Sunday Snippets, 5 November 2023

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.

Wirral students rock Friday Night Live stage in New Brighton

Students from two Wirral schools recently performed at the Oakland Gallery in New Brighton’s Victoria Quarter. 

Performers from St John Plessington Catholic College in Bebington and St Mary’s Catholic College in Wallasey took to the stage to perform a range of songs for a packed room as part of Friday Night Live. 

Friday Night Live, an event at Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust (HFCMAT), provides students with the opportunity to showcase their musical talent in front of a large audience, celebrating their abilities and developing their confidence. 

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Wirral Council reveals plans for land nicknamed ‘Birkenhead beach’

Wirral Council has revealed its plans for a patch of land that’s been nicknamed a “beach”.

The land sits between the local authority’s new office buildings as part of the first phase of the Birkenhead Commercial District and the car park for the ASDA in Birkenhead town centre.

Currently, the site is covered by sand and dirt but the local authority said it plans for it to be used as a green space for the time being.

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Plans submitted for 66 new homes on site of former school In Moreton

Plans have been submitted for 66 new homes on the site of a former school in Wirral.

The former Foxfield School site in Moreton was cleared in 2015 after the school relocated to Woodchurch. It was approved for sale by Wirral Council’s former cabinet in 2015 and was finally sold for £2.6m to Lovell Partnerships in 2023.

A planning application has now been submitted for the site on Douglas Drive in the town to build the homes which will create “a unique sense of place” and “provide attractive mixed tenure addition to the local housing market, providing open market sale and affordable new housing to meet the specifics of local demand.”

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Mayor officially opens not-for-profit community shop

Rek 41 has opened a not-for-profit community convenience store in Birkenhead to help those who are struggling during the cost of living crisis and beyond.

The new shop was officially opened by the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jerry Williams, and is based on Hamilton Street, just a few doors down from the Rek 41 no-alcohol social hub. The store is open to anyone and any profits are reinvested into the local community.

The store uses a slightly different method of keeping its shelves stocked compared to similar outlets. It buys all of its stock from a cash-and-carry but keeps the price mark-up as low as possible to pass on savings to its customers.

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Council to allocate Wirral Growth Company profits for new office rent charges

Wirral Council will spend £1.5m on paying rent for its new offices before the local authority even moves in.

Reports show the local authority will use £2m of profits from the Wirral Growth Company, a joint venture, to offset rents for the first phase of the Birkenhead Commercial District (BCD) and exit costs from the current offices it rents at the Cheshire Lines building in Canning Street.

The local authority recently completed the first phase of the BCD with the construction of two new office buildings, the Mallory and Irvine buildings, on Milton Pavements in Birkenhead town centre.

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Wirral autism charity partners with swim school to offer pool sessions to the community

Autism Together has teamed up with Wirral swim school, Splashed Out, to give local people access to its heated sensory swimming pool.

From its base in Bromborough, Autism Together supports autistic people of all ages with around 800 staff providing residential, supported living, and day services to over 400 autistic adults, and support to many more families across the region.

The charity’s swimming pool provision is an important part of the services it offers to the people it supports.

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Friends of Flaybrick to hold annual service of remembrance

Birkenhead charity the Friends of Flaybrick has announced that its annual service of remembrance will take place on Saturday 11 November at Flaybrick Memorial Gardens.

Among those attending the service will be: Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dr Nicholas Jedynakiewicz, who will lay a wreath on behalf of His Majesty The King, The Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral, Councillor and Mrs Jerry Williams, Birkenhead MP Mick Whitley, and Cadets and officers from 400 (Birkenhead) RAF Air Cadet Squadron.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend, and the service is open to members of the public who live locally or who have an interest in Flaybrick Memorial Gardens.

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Wirral Council gives update on Moreton development

Wirral Council has given an update on a new development that will see a new Lidl built in Moreton.

The supermarket is part of a wider development that will see 45 homes built, improvements to the town’s library and youth centre, as well as 80 supported living apartments. It was given planning approval earlier this year subject to an agreement being made on terms of the development.

Councillors at a Wirral Council planning committee in April praised the scheme off Pasture and Knutsford roads for its comprehensive plans, proactive engagement with the local community, and social benefits to the area. They said it showed the local authority “can deliver large and complex regeneration schemes”.

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Government could ask Wirral Council to review its greenbelt policy

Wirral’s greenbelt boundaries may need to be reviewed as a major development policy faces intense scrutiny.

