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Update from Wards Feb 2022

In Birkenhead & Tranmere:
· In response to countless complaints of antisocial behaviour in Birkenhead and Tranmere, Pat
Cleary and Emily Gleaves helped organise a community action day in January. This brought
together the police, ASB officers and community connectors from Wirral Council and staff
from Magenta Living. The police visited every house on the estate. A lot of useful feedback
was collected and a QR-code survey delivered for residents to provide anonymous feedback.
Cllr Pat Cleary says, “The action day was really well attended but it’s just a start. Residents
have quite rightly run out of patience and want to see results. I’ve been told this is a priority
for the police going forward and I will remain in close contact with them until the problem is
resolved. Nobody should have to endure this type of behaviour and it’s vital that it is
stamped out.
· Pat Cleary demands action on cost-of-living crisis and says that the schemes already in place
“…go nowhere near far enough to address the rising level of need in our community. We
need proper investment to make our homes warm and stronger action to reduce inequality
in Wirral. Sadly, further Tory-imposed budget cuts at Wirral Council will only make things
even harder for those in need.”
· Pat Cleary joined pupils from Christ Church school to help launch their School Streets
scheme. The new scheme means that traffic will be barred from using the streets closest to
the school during the morning and afternoon peak times. Residents who live on these
streets are not affected and can request a permit to show they are exempt from the
restrictions. This should encourage people to leave the car at home so that more children
can walk and cycle. Those who have to drive will need to park away from school and walk
the last leg.
· Pat Cleary and Emily Greaves are furious that Labour and Conservative councillors have
voted to sell off the council owned industrial estate at Quarrybank just off Oxton Road. The
estate is home to 16 workshops, all of which are rented out to local businesses. This brings
in around £60,000 in income for the council each year and provides secure premises for
important local employers. Cllr Pat Cleary says, “At a time of acute budget pressure it
beggars belief that the council would sell off an important centre of employment which
provides a secure source of income. Not only will this now be lost but the public will lose
control over how the site might develop in the future. I argued strongly at committee that
this was a mistake. Sadly, the other parties didn’t listen.”

In Bebington:
· Budget bombshell hits Bebington as Government tells councils to shut services and sell off
assets, such as Bebington Library and Brackenwood Golf course. Cllr Jason Walsh says,
“Having slashed funding for council services over the past decade the government now
wants to squeeze blood out of a stone. Councils up and down the country are struggling to
preserve the services that mean so much to people. Wirral is no different. I and my Green
councillor colleagues will work hard to protect services, save jobs and avoid a fire sale of
public assets.”
· Some other services that may be affected in budget cuts include:

• Increased charges for garden waste collection Increase in allotment charges

• Suspension of Climate Emergency initiatives
• Reduced maintenance at Mayer Park and Higher Bebington Park
• Reduction in the Community Patrol Service
• 50% reduction in School Crossing Patrol services

· Community campaigner Judith Grier says, “”I’m appalled by some of these suggestions
which would compromise safety, increase social inequality and damage our environment.
This is the inevitable result of years of underfunding of local services by central government.
However, the Council needs to revisit some of its priorities to ensure basic services are
maintained and the vulnerable are protected”.
· There is some good news on the never-ending war on fly tipping. Wirral Council now has
access to high-tech wireless camera equipment that can be deployed at speed to known fly
tipping hot spots. This follows a partnership with a specialist private company. Securing
evidence to prosecute fly tippers is very difficult so this should help increase the number of
successful prosecutions whilst also deterring the selfish minority who expect others to clear
up their mess. Cllr Jason Walsh says, “This is very welcome news. Fly tipping has been a real
issue across different parts of Bebington and the clear up comes at a significant cost to
council tax payers. Hopefully this will reduce the volume of fly tipping in Bebington and the
rest of Wirral.”
· Successful litter picks took place on Old Chester Road, Teehey Lane, Higher Bebington Road
and Town Lane with Jason Walsh and Judith Grier and local residents. Jason and Judith urge
anyone else interested in helping out to contact them for further details: Jason Walsh on
07581 289 900 or; or Judith Grier on 07941 845 133 or

