Sunday Snippets, 9 October 2022

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from It is a round-up of important local news stories from the last seven days. Click or tap on each story to read the full article.

Cross river swimmers greeted at Monks Ferry

On Saturday 24 September, large crowds gathered at Monks Ferry slipway in Birkenhead to cheer as 178 brave men and women emerged from the River Mersey after swimming all the way from Liverpool.

The Across Mersey Swim has been an organised event since 1994, though the first recorded crossing was in 1863 with only two of the nine swimmers making it across after being in the water for two hours.

While this year’s swim was not a competitive timed event, as swimmers cross the together river in an escorted ‘pod’ for safety, the Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Jeff Green, told crowds that he had been there when the swimmers entered the water at Coburg Dock in Liverpool and the first to arrive at Birkenhead – Craig Fearnley, 37, and Kal Jhugroo, 38, had managed to beat his car to Birkenhead.

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Mersey Ferries return to Seacombe Ferry Terminal following major upgrade

Mersey Ferries services are making a welcome return to Seacombe following a major upgrade of the ferry terminal that has welcomed passengers for hundreds of years.

Both Commuter and River Explorer Cruises will start running from Seacombe on Monday 17 October, for the first time since it closed nearly two years ago and ahead of the opening of the Eureka! Science + Discovery in the coming weeks.

As part of this multi-million pound investment, both the 130-year-old linkspan bridges were replaced, signifying a major piece of engineering work.

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Consultation begins on introducing more 20mph zones

Wirral Council is looking to move forward with proposals to introduce 20mph speed limits in more areas of the borough.

A period of consultation with residents has now begun on the first 15 ‘zones’ where the council wants to reduce speed limits in an effort to improve air quality and make roads on which people live, shop or study safer for everyone.

Over the next four years, a total of 54 zones will be consulted upon, covering all residential areas across Wirral. 

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Tony Bellew abseils for charity at Arrowe Park Hospital

Former boxing champion of the world Tony Bellew joined participants for WUTH Charity’s abseil down the front of Arrowe Park Hospital to raise funds for The Wirral Women and Children’s Hospital’s Neonatal Unit.

The boxing cruiserweight joined Matthew Swanborough, Chief Strategy Officer at Wirral University Teaching Hospital, as the first participants to brave the dreaded drop on day 2 of the fundraiser. Over 80 members of staff took part to raise the vital funds that will benefit the Trust’s smallest patients.

The abseil, which was first launched by WUTH Charity in 2019, is part of the ‘Tiny Stars’ appeal. All money raised will go towards the complete refurbishment of the intensive care unit that specialises in the treatment of our ill or premature newborn infants.

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Wirral fracking petition signed by tens of thousands

A petition set up by Wirral Labour activists to prevent fracking in the area has been signed by 55,000 people in just five days. 

Conservative prime minister Liz Truss has lifted the ban on fracking in England, which was imposed in 2019 after tremors caused by fracking in Lancashire. 

The Conservatives and Lib Dem coalition had granted a conditional licence for UCG in the Dee estuary in 2013, off West Kirby and Hoylake.

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Swap your car for leg power on the school run this October

Living Streets, the charity behind the biggest walk to school campaign and The Bikeability Trust are encouraging families to leave the car at home this month.

October is International Walk to School Month and Cycle to School Week runs from 3 to 7 October 2022.

Cycle to School Week encourages families and schools to celebrate cycling. Participants can choose between pledging to swap one car journey for cycling, cycle to school every day, cycle with their family or discover somewhere new on a cycle ride.

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Merseyside Police to attend all reports of residential burglaries

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy has joined all police chiefs from across the country in supporting a collective decision – for police officers to attend all residential burglary reports.

This reflects the longstanding approach in Merseyside to a crime that we have always considered to be terribly intrusive and upsetting for victims.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Critchley, at Merseyside Police said, “Both the current Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, and her predecessor, Andy Cooke, have taken a tough stance on burglary. The force is committed to tackling burglary by not only maximising every opportunity to gather evidence, identify offenders and put them before the courts, but also through its partnership approach to prevention.

