful chip over Joe Murphy, who substituted Luke McGee in goal due to suspension.

Connor Jennings, the evening’s captain, managed to pull one back with a low shot that beat Louis Jones. Nonetheless, the home side couldn’t level the score and suffered their first league defeat at Prenton Park since 2 September.

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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 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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