Sunday Snippets for week-ending 23 January 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.

Charity poetry competition opens for children and teens

A popular poetry competition returns for its 12th year by inviting children and young people to create a poem based on the topic of time.

Every year, The Christopher Salmon Foundation Poetry Competition invites Wirral’s under 19s to put pen to paper and submit their own poetry on a different topic. This year the subject is time.

The competition is run in partnership with Wirral Libraries and Wirral Poetry Festival. It is free to take part and gives entrants the chance to win £100.

Read more …

‘Spot-check’ service will boost COVID-safety for businesses

Wirral businesses will soon be able to assess, and boost, their ‘COVID-safe’ measures with a ‘spot check’ service.

As part of a partnership between Wirral Council and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), local companies of all sizes will be contacted by phone or visit to discuss the latest advice and guidance, to ensure the safety of their staff and their customers.

With Omicron proving to be more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants, businesses are still playing a vital role in helping to stop the spread among their staff and customers.

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Wirral Council Budget Update

Wirral Council’s cross-party Policy and Resources Committee agreed at a meeting on January 17 to move forward with considering a broad range of budget proposals.

These options are aimed at streamlining council services and bridging the £27 million gap in next year’s (2022-23) budget. 

The savings options which have been put forward total £20 million following the recent announcement of the draft Local Government Settlement and further funding from central Government.

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2021 a ‘transformative year’ at Wirral Waters

2021 has been nothing short of transformational at Wirral Waters, with great progress being made on site. Transforming former brownfield sites into sustainable waterside neighbourhoods, providing green open spaces, encouraging natural biodiversity and creating spaces for residents, business, and visitors to enjoy.

Substantial investment in the infrastructure and public realm on Tower Road was delivered early in 2021.  Meaning visitors to Wirral Waters can now take a stroll or cycle along the newly refurbished Tower Road where the pavements have been widened to create new walking and cycling routes, lined by 130 native trees and connecting Wirral Waters to other parts of the Wirral Peninsula.

Plans to regenerate and redevelop the iconic Grade II listed Hydraulic Tower into the Maritime Knowledge Hub caught the attention of some very important and influential figures in 2021 with visits from Maritime Minister, Robert Courts MP, and patron of Maritime UK, HRH The Princess Royal.

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Hundreds of children take part in competition to create future vision for West Kirby

Over 300 West Kirby school pupils have taken part in a competition to create a vision for the future of their hometown.

The competition, which was launched by community group One West Kirby, asked 14–18-year-olds, attending West Kirby schools, to create a future West Kirby through art, design technology, photography and creative writing.  

The shortlisted work was judged by a panel of experts, including award-winning photographers, architects, artists and an internationally renowned scriptwriter, alongside local councillors.

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Skeleton Records legendary founder dies

The much-loved co-founder of Skeleton Records in Birkenhead, John Weaver, has died after battling COPD for a number of years. John “Man” Weaver, born in 1952, and John Poole founded “Skellies” in 1972.

In a statement, issued by the shop, Ben Savage said, “We’re heartbroken to announce the passing of founder and all-round local legend John “Man” Weaver.

“John started Skeleton Records in 1972 with good friend John Poole and almost singlehandedly saw the shop through 50 calendar years of trading, always staying one step ahead of the bailiffs.

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More funding secured to help Wirral residents keep their homes warmer for less

More than 500 homes could soon be warmer as a new grant scheme comes into place.

Sustainable Warmth grants will pay for works such as improved insulation or glazing or the installation of solar panels.

Home-owners, tenants and landlords can apply for up to £25,000 subject to how the property is heated.

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Steve Lamacq celebrates Future Yard for Independent Venue Week

Across the week, each programme will celebrate a different independent venue in a UK town or city – PJ Molloys in Dunfermline (Monday 31 January), Belgrave Music Hall in Leeds (Tuesday 1 February), Future Yard in Birkenhead (Wednesday 2 February), The Louisiana in Bristol (Thursday 3 February) and The Horn in St. Albans (Friday 4 February).

The shows will also feature live and recorded-live performances in these venues from artists including Franz Ferdinand, Yard Act, Melt Yourself Down, Wet Leg and Bess Atwell.

