Sunday Snippets, 24 December 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.

Merry Christmas from Birkenhead News

Season’s greetings from your favourite local news website! 

As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for your support. Your commitment to staying informed with our local news is the greatest gift we could receive.

Your trust in us fuels our passion for delivering quality content day in and day out. We are immensely grateful for the community we’ve built together, and your continued support is truly special.

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Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful Christmas.

Christmas gift appeal delivers a bumper surprise for local children

Bags of Christmas gifts are on their way to children and young people in Wirral, thanks to the generosity of residents, community groups and organisations from across the borough.

Since launching the appeal on 24 November, organisers from the Council’s children’s services team have been inundated with more than 1,000 gifts for local children and families in need.

After collecting the donations from a dozen drop-off points across Wirral, the team are now busy matching suitable gifts with their recipients, ranging from new-born babies to 17 year-olds, and then sending them on their way so they are ready to be opened on the 25th.

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List of Wirral roads set to become 20mph in phase 2 of road safety scheme

949 roads in Wirral will change to 20mph next year as Wirral Council rolls out the second phase of the road safety scheme.

The local authority moved ahead with the new limits at an environment and transport committee meeting on 5 December.

20mph limits are being brought in as part of a wider programme to reduce the number of casualties and deaths on Wirral’s roads and make roads in residential areas safer for children and families. Five people were killed on Wirral roads in 2022 and over the last six years, 27 have been killed and 590 seriously injured.

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Wirral group aims to combat isolation this Christmas

Although Christmas is the merriest time of year for lots of people, it can be the loneliest and most difficult for others.

One local group, Rek 41 CIC, is determined to help people through what can be a tough few days, so they are gearing up to feed and entertain hundreds of vulnerable residents over the festive period.

Based in central Birkenhead, Rek 41 (their name stands for recreation and recovery and 41 is part of their postcode) is dedicated to helping people who are struggling to make ends meet, with a particular focus on supporting people who are recovering from alcohol and substance misuse.

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Wirral school awarded £2,500 Green Community Grant

St John Plessington Catholic College in Bebington has been awarded £2,500 from the Bupa Foundation Green Community Grant.

Over the last year, St John Plessington’s environmental campaigning has gone from strength to strength. Most recently, the school received two prestigious accolades, retaining its Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation, and gaining a distinction.

The school facilitates several extracurricular activities, such as Eco-Club and the SJP Urban Farm Club, giving students the opportunity to learn more about sustainability and horticulture.

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Lighting up Templemore for The Hive Youth Zone

Wirral’s Mayor and Mayoress got to see how ‘those Christmas lights’ are lighting up the street in Oxton this week – on a visit to Templemore Road’s famous annual display.

Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Jerry Williams and Mayoress, Irene Williams walked the landmark lights in Oxton Village – which started as a bit of competitive rivalry between two neighbours almost a decade ago, and have since grown into a local festive tradition – which this year, are raising money for The Hive Youth Zone in Birkenhead.

The Hive supports some of the most vulnerable and most at-risk children across the Wirral, and is there to make sure every young person on the Wirral has somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to.

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Plans for £10m tap-and-go payment system for public transport

Almost £10m is to be invested to develop a new tap-and-go ticketing system for public transport across the Liverpool City Region.

The £9.86m investment, approved at a meeting of the region’s Combined Authority, will deliver on the Mayor’s ambition to build an integrated London-style transport network with a simplified, cheaper ticketing system.

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram described the cash injection as “not before time.”

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Wirral cancer survivor and charity founder honoured with national award by Martin Kemp

An inspirational cancer survivor and charity founder from Wirral has been honoured with a national award.

Dave Bolton, 42, from Greasby, was presented with the award by actor, presenter and 80’s pop icon Martin Kemp in recognition of his incredible work in establishing a charity to improve the quality of life for anyone with a diagnosis of cancer.

Dad-of-two Bolton survived the world’s deadliest brain cancer after undergoing surgery to remove a tennis ball sized tumour and having to take medical retirement from his job as a detective sergeant for Merseyside Police.

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Panto stars visit Ronald McDonald House

Jack and the Beanstalk stars from the Floral Pavilion took a break from their panto village of Boggy Bottom to pay a special visit to families and staff at Ronald McDonald House, Arrowe Park.

Arriving in character and dressed in their larger-than-life, sparkling costumes, the cast brought the magic of panto to children going through difficult times in the hospital.

In attendance was Sean Jones, who plays Simple Simon; Oliver Brooks, who plays Dame Trott; Joseph Elliot, who plays Fleshcreep; Tom Sterling, who plays The King; and Rachel Grundy, who plays Jill.

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Hoylake RNLI to take on Hoylake Sailing Club in traditional Boxing Day Tug o’War

Hoylake RNLI and Hoylake Sailing Club will go head to head on Boxing Day 2023 as the annual Slater Trophy Tug O’War returns.

The event is free to watch and the perfect way to walk off Christmas lunch, followed by refreshments at Hoylake Sailing Club. It takes place at 12 midday on Tuesday, 26 December, outside Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station on North Parade.

The friendly competition was established in 1972 by Arthur Slater of Hoylake Sailing Club and Hoylake RNLI Coxswain Danny Triggs. It is now a firm festive fixture in the local community calendar, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.

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Mersey Tunnel Tours once again get seal of approval from VisitEngland

The Mersey Tunnel tours is celebrating after being recognised by national tourism VisitEngland as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction for the 15th year in a row.

The popular tour, consistently one of TripAdvisor’s top three most popular tours in Liverpool, attracts visitors from across the country and around the world.

Guided by knowledgeable and friendly staff, the tour gives visitors a sneak peek into the inner workings of the iconic Mersey Tunnels.

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Three more Family Hubs open with four new additions expected in New Year

Families in Birkenhead will be able to access a variety of different support services under one roof thanks to the launch of three Family Hubs.

The new Brassey Gardens Family Hub expands on the services already provided by the former Children’s Centre, and community assets Equilibrium and St James Centre are now part of the Family Hub network.

Families, community partners and professionals gathered to attend the official launch events over the last two weeks. They join Seacombe Family Hub, which launched earlier this year, in bringing together maternity services, health visitors, library and foodbank services and children’s centre activities.

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Wirral judo sensation strikes gold

Joshua Hughes trains at Wirral Judo Club and fights for the Adaptive (Disability) Team GB worldwide in the II3 category.

He was diagnosed with autism at a young age. Since joining the club in 2011, aged 5, he has improved his abilities and was selected for the Adaptive Team GB just over a year ago.

With the team, Joshua has been to four major international events. His first was the Inaugural Virtus Oceania Asia Games, which took place in Brisbane, Australia in November 2022. There, Josh won gold after beating the Japanese adaptive champion in a mere minute.

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Decisive Davies goal seals Tranmere victory over Swindon

Tranmere Rovers secured their fourth consecutive home win with a 2-1 victory against Swindon Town at Prenton Park.

Tom Davies and Jordan Turnbull returned the starting lineup, replacing Joe Yarney and Jean Belehouan, while Harvey Saunders took the forward position instead of Kristian Dennis.

Swindon faced an early scare as a loose backpass forced Murphy Mahoney to hastily retreat to the goal. Rob Apter then sprinted down the right wing, attempting to capitalize on the confusion, but the Robins managed to regain control.

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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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