Recently Councillor Mike Hornby and I had the opportunity to show the Chief Executive round Greasby, Frankby and Irby. We wanted to make sure that he knows about the challenges and opportunities experienced by local people in our communities.
We visited the libraries in Irby and Greasby and spoke about how important they are to local people. The same is true of our parks, and I highlighted to Graham Burgess that the bowling greens in both parks were in use that afternoon. In the recent budget options he had included possibilities of ceasing maintenance of bowling greens. I had presented a petition to council on behalf of Greasby Ladies Bowling Club back in March and the bowling greens are well used by local residents.
We showed Graham the site of the planned Sainsburys in Greasby and discussed local concerns around that. I am keen that the council should realise the problems of parking in the local area, which will be particularly difficult during the construction. Parking was also a point of discussion in Irby and the effect parking policy has upon local businesses and residents.
At the end of a busy day it was great to go along to The Light cinema tonight to see the Mayor present certificates to the latest batch of Wirral Alcohol Peer Educators.
These young people aged 16 -21 undergo a 14 week training course to equip them with up to date knowledge information and facts around the effects and risks associated with alcohol. At the end of the course they have two qualifications through the Open College Network and have developed skills in communication, listening, teamwork and presentation. Teen Wirral has further details and the youtube video which has been made this year as part of the project.
At the award evening several of the Peer Educators spoke about their own experiences on the course and at work in schools. They came from a variety of backgrounds but had all found this to be a worthwhile and, in some cases life-changing project. The figures around young people who had been NEET becoming employed or entering training were also of great interest to me – anything that is a pathway into work or training has to be valuable.
Congratulations to Terry, Lea and all who are involved in this project.
United Utilities are putting in a new water main which runs in total from Wallasey to Thingwall. They need to actually dig in the area of the junction and so will put in temporary traffic lights. It was thought that the junction of Arrowe Brook Road and Arrowe Park Road would therefore be busy from 26 April for approximately 5 days. However, work was delayed and will now be done in future.
I’ve already had a number of contacts from people about the changes which are coming to the Brown bin collections. Thus far they are not happy to be receiving this charge. What do you think? Please let me know.
The Labour-led council is introducing a charge for collection of Garden waste from 1 June 2013. You can read about the scheme here. There is a discount if you pay online, but there is still a cost.
When your brown bin is next collected you will receive a leaflet giving details of the new charges. Here is a copy so that you can see the detail. Garden waste charges explained
Would you care to make a prediction as to the outcome? At present I am hearing a lot of people talk about putting garden waste in their green bin – I couldn’t condone that as it would go into landfill which is bad for the environment AND for council tax payers . Maybe more people need to rediscover the art of composting…..
This site has a new look – but the principle remains the same – a way to show you that I am working for the people of Greasby, Frankby and Irby.
In this coming week my diary is full of opportunities to meet local people and hear about their concerns, and one or two meetings around my Councillor role each and every day. Of course I will also be at my paid employment every day, which in itself is also a busy role.
Nearly three years in to my role as a Councillor and I relish the challenge of representing the people of Greasby, Frankby and Irby to the council. It is endlessly varied, and provides opportunities to make a difference to people’s lives.
If you would be interested in this kind of a role, please get in touch to talk about how you might start that journey.
Wirral’s successful intervention tool for speaking with young people about alcohol – Alcohol. Alright? – has taken another step forward this week, with the launch of a guide for parents and carers and a mobile ‘app’ for young people.
The alcohol intervention tool gives frontline workers the confidence and skills to engage young people effectively to talk about alcohol and related issues. Since its launch in the spring of 2012 by Wirral Council’s Response agency, part of Wirral Youth & Play Service, more than 120 practitioners have been trained in its use, including youth workers, youth offending workers, counsellors, nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital, school nurses, family support workers, peer educators and volunteers.
In an evaluation conducted last year, 99% of young people aged 13-19 surveyed said that they had found the intervention ‘helpful’ or ‘very helpful’. The tool includes a range of resources to engage young people in a discussion about alcohol. One of these, a fold-out booklet, provides much needed practical advice on how to look after a friend who has drunk too much. A 16-year old female surveyed said that this booklet would “help me to look after my boyfriend when he drinks, he sometimes has too much and I don’t usually know what to do”.
