Sunday Snippets, 3 March 2024

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.

Council explores cost-cutting measures at Floral Pavilion

Four jobs could potentially be lost as Wirral Council revealed its plans to help save the Floral Pavilion theatre.

The Floral Pavilion on Marine Promenade in New Brighton is the largest theatre venue in Wirral, able to seat over 800 people in its auditorium, with additional conference rooms, and a large multi-purpose lounge area. The theatre has been in place in some form since 1913 but was redeveloped in 2008 for £11.1m.

Despite attracting 300,000 visitors a year, the theatre has struggled to balance the books with a budgeted out-turn of £1.4m and an expected subsidy this year of £803,000. In light of this, Wirral Council has been reviewing the service since July 2023 to look at getting a private operator in.

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Upton Hall girl takes home ‘One to Watch’ film award

Young filmmaking prodigies were celebrated at the 10th annual Moving Image Awards at a ceremony held at the British Film Institute on 26 February, including a student from Upton Hall School FCJ.

Proud students, parents, and teachers from across the UK gathered at the prestigious event to celebrate the work of young directors, screenwriters, and producers.

The Moving Image Awards, which launched in 2014 in collaboration with the British Film Institute, recognises and celebrates the best moving image productions from students undertaking Eduqas qualifications in Film and Media across the UK.

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Find out more about dramatic plans for Woodside

Exciting plans are being put forward for Woodside in Birkenhead and the public are being urged to have their say on the proposals.

Consultation is currently underway on how this waterfront location can be re-invented as one of Wirral’s key living, leisure, and tourist locations.

The aim of the proposals is to capitalise on the location’s unrivalled views of Liverpool’s waterfront, with 420 metres of unparalleled river front to optimise, whilst also dramatically improving its connections with Birkenhead town centre and the river Mersey.

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New Ferry woman speaks about impact of Teenage Cancer Trust

Mod enthusiasts are gearing up for a month-long series of 32 fundraising gigs taking place across the country during March as they get one step closer to reaching one million pounds for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The group, called March of the Mods is the brainchild of Eddie Penny, a bus driver, and Teenage Cancer Trust supporter, from Liverpool. Twelve years ago, he had the idea of staging a series of mod music gigs across the country in March.

The group met Mel Kelly, 23, from New Ferry, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2022 after experiencing headaches and problems with her vision.

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Wirral Council apologises to family after child ‘missed out’ on a year of school

Wirral Council has apologised to a family and paid £3,350 after failings meant a child “missed out” on a year of school.

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) received a complaint from a mum, referred to as Ms X, for failing to find a suitable school placement for her child with special educational needs, referred to as B, for over three years and poorly communicating with her throughout.

As a result, Ms X said she “experienced avoidable distress and anxiety and her child missed out on education and support in a suitable school.”

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Calday Pool to host overnight swimathon fundraiser to help improve the facilities

Calday Grange swimming pool is hosting an overnight swimathon and cake sale to raise much-needed funds to upgrade the pool’s facilities.

Swimmers of all abilities are encouraged to participate and swim as much or as little as they choose.

The Swimathon and cake sale (for hungry swimmers/spectators/anyone who likes cake!) will be held on Friday 8 – Saturday 9 March from 09:30pm – 07:00am. Those who are interested in participating are encouraged to register here 

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Free public Wi-Fi installed in New Brighton

Wi-Fi is now available for free in parts of New Brighton in a project to help local businesses.

The scheme will allow anyone in the area to access the Wi-Fi at no cost during their visit to the seaside town.

The project aims to support local business in two of the main independent shopping areas of New Brighton and is available in parts of Victoria Road and Seabank Road.

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Boxing legend Tony Bellew kicks off Tour de Wards cycle at Arrowe Park Hospital

Fresh from his return from the I’m a Celebrity jungle, boxing legend Tony Bellew has launched the Tour de Wards cycle challenge at Arrowe Park Hospital.

Always up for a challenge, the former cruiserweight champion delighted fans by taking on the I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! bushtucker trials earlier this year and has now backed the hospital’s WUTH Charity big cycle challenge.

The Tour de Wards cycle event officially kicks off on Monday 26th February, where participants will go head-to-head on static bikes at the entrance of Arrowe Park Hospital all week to raise funds for the hospital’s WUTH Charity Tiny Stars Appeal.

