This was our rolling blog of news and service updates around Covid-19. It is no longer updated, the latest news items will appear just as standalone stories from now on.
Friday 13 November update
Community voices across the Cheshire and Merseyside region have come together to ask the public to Take A Minute.
The Take A Minute campaign is about highlighting the voices of those in our communities who are following protective measures. For their families, their friends, loved ones, our health services.
Footballers, actors, comedians, council workers, youth workers, parents, grandparents, teachers, nurses and firefighters are just some of the people who are sharing their thoughts as part of the ‘Take A Minute’ campaign, which has been devised by council and health partners across Merseyside and Cheshire.
Wednesday 11 November update
Traders at Birkenhead Market are on-hand to deliver fresh produce to their Wirral customers during this second lockdown. For more information, click here.
Monday 9 November update
Updated guidance on visiting care homes.
New Government guidance says care homes will be further encouraged and supported to provide safe visiting opportunities as new national restrictions came into effect last Thursday (November 5) for four weeks.
Under the new advice, visits should prioritise residents' and staff safety to limit the transmission of COVID-19. This can include opportunities for families to meet using visiting arrangements such as floor to ceiling screens, visiting pods, and window visits.
Friday 6 November update
- A major campaign to help local businesses during the lockdown starts next week, Monday November 9.
The High Street Heroes Week campaign focuses on supporting Wirral’s high streets and reminding people across the borough of the vital role they play in our lives.
It will urge people in Wirral to support the shops that are able to stay open and buy from the businesses who have had to close their doors but are trading in other ways, to help maximise the pounds spent locally.
- Wirral's Director of Public Health Julie Webster writes to residents on the five differences between this lockdown and the first one. Read here.
Thursday 5 November update
Indoor testing site to open in Heswall
A dedicated indoor Covid-19 testing site will open in Heswall Library, Wirral, this Friday, the first of its kind in the borough.
Opening on Friday 6 November, the semi-permanent site - known as a Local Testing Site (LTS) - is an indoor version of the sites located at Birkenhead, Bebington and Liscard. With capacity to carry out approximately 288 tests each day, there will also be a testing bay that is fully disability compliant and which can also be used to accommodate testing for a single-family group. Tests are available to those with symptoms of Covid-19.
Opening times for the first days will be:
- 2pm to 5pm on Friday 6 November
- 10am to 5pm on Saturday 7 November
- 8am to 8pm from Sunday 8 November – seven days per week
Wednesday 4 November update
Letter from Leader of Wirral Council
"Tomorrow, Thursday November 5, England will again enter another period of lockdown, due to last four weeks until December 2 in the latest attempt to limit infection and tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. I know this will be a very difficult period for many of us here in Wirral, particularly after already being placed in Tier 3 restrictions during the last couple of weeks, but the Government and scientific advisors have concluded that this is the best way to protect the population.
"The law to bring about the month-long lockdown was voted on today in Parliament and this legislation will require people to remain at home except under specific circumstances, such as to buy essentials like food and medicine, go to work or for education, and for outdoor exercise..."
Tuesday 3 November update
National lockdown - what we know
A more comprehensive national ‘lockdown’ begins in England from Thursday 5 November for at least a month.
This will require the closure of a whole range of non-essential shops, businesses and services that had otherwise been operating with Covid-secure measures since the summer.
And while the renewed ‘lockdown’ will impact people in many ways, some services which were forced to close earlier in the year during the first wave of the pandemic - notably schools – will remain open for the time being.
Apart from ordering certain businesses and venues to close, the new measures will require everyone to stay at home not gather with people from outside of their immediate household, except for specific purposes.
Monday 2 November update
Residents urged to come together online this Remembrance Sunday
Residents are being asked to pay their respects from home on Sunday 8th November by watching two special recordings which will be available online just before 11.00am on the day.
The two pre-recorded videos show:
- A Service of Remembrance from Birkenhead Priory
- Footage of wreaths being laid at Wirral’s 12 main outdoor war memorials
Links to these two Remembrance videos will be available on the Wirral View website and posted on Wirral Council’s Facebook and Twitter channels from 11.00am on Sunday 8th November.
