Sunday Snippets for week-ending 13 February 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.

‘Brave little boy’ Nate Gidman loses battle with brain tumour

Nate Gidman, a brave little boy who was taken into the hearts Wirral residents as he battled a brain tumour has sadly died during the early hours of this morning.

In a message on Twitter, Nate’s dad issued the following statement: “It is with a profound sadness that I say that at 3:11 this morning our Nate died.

“As unexpected this soon, it was peaceful and both me and mum where there. Your love has been phenomenal. We love you with all our hearts, sleep well and dream big son.”

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Casting call for young actors for Port Sunlight production

The Power Foundation For Young People Charity is putting on a play at The Gladstone Theatre in Port Sunlight and is searching for a lead actor.

The play explores Lord Lever’s influence on the Congo from 1911. Written by Kai Jolley, it is a pithy and humorous script.

The blurb for the performance reads, “From humble beginnings in Northern England to the heat of the Congo he built his Empire. In 1911, after signing an agreement with the Belgium government, Lord Lever established palm oil plantations, but at what cost? A school trip to a museum opens the door to the past meeting the present; What has 100 years taught us, has today blurred into yesterday?”

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Struggling residents urged to apply for the help they need

Wirral residents who are facing a crisis situation and not able to pay for essentials such as fuel, heating or children’s shoes are being urged to apply for help from a local financial support scheme.

Thousands of local people have already been helped by Wirral Council’s Financial Support with Welfare Needs Scheme, which has contributed towards necessary items and expenses including:

  • food for people with special dietary needs
  • essential bills, including fuel, utilities, phone and broadband
  • furniture, white goods, and other essential household items
  • shoes and clothing
  • essential travel costs

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Kayakers raise ‘oarsome’ amount for Claire House

Local businessman Mike Dudley has raised over £35,000 for children’s hospice, Claire House, by organising his annual Wirral Kayak Challenge.

The event, which takes place every Summer, began in 2012 when a handful of kayakers paddled around the Wirral Peninsula. Over the last decade, the event has grown bigger and bigger, now attracting around one hundred and fifty people to take to the sea.

Mike, from West Kirby, who also runs West Kirby Building Services, said, “What started as a small event with a group of friends has developed into a huge annual challenge, travelling the Wirral coast by sea. The event is completely safe, with safety boats travelling with us on the day and the RNLI in communication throughout.

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Wirral dedicates 4,000 trees to the Queen’s Green Canopy

More than 4,000 new trees have so far been planted in Wirral dedicated to the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a tree-planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 and invites groups, organisations and people across the UK to plant a tree during the official planting season between October to March.

In Wirral, the new trees are also helping the council to meet its target of 21,000 trees planted annually until 2030. With two months left of the current planting season, here’s a round-up of what the borough has achieved specifically for the Queen’s Green canopy initiative so far since November 2021.

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New Ferry regeneration to pick up pace

The pace of regeneration in New Ferry is set to gather significantly in the coming months with a resolution close on some land ownership issues and the identification of a preferred developer for the wide-ranging programme.

One of the first physical signs of this progress that residents and businesses in the town will see is the demolition of the final block of damaged properties on the pedestrianised part of Bebington Road.

Having finally acquired all these properties, Wirral Council has contractors on site this week starting the work to bring down Nos 48-54 Bebington Road and clear the site ready for redevelopment. This block adjoins an already cleared site on Bebington Road and is opposite the cleared site which was the site of the 2017 explosion. Together they make up nearly two-thirds of the sites earmarked for regeneration under the programme.

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Merseyside MPs keep pressure on government over funding cuts to councils

Seven Merseyside MPs have spoken out in a parliamentary debate on huge cuts in government funding to local authorities on Merseyside since 2010. 

The debate was led by Wirral West MP Margaret Greenwood. Also taking part were fellow Wirral MPs Mick Whitley (Birkenhead) and Angela Eagle (Wallasey), while other MPs from the region including Maria Eagle, George Howarth, Paula Barker, Marie Rimmer and Kim Johnson also made speeches. 

Margaret Greenwood referred to analysis from the National Audit Office (NAO) on selected main revenue income sources for local authorities which shows that, in Wirral, in 2010, the council received just over £266 million in government funding, but by 2020 that figure was down to just over £40 million – a reduction of around 85%. 

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Birkenhead Park set for 175th anniversary celebrations

One of Wirral’s flagship public parks is launching a new, dedicated website that coincides with a year-long programme of activities in celebration of its 175th anniversary.

Birkenhead Park is widely accepted as a global pioneer for publicly-funded parks and is the model upon which some of the most famous public parks around the world – including New York City’s Central Park – were based.

Since it opened in 1847, the extensive parkland has provided a much-needed sanctuary for local people to escape the busy urban environment. It was designed by Joseph Paxton – with the support of Edward Kemp – and set out to create a place which replicated the pastoral countryside and included an assortment of features such as lodges, bridges and a boathouse.

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You’ll always be my Valentine – couple share the secrets of a 60-year marriage

A devoted, local couple have been sharing their top tips for a long and healthy marriage at The Manor House Bupa Care Home on the Wirral. 

Resident Margaret (86) and her husband, Malcolm Davies (84) are just as devoted today as they were 60 years ago, and this Valentine’s will spend the day doing what they enjoy doing most – being by each other’s side.

Malcolm will pay a visit to the care home on Moreton Road and enjoy a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a lively chat with Margaret before they both nod off for a nap in each other’s company.

Read more …

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Wirral Growth Company welcomes second stage consultation in Moreton

Development partnership, Wirral Growth Company, has launched the second round of public consultation to ask for views on its development plans for Moreton, taking place until Wednesday 9 March.

Following a successful first round of consultation, which took place in 2021, revised plans for the land between Pasture Road and Knustford Road have now been drawn up, based on public feedback.

As before, plans include a new Lidl food store, up to 46 family homes, with a number ringfenced for affordable housing, an extra care scheme with up to 75 bedrooms, as well as improved library facilities.

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World champion gymnast ‘tumbles’ into The Birkenhead Park School

A world champion athlete and sports charity ambassador visited Birkenhead Park School and inspired students with an energetic talkdemonstrations and encouragement to get involved in some challenging workouts.

World Tumbling Team Champion 2019, Jaydon Paddock, who represents Great Britain and England in gymnastics, visited the school and spoke about his successful medal-winning gymnastics career, showing the students his medals and allowing fans to take selfies with him.

Amongst the 20-year-old’s many accolades, Jaydon achieved 2019 World Champion status in Japan and won a gold medal at the Trampoline and Tumbling Junior World Championships.

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