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October 2009 Archives

Freedom of Information

By Liam Murphy on Oct 29, 09 04:49 PM

IT seems there are a number of people trying to obtain more information about Wirral's library closures and Strategic Asset Review carried out by Wirral Council using the Freedom of Information Act.

The authority says it has received 15 requests about the SAR - including people trying to get hold the the confidential draft report sent by the libraries inspector Sue Charteris to the council for comments and fact checking.

A number of these have been submitted through the website www.whatdotheyknow.com, which details many FOIs submitted to the authority. For those interested in these things this site can make for interesting reading - particularly the to and fro between those making requests and the council officer responding.

The Birkenhead/Noctorum divide

By Lorna Hughes on Oct 28, 09 05:00 PM

THIS afternoon I went to Noctorum Community Centre to meet parents who have been leading a campaign to save Ridgeway High in its current form.

Wirral Council has put forward proposals to replace Park High, Rock Ferry High and Ridgeway with a mixed sex academy and an all-boys academy - but it's likely that, if the plans are approved, both would be in Birkenhead (one possibly on Borough Road)

Ridgeway's parents are concerned standards would fall as a result and fear their children's education would be disrupted.

And they have another big worry - geography.

UPDATE: The Sail meeting

By Liam Murphy on Oct 28, 09 12:33 PM

FINALLY managed to get the decision of the economic and regeneration scrutiny committee special meeting held last night at Wallasey town hall to discuss the Sail Project in West Kirby.

For more background, see previous blog post below.

Labour and Lib-Dems had walked out saying the meeting could not affect the decision taken by the cabinet last month to press on with the scheme. The remaining Conservative members insisted the meeting was valid because it allowed members of the public to express their views on the issue.

Councillors stage walk out

By Liam Murphy on Oct 28, 09 10:40 AM

IT was a surreal moment last night when Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors walked out of the special meeting of the Economic and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee.

The meeting had been called by Cllr John Hale, chairman of that committee to discuss the authority's plans for the Sail Project in West Kirby - a hotel and new sailing school which has proved particularly controversial.

The Labour and Lib Dems walked out because they saidf the meeting had been called under false pretences [see Daily Post story here]

FRIDAY'S near-miss between the Royal Daffodil ferry and gas tanker will have sent a shiver down the spine of anyone who has ever taken a ferry 'cross the Mersey.

Around 450 passengers were on board the ferry, which had just left Woodside Ferry Terminal for a sightseeing trip to view HMS Illustrious, when it appeared to come within feet of colliding with the Ramira.

In search of some expert commentary on how the incident could have happened, yesterday I spoke to the son of Thetis survivor Walter Stoker.

zz231009Ferry-2.JPG

X Factor hits Wirral

By Carrie Catterall on Oct 27, 09 11:13 AM

As Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Jedward and Stacey Soloman dominate the headlines, my thoughts go back to a Wirral News X Factor special.

X-Factor-2009-the-x-factor-7732603-634-826.jpg

CAMPAIGNERS trying to save a landmark church in New Brighton say they expect to take the battle to court after the Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury confirmed it has no intention of re-opening Ss Peter and Paul's.

The campaign group SOUL (Save Our Unique Landmark) won the first round when the Vatican "court" known as the Congregation of the Clergy found in their favour earlier this year. This written decision is reproduced below.

You can also see the latest Daily Post story here

UPDATE: New Brighton councillor Sue Taylor bakes cake! Chocolate and black cherry! Tasty!

I'm not saying Wirral Tories like Twitter, but I know more about them than I do my own family.

More questions than answers?

By Liam Murphy on Oct 26, 09 01:13 PM

TORY group leader Jeff Green has pressed Wirral's borough solicitor for more information about how and why some people got to see the confidential draft report on the inquiry into the council's library closure plans.

In an email which at least matches borough solicitor Bill Norman's for length, Cllr Green's anger at being excluded from the fact-checking and comments on the draft report is evident.

You can see Cllr Green's email in full, below, but some highlights include:

Asking Bill Norman: "Can you confirm to me in writing that in your judgement the content of the draft report and any associated communication about the conclusions and recommendations have no impact or bearing on the way Council needs to approach policy formation? And played no part in the Council's subsequent decision not to close the 11 libraries?"

Talk to Frank

By Lorna Hughes on Oct 23, 09 03:23 PM

FRANK Field is a difficult man to track down (ask my colleague Matt Hurst).

But today I had a brief but unexpected conversation with the Birkenhead MP while trying to get hold of Labour's Councillor George Davies.

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