Sunday Snippets 4 April 2021

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from It is a weekly round-up of our most popular good news stories from the last seven days. Click on each story to read the full article.

The Irregulars – Not your regular Sherlock Holmes tale

For the first in an occasional series of reviews, ‘Prospero’s Daughter’ takes a look at Netflix’s ‘The Irregulars’, filmed at many local locations, including the Palm House at Sefton Park, Canning Street and Rodney Street in Liverpool, St George’s Hall, the Victoria Gallery and Museum on Brownlow Hill and the Grand Entrance at Birkenhead Park.

Sherlock Holmes is surely the hardest working detective in fiction.

According to Wikipedia, the character is the most prolific in the history of cinema and, since he sprang full-grown from the pen of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887’s A Study in Scarlet, he’s never fallen out of the public consciousness.

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More than 80 well-known employers commit to ‘first of its kind’ jobs fair this April

NorthWestWorks4U, the virtual jobs fair taking place this April, has announced that more than 80 big-name employers have signed up to advertise roles for jobseekers across the region.

Brands including Network Rail, the MOD, Engie, Kier, Greggs, North West Ambulance Service, two NHS trusts, Eddie Stobart, TalkTalk, McCann Health, the RAF and have already signed up for NorthWestWorks4U.

There will be more than 8,000 growth-sector vacancies to fill at the fair, which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK. There will also be support and employability content, with practical advice about jobs for an expected audience of 20,000 local job seekers in the North West.

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Birkenhead 2040 Framework – Have Your Say

Residents and businesses of Wirral are being asked for their views and suggestions for the proposed transformation of an entire town.

An eight week consultation started on Wednesday 24 March.

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Longer hours for Wirral Recycling Centres

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) in the Liverpool City Region will open for an extra three hours every day from Thursday 1 April.

The Recycling Centres, which are provided by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and operated by resource management company Veolia, will be switching to their summer opening hours until October, meaning most will be open from 8.00am until 8.00pm (*excludes Rainhill HWRC), seven days a week.

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Work starts on £30m Rock Ferry residential development

Affordable housing developer, Torus, has officially started work on its £30 million scheme in Rock Ferry which will see 186 homes built on the site of the former Rock Ferry High School.

Signaling the beginning of a two-year project with construction firm, Anwyl Partnerships, to regenerate and redevelop the brownfield site, the team will refurbish Ravenswood House, a Grade II listed building, as a centrepiece to the scheme. In the grounds 84 new homes, 19 of which will be available via Shared Ownership and 65 through Affordable Rent, will be constructed alongside a 102 apartment Extra Care Scheme.

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Dogs Trust rescues 1,500th smuggled puppy through its pioneering Puppy Pilot scheme

Dogs Trust is demanding that the Government takes urgent action to end puppy smuggling as the charity reaches the milestone of 1,500 smuggled puppies rescued and rehomed through its Puppy Pilot scheme – with an approximate street value of £3 million if they had been sold by their dealers. Dogs Trust is calling for the Government to:

  • Raise the minimum age for puppies to enter the UK to six months
  • Increase penalties for those caught illegally importing dogs

The Puppy Pilot scheme was originally set up in 2015 to aid the interception of illegally imported puppies by APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) at the ports and provide care and rehabilitation for them prior to finding them new homes. Five years on and the ‘pilot’ scheme is still needed more than ever as demand for dogs during the pandemic continues to fuel the trade.

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LGBTQ+ North West Business Awards announces inaugural year

LGBTQ+ owned and allied businesses in the North West are being encouraged to enter the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards, which have been open for nominations from Friday 26 March 2021.

The awards which are taking place this September will bring together businesspeople from across the North West of England including Wirral, Liverpool, Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and beyond, with all sectors of the economy being represented.

The venue for the awards evening will be Heatherfield House in Claughton, Wirral and takes place Thursday 16 September 2021 from 7pm.

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Steve Rotheram launches manifesto with pledges on jobs, transport and climate change

Steve Rotheram, Labour’s candidate for Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, launched his re-election manifesto on 31 March, promising to create a city region where “no one is left behind”.

Speaking about the launch of his manifesto, Mayor Steve Rotheram, said, “As Metro Mayor my number one priority has always been to stand up for everyone, in every part, of our great city region. Today I’m setting out a bold vision of how I’ll continue to do just that over the next three years. 

“Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, I’ve stood up for our region, taking on Boris Johnson and the Government to win more funding and support for our councils. I’ve also invested more than £40m to keep the local economy afloat and put together exciting plans to help the region recover.

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Residents can swim and gym with Wirral Leisure as facilities reopen in April

Preparations are underway to reopen swimming and gym facilities in Wirral in line with the Government’s proposed easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Wirral Leisure facilities planned to reopen from Monday 12 April, include:

  • Swimming at Europa, West Kirby and Guinea Gap Leisure Centres
  • Gyms at Bidston Tennis Centre, West Kirby and Guinea Gap Leisure Centres

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Vote for your favourite Mavis Blackburn painting from the Williamson Art Gallery’s collection

The Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead is expanding their Visitor Favourites collection, and they need your input!

Over the last few months on their Facebook page, they’ve shared several paintings by the artist Mavis Blackburn (1923-2005). Mavis Blackburn was born and lived all her life in West Kirby. She trained under Will C. Penn at Liverpool School of Art and he proved a great influence and a mentor for her. She became a teacher herself, for many years at Upton Hall. She became an important member of the Wirral Society of Arts, Deeside Art Group and the Royal Cambrian Academy.

Mavis Blackburn worked in so many different genres, and for this poll the Williamson has chosen to focus on her “place” paintings. She brings landscapes, towns and everyday locations to life – but which is your favourite? View this gallery of five paintings and vote for your favourite!

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Even more bins and extra collections in New Brighton and West Kirby to cope with demand

As the sun continues to shine and lockdown measures have started to ease, Wirral’s beaches have been packed with day-trippers and locals making the most of the weather.

In response, Wirral Council has put out extra bins in the busiest places – with extra facilities and more regular collections in New Brighton and West Kirby. New Brighton councillor Tony Jones said: “It’s great for us to see so many people enjoying themselves in New Brighton.

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‘Sea serpent’ captured on camera at Wirral docks

An incredible, unidentified sea creature has been caught on camera by a photographer who was taking photographs along Tower Road between Birkenhead and Wallasey.

Olaf Proli is a Norwegian trucker who found some time on his hands whilst waiting for the ferry to Dublin from Birkenhead. Being a keen photographer, Mr. Proli decided to explore the area around Twelve Quays and take some photographs of the surroundings.

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Residents, Community Groups and Businesses of Port Sunlight tell their story of lockdown

Port Sunlight Village Trust (PSVT) has launched ‘Be Port Sunlight’ a new online hub containing an archive of audio and visual documents which convey a sense of life in Port Sunlight during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. 

Featuring homemade NHS ‘thank you’ signs, pandemic poetry and virtual pubs, provides a snapshot of the intimate and shared moments which occurred in one historic village and conservation area during this time. A series of themed podcasts present oral histories centering around four themes that reflect the foundations of civic life in the village: architecture, culture, economy, and environment. 

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William Holman Hunt painting reinstalled at Lady Lever ahead of reopening

Friday marked the birthday of artist William Holman Hunt. He was born on this day in 1827, at Cheapside, London. He was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and his paintings were notable for their great attention to detail, vivid colour, and elaborate symbolism.

One of his paintings, ‘May Morning at Magdalen Tower’ has been reinstalled at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, ahead of reopening.

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MP supports businesses’ proposal for al-fresco dining at Oxton

Birkenhead is surging ahead with its plans for the regeneration of the town, as can be seen with the Wirral Waters project and the start of the redevelopment at Milton Pavement, Grange Road. The Council has put in effort, imagination and energy into launching these and other projects in town and has secured funds to carry them out.

We should also be looking at ways to save and improve our hospitality sector. In a rejuvenated town a burgeoning hospitality industry can create jobs, attract visitors and benefit local residents and their local economy.

And this is where Oxton comes in. Following a meeting with several of the hospitality businesses based on or around Rose Mount in Oxton, Mick Whitley, MP for Birkenhead, has raised the need for urgent action if they are to survive.

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Visitors to beauty spots urged to take litter home this Easter weekend

Visitors to Wirral beauty spots are being urged to take their litter home after some of the borough’s most popular beaches and parks were left covered in rubbish, with waste left behind.

People are also being reminded that Public Spaces Protection Orders are in effect at West Kirby beach, Caldy beach and Cubbins Green and at New Brighton, while many national restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic also remain in place.

The PSPOs were brought in last September for two years and follow significant numbers of complaints about anti social behaviour in these locations.

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