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Two years on, Wirral families continue to support displaced Ukrainians

Saturday, 24 February, marked the second anniversary of the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In the weeks and months that followed the invasion in 2022, millions of Ukrainian citizens were forced to flee their homeland in search of refuge, with many coming to the UK as part of the Homes for Ukraine scheme and supported by the sponsorship of ordinary British families.

At the height of the refugee crisis, there were nearly 500 people displaced from the war-torn areas of Ukraine who were living with families in Wirral.

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Sue Higginson OBE DL awarded Wirral’s highest honour

The former principal of Wirral Met College, Sue Higginson OBE DL, was presented with Wirral’s highest honour – the Freedom of the Borough – at a civic event hosted by the Mayor on Tuesday, 27 February.

Councillors agreed unanimously to grant the honour at an extraordinary meeting of the Council on 4 December, in recognition of her service to the borough, which spans over four decades.

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour the Council can bestow and only 14 other individuals and groups have received it in the 50 years since Wirral Council was formed.

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Seafront hire vans targeted by graffiti vandals

A van hire company accused of taking over a picturesque Merseyside seafront has seen several of its vehicles vandalised with graffiti following widespread anger.

West Wallasey Van Hire (WWVH) has been criticised in recent months for parking its vehicles along King’s Parade in Wallasey in Wirral and accused by local councillors of expecting people “to put up with losing car parking at a key location.”  

The company has now signed a lease with Wirral Council to use a key regeneration site off Dock Road near the Wallasey tunnel for two years and as part of that agreement, it promised it would no longer park its vehicles on the promenade. 

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Victoria Cross awarded to WWI Tranmere naval officer could fetch £220k at auction

The Victoria Cross (VC) awarded to a World War One hero born in Tranmere is expected to fetch £180,000-220,000 at Noonans Mayfair in their auction on Wednesday, 13 March.

The outstanding Great War posthumous VC was awarded to Lieutenant-Commander Edgar Christopher Cookson of the Royal Navy who was killed while leading a ‘Cavalry Charge’ on water in 1915.

The VC was awarded during the operations involving the Tigris Flotilla where he paid the ultimate price for his gallantry in the river gunboat Comet when, under a storm of point-blank fire, he leapt aboard a Turkish sailing vessel or dhow brandishing an axe – a fellow officer later observed “there were more bullet holes in him than they cared to count.”

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Wirral Council eyes wood burner restrictions to combat air pollution

Wirral Council is looking to bring in a blanket restriction for what people can put in their wood burners.

At a tourism, communities, culture, and leisure committee on 7 March, councillors are being asked to revoke 30 orders currently in place that restrict what and how people burn fuel in their homes and bring in a borough wide policy.

This would mean parts of Bebington and Clatterbridge which currently don’t have restrictions would be brought under the new policy.

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New memorial unveiled to the ‘Gentleman of the Seas’

A new memorial has been unveiled on the Birkenhead waterfront dedicated to a Peruvian national hero and his Laird’s-built warship.

The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Jerry Williams, was joined by the Ambassador of Peru in the UK, His Excellency Juan Carlos Gamarra, to unveil the new memorial to Grand Admiral Miguel Grau on Friday, 23 February.

The site for the new memorial, close to the Monks Ferry slipway, was chosen as it is just a stones-throw from the dry dock where his vessel, Huascar, was built and launched by Laird Brothers in 1865.

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Tranmere suffer defeat at Swindon

Tranmere Rovers suffered a 3-1 defeat against Swindon away on Tuesday evening.

Nigel Adkins made five changes from the weekend’s Forest Green game, with James Norris, Reece McAlear, Josh Hawkes, Paul Lewis, and Luke Norris returning to the starting eleven.

Six minutes into the match, Lewis initiated an attack for Rob Apter with a clever through ball, but Blake-Tracey blocked the winger’s shot from just inside the box.

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Late Apter strike secures Tranmere win

Tranmere Rovers secured victory in a hard-fought match at Prenton Park on Saturday, defeating Sutton United 1-0.

The decisive moment came from Rob Apter’s late curled strike, eluding Steve Arnold in Sutton’s goal, propelling the hosts ahead in the 87th minute.

Despite Connor Jennings’ penalty miss early in the second half and a denied spot-kick before the break for a perceived handball on the line, Tranmere maintain their 18th position in League Two.

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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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