Sunday Snippets, 8 October 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.

Green Lane and Bromborough Rake rail services to be fully reinstated

Trains at two Merseyrail stations will be fully reinstated on Monday after more than a year of reduced services.

Rail services at Green Lane and Bromborough Rake stations saw a reduced service to decrease the number of delays on the Chester and Ellesmere Port lines.

This decision to run trains every half an hour prompted criticism from local Labour and Green councillors in Bromborough and Birkenhead.

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Criticism of proposal to close two Heswall car parks

Thousands have signed petitions as they slammed a “nonsense” proposal to close two car parks in a Wirral town.

The proposal was put forward in a Royal HaskoningDHV report commissioned by Wirral Council to help develop its parking strategy for the borough.

The local authority has now finished the second stage of getting public feedback on its plans which could see £15.4m a year generated. These could include introducing new restrictions, measures to tackle bad parking, and fluctuating prices for car parks at peak times.

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West Kirby gallery to host new exhibition

The LAKE gallery in West Kirby is hosting an exhibition titled Shore, Sea, Sky – the North Wales coast project.

In this exciting collaborative exhibition, three artists explore the spaces where the shore, sea and sky meet, responding both to the land and seascape of the North Wales coast and to each other’s work.

Artwork from painter David Kereszeny-Lewis, contemporary artist Jon Clayton, and glass artist Helen Smith can be viewed between 19 October and 25 November.

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Former Birkenhead school sells for over £1m at auction

The latest Smith and Sons property auction has taken place, producing strong results for the Wirral-based auctioneer.

Amongst the lots sold were the former Cole Street Primary School in Birkenhead, which sold for a value in excess of £1million.

A development site on Canning Street in Birkenhead, adjacent to the Wirral Waters site, sold for £500,000.

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As other parties support 20mph rollout, Wirral Conservatives call for speed limit review

Wirral’s rollout of 20mph faces a key test as its council’s Conservative group call for a review of the policy.

The council is in the process of rolling out 20mph limits on more than 1,700 roads across Wirral in the first of four phases of changing speed limits in residential areas. It has also finished a consultation on the second phase for nearly 1,000 roads with a decision on this expected in December.

Conservative leader Jeff Green has put forward a motion calling for a review of the policy, consider engaging again on the scheme’s first phase, and pause the second phase for now with the exception of roads outside schools. This will be debated by all councillors at a full council meeting on 9 October.

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Site of former Seacombe furniture store could become 36-bedroom HMO

A former furniture store and a pharmacy targeted by arsonists could be turned into a 36 bedroom house of multiple occupation (HMO).

The HMO is proposed at the old Jacksons Furniture on St Paul’s Road in Seacombe. Navkar Properties is seeking to demolish the current building and replace it with a new build HMO.

The plans are up for approval at a Wirral Council planning committee meeting on 11 October. This is because Wirral Council’s leader Cllr Paul Stuart has called it in arguing it is “not in keeping with the character of the area and there is an over-proliferation of HMOs locally.”

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Original stage play to celebrate 250th anniversary of ‘Amazing Grace’ in Upton

After the phenomenal success of its debut tour in April, the original stage play Forever Mine will visit Wirral in October with a special performance in St Mary’s Church, Upton.  

2023 marks the 250th anniversary of “Amazing Grace” – the world’s best-loved hymn and one of the most recorded songs of all time, which has a historic connection with the area.

The UK tour of Forever Mine will be performed in many of the iconic historic venues where the events of this true story took place, retracing the steps of John Newton’s life.

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Council paid £10.5m for two Birkenhead shopping centres – £60m less than when they were last sold

Wirral Council spent £10.5m on purchasing two shopping centres in Birkenhead town centre.

The decision to buy the Pyramids and the Grange shopping centres was made at a Policy and Resources committee meeting on 27 April, subject to risk and compliance checks being carried out by council officers before going ahead with the purchase.

The purchase was completed in May but Wirral Council didn’t reveal how much it had paid for the shopping centre at the time citing commercial sensitivity.

