Sunday Snippets, 31 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.

Latest figures show extent of Wirral sewage spills

Statistics published by the Environment Agency on United Utilities (UU) show how at seven outlets across the borough, more than 1,000 hours of spills were recorded at seven outlets with the Bromborough Wastewater Treatment Works spilling for more than 4,000 hours. 

One of the highest outlets along the Arrowe Brook in Saughall Massie has not been monitored up until 2023 but last year saw sewage spills last the equivalent of 151 days spilling 237 times.

Overall, sewage was discharged for more than 21,000 hours in Wirral and councillors have angrily reacted to the statistics saying it showed “the extent of the failure throughout Wirral” while one described an Environment Agency map showing sewage spills for 2023 as the “cr*p map of the year”.

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Wirral bikers reach Cape Town after 10,000-mile fundraising journey

Two Wirral bikers have completed the ride of their lives after setting off on a mammoth motorcycle challenge to South Africa in aid of Claire House.

Derek Charlton from Heswall and Paul Gee from Barnston undertook an incredible 10,000-mile motorbike journey from Merseyside to Cape Town.

Wirral dad Derek said while he and friend Paul are both avid motorcyclists, this is their biggest, and toughest, adventure on the road yet.

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Birkenhead Market Argos move confirmed

Birkenhead Market will be moving into a former Argos despite fears it will lead to the end of the market for good.

A market has existed in Birkenhead since 1835 with a current location within the Grange Precinct. For several years, Wirral Council which took over the market in 2019 has been developing plans it said would create a purpose-built flagship new market that would kick start its regeneration of the town centre.

One year ago, it moved forward with plans on the former House of Fraser site on Grange Road with a budget of nearly £28m but these plans have now been dropped after the local authority pulled back in 2023.

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Ann Cleeves’ ‘The Raging Storm’ sweeps into Hoylake for RNLI fundraising events

Best-selling crime author Ann Cleeves OBE visited Hoylake RNLI lifeboat station on Friday, 15 March, as part of a series of special events around the UK to mark the paperback launch of her latest novel ‘The Raging Storm’.

In The Raging Storm, a mysterious discovery following an RNLI lifeboat launch in a fictional Devon community sparks a new case for investigator DI Matthew Venn.

The launch events at Hope Church Wirral were hosted by Linghams bookshop based in Heswall on Thursday, 14 and Friday, 15 March. Ann was joined on stage by Hoylake RNLI volunteer Chris Williams for a discussion, chaired by crime author Martin Edwards, about the novel and life on the UK coast.

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Update on £25m Maritime Knowledge Hub

An update has been given on £25m plans to deliver a new maritime research hub in Wirral Waters.

The Maritime Knowledge Hub is a proposal by Peel Waters to turn the derelict Central Hydraulic Tower opposite the Stena Line ferry terminal in Birkenhead into a world-class maritime research centre.

The centre will look at researching how to make the maritime industry more environmentally friendly.

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New summer opening times for Wirral tips set to start

Wirral residents will soon have the opportunity to recycle more as Household Waste Recycling Centres open for longer over the spring and summer months.

From Monday, 1 April, the borough’s centres will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm.

There are three Household Waste Recycling Centres in Wirral. They are operated by resource management company Veolia on behalf of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA).

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Go green and travel sustainably to Future Yard during April

Future Yard is encouraging attendees to events and shows to use public transport or bike to travel during its Sustainable Travel Month throughout April.

This is part of the venue’s ongoing effort to become a carbon neutral operation and forms part of a whole programme of activity planned for the year.

A spokesperson for the venue said, “When we take into account our Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, we’re aware that the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint is travel by customers, staff, and suppliers in getting to and from the venue.”

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Bromborough firm fined £400,000 after employee has left leg amputated

A Wirral food manufacturing company has been fined £400,000 after one of its employees had to have her leg amputated.

Sharon Bramhall lost a leg following a serious incident at Baker & Baker Products, which is based in Bromborough. The 58-year-old had to have her left leg amputated below the knee following the incident at the company’s premises on Stadium Road.

