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Posted by: John Brace | 9th October 2013

Local groups can bid for £40,000 of grants from Wirral Council to improve the appearance of their local area

Local groups can bid for £40,000 of grants from Wirral Council to improve the appearance of their local area

                             

Love Wirral logo While looking through the recent delegated decisions made by Cabinet Members, I came across this recent decision about the Love Wirral grant and the accompanying report authored by Head of Neighbourhoods and Engagement, Emma Degg.

So what is the Love Wirral grant scheme you may wonder? Well it’s £40,000 of money split four ways between each constituency and will be available for “individuals, groups, schools and businesses” to “improve and look after their neighbourhoods”. The money can be applied for between 28th October 2013 and noon on 6th December 2013 with the sole aim of the project being “to improve the appearance of the local environment”.

Between the 13th and 24th January of next year the public will be able to vote online either yes or no to each project, councillors will decide which projects get the funding in the first half of February and successful projects will get the money in the middle to the end of March (the cynic in me would point out that’s just in time for it to be included in various candidate’s election leaflets taking credit for it). However in the report itself it states “this project will enable communities to play an active role in presenting Wirral to the world during the Open 2014”.

A third unstated reason behind all this would be the £1 million cut to the street cleansing contract this year and the threatened strike action that was reported in the Wirral Globe with the rather alarming threat from the unions that Wirral would be engulfed by a “tidal wave of filth”. You only have to look around to tell that the streets aren’t cleaned as often as they used to. So are we heading slowly towards the American “Adopt-a-Highway” system where local community groups are responsible for regular litter picks on a local stretch of the road? Is Wirral’s problem with litter made worse by Wirral Council cuts to enforcement too (which has meant fewer people fined for dog fouling as well as litter)? As usual your thoughts on this topic in the form of comments are appreciated.

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Responses

  1. I reported to Streetscene some dumped builders waste over 2 months ago,apart from them getting the road name wrong they said the road wasn’t scheduled to be cleaned for 2 months-whats this all about? I’m paying ‘top dollar’ in council tax and I get puerile responses like this. The local Councillors respond by asking me to phone them on a mobile number is that all?
    No it isn’t I have to pay to have garden waste removed for them to make compost!

    • It used to be the case that if fly tipping was reported Biffa were supposed to clear it away within fifteen days, I’m not sure if that’s still a target though. Certainly it used to be the case that if there was flytipping it was tackled outside the regular street cleansing cycle as if it wasn’t cleared away it’ll just attract more litter!

      On a more positive note though, every previous year in the lead up to Bonfire Night the Fire Service have run a free phone number for people to report rubbish to them to clear away that would otherwise be set on fire. That number is 0800 731 5958, so if the rubbish is still there and is the sort that could be made into a bonfire, maybe they can help?

      In answer to a question asked of the Cabinet Member a few months back, he said that people could put small amounts of garden waste in the green bin (admittedly that answer’s a little late if you’ve already paid to have your brown bin emptied).

      • Certainly agree that tipped rubbish attracts more-and it has! Who are Biffa,I have only seen them clearing the business dumpsters. Much against my better judgement,my wife signed up for the brown bin collection scheme. I expect that the Councillor will put their brain back into gear before they makes statements like that again especially when the green bins become overloaded with garden refuse.

        • Biffa are the company contracted by Wirral Council to collect the rubbish from households and clean the streets.

  2. Streets are not as clean as they should be, I sent this email to Cllr Brian Kenny and I’m still waiting a response.

    “I agree that a problem does exist with fly tipping all over the Wirral and the cost to the council for clearing this up is a big one. I like the way you urge residents to report any fly tipping to street scene to have this cleared up but unfortunately this is when the council cock it up!

    I have over the last 2 months reported that fly tipping has happened in our parks, alley ways & streets and have been told that it will be investigated before its cleared up. The investigation never took place on any of the 6 sites I reported. I have also been told that street scene will not clear any of it up until its due date for cleaning and this has been up to 7 weeks. Residents have had to look at rotting rubbish, dirty nappies and cats eating the contents and not to mention the smell.

    Shouldn’t you be working on finding the people responsible for dumping the rubbish & prosecuting them rather than just cleaning up after them? Working on a faster time to rid people of the rubbish dumped by the fly tippers will benefit everyone across the Wirral. Once you have fixed the issues with fly tippers and then have a cleaner Wirral you can then go back to the Wirral Globe and say you have done something about it. People want action not words.”

    As Will points out in a comment Street Scene don’t do anything until the due date, so what are we paying for?

    Love Wirral is a good way for community’s to get a new park, improve facility’s in the area they live in create a community garden like resident of west way in Moreton done.

    Before knowing of this grant I wanted to improve the park on Bridal Street (behind housing on New Street & Wheatland lane). For it to work it would need the residents to get together. So I posted some information to them about it and this is when I got talking to Chris Wellstead representative for UKIP.

    Its such a shame the representative for UKIP that lives on New Street didnt want this or anything for his area and labelled some of the residents scum & druggies that don’t care about anything and will smash it up.

    Im not going to give up and this money could be used for some good to make our areas a little nicer.

    • There used to be a major problem with flytipping on Bidston Hill just off the road up to the Observatory. Wirral Council put up a notice warning people not to dump their rubbish and did have CCTV running to try and get evidence of it happening. The problem isn’t as bad as it used to be but last time I was there there was some builder’s waste dumped. The reason I point this out is because Wirral Council can do things to reduce this problem if they want to (although I think due to a change in legislation they now have to apply to the Magistrate’s Court for permission for covert surveillance).

      It’s a shame that things have changed and that flytipping is now only being tackled as part of the regular street cleansing cycle rather than on an ad hoc basis. Seacombe is not alone with having alleyways that attract rubbish as you can tell from this article in the Wirral Globe last month. My previous address was a terraced house with alleyways at the back, landlords used to clear out properties when tenants left and just dump it in the alleyways. The problem of rubbish dumped in alleyways also got worse after they brought in a charge for the ERIC service.

      Hopefully a group in Seacombe will bid for a Love Wirral grant, be awarded the money and things will improve by next year.

  3. […] Local groups can bid for £40,000 of grants from Wirral Council to improve the appearance of their l…. […]

  4. I have to say that £40K grant split between 4 constituencies represent two BIG fund grants . Readers may be aware that 100% of all BIG fund cases investigated-6-were wrongly granted. Love wirral initiative puts all into perspective does not it? When we have losses in the millions with Intensive Start Up Scheme the council is so enfeebled for cash it offers grants of £40K. Thank God only £10 k can now be stolen at a time!


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