The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith, said:
“Remembrance Sunday has to be very different this year, but our commitment to honour the sacrifice of so many remains as strong as ever. Although we are not able to stand side by side, we will still join together online at 11 O’clock to take a few moments to remember and pay our respects.”
For more information about how you can get involved remotely, click here.
Friday 30 October update
Local Restriction Support Grants
Businesses specifically affected by the tier three restrictions in the borough can now make a claim financial support .
An online claim form for the Local Restrictions Support Grant is available for any eligible business to submit an application.
The Government established the grant support specifically for public houses and bars (except those selling substantial meals,) betting shops, casinos, adult gaming centres and soft play centres, which were forced to close as a result of the Liverpool City Region tier 3 restrictions. Wirral businesses in this category, affected by these latest Government Covid-19 restrictions, should set up a MyWirral account to access this funding.
Thursday 29 October update
£1.5m LCR fund to support taxi drivers
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is to provide a fund of up to £1.5 million to the six local authorities in the city region to enable them to help cover the costs of licences for taxi drivers resident in the Liverpool City Region who have been severely impacted by COVID-19.
City Region leaders have been campaigning for the Government to increase the amount of financial support they are providing for the self employed and freelancers impacted by restrictions – many of whom are still not eligible for any of the national support schemes.
The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licenced taxi drivers in their area.
Wednesday 28 October update
Wirral Council urge residents to stay safe this October/ November
With Halloween and Bonfire Night around the corner, Wirral and other local authorities in the Liverpool City Region (LCR) are urging residents not to gather or arrange events find alternatives to trick or treating and gathering at bonfire or firework displays this year.
As the borough is under Tier 3 restrictions, the risk of transmitting coronavirus is significantly higher than in other areas outside of the city region and any mixing with other households should be avoided.
As in previous years, council officers will be working with both the Police and Fire service to reduce anti-social behaviour and protect the vulnerable.
Chief Inspector Peter Clark, who is heading this year’s operation for Merseyside Police said: “We are keen to get the balance right between protecting people from the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that they can still enjoy this period. Where people are flouting restrictions, we will however take action.
"Our message regarding anti-social behaviour during this period remains simple – it will not be tolerated and anyone caught committing this type of offence will be dealt with firmly and robustly. No one should have to suffer being the victim of anti-social behaviour and I would like to reassure everyone that there will be extra high-visibility patrols during this time.”
Joe Cunliffe, Station Manager at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Community bonfires must not take place on public land, as this will encourage people to gather in breach of current restrictions. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will respond to reports of fires and will extinguish them throughout the bonfire period.
“If you decide to have fireworks at home, only buy them from reputable retailers registered with MFRS. Please observe the restrictions and always follow the firework code.”
Tuesday 27 October update
Support for young carers in Wirral
With the COVID-19 pandemic creating more young carers in the UK; local, specialist support is available to those looking for guidance, information or advice.
A partnership between Wirral Council and Barnardos - Action with Young Carers Wirral makes regular contact with young carers via Whatsapp groups, video, and other virtual channels to offer support. Some in-person meetings are still taking place at Covid-secure venues such as schools.
If you think you're a young carer and would like more information, or if you'd like to refer a young person to the service, please get in touch by calling 0151 650 5488 or emailing the team.
You can find out more at the Barnardos website.
Friday 23 October update
Changes to Tier 3 restrictions set to come in
While Wirral - along with Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton and St Helens – remains within the ‘very high’ alert level of the Government’s new three-tier system of interventions to tackle the spread of COVID-19, some significant changes to that take effect tomorrow (Saturday).
The key changes are that indoor gyms, fitness and dance studios, sports facilities and leisure centres can reopen. However, soft play centres have to close from Saturday 24th October.
Some Wirral Council fitness and leisure facilities are set to reopen their doors for the first time since March this weekend.
Local Restriction Support Grants to help businesses
Local businesses affected by the latest Government Covid-19 restrictions are being asked to set up a MyWirral account to access new grant funding.
