Flaybrick Cemetery – What will happen next? (Claughton byelection)

Flaybrick Cemetery – What will happen next? (Claughton byelection)

Flaybrick Cemetery – What will happen next? (Claughton byelection)

                                   

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Flaybrick Cemetery – What happens next?

John Brace at Flaybrick Cemetery 28th April 2017
John Brace at Flaybrick Cemetery 28th April 2017

Leonora recorded this brief video of myself speaking about the problems at Flaybrick Cemetery. I need to learn better to continue to face the camera as I’m speaking as when I turn to refer to what’s behind me, sound quality can be an issue.

Flaybrick Cemetery over the years has had problems with flytipping and damage to its walls. The area I filmed in called Crossways is mainly Magenta Living properties, but many are vacant. Cllr Steve Foulkes (one of the existing Claughton councillors is one of Wirral Council appointed directors of Magenta Living (formerly called Wirral Partnership Homes)). Since the vacancies have increased the problems with flytipping have increased.

After the video was filmed and I was heading back home a resident talked to us and wanted it to be improved.

Although there are longer quotes in the video, I include below quotes from a Labour councillor for this area Brian Kenny and the Lib Dem candidate for Claughton ward David Evans.

People go to vote in Claughton on Thursday 4th May 2017 for both their local councillor and Metro Mayor and the election result is expected on Friday 5th May 2017.


Response from Liberal Democrats (David Evans – candidate for Claughton ward) sent on 27th April

From: David Evans drcynlaisevans@btinternet.com

Hi John

I have family members interred in Flaybrick and I am saddened not only by the flytipping but also the vandalism of the grave stones and the fabric of a site that is part of the history of Birkenhead.

Birkenhead Park, Bidston Hill and Flaybrick are fantastic assets and a vital part of the heritage of Birkenhead – Flaybrick is similar in many ways to Highgate Cemetery and is much loved by the community as evidenced by the current work to preserve the chapels (although I understand that this is due to the efforts of a local heritage group rather than the council)

Flytipping is also a problem around Bidston Hill and Noctorum (Thermopylae Pass) as is the regular setting alight of the gorse on Bidston Hill.

The council seems to be unconcerned about the importance of local heritage (see demise of Woodside Hotel and ESWA problems)

I would like to see a role for the return of “Park Police” to patrol these areas to act as a visible deterrent and contact point for locals to report incidences of anti social behaviour.

I would also like to see local kids encouraged to value these assets by way of community education about the history of the area, this could involve local volunteers and agencies visiting schools etc.

Maybe the money spent on Wirral View could be diverted to projects such as this…

As you can see, I am an idealist but Birkenhead Park was on its uppers until Friends of Birkenhead Park was set up so involvement of local action groups is vital.

There is much to be appreciated in and around Birkenhead.

Best Regards


Labour’s position (sent on the 18th April) from Cllr Brian Kenny briankenny@wirral.gov.uk:

Dear Mr & Mrs Brace

I thought you would be interested in this email exchange.
There has been a great deal of activity around Flaybrick Cemetery, over the last week or so.

I will shortly be attending a meeting, to discuss further improvements.

Many Thanks.

On 18 Apr 2017, at 12:30, Burrell, Joanna joannaburrell@wirral.gov.uk wrote:

We have asked probation to clean up these areas.
….
Dear Jo

Please see this email and attachments, sent to me a few minutes ago, by Jayne Phennah.
The original was sent to Brian Sinton.
As you can see, Jayne is very upset by this appalling situation.
I would be obliged if you could please have a look at this situation, Jo, and see if there is anything you can do to eliminate the problems.
Please let me know if you require any more details, or clarification.
I am also copying this to the Claughton Ward Councillors, for their information.

Many Thanks, Jo.

Brian Kenny
Labour Councillor for Bidston & St. James Wirral Labour Group Chief Whip
….
Hi Brian,

Spoke to my mum today and she took me up to the cemetery, at the roman catholic end, where the houses are. I was shocked at what I saw. A tree has come down and took the fence off the wall. So anyone can now access the cemetery though here. The tree that has fallen, has been chopped into sections and left sitting on the railings on the floor, on the outside of the cemetery. So the gates on the entrance from lower flaybrick road are a waste of time, due to a big section of the railings being underneath the fallen tree. I took some photos for you. Fell free to forward this email to the appropriate people. I will also send this to Julie and Brian who are local councillors in the area. Let me know what you think, it breaks my heart to see this!

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When are the Heritage Open Days for 2016 in Bidston?

When are the Heritage Open Days for 2016 in Bidston?

When are the Heritage Open Days for 2016 in Bidston?

                                   

Bidston Lighthouse (Wilding Way), Bidston Hill 14th August 2014 taken by John Brace
Bidston Lighthouse (Wilding Way), Bidston Hill 14th August 2014 taken by John Brace

It’s nearly September, which means starting on the 3rd September will be a series of Heritage Open Days on the Wirral.

