This week Councillor Tony Cox has resigned. Tony has the opportunity to seek election as an MP in Newcastle -under- Lyme and has honourably chosen to step down as councillor so that he can put his full energies to his new challenge. Tony has been a fantastic colleague and friend and I will personally miss him and the energy and enthusiasm he brought to his council role. I wish him every success in Newcastle, I know that his commitment to hard work will stand him in good stead.
Tony said, “I am delighted that local Conservatives have chosen Tom Anderson as their new candidate. Tom has the capability, energy and commitment to serve as a councillor in our area. I have known Tom a long time and believe he will be a dedicated and hard working representative for the people of Greasby, Frankby and Irby.”
All of this means that on 22nd May there will be an election for two councillors for Greasby, Frankby and Irby. Everyone will therefore have two votes and the Conservative candidates will be me (Wendy Clements) and Tom Anderson.
Local people in Greasby will be aware that the Red Cat car park has been fenced off and it looks as if the Sainsburys will soon be under construction. With such a drastic reduction in car parking spaces it will be important that we all take care to be considerate with parking, and also to continue to use the local shops so that they don’t lose trade during the work.
Tonight was the latest meeting of the Wirral West Constituency Committee. All councillors for this area sit on the committee which today took decisions about the funding which is within its gift.
Like each of the wards, the Greasby Frankby Irby ward had £10,000 to award for the Community Fund. This fund was open to community groups and has a maximum award of £1,000. Following on from Community voting via special events, online voting and paper voting, the successful projects are spread across Greasby and Irby and almost all were funded.
In addition two projects have been successful in receiving Public Health Grants awarded by the committee.
Full details of all these projects will follow.
There will be further funding available in the year from May and I’ll be making sure that you know about the scheme, timescales etc.
As you may remember, Wirral West Constituency committee invited applications for projects that could make a real difference to our area. Greasby, Frankby and Irby have £10,000 to allocate and applications have now been received and checked.
There is a voting process so that people in Wirral West can have their say on which go forward for funding. You can download the form from the council website or attend one of the funding events which have been arranged so that we can all meet the local voluntary and community groups behind the proposals.
There is an event in each ward, and ours is on Friday 28th February between 5 and 7 pm at Irby Village Hall, 71 Thingwall Road, Irby CH61 3UB. However, you can also attend any of the other events which are listed on the council website.
The process will be finalised at the next meeting of the Constituency Committee on Thursday 6th March. This meeting begins at 7 pm and is also being held at Irby Village Hall. This meeting is held in public so that as many local people as choose to do so may attend.
It is disappointing to learn today that the Skipton Building Society will close in Greasby and three other Wirral sites on April 17th.For many of our more elderly residents, the local village centre has to provide all their needs. This will leave a hole.
After the Halifax decided to pull out we all felt the village had lost a vital presence in terms of a bank. So it was great when the Skipton Building Society moved into the village. Skipton have been great in terms of supporting the community, and our very own Blooming Greasby group received a £500 grant from them after an on-line vote where they came top in the North West.
Once again it seems that Greasby will be without a bank so it is a very good thing that we have our Post Office. Our local postmaster had a cash machine installed after Halifax left, and what a good thing he did! It is much used and appreciated, I find it invaluable. The Post Office is a wonderful local resource that can also help with a variety of banking needs, I’d encourage anyone affected by the Skipton’s decision to consider that option.
As you may know, the Love Wirral project is a small grant which hopes to encourage people to take more interest and pride in our local environment. There have been lots of applications with creative ideas of how people plan to improve their locality.
You can find details of the public vote for Love Wirral here. The vote only lasts until 24th January so best to do it today! Choose which of the applications for our area will help make our environment better. You can vote yes/no for all projects but only log in once (only one vote per person, whether online or by post).
For friends you know who don’t use the internet there are paper voting forms at One Stop Shops and possibly at a group local to you. If you know a group which is not included, please email Wendy and she will try to help.
Wirral West Constituency Committee is inviting local organisations to bid for funding for local projects that will positively impact on life in the area. Could that be your organisation?
£50,000 has been made available as a grant programme through the Wirral West Constituency Team. Organisers are inviting bids for projects that improve quality of life in West Wirral, and positively impact on local people and places. Up to £10,000 is available per ward, with a limit of £1,000 per project. So that means that in Greasby, Frankby and Irby there could be at least 10 projects that would benefit.
