Sunday Snippets, 27 August 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.

Police support rollout of 20mph zones

Merseyside’s police commissioner said police teams support the rollout of 20mph speed limits across Wirral.

Wirral Council is in the second stage of rolling lower speed limits on hundreds of roads across Wirral in an effort to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) on the road down to zero. A month-long consultation ended on August 23.

According to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, a driver in a car travelling at 30mph is at least five times more likely to kill a pedestrian than at 20mph.

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Councillors question asset sell-off contract

A councillor believes there are “significant questions” for Wirral Council to answer after a half-a-million pound contract was awarded to consultants involved with the sale of borough assets.

A £495,000 three-year contract has been handed to Lambert Smith Hampton, with the firm helping Wirral Council sell off 23 of its assets, which includes car parks, libraries, the site of a former town hall, and a sports college.

Wirral Council said the contract was to “provide capacity” and support the council’s “small in-house team of general practice surveyors.” The decision to award the contract did not go to a council committee for scrutiny.

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New state of the art publicly owned trains arrive in Wirral

Liverpool City Region’s new publicly owned trains arrived in Wirral as part of the first stage of their phased rollout across the borough.

The state-of-the-art trains will gradually enter passenger service on the West Kirkby, New Brighton, and Chester lines.

Mayor Rotheram said, “Wirral passengers have been patiently waiting for the rollout of our new publicly owned trains, which are ready to welcome them onboard!”

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Reporter Ed Barnes finds out what Wirral bus travel is really like

Seven hours and ten different buses. That’s how long it took me to get round Wirral on a bus.

As someone who grew up in rural Worcestershire, I know how long it can take to get into school when the bus is your only form of public transport. The 423 back home only runs four times a day with the last bus to leave Worcester at 4.40pm.

Since 2010, 87 bus services have been cut across Wirral and people in areas like Heswall, Woodchurch and rural villages say they struggle to get around, particularly at night or at the weekend.

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Williamson Art Gallery exhibits photographs taking a magical look at West Kirby waterfront

Wirral-based photographer Jonathan Cooper exhibits unique perspectives on West Kirby’s waterfront.

Life Line exhibits two photography series based along the West Kirby waterfront. Employing magical realism and unique printing techniques, Cooper’s photographs place their inhabitants in a dreamlike world.

Cooper’s photographs transform physical environments into imaginary worlds. From his unique perspectives, the paths of the people out and about on the promenade and Marine Lake appear to interact in impossible, unexpected ways.

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Urban village in Birkenhead moves closer with submission of planning application

Regeneration specialists Ion Property Developments Limited (Ion) have submitted plans for its expansive scheme to transform the Hind Street area of Birkenhead. 

The application outlines plans for the low-carbon scheme including 1,600 new homes, a new primary school and up to 60,200m2 of commercial space.

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council, Ion and other stakeholders have been working to create a concept for a low-carbon urban village that will deliver a sustainable residential-led neighbourhood, close to both Birkenhead Town Centre and the two railway stations (Birkenhead Central and Green Lane).

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MP urges residents to raise Leverhulme greenbelt plans with Planning Inspectorate

Margaret Greenwood MP is calling on residents to contact the Planning Inspectorate to raise their concerns over Leverhulme Estates’ latest plans to build homes on Wirral’s green belt. 

The developer has lodged an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate after Wirral Council rejected plans for 240 homes on land east of Rigby Drive in Greasby. 

Interested parties have until 18 September to send their comments to the Planning Inspectorate. The appeal will also feature a public inquiry which is set to begin on 5 December. 

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Teen ‘really proud’ of GCSE results

A teenager who couldn’t walk seven months ago is “really proud”  after receiving his GCSE results.

Keiran Manser (pictured, main image), a student at the Co-op Academy in Bebington, had to go into hospital for treatment on a severe scoliotic spine at the end of January, taking seven weeks out of school. Scoliosis is when someone has a side ways curve on the spine and before the surgery, Kieran’s mum Sarah said “he was in awful pain.”

Despite this, Keiran managed to get a 6 in English Language, 5s in English Literature and Maths, and passed all his sciences. He will now go on to study business and IT.

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Explore Wirral’s beauty and stay active with free Wellbeing Walks

A variety of guided walks take place every week in Wirral. ‘Wellbeing Walks’ are a great way to get moving, stay active and socialise in some of our borough’s most beautiful green spaces.