The full list of free Heritage Open Days can be found here, but below are some more details on the ones that are taking place in the local area I live (Bidston).

3rd September 2016

Bidston Windmill will be open from 10.00 am to 12 noon (last entry at 11.45 am). Further details are here. Booking is not required, but there is a minimum height restriction of 110cm for visiting the upper floors. Children under 11 must be accompanied by an adult. For further details email info@bidstonhill.org.uk.

Also on the 3rd September (as well as on the 5th, 6th and 10th) Bidston Lighthouse and Telegraph Station (accessible from Wilding Way) will be open to the public between 12.45 pm and 4.00 pm (with guided tours at 1.00 pm, 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm). Guided tours have to be booked in advance through their website. For further details contact Amanda Pickles on (0151) 653 7816 or by email to info@bidstonlighthouse.org.uk.

8th September 2016

St. Oswalds Church in Bidston Village will be open on Thursday 8th September 2016 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. No booking is required and for further details contact the vicar Ron Iveson on (0151) 378 5835 or roniveson@hotmail.com.

There are also Heritage Open Days for Bidston Community Archaeology (on the 3rd September and 11th September) near Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm, a Bidston Hill Walk on Tuesday 6th September and various events about Flaybrick Cemetery on the 7th, 8th and 10th September.


17th September 2016

Although not a Heritage Open Day, Church Farm in Bidston Village is having an Open Day on the 17th September 2016 from 2.00 pm to 9.00 pm. Admission is £1.

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Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

Wirral Council and Magenta Living promise to work together to combat flytipping on Crossways Estate

                                       

Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) and Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016
Councillor George Davies (Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety) and Chair of the Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016

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Birkenhead Constituency Committee 28th July 2016 The public questions referred to below start at the 20 minute 21 second mark

The author lives around half a mile from the area described below.

As you can read in this blog post (which is mainly photos) from January 2011 flytipping has been a problem at Flaybrick Cemetery and the turning heads at the top of Hoblyn Road, Collin Road and Naylor Road for some time.

In the last few days I was walking with my wife Leonora there (sadly without my camera) and there is a lot of flytipping at the top of Naylor Road by Flaybrick Cemetery.

As the photo in this blog post from a local community organiser shows Magenta Living have “tinned up” many of the properties on the Crossways estate meaning that sadly flytipping in that area can be done unobserved.

At the last Birkenhead Constituency Committee (held near the end of July) I asked what was being done about flytipping and what is planned for the future of the houses in these roads.

The written answers given to both questions are below (although you can also watch me ask them in the video above).


Response from Department for Regeneration and Environment (Wirral Council)

Hoblyn Road, Collin Road and Naylor Road are all done on a street cleansing every 4 weeks schedule. Over the past months we have had several deposits of fly tipping emerging at the very top of these areas.

We have had the councils [sic] Enforcement Team and Kingdom investigating the fly tipping and have had positive feedback.

We are also working with Magenta Living regarding the development of the existing houses with additional street cleansing. We will continue to work alongside Magenta living [sic] when the new development is completed working with housing officers tackling waste and recycling and street cleaning and fly tipping.


(Cllr Steve Foulkes who is a Wirral Council appointed Director of Magenta Living left the room during this question)

Response from Magenta:
The Crossways estate in North Birkenhead comprises of 200 3 bed houses including Hoblyn, Collin and Naylor Road along with 13 properties on Hoylake Road.

Very limited demand began to be experienced and Magenta Living took the decision not to allocate any of the properties on Crossways until a longer term, sustainable solution could be found.

Magenta Living has carried out survey work and been working with residents to identify improvement options. One of the principle issues raised by residents was the unpopular ‘gilbury’ units, ground floor extensions that house the bathroom facilities. Two demonstration properties were made available to residents to view in May 2016, one had the bathroom relocated upstairs and made into a 2 bed house, the other was retained as a 3 bed again with the bathroom upstairs.

Feedback from residents was largely very positive and work has subsequently commenced, on a phased basis in order to ensure demand still exists, improving the empty properties in Hoblyn Road, including the demolition the gilbury units, before the occupied properties are then improved.

Other works identified include;

  • Demolition of some properties towards Flaybrick Memorial Gardens
  • Improved physical security measures
  • Improving the external appearance of properties
  • Exploring the option of a low cost home ownership scheme

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Geodiversity Day (Cheshire RIGS) – 21/4/2012 – Bidston Hill/Flaybrick Cemetery

There’ll be a “Geodiversity Day” on Saturday 21st April 2012 organised by Cheshire RIGS group. RIGS stands for Regionally Important Geological/geomorphological sites.

It’s starting at Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm and will be all day and will include the RIGS Geodiversity trail. There’s no need to book and it’s free. For further details phone 0151 653 9332 or email tamoshan@wirral.gov.uk .

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