Independent Venue Week, which takes place from Monday 31 January – Sunday 6 February, is a national, annual celebration – with a very local feel – of independent music venues around the country, and the people that own, run and work in them.

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Mayor sits for art society’s portrait artists in New Brighton

Mayor Cllr George Davies visited Mersey Arts Zone (MAZ) in Vale Park, New Brighton and during the visit, a group of local artists each produced a portrait of the Mayor in a 15-minute sitting.

The artists were from The Wallasey Arts Society, which is an open artistic organisation founded in 1962. Up until recently, the society was without a home, but MAZ came to the rescue.

Dawn Reck, founder of MAZ explains all, “MAZ has been open since May last year and we hung on during the lockdown. Last Summer, the artists were coming to the park and produced their art of the building, the park and the prom in the fresh air, all whilst enjoying Vale Park.

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Another 1,400 trees planted in Wirral for the Queen’s Green Canopy

The number of trees planted in Wirral continues to grow as more community planting sessions take place – including another 1,400 that are part of the borough’s contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy.

More than 100 volunteers got involved during the weekend of Saturday 8 and Saturday 15 January to plant the trees.

The Queen’s Green Canopy  is a tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. Groups, organisations and individual’s across the UK are invited to plant a tree during the official planting season of October to March. The aim is that the trees planted will create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation and will go on to benefit future generations.

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More people urged to become foster carers in Wirral

New foster carers are urgently needed to step forward to help look after children across Wirral.

The council is seeking more people from all walks of life to become foster carers.

Nationally there are rising numbers of children who need foster care and an ever-increasing need for individuals and families willing to support some of our most vulnerable children. 

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Wirral MP speaks out in Parliament about impact of government cuts in Wirral

Margaret Greenwood MP has spoken out in Parliament about the scale of cuts by central government to local authorities and the impact it is having on the funding of key services in Wirral. 

The Wirral West MP raised the devastating implications of central government cuts to Wirral Council, and the proposals to close Woodchurch Leisure Centre and libraries in Greasby, Irby, Hoylake, Pensby and Woodchurch. 

Central government funding to Wirral Council has dropped by around 85% between 2010 and 2020. Income from other sources such as business rates has compensated to a degree, but the overall revenue of the council was still 25% lower in 2020 than it was in 2010. 

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School introduces one-way system for school run drivers

New Brighton Primary School is introducing a one-way system for school run drivers and has asked parents and pupils to walk to school where possible.

Deputy Head Teacher, Mr J. Jones released a statement that says, “As I am sure you are aware, pick-up and drop-off times around school are very busy and can at times cause traffic congestion around the school site.

“As a result we have regularly been reminding parents to try and park considerately, avoid parking on the yellow zigzag lines and to walk to and from school where possible.”

Read more …

82% of Liverpool City Region residents agree action is needed to tackle carbon emissions

Eighty-two percent of Liverpool City Region residents agree action is needed to reduce carbon emissions, according to an exclusive survey.

Research carried out by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority also revealed just over half (52%) of people have a good or very good knowledge of action they need to take to reduce carbon emissions.

In 2019, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority became the first in the country to declare a Climate Emergency, committing to become net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the UK target.

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Hoylake’s Chris Boardman to lead Government’s new active travel body

Hoylake born cyclist Chris Boardman is to become national commissioner of the Government’s new cycling and walking body, Active Travel England.    

Active Travel England will be responsible for driving up the standards of cycling and walking infrastructure and managing the national active travel budget, awarding funding for projects that improve both health and air quality.  

ATE will also begin to inspect, and publish reports on, highway authorities for their performance on active travel and identify particularly dangerous failings in their highways for cyclists and pedestrians.   

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Superb Spearing free-kick earns Tranmere three points

Rovers kept yet another clean sheet yesterday as they beat Crawley through a screeching Spearing free-kick in a 1-0 victory at Crawley.

Crawley failed to score for the first time in their last 13 league fixtures and Tranmere can take pride in the fact that they have conceded the fewest goals in League 2, with only 15 goals conceded all season.

Crawley were faster off the blocks during the early part of the first half, but Tranmere soon put them in their place as they took control of proceedings.

Read more …

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