In Prenton:
 Cllrs Chris Cooke, Harry Gorman and Green Party Campaigner Naomi Graham fight permanent closure threat to Prenton library. Prenton library has spacious accommodation and until its closure it also offered a toddlers’ group every
Tuesday. Members of the Prenton Tenants and residents Association and other local people have met to discuss a way forward which could save the library and broaden the range of services and activities it offers. They have organised a petition against closure which can be signed at the PTRA office. Chris Cooke says: “It would be a devastating loss if the library closed forever, especially given the increased need for convenient community hub since the opening of new flats directly opposite.”
 Chris Cooke sits on the Merseyside Transport Committee which voted in November 2021 to implement a new Road Safety Strategy across the whole Liverpool City Region. Thanks to a Green Party proposal, Wirral leads in making a commitment to introducing 20mph speed restrictions, as not all the other councils in the region have yet adopted this policy. Chris continues to fight for more 20mph zones in and around Prenton ward. Harry Gorman and Naomi Graham met with Road Safety Officers and plan a residents meeting to look at ways of improving road safety around Prenton.
 Chris Cooke and Harry Gorman have been working hard with senior council officers to minimise the cuts to services due to stark budget choices and have already identified a number of areas where savings could be made which would not involve loss of services or jobs in Prenton and throughout the Wirral. Fortunately, the original sum forecast to be
saved of £27million has been dropped to about £20million which should protect essential children’s and adults’ services.

 Chris Cooke and Harry Gorman and Naomi Graham continue to support council officers in developing Wirral’s Tree, Hedgerow and Woodland Strategy and in securing grant funding to meet the ambitious target of planting over 200,000
trees within 10 years. Many Prenton residents have welcomed trees being planted in their roads to enhance the look and feel of their area. Naomi says: “Trees contribute so much to tackling the climate emergency by capturing carbon, absorbing pollution and replenishing oxygen. The also help to alleviate flooding.”

In Seacombe:
· Rae Voller, Green Party campaigner, is outraged at Wirral Council plans to permanently close
Seacombe library. Seacaombe would be one of 16 libraries to close as part of drastic
proposals to reduce the council’s budget. This would mean Seacombe residents would have
to travel to Wallasey Central Library. Rae says: “These proposals are completely
unacceptable for Seacombe. A self-service machine is not a library. What about students
who need peace and quiet to study? What about unemployed people who need wi-fi to find
a job? What about people on benefits who simply can’t afford internet charges?” Rae urges
residents to sign and share her petition in support of Seacombe library at:
· On the 8 th January 2022 Rae Voller joined volunteers and council staff for the community
tree planting day on Limekiln Lane. The was a wonderful day with over 650 trees planted.
The is part of a Wirral-wide programme and will double Wirral’s tree canopy once the trees
are fully grown. Rae says: “Trees are so important in dealing with the climate emergency,
supporting wildlife and preventing flooding. Of course, they are also essential for our own
wellbeing. If you would like to suggest an area that could contribute ro the tree planting
programme please get in touch (”
· Rae Voller has been out measuring traffic with a speed gun on Seacombe roads as the
council starts 20mph roll out. In January 2022, the council approved a policy of establishing
default 20mph speed limits in areas that are mainly residential, retail, or educational. In
some roads this will be achieved through signage. In others, where speeding is a problem,
traffic calming measures, such as chicanes or speed bumps may be used if residents support
them after consultation. Rae says: “I know how hard my Green councillor colleagues have
pressed for these changes. Sadly, Merseyside has a very poor record of road safety
compared with other areas. These changes are an important step forward in saving lives and
making it easier for people to get about by foot and bike.”
· Rae demands action on cost-of-living crisis. Two schemes have recently been launched
which may help. Around 1000 homes in Seacombe are eligible to apply for works such as
insulation, glazing or solar panels. Also, residents who are in financial crisis can apply to the
Household Support Fund which contributes to everyday essentials such as food, clothing,
heating and transport. Rae says: “These schemes go nowhere near far enough to address the
rising level of need in our community. We need proper investment to make our homes
warm and stronger action to reduce the appalling levels of inequality in Wirral and across
the country.”