On 14th October, Liverpool City Region was put under tier 3 restrictions and the Government pledged further support for those hospitality & leisure sector businesses which were forced to close as a result. This financial support will be available to public houses and bars (except those selling substantial meals,) betting shops, casinos, adult gaming centres and soft play centres.
An online claim form for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) will be available from Wednesday, 28th October onwards, on the Wirral Council website. Ahead of that date, Wirral Council is asking businesses to set up a “MyWirral” account which will be needed to apply online for the grant.
Visit the government website for further guidance on the Local Restriction Support Grant.
Council-owned leisure centres to make welcome return
Some of Wirral’s council-owned leisure centres are set to return following the government’s announcement that gyms and other leisure facilities can reopen across the Liverpool City Region.
Both the gym and the pool at West Kirby Concourse will reopen this Saturday 24 October from 9am, with exercise classes returning from Monday 26 October.
The gym at Guinea Gap Leisure Centre will reopen on Saturday 24 October from 9am, with the pool following close behind – opening from 7.30am on Monday 26 October.
The competition pool at Europa Pools will welcome back swimmers from Thursday 29 October. However, the gym and fun pool will remain closed for now.
Thursday 22 October update
Ideas for keeping the kids busy over October half-term
It's nearly half-term and Halloween, but the latest coronavirus restrictions mean things will probably look a little different this year.
To help keep your little ones entertained, we've put together some ideas for things you can do at home, and nearby, to save you travelling too far at the moment.
Due to high numbers of people testing positive for COVID-19, local authorities from across Merseyside and Cheshire are currently asking residents to remain close to home and only visit neighbouring boroughs for work, education or health purposes.
From puddle-jumping, to virtual quizzes, lucky dip library bags, and classic children's films - this list should help to make half-term a busy one after all!
Friday 16 October update
Tier 3 travel restrictions
Most of us want to do the right thing to help us reduce the spread of coronavirus, to be able to reduce pressure on our NHS and keep our economy going.
With travel restrictions in place across the Liverpool City Region, including Wirral, you should only travel outside of the area for essential journeys such as for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities.
You should try and reduce the number of journeys you take. If you must travel by car, you should avoid travelling with people outside of your household or support bubble. Only use public transport for essential journeys.
You may travel to hotels and other guest accommodation within the Liverpool City Region, but you should only do this with people in your household or support bubble.
As Wirral is a Tier 3 area, the risk of transmitting the virus to another part of the country is much higher if you travel.
We’re urging our residents to follow the guidelines and continue to support local businesses. Stay safe, stay local.
Tier 3 sports restrictions
The new Tier 3 regulations state that outdoor sports can continue, as long as they are undertaken in line with COVID-secure guidance. The national and regional governing bodies of specific sports, such as the FA, RFU, LTA and England Netball etc, are also issuing their own guidance for their area. It is up to individuals, sports teams and clubs to consider the guidance issued by their governing bodies before deciding whether they should participate.
Window open to apply for Liverpool City Region Hospitality & Leisure Grant
The £40million Liverpool City Region Hospitality & Leisure Grant Fund is now live and Wirral Council is urging local businesses in this sector to apply for funding.
Businesses are being advised to go online to the Wirral Council website at www.wirral.gov.uk/lcrgrant to see if they are eligible for a grant under the fund rules.
Partnership work ensures delivery of free school meals
Council staff and community partner organisations have again joined forces to support Wirral’s schools to ensure pupils self-isolating continue to receive their free school meals.
With schools dedicated to keeping their settings as COVID-secure as can be, some pupils have had to self-isolate for 14 days, either due to being in close contact to someone testing positive or testing positive themselves. Schools and the local authority want to ensure children who usually receive free school meals continued to receive meals whilst isolating. Partner organisations Neo Community and Involve North West Community Connectors stepped up once again to work alongside council staff to assist with the delivering of meals and ensure that no child would miss out whilst isolating.
Major outdoor events cancelled this autumn/ winter
Major outdoor events scheduled to take place this autumn and into the Christmas period have been cancelled following the announcement of recent restrictions to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.
