Poppies survive the trenches but not a Wirral Council roundabout

Earlier this year I wrote on this blog that Wirral Council were celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the First World War by planting poppies outside the Town Hall and on all roundabouts across the Borough.  I also commented that it was an appropriate and respectful way to mark the centenary.

Since then I’ve noticed poppies appearing in roundabouts across Wirral but in Wallasey Village the roundabout is poppy free.  So this morning I phoned the Council to find out why.

It was very much a monosyllable conversation on the side of the senior officer and one of the strangest conversations I’ve had for a long time.

The answer I was told is that they had all died – every single one of them.

So, the poppy which survived the trenches and WW1, was the only plant to grow, transforming the landscape in Northern France and Flanders into fields of blood-red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers and becoming synonymous with great loss of life in is unable to survive a Wirral Council roundabout?

I queried this further and was told that there must be something wrong with the soil.  Strange, until a couple of months ago flowers have been successfully planted on the roundabout and have been for as long as I can remember.

Doesn’t sound right to me, why didn’t they just say they forgot?

I’ve told them I want poppies planting there.  Prompt.

Vyner Road

The Council’s contractors BAM Nuttall recently put down tarmac across vehicle crossings (or ramps) in Vyner Road. A few had unstable paving stones and the decision was made to tarmac all crossings irrespective of whether or not it was needed. Those living in Vyner Road hadn’t complained – but they’re complaining now.

Not only is the road looking run down, the sub-standard and quite frankly sloppy workmanship of tarmac laying has made it look worse. While people in the road are aware of cutbacks they rightly said that what little is done, should be done properly. Quite.

I met with residents and a Streetscene officer and we ‘walked’ the road. The council is paying ‘top dollar’ to BAM Nuttall and they should be made aware of the high standard that is expected. (Well I expect it).

From that meeting the following will happen in the next two to four weeks:

  • All edge deterioration on the ramps will be made good
  • Edging will be re marked and all weeds removed
  • Any defects in the road next to the edging will be sealed
  • Other small defects will be made good
  • A lamp column which stood at about one metre high with a plastic bag covering the top will be removed and the new one next to it will be switched on
  • A tree leaning at right angles with the roots exposed will be removed and the pavement made good or reinstated
This tree will be removed and the pavement made good

This tree will be removed and the pavement made good

 

Armed Forces Day Memorial Service

??????????????????????Yesterday, to coincide with Armed Forces Day, St Nicholas Church held a Memorial Service to Commemorate the Great War. The Church, as usual, was packed and the service included a parade of Flags from uniformed groups including St Nicholas Rainbows, the St Nicholas Brownies, The Sea Cadets, The Royal British Legion, The Royal Navy Reserve and The Mercia Regiment.

The Church also held a Flower Festival over the weekend to mark the centenary – many displays were based on poems written during that era and I was asked to read ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke at the start of the celebrations at their concert on the Friday evening.

Congratulations to the Rev Jeff Staples who, at the service on Sunday, was officially named as the new Chaplain for the local sea cadets, TS Astute.

If you want something done…

Cllr Leah Fraser and Cllr Paul Hayes doing the job of Streetscene

Cllr Leah Fraser and Cllr Paul Hayes doing the job of Streetscene

Residents reported rubbish along the path (or alleyway) between Groveland Road and Grove Road station to Streetscene earlier this year. Nothing happened and the amount of rubbish built up. When it was reported again, Streetscene said they could not carry out the work until the end of July.

As the saying goes; if you want something done, do it yourself. So over the (wet) weekend, Councillor Paul Hayes and I went out and picked up the rubbish, which took less than half an hour, Paul later took it to the tip.

Job done.

We’ll be asking MerseyTravel to position a bin on the platform in the hope that it will be used and people will not toss rubbish where they think it won’t be seen.

Mary Manor Nursery 10 Year Celebration

I was delighted to be asked to ‘cut the cake’ at Mary Manor Nursery to share their ’10 Year Celebration, at St Andrews Community Centre this afternoon.

The Manager, Val Kingan and her team had worked hard on the celebrations but had to revert to ‘plan B’ when the rain, in almost biblical proportions, threatened to spoil the day, it was a huge success and although it became an indoor event instead the children had a great time.

It’s recently received an excellent Ofsted report and the twenty-five children who attend are well ahead when they start primary school.  If you would like to know more about the nursery please contact Val Kingan on 630 0111 or email: marymanornursery@tiscali.co.uk

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Proposed conversion above former ‘Blockbuster Video Hire’ shop

Residents are rightly concerned about a planning application to convert the building above the former ‘Blockbuster Video Hire’ building in Wallasey Village into four flats/apartments with a first and second floor rear extension.

Parking space is at a premium in Wallasey Village and residents living in Beechwood Avenue and Marlwood Avenue already struggle to compete for parking spaces with shoppers and staff/parents from St Mary’s College.  Feelings are running high and people living nearby will be submitting a petition against these proposals.

Not so long ago there was a proposal for this building to be converted into accommodation for a local firm of solicitors but they pulled out.  This is a commercial area and should be used for commercial purposes in a key town centre, not flats which add to the parking problems.

I will be objecting to the proposed development, should you wish to comment, you can contact the planning officer by writing to Sheila Day at WallaseyTown Hall, North Annexe, Brighton Street, Wallasey CH44 8ED or email:  planningapplications@wirral.gov.uk quoting planning application OUT/14/0062 on all correspondence.  The final date for comments on this planning application is Tuesday, 1 July, 2014.

Congratulations…. to ‘The Big Lunch’ organisers

The Big Lunch 2014

For the fifth year running, Kelly, Anne, Michelle and Suzanne organised a ‘Big Lunch’ in Wallasey Village at the weekend to raise money for charity. This year’s theme was the World Cup with competitions for the best World Cup Hat and best World Cup Cake.  I was asked to judge the cakes which were fabulous, all were winners.

£400 was raised through the charity raffle and the winner chose to give £200 to Charlotte Brightside Charity in New Brighton and £200 to Claire House – two great causes.

A further £100 was raised by the plant raffle, plant sale and bottle stall with proceeds going to ‘Wallasey Village in Bloom’ – you may have noticed the planting outside St Nicholas’ Church and the planters at the new traffic lights in Grove Road – these have been also been organised by Anne, Michelle, Suzanne and Kelly (not the Council) who started ‘Wallasey Village in Bloom’.  If you would like to donate bedding plants or cash or would like to help, please contact me on 0151 630 2939 or email leahfraser@ntlworld.com every penny goes towards new plants – I should know, I’m on their committee!

It was a hugely successful street party, well run and organised by a small group who want Wallasey Village to be a better place to live and visit and are doing great things to improve the area we live in.