The planning inspectorate, a government body, could ask Wirral Council to review its draft Local Plan’s policy for rural areas after representations were made by several developers and an NHS hospital trust for it to reconsider two hospital sites and a number of villages.

They argued the council was “failing to plan positively” when it came to the greenbelt both in terms of using the land to enhance biodiversity but also look at growing the economy and providing housing in rural areas.

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Tranmere Rovers awarded Cheshire FA’s Disability Club of the Year title

Tranmere Rovers has been awarded the Disability Club of the Year accolade at the Cheshire FA’s annual awards ceremony on Friday.

Tranmere Rovers in the Community host disability football sessions for both adults and juniors at Prenton Park Recreation Centre each week, as well as the Premier League Unified Kicks session which is inclusive of all genders and disabilities.

Tranmere has four disability teams that take part in the Cheshire Ability Counts Football League tournaments, an accredited PAN Disability Football League in Cheshire.

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Jack and the Beanstalk to set to sparkle at the Floral Pavilion

Jack and the Beanstalk has been announced as this year’s panto at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton.

It will star TV sensation Hayley Tamaddon as The Vegetable Fairy. She is well-known for her roles in Emmerdale and Coronation Street and for winning the fifth Dancing on Ice series in 2010.

Joining Hayley is CBeebies Joseph Elliot as Fleshcreep, Blood Brothers star Sean Jones as Simple Simon, Blood Brothers star Joe Sleight as Jack, Tom Sterling as The King, and Rachel Grundy as Jill. Not forgetting Oliver Brooks as the unmissable Dame Trott.

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Birkenhead Market development plans await December report

Work is progressing on the development of Birkenhead Market.

A comprehensive report is due to be presented to Members in December outlining the options and proposals for the future of the market.

At the present time – ahead of the meeting of the Economy, Regeneration and Housing (ER&H) Committee to be held on 6 December 2023 where the report will be presented – no decisions regarding the market have been made.

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Wirral Met College hold inspiring boxing meet and greet at The Hive

The Hive Wirral Youth Zone welcomed two-weight world boxing champion Natasha Jonas and former British & Commonwealth boxing champions Paul and Stephen Smith to deliver an inspiring meet and greet for local teenagers.

Organised by Wirral Met College, the event was a remarkable evening of empowerment and motivation hosted in The Hive’s purpose-built boxing gym.

The boxing stars shared their personal journeys, highlighting the challenges they faced and the strategies they employed to become world-class champions in the world of boxing. The event provided a unique opportunity for attendees to gain insights into the mindset and discipline required to achieve success, both inside and outside the boxing ring.

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New Brighton supergran’s miracle recovery after robotic knee surgery

A retired teacher has made a remarkable recovery and was walking unaided less than 48 hours after robotic surgery to replace her knee and is now back doing the school run with her grandchildren.

Supergran Janet Carroll’s active life included walking, cycling, and swimming, as well as taking three of her six grandchildren to primary school and looking after the youngest, 16-month-old Dylan.

But an arthritic knee had slowed down the sprightly 66-year-old from Wallasey until she was barely able to walk the half a mile to the school or keep up with little Dylan.

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Wirral Council regeneration grant spending plans sent for government approval

Wirral Council has revealed how it plans to spend regeneration grants of £73.5m over the next three years.

The local authority recently sent a plan to the government detailing how it will spend millions of pounds in public grant funding before March 2026. These range from refurbishing a former Argos unit for Birkenhead Market, a new hub for a mental health charity, new public spaces, and redeveloping New Ferry town centre.

The investment plan, if approved by the government, will allow the council to take part in a trial where the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will give it greater control over how it spends public money on regeneration projects.

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New Brighton considered for pilot project to tackle sewage spills

United Utilities is considering New Brighton for a pilot project as part of wider efforts to tackle sewage pollution in the River Mersey.

The town sits at the mouth of the Mersey and made headlines in 2023 following reports the town could be one of the worst sewage polluted beaches in England due to its location near the river.

Data from water company United Utilities outflow pipes in 2022 show sewage was pumped into the River Mersey for nearly 25,000 hours, the equivalent of nearly three years or 15 spills a day.

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Tranmere exit FA Cup in seven-goal thriller

Tranmere Rovers suffered a First Round FA Cup exit due to a stoppage-time goal at Stevenage on Saturday.

Luke Norris, who had returned to Tranmere after leaving the club in the summer, managed to recover from his injury and was included in the starting lineup.

In just three minutes, Stevenage took the lead as Elliot List delivered a cross for Jordan Roberts, who headed the ball into the net.

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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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