The government ruling that outdoor mass gatherings should not take place where social distancing can’t be controlled and maintained, will affect a number of high profile annual events, including:
- Remembrance Sunday commemorations at the cenotaph in Hamilton Square
- Bonfire night community displays
- River of Light fireworks spectacular
- Christmas fayres
- Christmas light switch-on events
Residents should not arrange their own community events and gatherings in place of the cancellation of these events - services can only be held internally in line with latest government guidelines and no outside parades, commemorations should be held.
All requests to hold events (such as firework displays, Christmas markets and Christmas light switch on events), no matter how large or small, will be refused for public safety.
Cllr Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council, says: “It is with a very heavy heart that we have had to cancel these important events but we could not bring thousands of people together and risk exposing them to coronavirus - people’s health has to be our priority.
Thursday 15 October update
Leaders urge people to work together to help protect borough’s health services
People in Wirral are urged to continue to work together to help support the local NHS as the borough’s main acute hospital is facing a significant increase in Covid-19 admissions.
The Leader of Wirral Council and the Chief Executive of the borough’s main hospital at Arrowe Park (part of Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust - WUTH) have joined in calls for people to help ensure the spread of Covid-19 in the borough is brought under control to allow the new Government restrictions to be lifted as soon as possible.
Wirral University Teaching Hospital Trust reports a marked increase in cases and want to preserve their ability to continue treating patients coming in for planned operations as much as possible. The hospital is also urging local people not to come to the hospital with COVID-19 symptoms unless they are in need of urgent care and to follow the NHS advice to call NHS 111.
Wirral Council leader, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “Our public health officials are saying this could be worse than the first wave and we are facing a truly worrying situation. I absolutely understand how frustrated people are at being asked to abide by new restrictions – they apply to me too as a Wirral resident and whilst it’s really difficult after six months of restrictions, we all have to pull together."
Emergency fund for hospitality and leisure businesses set to launch
An emergency fund of up to £40 million launches today (Thurs 15 October) in a bid to protect Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure businesses from the huge economic impact Covid-19 restrictions are having on the sector.
The fund aims to enable viable businesses to continue trading and retain as many jobs as possible; support temporarily closed businesses to top up employees’ wages and remain solvent; and to help lay the ground for economic recovery across the hospitality and leisure sector in the future.
It will be used to help keep businesses in the sector afloat for up to four months, until a wider and more substantial financial support package can be secured from central Government.
A ‘grant application window’ will open at 10.00am tomorrow, Friday 16 October 2020 and will close at 5.00pm on Friday 30 October 2020.
For more information and to see if your business is eligible, click here.
Wednesday 14 October update
Local COVID-19 restrictions: what they mean for Wirral care home visits
In Wirral, face-to-face visits to care homes from family or friends are currently limited to exceptional circumstances only. This is because care home residents are vulnerable, and at greater risk if exposed to Coronavirus.
While maintaining contact with family and friends is hugely important to those who live in care homes, at this time of raised community infection rates, families are asked to keep in touch by other means. This might be via Skype, Facetime, or other video call software – care home staff will be able to advise.
To decide whether a face-to-face visit is allowed, an individual risk assessment will be carried out. Residents, family members and staff will all be involved in making this decision. To reduce the risk of COVID-19, it might be that a video call or garden / window visit is more suitable at the moment.
Wirral awarded 30 Green Flag Awards
30 of Wirral's parks and green spaces have been awarded a Green Flag, the largest number in the North West for the third year running.
As Wirral continues to respond to the challenges of COVID-19, our parks and green spaces remain a constant for many residents – providing opportunities to enjoy fresh air, exercise and to interact with nature. For many, the borough’s outdoor spaces have also supported their physical and mental health during this time of great uncertainty.
This year, all 27 of last year’s winners along with a further three sites have been awarded a Green Flag.
The three green spaces that have been added to the list this year include Torr Park, Heswall Dales and Flaybrick Memorial Gardens, reflecting the dedication of parks and countryside staff, as well as Friends Groups and members of the public who volunteer their time and effort, to make improvements to these important areas.
