Sunday Snippets for week ending 19 December 2021

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

Behind the scenes at the Mersey Tunnels

The Mersey Tunnels are marvels of engineering and probably the most important three and half miles of road in the Liverpool City Region. But keeping them safe and clean – and people on both sides of the river connected – is a mammoth task and one that happens while most people are asleep.

27 million journeys are made using the Queensway (Birkenhead) and Kingsway (Wallasey) Tunnel every year and keeping them running involves constant maintenance. A behind-the-scenes video released by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority shows just how much work goes into maintaining these vital links.

Every three weeks one of the tunnels is temporarily closed during the night to allow for repairs and cleaning, using machinery built especially for the job including a scissor lift vehicle to access tunnel ceilings and a unique wall washing machine which can be hooked up to a truck.

Read more …

Edsential set to spread the festive cheer to thousands of children across Wirral

The Holiday Activity Fund (HAF), coordinated by Edsential on behalf Wirral Council, is set to support over 4,000 children and their families with free festive activities and food this winter.  

Across Wirral, children in receipt of free school meals will be ending the year on a high with a choice of over 60 free activity clubs, offering enriching and memorable activities such as; ice skating, Santa’s grottos, days out, winter wonderlands and much more!

The 41 hand-picked providers, who are all passionate about supporting children, will make Wirral a playground for young people and their families. They will create long-lasting memories whilst enjoying delicious, festive meals – making it a winter young people will never forget.

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Saints’ forward power subdues lively De la Salle

“Della” are always one of Saints’ toughest opponents and it was to be no different in this contest at Lancaster Road, Salford. 

The home team’s defence was the toughest so far encountered by Anselmians’ free-scoring team and only Keswick’s strengthened home team have, so far, held our potential league winners to fewer points.

Della’s line speed was impressive with defenders sometimes, somehow, almost arriving before the ball. They also fought aggressively for the ball at ruck and maul; sometimes a bit too enthusiastically for the referee who awarded a total of five yellow cards against them; two at the same breakdown. So, for much of the game, Della were reduced to 13 or 14 men but, all credit to their indomitable spirit, they still put up stern resistance throughout.

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Wirral Met Illustration students emerge into Möthmäs!

BA Illustration with Animation students from Wirral Met have provided artwork integrating the humble moth and Christmas and embracing the experimental spirit celebrated by Möthmäs.

Möthmäs, the brainchild of Stealing Sheep’s Emily Lansley and Alex Germains, started out as a musical improvisation project and has grown to become a multi-faceted collaborative arts project featuring live performances, theatre, music, and even has some roller skating weather reporting mixed in.

Emily Lansley, aka Vice Moth said, “We’ve had a lovely range of animation and moth illustrations that will add to the fantastical array of media to be projected on the night.”

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Consultation begins on proposed change to electoral cycle

Wirral Council is beginning a consultation with residents on whether changes should be made to the current cycle of local councillor elections.

At present, the council operates a system whereby each of the 22 wards elects one councillor each year to serve a four-year term. Then every fourth year there are no elections held at all. 

This is how Wirral Council currently elects its 66 members, which is the number of representatives agreed as necessary by the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England.

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Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League round-up, 12 December

Only 4 matches were possible this week in The Houlihan’s Birkenhead Sunday Association Football League, as it hits the halfway point during week 18 of a 36 week season.

No doubt there will be a two-week extension and hopefully that could be enough to finish the season fully including all cups from National, County, District and Domestic. That is something that has not happened in the past two seasons, the four games that were played last Sunday all had plenty of goals and great action.

Rivacre FC secured their place in the 2nd round of The wonderful Veronica Conway Premier Cup by sinking Beechwood FC (Fenton Cavanaugh 2) 5-4 on penalties after the sides finished 2-2 after the normal regulation time. They will join Corsair FC, Dock AFC, FC Bidston or Great Float S&S. Lancelyn Glenavon, Neston Nomads, Queens Park and Woodchurch Hotel in the hat for the quarter-final draw.

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REVIEW: The Manchester Collective – Heavy Metal at Future Yard

I didn’t know really what to expect from this performance.

The blurb promised “Big percussion, live electronics, and amplified strings. A distortion pedal called the Ibanez Tube Screamer makes an appearance. It’s not going to be a meditative listening experience. Sometimes, we all just need to scream into a pillow.”