Baker and Baker Products, which makes a wide variety of baked goods, pleaded guilty and was sentenced at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on 25 March 2024. In a statement provided to the court, Mrs Bramhall said she felt “lucky” it wasn’t worse.

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How the West Kirby flood wall works

The West Kirby flood wall is 1.1 km long and 1.2 meters high and was built to provide protection to the road and properties against storm surges and high tides.

The award-winning wall incorporates a series of access points which provide numerous places for people to access the promenade, but when a high tide or storms are forecast these access points can be closed off. 

The council receives notices for flood alerts from the Environment Agency and these alerts are assessed alongside weather reports and tidal information. If conditions indicate there may be flooding the council’s highways team will be sent to close the flood gates.

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New Miller’s Quay apartments unveiled

The first interior images of the brand new £130m Miller’s Quay apartments have been released by waterside regeneration specialists, Peel Waters.

The largest residential scheme to date at Wirral Waters will contain five hundred highly sustainable one- and two-bedroom waterfront apartments.

Phase one, containing 150 one- and two-bedroom homes, is due to hit the market this summer. Phase two, the final 350 new homes, will be ready in early 2025.

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Wirral MP pays tribute to RNLI as ‘extraordinary’ charity celebrates 200th anniversary

Margaret Greenwood MP has praised the “intense bravery and dedication” of RNLI volunteers and staff and said that she is “honoured” to represent Wirral West which has two RNLI lifeboat stations, one at Hoylake and one at West Kirby.

She was speaking in a debate in parliament on the bicentenary of the RNLI, which was founded in 1824.

The latest figures show that RNLI lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched more than 9,000 times in 2022, aiding 16,476 people and saving 389 lives.

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Former Tranmere player to run two fundraising marathons in two days

Former Tranmere Rovers player Alex Hay will be completing a double marathon in two days next month to raise funds for Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

The first marathon will finish at Prenton Park prior to the AFC Wimbledon fixture, before Alex runs the London Marathon the following day.

After completing the London Marathon in 2022, Alex will be going a step further with the double this time around, with Rovers supporters invited to come along early to the AFC Wimbledon game to support him at the finish of the first leg.

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REVIEW: Jazz and classical fusion provides a night of folkloric brilliance at Future Yard

Jazz and Contemporary Classical meet with a strong Scottish, Irish, and Eastern European folklore aesthetic.

That’s how I’d sum up two quite remarkable bands, singularly racking up awards aplenty, who have come together on a wet winter night in a packed-out Birkenhead venue, part of a nine-gig tour.

I didn’t need to worry about disparities in style or sticking to convention as it all proved to be an absolutely thrilling collaboration, albeit genre alert – not for the purists. Housed in an impressive multi-functional space – Future Yard, a hip 280 capacity gig venue, indoor bar, outside garden space, rehearsal studio, and a funky coffee shop all in one place.

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Labour’s Police & Crime Commissioner pledges a safer, stronger Merseyside in manifesto launch

Labour’s Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, has launched her manifesto setting out her commitments if re-elected for a second term on Thursday, 2 May.

Emily was first elected in 2021 and has since delivered £14 million additional funding for victims and crime prevention, launched the brand new Victim Care hub, invested £350,000 in better opportunities for young people, and developed a partnership strategy to tackle violence against women and girls. 

Emily said, “I was incredibly proud to be elected PCC and have worked tirelessly to be a strong voice for our region. Despite promises of extra police officer numbers from the Tory Government, Merseyside remains 450 officers short of the number we had in 2010. I’ll continue to demand better for our residents and for the government to deliver on their promises.”

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Tranmere lose at Bradford

Tranmere Rovers suffered a two-nil defeat against Bradford City at Valley Parade on Good Friday.

Nigel Adkins made three changes to the lineup from the previous encounter with Crawley last week, reintroducing Dan Pike, Harvey Saunders, and Tom Davies to the starting roster.

Rovers opened strongly, securing a couple of corners within the first three minutes, with Joe Yarney narrowly missing a header from the second corner.

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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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