Sunday Snippets, 28 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.

Botanist’s dismay as ‘beautiful’ flowers ‘ripped up’ at Hoylake Beach

A botanist has claimed people are ripping up “beautiful” flowers on a beach at the centre of a town’s “culture war.”

Josh Styles, an ecologist, said plants are being dug up on Hoylake Beach “all the time” as the debate over the future of the land continues to cause bitter divisions in the town. Others say there is no evidence to back up the claims.

The controversy in the Wirral seaside town stems from a 2019 decision to stop spraying weed killer and clearing vegetation after Wirral Council faced the threat of an unlimited fine.

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£25m Wirral Waters project given greenlight and new homes for sale

A £25m new research hub has been given the green light and 15 new homes are up for sale in the latest developments of the Wirral Waters project.

The new homes have just gone on the market on Redbridge Quay in Seacombe and are part of Peel L&P’s 30-year plans for the Birkenhead docks which will see hundreds of new apartments as well as new business and research space.

Recently, planning permission was also granted by Wirral Council to create a new £25m maritime research hub in the old Central Hydraulic Tower.

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Wirral Met music students take centre stage at New Brighton music venue

Wirral Met College music students took centre stage on Thursday 24 May to showcase their talent at Rockpoint Records in New Brighton.

This marked the second in a series of events facilitated by the college to provide valuable performance opportunities to its aspiring musicians.

The acoustic cover-style sessions attracted an impressive turnout, with local music fans filling the venue. For some of the students, the event was their first experience performing in front of a live audience.

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Wirral West MP says Gove should give ‘urgent attention’ to Leverhulme appeals

Margaret Greenwood MP has raised a point of order in the House of Commons in relation to plans by Leverhulme Estates to build hundreds of homes on the green belt in Wirral. 

A series of appeals, put forward by Leverhulme Estates following Wirral Council’s initial rejection of the plans, are currently being heard by the Planning Inspectorate at a public inquiry. 

The Wirral West MP said in parliament that Wirral Council wrote to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, on 12 April, requesting that he give consideration to the ‘recovery’ of the planning appeals. 

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Donation in memory of Haydn Griffiths presented to Hoylake RNLI

Family and friends of a man who tragically lost his life while swimming off the Wirral coast visited Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station on Saturday 20 May to present a donation in his memory to one of the lifeboat crews that helped search for him.

Haydn Griffiths was an accomplished athlete and sailor from Lowton near Wigan, where the 23-year-old sailed competitively as a member of Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club (LLSC).

Following Haydn’s sad passing in July 2022, the club decided to rename a racing event and establish a trophy in his memory that would raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

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Queensway Tunnel set for overnight closures for lighting upgrade

The Queensway (Birkenhead) tunnel is set to benefit from a comprehensive lighting upgrade to save on energy costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The move comes as Mayor Steve Rotheram progresses with his plans to decarbonise the Liverpool City Region’s public transport network.

In just over a weeks’ time, an £11million investment by Mayor Rotheram and the Combined Authority in the form of a major electrical upgrade will begin at the tunnel, contributing to the region’s target to be net zero by 2040 – at least a decade before national government.

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Guitar legend Gary Murphy announces tour with date at the Floral Pavilion

Multi-talented guitarist and songwriter Gary Murphy is taking two of his acclaimed and hugely popular live shows to audiences across the Northwest.

The award-winning musician, regarded as one of the finest guitarists in the UK, will be accompanied by his own Gary Murphy Band for a series of dates between June and November as he presents a pair of stunning shows, Guitar Legends and I Like It – The Ultimate Tribute to Gerry Marsden and the Swinging Sixties.

The series of live dates opens with Guitar Legends which comes to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre on Saturday 10 June.

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MP Lee Anderson wades in on Hoylake Beach

Controversial deputy Conservative chairman Lee Anderson has visited Wirral and waded into a huge row over Hoylake Beach.

Mr Anderson, who represents Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, was visiting the seaside Wirral town where the debate over the future of its beach has been described as “toxic” and like a “civil war”.

He was invited by local councillors who said they were “now taking the message right to the heart of government.” It comes after a bid was put in for a village green on the beach as well as a legal letter being sent to Wirral Council.

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Charity hopes to revamp Calday Grange community swimming pool

A charity hopes to take its community swimming pool “to the next level.”

The Calday Grange Swimming Pool Trust has submitted plans to improve the facilities at the swimming pool on Gourleys Lane in Newton in Wirral within the grounds of the Calday Grange Grammar School.

This includes a new single-storey training room, reception area, accessible facilities, and expanding the changing rooms and creating “a facility fit for public use.”

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£16m secured through government active travel fund for city region

Millions of pounds are to be spent creating safe, easy-to-use active travel routes throughout the Liverpool City Region.

A total of £16m is to be invested into 12 walking and cycling schemes across Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral, Halton, and St Helens. The cash was secured through the government’s active travel fund and is three times more than the region’s indicative allowance.

Among the projects earmarked for upgrade include the installation of a permanent cycle lane on West Derby Road in Liverpool, improvements to the Crosby Pedestrian Coastal Park, Widnes town centre and a route connecting Lea Green and Whiston Hospital. Further funding has also been secured for enhancements on Conway Street in Birkenhead.