Funding has also been made available by Public Health for projects that improve health outcomes in the constituency. Organisations are being asked to submit project ideas which address a number of specific priorities, including child poverty and social isolation.
Welcoming the scheme, Cllr Jeff Green, Chair of Wirral West Constituency Committee, said: ‘People in Wirral West are amongst the most active in terms of their involvement in voluntary and community work, and I know that we will be receiving really good ideas about how this grant funding can be put to best use in the area.
‘I am keen to increase local people’s involvement in decision making in Wirral West. The community will have a real say in how these grants are allocated through budgeting events in their areas.’
Applications will open on Friday 20th December but the closing date is not until 31 January so there is time to deal with this after Christmas. If approved the money would cover projects from April 2014 to December 2014.
To help with the application process groups are invited to series of community ‘drop in’ sessions early in 2014, where they can ask questions or ask for help with their applications (see list below). Further advice and guidance can also be obtained here or by calling 0151 691 8349.
Wirral West Community Grant Programme ‘drop in’ sessions
6th Jan Greasby, Frankby & Irby The Greasby Centre, Greasby Road, Greasby, CH49 3AT 2.30 – 4.30pm
8th Jan Upton & Woodchurch Pemberton Methodist Church, Pemberton Road, Woodchurch, CH49 8JL 4 – 6pm
9th Jan Hoylake & Meols Melrose Hall, 6 Melrose Avenue, Hoylake, CH47 3BU 4 – 6pm
13th Jan West Kirby & Thurstaston Westbourne Hall, 59 Westbourne Road, West Kirby, CH48 4DQ 4 – 6pm
15th Jan Pensby & Thingwall The Hope Centre, Ridgewood Park, Fishers Lane, Pensby, CH61 5XE
CONSTITUENCY COMMITTEES – a word of explanation
Wirral West is one of four Constituency Committees, each representing one of Wirral’s four constituencies. Each operates autonomously, setting its own priorities, and making decisions. Constituency Teams, who support the Constituency Committees, have already been making a difference in the communities they serve, working with agencies such as police, health, community and voluntary groups to tackle problems together.
Please do take care if you are about to use the internet to apply for an official document. The best place to go is GOV.uk not google. This government website is ideal link to all government information including applications and renewals for passports, driving licences, EHIC and so on.
Unfortunately there are plenty of unscrupulous websites which take advantage of people by charging where there is no charge and increased charges for other items.
Tonight I was glad to be in Irby to share in the excitement as Father Christmas arrived to switch on the lights. He rode in on his motorbike, acompanied by elves and fairies also doing the same. All the bikes were decorated and it was a fine sight. Despite the rain there was a large number of people in the village to enjoy the festivities.
The Friends of Irby Library had also arranged to have a tree outside the library lit up, as well as supplying hot drinks and mince pies. Of course most local businesses had stayed open late and I was told that the Chancellors Autumn Statement brought good news for small businesses and the various sources of food and drink were doing a good trade.
After switching on the lights Father Christmas left to visit a local hostelry, this time towed by a steam traction engine.
Thank you to all those involved in arranging the event – once again it was a great success.
There is a campaign urging parents whose children are eligible to receive free school meals to sign up to receive a free hot meal during the colder months. There is a lot of evidence that children benefit from a hot healthy meal while at school, helping concentration so that they are able to focus their full attention on learning. School meals are assessed by schools inspector Ofsted and have to meet strict rules on healthy eating. It is important to say that schools are careful in dealing with free school meals. No child is singled out and the school does not receive details of why they are eligible.
Its easy to find out if your child is eligible at www.wirral.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals and there are full instructions on how to apply there. You can also call 0151 606 2002. You just need a few pieces of data – names, date of birth and National Insurance Number for you and your partner. (You can also apply at any One Stop Shop, and by e-mail with that information to email@example.com.)
The funding schools receive is linked to the number of pupils who claim free school meals. This means that even if a child takes a packed lunch into school, it is important that parents contact the council to claim any free school meals their children are entitled to, as this impacts on the money schools receive for resources like books and computers. The Government has increased the amount of money available to schools for Pupil Premium which is paid for each child in receipt of free school meals and those who are Looked After by the local authority.