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‘We’re taking back control’ – Metro Mayor hails move to bring buses back into public ownership

The decision to bring buses back into public ownership across the Liverpool City Region “will change the face of public transport forever where we live” according to the area’s Metro Mayor.

In a landmark move, the region’s combined authority formally adopted a franchising model that will give it the power to set fares and routes across the six council areas. Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram confirmed the decision in a historic meeting at Mann Island.

In embracing the franchise model, Liverpool City Region becomes only the second area outside London to run a publicly operated bus network. It is thought the first service owned by the people could be on the road within three years.

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Winners of New Light Art Prize shine brightly at Birkenhead’s Willamson Art Gallery exhibition

The winners of the prestigious New Light Art Prize have been announced at the opening of the Prize Exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum in Birkenhead on Friday 29 September.

Experts, enthusiasts, curators, and art gallery owners joined together with one hundred of the shortlisted artists who waited in anticipation for the results.

The biennial New Light Art Prize shines a light on Northern artists, celebrating the immense talent the region has to offer.

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Surgeon swims Mersey for charity

Hundreds of loyal supporters do all sorts to raise money for the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund each year – but a surgeon swimming the Mersey is definitely one of the more unusual.

Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Matthew Cartwright-Terry is a long-time supporter of CAFOD, SCIAF’s sister organisation in England.

Yet he also signed up to SCIAF’s mailing list years ago, after hearing an inspiring talk from a former SCIAF Chief Executive. And this summer he was so moved by a letter he received from SCIAF, he decided to dedicate his swim to their appeal.

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Consultation open on exciting masterplan for Birkenhead’s Dock Branch area

An exciting and transformational masterplan outlines how the heart of Birkenhead can be revitalised through the creation of a new neighbourhood focused on the area around the town’s historic Dock Branch railway line. 

The plans are based on feedback from the public following initial consultations on the broad objectives to give this part of Birkenhead town centre a new lease of life.

Surrounding what is proposed to be the Dock Branch linear park on the site of the former railway tracks the new Dock Branch Neighbourhood will aim to provide a welcoming and attractive place to visit, work and most importantly live and bring up families.

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Hoylake Boating Lake reopens after refurb

Volunteers and club members, alongside Wirral Council, have helped to clean up, refurbish, and re-open the model boating lake in Hoylake.

Community groups, members of the Hoylake Model Boat Club and visitors to the area, can get back to enjoying the well-loved feature on Hoylake promenade, now that it has been repaired and refilled.

The works involved clearing algae and weeds, emptying and renovating the lake by preparing, sealing and painting and then refilling.

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Seven Wirral schools and colleges shortlisted for prestigious Educate Awards

Seven inspirational schools and colleges across Wirral have been named in the highly anticipated Educate Awards shortlist.

For over a decade, the Educate Awards have shone a spotlight on the education sector, showcasing the fantastic work of schools and colleges that are continually delivering an outstanding education and supporting young people to reach their full potential.

With a total of 20 categories, the shortlist recognises inspiring teachers, dedicated support staff, and strategic leadership teams.

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Tranmere secure victory over Bradford City

Tranmere Rovers triumphed over Bradford City 2-1 on Tuesday evening, courtesy of strikes by Regan Hendry and Kieron Morris.

In the early stages, Bradford came close as Jamie Walker’s curling shot hit the post just five minutes into the game.

Five minutes later, Alex Pattison created an opportunity on the right side of the box for the visitors, but Luke McGee skillfully deflected the shot over the crossbar.

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Tranmere battle to 2-2 draw with Grimsby

Tranmere Rovers fought to a 2-2 draw against Grimsby Town on Saturday afternoon, with goals courtesy of Kieron Morris and Connor Jennings.

Rovers began the match with enthusiasm, executing several smooth plays in an attempt to set up Harvey Saunders for a scoring opportunity. However, Grimsby successfully defended against the early offensive.

Tranmere took the lead in the 16th minute when Connor Jennings skillfully passed the ball to Kieron Morris, who calmly slotted it past the keeper to put Rovers ahead.

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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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