Well, we certainly got what they promised.

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Birkenhead community group turning textiles into treasure this Christmas

A Wirral-based community group is using Christmas decoration-making to help stop clothes and textiles from going to waste.

Market Street-based Make It Happen Birkenhead is a community Interest Group which is using the festive season to help give their Textiles As Treasure project a boost, as well as providing local people with an opportunity to meet up and swap recycling and reuse ideas.

The project has received nearly £8000 from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2021/22 to help deliver waste reduction, reuse and recycling education in the local community.

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Festive season bus, rail, tunnels, and ferry services announced

A round up of transport information is now available, with Merseytravel confirming that it will be running its annual, special network of free bus services on Christmas Day between around 12 noon and 6pm, covering most hospital routes.

The Mersey Tunnels Tolls will also be free, as usual, between 10pm on Christmas Eve and 6am on Boxing Day.

Travellers are being urged to plan ahead and check timetables, so they don’t get caught out as some services finish earlier than usual at this time of year, particularly on Christmas Eve.

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‘Fostering Woodland’ – Tree planting tribute to Wirral’s foster carers and children

As part of Wirral Council’s tree planting programme, a dedicated green space will flourish as a ‘Fostering Woodland’ in tribute to, and celebration of, Wirral’s foster carers who’ve helped children in care grow and thrive.

Over the weekend, a group of volunteers and Council staff planted at least 800 young trees, or ‘whips’, in a poignant nod to the number of children looked after in Wirral.

The trees were planted in the shape of a heart, a symbolic reminder that it takes room in your heart, and home, to change the life of a looked after young person.

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Send your free Christmas eCards with Scout Post

Wirral Scout Post are running their eCard and donation scheme for a second year running.

Whether you are looking to send ‘Seasons Greetings’ or cracking a Christmas yolk to your friends, family and loved ones this year, Wirral Charity Post have a wide selection of eCard designs to choose from. 

The eCard designs include a new selection for this year – featuring some hand-drawn designs by some of our very own scout and guide groups – meaning there are up to 100 designs to choose from.

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REVIEW: Beauty & the Beast at The Floral Pavilion

It’s panto season again. Oh no it isn’t! Oh yes it is!

If you’re looking for a solid show, you’re in safe hands at the Floral Pavilion. This year’s Christmas spectacular is Beauty and the Beast and it offers most, if not all, of the usual pantastic features, from traditional skits to men in skirts.

It’s a bit panto by numbers, it doesn’t exactly attempt to reinvent the genre, but the tiny troupe of only 8 actors and the crew behind the performance really went all out.

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Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service rated ‘outstanding’

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) has been highly commended for its innovative and targeted prevention work, its response to major incidents and for making the best use of its resources to best serve the public of Merseyside.

The recognition comes from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) who carried out a detailed inspection of the Service, and judged it as:

  • Good at effectively keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks
  • Outstanding at efficiently keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks
  • Good at looking after its people

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Safer Streets schemes enhance Wirral communities

Wirral Council, Merseyside Police, and the Police and Crime Commissioner hosted a community day in Seacombe on Wednesday 15 December.

The event was to show people how the second phase of funding for the Wirral ‘Safer Streets’ project has been used in parts of Birkenhead and Seacombe to make those areas safer. The event was attended by representatives of the agencies involved and many local residents.

Mark Camborne is Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods, Safety and Transport at Wirral Council. Speaking to birkenhead.news, he said, “The council has a legal responsibility to provide a community safety strategy. That’s a strategy that brings all our partners together to ensure that we can have safe places to live visit or work in.”

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Symptom-free test centre opens in the Cherry Tree shopping centre

A new symptom-free COVID-19 testing centre opened in Liscard’s Cherry Tree Shopping Centre on Wednesday 15 December, providing a convenient place for residents, shoppers and local workers to drop-in for a rapid lateral flow test or to collect a free home testing kit.

The new facility is open for walk-in tests (no appointment necessary) seven days a week (9am – 4.15pm, Mon to Fri and 10am – 3.15pm, Sat & Sun). Please check the website for special opening times over the Christmas holiday: wirral.gov.uk/testing 

Wirral’s director of public health, Julie Webster, said, “Hundreds of people in Wirral are testing positive for COVID-19 every day - so we must all do what we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. ”    

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Merseyrail passengers among the most satisfied in the UK

Merseyrail passengers have been revealed as the most satisfied in the UK following a survey conducted by independent travel watchdog Transport Focus.