Monday 12 October update
Update following the Prime Minister’s announcement
Wirral, along with other areas across the Liverpool City Region, will be placed into the ‘very high’ alert level of the Government’s new three-tier system of interventions to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
This means the borough will, from this Wednesday 14 October, be under the strictest set of restrictions due to the high rate of infection in the area.
Council teams are working through the guidance for each restriction and what this means for Wirral and will share more updates and information as soon as they can.
Tuesday 6 October update
A message from Councillor Janette Williamson, Leader of Wirral Council - "Changing behaviour is the only way forward"
"As the new leader of Wirral Council, I wish my first message to you was written in better circumstances. However, I’m afraid we are living through extremely challenging and worrying times.
"As you may be aware, Wirral and other parts of the Liverpool City Region (LCR) have seen a huge increase in the numbers of people testing positive for coronavirus after a national computer error was corrected and updated numbers were published over the weekend.
"As much as we have known the situation in our region was becoming more serious since the end of August, the new data shows that on average, 98 people are now testing positive for coronavirus every single day. At the beginning of August, this average was two people per day.
"This is deeply concerning, and we simply cannot continue as we are."
Town centre bar fined for COVID-19 rule breach
Sue’s Bar, which is located on Argyle Street in Birkenhead, received a £1,000 fixed penalty notice after licensing enforcement officers visited the premises on Sunday 27 September.
Despite the owners and staff receiving wide-ranging advice and support over a number of weeks aimed at making the bar COVID-19 secure, officers observed a number of breaches of the law during their visit.
The council introduced a scheme for businesses which encourages them to work through a checklist of measures, declare themselves ‘COVID-secure’ and display special stickers and posters to that effect to give customers confidence that they were entering a safe environment.
Wirral businesses can download a toolkit for guidance, support and advice on Covid-19 only and sign up to become ‘Covid-secure’ accredited.
If anyone has concerns about the operations or procedures of any local business, they are able to let the council know.
Remobilisation on hold
Following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Wirral, plans to reopen additional council services have been paused until further notice.
This will help us focus our resources to respond to the rise in infection rates, and support the urgent Public Health response.
Where appropriate, behind the scenes preparations for some services to reopen will continue.
Council staff and partners are meeting daily to review the situation and further information will be provided when we know more. Until then, residents can follow the latest Coronavirus updates at wirralview.com and on this blog.
Monday 5 October update
LCR agrees Emergency Aid Package for hospitality and leisure industry
An emergency fund of up to £40million has been announced today in a bid to rescue Liverpool City Region’s vital hospitality and leisure sector from economic collapse.
The sector supports over 50,000 jobs in 4,000 business and contributes £5billion a year to the local economy. Over 200 businesses in the sector have already been lost in the face of Covid-19 and, without Government assistance over the past few months, many more would have followed.
The emergency stop-gap fund has been set up a direct response to new government restrictions, which come into force on 3 October forbidding people from mixing with other households in indoor venues – including pubs, bars and restaurants. The restrictions are expected to deal a further hammer blow to many businesses, which are already at breaking point.
Friday 2 October update
Test and Trace Support Payment scheme opens for applications
Eligible residents can now apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in Wirral.
The scheme follows new laws, brought in on Monday 28 September in England, requiring all those who test positive for COVID-19 or those identified as ‘close contacts’ to self-isolate.
In line with the new requirements, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme will provide financial assistance to people on low incomes who are unable to work while they are self-isolating because they cannot work from home. Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.
While local authorities await authorisation from the Department of Health & Social Care to process payments, Wirral Council has today opened applications to ensure residents can be supported as swiftly as possible.
To find out more information about the scheme and if you're eligible, visit the council's website.
Restrictions for spectators attending amateur football matches
All adult and junior football leagues and teams using Wirral Council operated grass and 3g football pitches should follow the guidance from government and the Football Association.