The sessions are free and no booking is required. Simply turn up 10 minutes before a walk is due to start ad introduce yourself to the trained volunteer.

Meeting at various locations across Wirral, you can join a weekly Wellbeing Walk.

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Wirral Council moving forward with parking plans

Wirral Council is moving forward with its plans to shake up parking in Wirral.

The local authority is currently in the second stage of getting public feedback on its plans. These could include introducing new parking restrictions, measures to tackle bad parking, and fluctuating prices for car parks at peak times.

Another proposal is introducing a shared e-bike or scooter scheme similar to the Voi scooter scheme in Liverpool. These are proposed in six areas including at the Seacombe Ferry Terminal, Victoria Road in New Brighton, Woodside, central Birkenhead, and one corner of Birkenhead Park.

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Six shouts in seven days for New Brighton RNLI

Volunteer crews at New Brighton RNLI have been put through their paces with no fewer than 6 shouts in 7 days.

On the evening of Tuesday 15 August, the pager sounded for the crew of New Brighton’s Atlantic-85 B-class lifeboat at around 7:30pm.

This was to reports of a male walking alone and at risk of being cut off by the tide on the North Bank, off Leasowe beach. The first informant, who is herself a volunteer with New Brighton RNLI, walked out to the casualty with her father, also a volunteer with the RNLI, to warn him of the dangers and escort him to the safety of the centre of the bank.

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Seabank Road businesses urge more visitors to discover their quirky shops

“Quirky” businesses on a road just up from a Merseyside beach are calling for more people to visit their “nice little shopping area.”

At the top of the hill in New Brighton on a small stretch of Seabank Road is a number of small independent businesses from cafés and DIY stores to butchers and greengrocers just round the corner from the town’s Vale Park.

Even though it is close to the town’s railway station, one café said people don’t often realise it’s there. A Facebook page was set up a few years ago to showcase what’s on offer but with the rising cost of living, businesses said they need people in the area more than ever.

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Former council leader goes for Wirral West nomination

Wirral’s former council leader Janette Williamson has thrown her hat in the ring for the Labour nomination for the Wirral West Parliamentary seat.

The Wirral West Labour Party is currently going through its selection process to choose the candidate they want to replace Margaret Greenwood MP at the next election. The MP previously announced she would be standing down.

Announcing her intention to stand, Cllr Williamson, who led the council until May 2023, tweeted, “Proud to announce that I’ve applied to be Wirral West’s MP candidate. We need a local person who knows the issues our residents face. I believe I am that woman. Born here, grew up in Upton and brought my child up in Woodchurch.”

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Vibrant business hub in Birkenhead expands

A warehouse container village which provides innovative workspaces for startups and creative businesses in Birkenhead has expanded.

Located next to the waterfront and the historic Birkenhead Priory, Start-Yard used Town Deal investment to double the space for businesses by introducing 10 new state-of-the-art work pods, as well as a new meeting room called Pow Wow and a café bar called ME+NU.

The building, which was previously used by Cammell Laird as a motor transport depot, also now boasts photography/podcast studios and a green room for video production, to cater to the evolving digital needs of modern businesses.

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Wirral Metro shine as swimmers claim 10 medals

Wirral Metro Swimming Club is celebrating a major success after three of its swimmers became national champions in multiple events, returning home with 10 national medals.

Over two weeks, six swimmers competed against the top swimmers in Great Britain at the British National Summer Championships and the National English Summer Meet; both events taking place in the prestigious Ponds Forge Pool, Sheffield.

At the British Championships, it was 14-year-old Abbie Roscoe who dominated with an overall win of six medals. She became British Champion in the 800m freestyle and the 400 individual medley; not only winning her age group, but swimming faster than three older age groups in some races.

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Tranmere’s effort falls short as Notts County secures victory

Tranmere lost at Notts County despite almost snatching a point towards the end of the game.

There were a number of alterations made to the lineup compared to the team that started for the 4-3 loss to Salford City last weekend. Chris Merrie made his comeback, taking the place of Lee O’Connor, while Charlie Jolley, who was making his first league start in a year and a half, substituted for Luke Norris.

The home team took an early advantage when David McGoldrick defeated Luke McGee with a precise low shot from the outer edge of the penalty area. In the second half, their lead was extended as Connell Rawlinson easily scored from close range after tapping in a cross from Matt Palmer.

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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 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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