At Wirral’s Cabinet this evening I was delighted to move a recommendation for approval on a report from the Councils Head of Law to support the Overton Community bid to the community fund for £12,500, in order to ensure that the purchase of the land could be completed by the 30th September.    I also took the opportunity to put on record my thanks to Officers who had responded to my requests for action on this matter.   That OK with you  TC of Upton?


A Message for TC of Upton

Reading today’s Wirral Globe it seems I have come in for some anonymous criticism from someone only identified as TC of Upton over the Upton woods issue.      

Clearly TC decided to write to the press criticising my actions, unaware of the role I have played in this matter, and perhaps if TC had taken the time to discover the facts, he or she would not have been so critical.

So TC, for the record:  I do believe that rumours were started, perhaps to increase the value of the land, those rumours did cause distress to residents, and I make no apology for publishing that on my blog, however I did ask Council Officers to keep an eye on the situation.  

As well as this It was me who insisted on Council Officers attending the auction in Manchester to support local residents; and it is because of my direct intervention that the Council’s Head of Law has agreed that the Council will carry out the legal work associated with the purchase of the land free of charge, and as the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety  I am the Council’s elected Member on the Community Fund Panel, and I gave my unconditional and total support to the bid for the shortfall in funds of £12,500 in order to ensure the purchase of the land can be completed within the 28 day timeframe.   And throughout this whole process I kept Jean Robinson, who headed up the community action on this matter, fully appraised of what I was doing behind the scenes to help the community.     So TC of Upton please be sure of your facts before you level unfounded criticism at someone who will always put the community first!

Wirral’s Healthy Homes Pilot

This morning, in my role as the Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety I was delighted to open a stakeholder event about Healthy Homes.

Healthy homes is a new way of delivering front line services to some of Wirral’s most vulnerable individuals by bringing a wide range of partners together to address a range of factors that can impact on their health and wellbeing.     It’s primary aim is addressing health inequalities by ensuring an effective, targeted and co-ordinated response to an individual needs via an outreach approach; an approach which embraces the spirit of localism, efficiency and joined up working.

Staff from the Council’s Housing, DASS and Community Safety Teams are working together with the Police, Fire Service and agencies such as Energy Projects Plus, Involve North West and VCAW to engage difficult to reach groups and ensure help is accessible to those who need it most.    This initiatives support Wirral’s Sustainable Community Strategy, LAA and Corporate Plan by contributing directly towards key improvement targets for the borough.    The inititive will help to improve the health and well being for all, ensuring people who require support are full participants in mainstream society, contributing to a prosperous economy and regeneration objectives and helping to create a clean, pleasant, safe and sustainable environment in Wirral.    

The pilot for this project, which will be in New Brighton will start in just a few weeks.      We hope this will be an evolving process from which we can learn valuable lessons in partnership working and improve engagement skills so that resources are targeted at those who need services most.   If successful the Council plans to replicate the approach in other parts of Wirral.    You can read more on this by clicking HERE

Shape The Future of Wirral

The biggest ever consultation exercise being undertaken by Wirral Council is today into its second week. Last week Council teams were out at various venues across the borough, including a trailer drop in at the Birkenhead Festival of Transport.       Today the roadshow was at the One Stop Shop in Moreton, staffed by Tracey Smith and Mark Payne.     Along with Cllr Steve Williams I spent some time at the One Stop Shop and we chatted to local residents who showed a lot of interest in the consultation, and either filled in a questionnaire on the spot or took one home with them. Whilst the questionnaire may seem a large document, residents don’t have to complete every page, if they choose they can just complete the sections that they think are relevant to them.      This is your chance to shape the future of Wirral I urge residents to take it.

Birkenhead Festival of Transport

The Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Alan Jennings in the Stanley Steam Powered Car

Today, in my Merseytravel role I will be attending the annual Birkenhead Festival of Transport.   The event is going from strength to strength.       If you want to attend it is being held today and tomorrow and this year promises to be a bumper event.  

My thanks to Ken Fretwell and his team of volunteers for organisng a spectacular event, and one which I hope will continue to grow year on year.

PS. While you are there don’t forget to drop in on the ‘Its Your Wirral’ stand and tell us what you think.

A Late Night Kebab Anyone?

Readers of the blog will be aware of my posting on the latest kebab shop in Moreton.    That one was clearly not a kosher valid application.

However today a valid application has been reported to me by Wirral’s Licensing Department.    The application is for a late night license for the new hot food takeaway, Sabs Kebabs at 201 Hoylake Road.   (formerly the Cartridge Swap Shop).     The application seeks to allow the premises to remain open to the public until 00:30am Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Friday’s and Saturdays.

If anyone wants to object, or support the application, they can do so by writing to: The Licensing Office, Town Hall, Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED.  Alternatively you can email your comments to:   All representations must be submitted by the 13th October, 2010.    Make sure that you quote ‘Sabs Kebabs’ in your communication.     The application will ultimately be decided by Wirral’s Licensing Panel.

Good News!

Readers of the blog will be aware that local residents joined together to buy Upton Woods (for £28,500) where it backs onto the Overton Community Centre.   

I, and the MP for Wirral West, Esther McVey  and Conservative Councillor, Tom Anderson have been in close contact with Jean who has been heading up the fundraising to buy this land and what a great job she has done.    However whilst the group has raised around £16,00o it has to raise the balance within the next three weeks to complete the purchase.     

I am therefore delighted to fully support and agree in my role as Cabinet Member for Housing the allocation of £12,500 from the Community Fund, which is administered by Wirral Council and Wirral Partnership homes.    As long as all the criteria is met, then the money should be released in time to complete the purchase.    In addition to this the Council has agreeed to do all the legal work around the purchase free of charge.      A good result all round!