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Public Consultation begins on reimagining New Brighton and Seacombe

A new immersive virtual reality experience will let visitors step into the future and see how New Brighton and Seacombe could look in years ahead.

Over two days at the Floral Pavilion on Friday and Saturday, 14 and 15 of October, visitors to the exhibition will be able use the latest technology to glimpse a possible future for the town and get a sense of how New Brighton and Seacombe could change over the next decade.

These unique public consultation events will use virtual reality (VR) to allow those attending to experience how the towns could develop with the help of customised 3D modelling – and based on ideas by local young people.

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Wirral Ways welcomes a new group of volunteers

Recently, two groups totalling 12 volunteers completed their introductory training and are now fully fledged Wirral Ways Volunteers.

Wirral Ways to Recovery is a free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults (including offenders), young adults, families, carers, and affected others in Wirral.

The cohort received their training from Wirral Way’s Service User Involvement and Volunteer Lead, Mellissa Scarlett.

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Labour councillors are leading the charge to clear up Wirral’s alleys

Wirral Labour councillors are pushing for a crackdown on fly-tipping. Seacombe Labour councillor Paul Stuart is leading the way, advising residents and helping neighbours come together with the council to tidy up alleyways to use them as secure communal space, litter pick in their area and keep plots of land tidy and free of litter. 

After spotting alleyways filled with furniture, toys, rubbish, and overgrowth in Bell Road and Rappart Road, he escalated the issue with senior council officers. He insisted this alleyway was cleared as a priority.

Following Cllr Stuart’s intervention, the council and its contractors have cleared the alleyway, removing several tonnes of waste, fly tipping and overgrowth. 

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Full leisure programme resumes at the Oval

The Oval Leisure Centre in Bebington has now fully reopened to the public after being used by the NHS as a Covid Hub during the pandemic.

The recent reopening of the centre has seen a brand-new pool programme introduced and swimming lessons resume.

The pool programme includes public swimming, Aqua Aerobics, disability sessions, adult only swim sessions, as well as the children’s swimming lessons and Adult Learn to Swim classes.

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Wirral West MP raises alarm over proposal for green belt release in Irby

Wirral West MP, Margaret Greenwood, has raised concerns over a proposal by Richborough Estates to promote green belt release through the emerging Wirral Local Plan.

The proposal could see up to 190 new homes being built across 31 acres of green belt land on either side of Mill Hill Road in Irby.

Richborough Estates’ announcement is one of a number of planning proposals to build on the green belt in Wirral. Leverhulme Estates has put forward proposals to build over 1,000 new homes across green belt land in Wirral in recent months

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Local charitable group submit application to take over Woodchurch Leisure Centre

A non-profit charitable organisation has submitted an application to Wirral Borough Council to take over and manage the former Woodchurch Leisure Centre as a community leisure and well-being resource.

The Woodchurch Wellbeing and Wellness Centre submission involves making full use of all the facilities on the site including the swimming pool, theatre and outdoor facilities for a range of sport, leisure, health and social care provision.

These would include youth and community programmes, adult education and wellbeing activities including yoga, music therapy, special educational needs and disability.

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Children help to make school streets safe

Children at nine schools in Bebington are helping to make streets in the area safer and healthier for their journeys to school, as part of By Ours Bebington.

The community project, led by the charity Sustrans with Wirral Council, helps residents, businesses and schools to redesign their own streets.

By Ours project officer Lou Henderson, has been working with pupils at Brackenwood Infant and Junior Schools, St John Catholic Infant School, St Johns Catholic Junior School, Town Lane Infant School, and St Andrews Primary School, as well as three local high schools, The Life Church after-school group, and the local Brownies.

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Tranmere extend winning run with win away at Sutton

Tranmere made it four wins on the trot with their away 2-0 victory over Sutton United.

Rovers’ recent form is improving with four clean-sheet wins in a row, and they appear to have broken their away curse with three consecutive away wins. Is momentum building?

The first chance of the game came two minutes after the whistle when Sutton’s Will Randall took a punt and missed to the left. This was an indication of what was to come, as Sutton failed to get a shot on target for the whole game.

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Wirral Police weekly news round-up

This is the weekly round-up of police activity in and around Wirral during the previous 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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