The following guidance applies:
- no spectators are allowed to attend any adult amateur football match taking place on Wirral Council operated grass or 3g pitches. Only the referee, players and manager of each team should attend matches
- for junior football matches, a maximum of one parent or guardian will be allowed to attend a match with their child for the duration of their fixture but must remain socially distanced. Please leave promptly at the end of the fixture
Thursday 1 October update
Local COVID-19 restrictions updated
It was announced this morning that Wirral and the rest of Merseyside will be affected by further regulations and guidance aimed at reducing the high rate of COVID-19 infection.
The new rules come into force from 0001 on Saturday 3rd October.
From that time, people must not meet anyone outside their household or bubble in any indoor setting, such as pubs, restaurants and bars. This builds on measures already in place restricting residents from mixing with other households in private homes or gardens. These regulations are enforceable by law and subject to fines.
Alongside the new restrictions is updated advice for residents not to meet people outside their household or bubble outdoors, whether a park, outdoors event or pub garden, to only travel for essential reasons and not to visit friends or family in care homes, other than in exceptional circumstances. Care homes should restrict visits to these circumstances.
COVID-secure schools and workplaces are not affected. Current rules around childcare arrangements also appear not to be affected at this time.
Wirral Council Leader, Cllr Janette Williamson has made a statement to residents about these new restrictions: “We are committed to tackling the high rate of COVID-19 infection in Wirral as swiftly and effectively as possible".
Read more from Wirral Council's leader along with a joint statement from the Leaders of Liverpool City Region councils, local MPs and the Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram here.
Wednesday 30 September update
A quick guide to self-isolation
Are you up to speed with the latest guidance on self-isolation after the government's announcement on Monday 28 September?
Wirral’s Director of Public Health, Julie Webster, points you to some important information about who should self-isolate and when, in a quick guide.
Take a look at the guide by visiting her latest health blog.
Tough decisions loom for Wirral Council budget
Councillors in Wirral will face “tough and even unpopular decisions as a result of the costs of the Covid pandemic” the new leader of the authority has warned.
The council has warned it will be bringing forward a range of measures over the coming weeks aimed at tackling a total £67 million plus gap in its budgets for 2020/21 and 2021/22.
A broad range of savings options will be presented to committees in the coming weeks for them to make recommendations on, as the authority seeks to plug the financial gaps that have happened as a result of the supporting local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Temporary cycle lane is removed at Kings Parade
The temporary cycle lane, installed to support increased cyclists during the summer, will be removed from Kings Parade as we move into the autumn months.
The temporary measure at Kings Parade, New Brighton, was installed back in March to provide additional road space for those on two wheels and support the increased number of cyclists, particularly during the national lockdown.
Although the route proved popular over the summer, as less cyclists use it and traffic levels along Kings Parade increase, the temporary cycle lane will be removed tomorrow, 1 October.
The removal of the measures will ensure that the route is being used as efficiently and safely as possible with the measures in place being much more difficult to maintain during poor weather conditions.
The council continue to explore funding opportunities for the temporary measures to be installed in this location next year or for a more permanent measures to support active travel.
Monday 28 September update
The nurse who came out of retirement to fight coronavirus
Hoylake resident Viv Harrison had been enjoying retirement before COVID-19 came along but when she realised the scale of the challenge facing the country, she re-registered as a nurse especially to help support the response to the virus.
Viv said: “Even though I was retired, I didn’t just want to sit back, I wanted to help”.
She was assigned to work at Bidston Covid Satellite testing site which opened in early May and was the first testing facility in Wirral, initially set up to prioritise key workers.
You can read more about testing and Viv's story here.
Council secures funding to tackle homelessness
Wirral Council continues to lead the way in its Humanitarian response to COVID-19 and has secured almost half a million pounds of funding to continue to keep vulnerable people off the streets and help rough sleepers find a permanent home.
The £494,269 awarded under the Government’s Next Steps Accommodation Programme is the 4th largest allocation in the North West, behind only Manchester, Liverpool and Sefton.
The funding will allow the council and its partners to continue to provide accommodation for homeless people who were housed as part of the ‘Everybody In’ initiative which was launched at the start of the pandemic.
Friday 25 September update
NHS Test & Trace: new laws, support payments and more
From Monday 28 September in England, there will be a new legal duty on all those who test positive for COVID-19.