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Hoylake RNLI to host fundraising car wash

Hoylake RNLI is calling on its supporters and the local community to come along to its fundraising car wash and raise vital funds to keep people safe at the coast this summer.

Organised by the Hoylake RNLI lifeboat crew, the car wash will see the volunteers scrub, rinse and polish visitors’ cars for just £5 per vehicle from 10am until 1pm on Saturday 3 June. Last year saw the return of this much-loved event after its three-year hiatus due to Covid, raising just under £900!

With Hoylake RNLI volunteer crew launching 37 times in 2022 and 39 in 2021, money raised through fundraising events like this help to ensure that lifeboat crews and lifeguards have everything they need to save lives at sea.

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Margaret Greenwood says she will not stand at next General Election

Wirral West Labour MP, Margaret Greenwood has issued a statement saying that she will not stand at the next General Election.

Greenwood, a former teacher and dedicated community activist, played a crucial role as a founding member of ‘Defend our NHS’.

During the 2015 general election, Greenwood was selected as the chosen candidate for the Wirral West constituency. Engaging in a high-profile campaign, she managed to secure a close victory over Esther McVey, a prominent Conservative cabinet minister.

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Brackenwood Golf Course vandalised

A closed Wirral golf course has been seriously vandalised for the second time this month.

Brackenwood Golf Course in Bebington was closed last year as part of the council’s budget cuts.

Since then the course has been managed for free by volunteers at the golf club there while they wait for Wirral Council to decide whether to allow it to move into community hands.

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The Burrow for children aged 7 and under opens at Seacombe’s Eureka!

Eureka! Science + Discovery has announced the long-awaited news that The Burrow will open to the public on 27 May.

The Burrow, situated at the existing Eureka! Science + Discovery centre in Wallasey, is a playful and interactive space with objects, activities and play areas themed around local nature and our environment (there’s even an adorable Wood Mouse nest with a slide!) just for children aged 7 and under and their families.

Eureka! Science + Discovery tickets include entry into The Burrow, and annual pass holders will be able to access The Burrow free of charge.

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Wirral South MP to challenge for redrawn Birkenhead seat

Wirral South MP, Alison McGovern, has announced that she has put herself forward for the Birkenhead seat in the next General Election.

Boundary changes mean that her current seat, Wirral South, will no longer exist. The Birkenhead constituency will remain, albeit with slightly redrawn boundaries,

Alison McGovern issued a statement that said, “When I first stood to be your Member of Parliament in 2010, I was 29 years old, and I must have seemed pretty naive. I hoped to win, but I didn’t expect to. I wanted to stand for the place that made me, and the campaign team worked so hard, but it seemed incredible to discover at 6am on 7 May 2010 I had won by 531 votes. You gave me your trust against all odds. Thank you so much.”

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Birkenhead mum who was terrified of water launches month-long RNLI swimathon

Milena Smith from Birkenhead had never set foot in a swimming pool before her daughters were saved by the RNLI. She is now facing her ultimate fear to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.

Milena has pledged to swim 20 lengths every single day throughout June and is calling on people to dig deep to support her fundraising efforts in aid of the RNLI.

The 37-year-old is certain that had it not been for the RNLI crew at Barmouth, her girls would not be here today.

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Local Scouts issue call for volunteers

Merseyside Scouts are on the lookout for volunteers to help with a wide range of tasks including group leading, activity planning, administrative duties, record keeping, and gardening. 

Scouts are renowned for enjoying camping, hiking, swimming, abseiling, cycling and canoeing and they also meet every week for activities that involve being part of a team, playing games and taking on new challenges.  

Anybody is welcome to join Scouts, regardless of gender, race, physical ability or background.  

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Wirral has new council leader

Tensions erupted as Wirral elected its new council leader in a major vote tonight.

Labour councillor Paul Stuart was elected leader of the council with Cllr Jean Robinson as deputy. However, it was not without controversy as Green councillors accused the other parties of being undemocratic.

Cllr Stuart currently leads the local authority’s 30 Labour councillors after he challenged Cllr Janette Williamson for the position just after the local elections earlier in May and won.

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Tranmere Legends match raises £6.5k for suicide prevention charity

A Kevin Ellison double helped a Tranmere Rovers Legends side see off Wirral Radio in front of a crowd of 711 supporters. 

However, the game had a deeper meaning, with the money raised going to The Martin Gallier Project, a suicide prevention project based in New Ferry. 

At Ashville FC, a Tranmere Rovers legends side faced off against Birkenhead Sunday League side, Wirral Radio, with the ex-Rovers triumphing 3-1 and in the process, rasing £6,452, which is enough to fund 80 life-saving interventions. 

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Ian Dawes talks Nigel Adkins, Neil Danns, and player development

Recently, Tranmere Rovers’ backroom staff and retained players have begun to take shape, with a new manager at the helm, assistant, sporting director and new contracts to boot. 

Tranmere manager Ian Dawes spoke all about the recent incomings and how it’ll benefit the cause of the club. 

Speaking about former Premier League manager and new sporting director, Nigel Adkins, Dawes stated, “It’s his experience, also his contacts, are so important for us.”

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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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