The intervention tool is being used with young people in youth facilities, schools, parks and open spaces and other locations that young people frequent. Based on feedback, a new information booklet has been added to the range to provide information and help to parents and carers. This includes advice on how to positively influence their child’s alcohol consumption if they are drinking and official guidance regarding young people and alcohol. Practical tips are also given to help parents and carers talk about alcohol with their child. The booklet will be available in a range of locations including community centres, A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital and at a variety of events.
A new mobile ‘app’ has also been designed to promote the intervention and deliver key messages around alcohol misuse. Players are tasked with guiding their drunken friend along the street and getting them home safely. Points are scored for helping the friend home, providing them with water and reassuring them; points lost if they bump into hazards, such a traffic cones and dustbins. Temptation is also on route with more alcohol available, which if drunk will see the friend suffer the effects.
I’ve been shown these excellent materials and heard about their use by members of the Response team. We are all concerned about alcohol misuse by young people and finding effective ways to give them the tools to keep themselves safe is really important. These materials have the potential to do just that, and to help parents in speaking to their teenages about alcohol in a way which is constructive and positive.
The mobile ‘app’ can be accessed from www.teenwirral.com/drunkfriend/
Wirral has many wonderful young people but the sad fact is that all too often we only hear about those who cause problems. Here is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the many young people who make a real contribution to life in Wirral, and adults who are an inspiration to them. Have a think – who do you know, what stories could you share…..
Nominations are now open for 10 different categories of Youth Hero. These are Academic Achievement, Caring for Others, Community Spirit, Contribution to the Arts, Courage and Bravery, Enterprise / Fundraising, Great Sporting Achievement, Inspirational Adult, Inspirational Response to Illness or Disability, Volunteering. To nominate please visit the website or facebook. Nominations close on 31st March.
Wirral Youth Heroes 2013 will be on 7th June 2013 at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton.
As we begin a New Year, don’t spend money where you don’t need to.
I have spoken to people living on Wirral who have been caught out this way, so this is a timely reminder -you can check your Council Tax banding yourself for FREE. You do not have to commission a third party to do it on your behalf.
Wirral Trading Standards have received a number of reports of companies canvassing residents across the borough offering to investigate whether their property is in the correct Council Tax band and therefore whether they may be entitled to a rebate. They do this on a ‘no-win, no-fee basis’. Importantly this service is already offered by the Government through the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and it is simple and free for you to do it for yourself with a single phone call so there is no reason for people to commit to handing over up to 30% of any rebate they might receive if their banding is found to be incorrect.
To find out more about how to do it for yourself, go to the Valuation Office Agency website Click on ‘Check on your Council Tax Band’ on the left hand side list and enter your postcode. The results will show you the bandings for properties around you and will give you an idea whether your banding may be correct. You can then follow the links to contact the local Valuation Office, which for Wirral residents is Liverpool, to make an enquiry if you think your home has been valued incorrectly. They can be contacted by telephone on 03000 501501 or by post at 72 Church Street, Liverpool L1 3AY. For information on current Wirral Council Tax rates for each band and further advice visit the Wirral Council website.
Brookdale Primary had a visit from Ofsted just a few days into the new term. It is very pleasing to be able to report that they have declared the school to be GOOD, as overall judgement and in each area of their report.
I’d like to congratulate the whole school community, particularly the staff who have every reason to be pleased and proud with this report. I am of course a little biased as I am a governor at the school too. With the leadership of new head teacher, Paul Prescott I am sure the school will continue to grow and develop in the future as it has done in the past.
It came as as shock today when I learned that The Planning Inspector has taken a decision about the Red Cat Car Park.
This decision is to allow the application by Greene King for a Sainsburys and Vets4Pets to be built overlooking our library and Children’s Centre.
This has all been going on for a very long time, since May 2011 when the first application was submitted. Thousands of local people signed a petition, and hundreds wrote individual letters. When that application was withdrawn, and a new one submitted the same thing happened. A really huge response making clear that many (though not all) local people felt very strongly that they didn’t want a Sainsburys in the village. After two public meetings, many individual responses to consultation, we have reached the end of the road there is nowhere else to go. We have to assume that the Sainsburys will be built.
Let’s stick together and “shop local” where we can . In Greasby we have excellent local businesses who serve the village well – lets stand by them!