The survey, which was completed by passengers over the last 12 weeks, showed that Merseyrail passengers had a 95 per cent satisfaction rate with the rail operators’ services, coming joint top in the country alongside c2c.

Merseyrail also came top in satisfaction with punctuality and frequency, with a 95 per cent satisfaction rate – cementing its reputation as the most punctual and reliable operator in the country.

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Wirral community project to benefit from £180k grant

One Wirral CIC’s ‘Bridging the Covid Gap Together’ project is one of five community projects across Cheshire and Merseyside chosen by an independent panel headed by Alder Hey Children’s Charity to benefit from NHS Charities Together £1.1m ‘Community Partnership Grant’ in the North West.

The project, based in Bromborough was selected by Alder Hey Children’s Charity and has been awarded £180,787.

Alder Hey Children’s Charity worked closely with Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and other regional NHS Charities to create a panel of voluntary and community sector experts to select the five projects, ensuring that funding was secured for the region.

Read more …

Wirral Waters’ Hythe is ready for business

Wirral Waters’ brand-new high-tech business hub, Birkenhead’s first office development in more than a decade, is complete and ready for businesses to move in. 

Hythe, Peel L&P’s Grade A office building, boasts stunning panoramic views across the Wirral Waters waterfront and the Liverpool City skyline, as well as the latest digital connectivity and excellent green credentials. 

Hythe was designed by award-winning architects Glenn Howells to maximise the health and wellbeing of workers and to accommodate the latest innovations in digital connectivity. 

Read more …

Wombles in the running to scoop national environmental award

Environment champions from Wirral have been shortlisted for one of Keep Britain Tidy’s annual awards.

Wirral Council nominated the efforts of the Wirral Wombles group of volunteers to make environmental improvements in their local area for this year’s Keep Britain Tidy Awards.

There are ten award categories, each with three shortlisted contenders, and Wirral’s nomination has beaten off stiff competition from across the country to become one of three finalists in the #LitterHeroes Award category.

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Calday Grange Grammar School donates hundreds of toys to TRFC’s Super White Christmas Appeal

Calday Grange Grammar School donated over 800 toys to the Super White Christmas Appeal

In line with the Club’s Super White Christmas appeal which is into its fifth year and enables both children and adults to enjoy some of the festive experiences which most of us take for granted, Calday Grammar School has donated an incredible amount of toys to the appeal.

The Tranmere Rovers in the Community team went along to Calday Grange with Rover this afternoon (Thursday 16 December) and collected an impressive 801 presents that the school generously donated to the Super White Christmas Appeal and surpassed by over double the amount of donations from the previous years.

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Community groups triumph at Wirral In Bloom awards

More than 30 community-based groups have been celebrating across the borough after winning awards at the Wirral In Bloom Awards Ceremony.

As the usual North West In Bloom celebrations in Southport were cancelled due to COVID-19, Wirral Council helped organise an event for all the Wirral schemes to make sure that the contributions of residents did not go unnoticed.

A total of 34 In Bloom schemes across Wirral received awards for their amazing projects, which followed a visit, in summer, from the Royal Horticultural Society judges, who examined the hard work and creativity that went into the work of the schemes.

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Gift appeal demonstrates Wirral’s Christmas spirit

Hundreds of Christmas gifts are on their way to local children and young people thanks to the generosity of residents, community groups and organisations from across the borough.

Since launching the appeal on 23 November, organisers from Wirral Council’s children’s services team have been inundated with more than 500 gifts destined for vulnerable children, from newborn babies up to teenagers.

After collecting the donations from drop-off points at the Floral Pavilion, ASDA Woodchurch, TESCO Bidston, and from Children’s Centres across Wirral, the team has now begun to match suitable gifts with their recipients.

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Four league wins in a row for Tranmere

A scorcher of a goal from Jay Spearing secured Tranmere three points in their game against Leyton Orient this afternoon.

Rovers came out the more positive of the sides, at least for the first 20 minutes of the game. But, for the remainder of the half, they appeared to lose their sparkle.

Tranmere came close to scoring in the very first minute when Orient defender, Shadrach Ogie had to stretch full-length to clear the ball off the line.

Read more …

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