Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee update

13 March 2024
graphic saying Committee Update on blue background with Wirral Council logo below

Wirral Council’s Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee met at Birkenhead Town Hall on Tuesday 12th March 2024.

The full agenda for this committee meeting is available on the council website. The meeting is also webcast and can be viewed online.

Items on the agenda included:-

Festive display policy - The report reiterated the importance and popularity of festive light displays across Wirral and also highlighted that, in the majority of locations, these are organised by dedicated local volunteers. The full report can be viewed on the council website

The recommendation was for committee members to reject any options to introduce either a full or partial charge to organisers of public festive light displays to cover the cost of energy that is incurred by Wirral Council in having them connected to the street lighting network. Instead, the council would continue to bear the energy costs, but introduce a streamlined and consistent policy, clarifying the requirements for organisers to apply for a permit, to demonstrate that their displays will meet all legal safety requirements and commit to other requirements in order to be granted a permit.

Alongside approving the policy, additional thanks was added from members of the committee:

“Committee approves the recommended Festive Display Policy, included at Appendix 1 to this report and recognises the tremendous effort, dedication, and countless hours local residents invest in ensuring the lights shine brilliantly year after year. The joy they bring to people of all ages and the sense of community they foster in our towns is truly an invaluable asset in the Wirral. It is not just about flipping a switch in November; planning begins as early as the Summer for some groups. We commend all the volunteers who work tirelessly to make this endeavour a success!

“Having listened to feedback from various lights groups, we recognise the paramount importance of consulting and engaging with them whenever feasible. This approach helps establish working relationships that benefit all relevant stakeholders involved in the process.”

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) Combined Authority Transport Plan (CATP) Programme 2024-25 – Committee members debated a report setting out how an allocation of £2.16m for 2024/25 will be spent on local road safety schemes, improvements to traffic signals and pedestrian routes and schemes that deliver improved Active Travel options. The funding is being provided under the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) Combined Authority Transport Plan (CATP) programme for 2024/25.  The full report can be viewed on the website

City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS) Highway Structural Maintenance Programme 2024-25 – The committee was asked to approve the proposed programme of road, pavement and bridge works for the coming year using grant funding from the combined authority. The grant funding anticipated for 2024/25 is £4,150,000 with a further £745,000 for bridge maintenance works. Allocation of a further £1,000,000 for 2024/25 ring-fenced to the Key Route Network is also expected to be confirmed, making a total of £5,895,000 anticipated grant funding for 2024-25. Further Pothole funding was received from the DfT during 2023/24 amounting to £764,771 and £546,730. Expected roll-over of funds from the previous year will bring the total amount for this year’s annual maintenance roads programme to £8 million. The full report can be read here

Transfer of buildings on Hilbre Island – the committee was asked to approve a request to transfer a number of buildings situated on Hilbre Island to a new community land trust, who plan to renovate and bring them back into use for a number of different purposes, including as a retreat for artists and for educational and research purposes. The transfer would be on a 30-year lease with a peppercorn rent. Read the report here