The new laws will also apply to those who are identified by NHS Test and Trace or local public health teams as a ‘close contact’, requiring them to self-isolate.
The new requirements are joined by a new Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, to be administered by local authorities, for people on low incomes who are unable to work while they are self-isolating because they cannot work from home.
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:
The Support Payment Scheme is expected to run until 31 January 2021. To find out if you are eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment and for more information about the scheme, please read the latest Wirral View article.
Thursday 24 September update
A message from the Wirral Council Leader, Cllr Pat Hackett
"As you know we are all being asked to adhere to new restrictions as a result of rising COVID-19 infections across Wirral. I share your disappointment that so soon after we were starting to enjoy a gradual relaxation of the lockdown imposed earlier in the year, we are now seeing that go into reverse.
"I understand you may find this difficult but I urge you to now, at this crucial point, stick to the new regulations and guidance.
"The more we all heed these restrictions, the more likely we are to reduce and halt the spread of Coronavirus. We are seeing infections increasing across a range of different age groups and in varying settings in the borough and it is incumbent on us all to do what we can to stop this."
New NHS COVID-19 app launched
The new NHS COVID-19 smartphone app has launched today.
One of the key features of the app is ‘venue check-in’, which is a simple, electronic way for visitors to hospitality venues, attractions, close contact businesses and other public buildings to log their attendance for ‘Test and Trace’ purposes.
It also links people to localised updates, the latest guidance and allows people to get advice and signposting if they show any symptoms of COVID-19.
To be at its most effective the app needs to be downloaded and used by as many people as possible.
Hospitality, close contact services and leisure venues are already legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace. From today, Thursday 24th September, these venues will also be legally required to display official NHS QR code posters at the entrance to their premises, which can be scanned in seconds using the new app.
It is free to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Tuesday 22 September update
Bar manager Jasmine talks champions
As part of the councils new community network to help stop the spread of coronavirus and keep residents and businesses up to date with the latest information regarding COVID-19, we spoke to Jasmine who has become one of our Community Champions.
Jasmine Catherall lives in Wallasey and is Manager of The Scrap Yard bar on Wallasey Road.
To be a Community Champion like Jasmine sign up at www.wirral.gov.uk/communitychampions
Friday 18 September update
New local COVID-19 restrictions announced
Further local restrictions are being introduced in Wirral and the rest of Merseyside in an effort to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infection in the borough.
From Tuesday 22 September, a number of new regulations and guidelines will be introduced. Full details are still being gathered, but the headlines can be summarised as follows:
- Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households or support bubble in private homes and gardens;
- Hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only; and
- Late night operating hours will be restricted, with leisure and entertainment venues including restaurants, pubs, and cinemas, required to close between 10pm to 5am
Significant pieces of guidance
- Only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work
- Avoid attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators
These new measures will be kept under constant review to reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.
Thursday 17 September update
NHS launches new Test & Trace App to help in the fight against COVID-19
A new COVID-19 Test & Trace App is set to launch on Thursday 24 September, which allows people to 'check-in' to venues, notifies users if they come in to contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus and provides advice on what to do.
This information allows the NHS and local authorities to respond quickly to outbreaks, to stop the virus spreading and save lives.
To ‘check in’ to a venue, the user simply scans a QR code poster on their phone, which passes on their Test & Trace details without having to fill a form in.
Business can make it easy for customers too by displaying Test & Trace QR code posters. This enables customers to ‘check in’ by scanning the QR code on their phone, to pass on their Test & Trace details. To create a Test & Trace QR poster for your business, click here.
The App will not hold or share any personal information about the user or track their location. The App cannot see users’ phone contacts and their privacy and identity are secure. Check-ins will be automatically deleted 21 days later. The App user Bluetooth Low Energy, which means it has minimal impact on the phone’s battery.
Budget Statement from Cllr Janette Williamson
"Local authorities across the country are facing a seismic shift in their finances, with many staring into an abyss. This is primarily because we are having to plug the gap in our finances caused by the extra costs of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, and the loss of income from areas such as leisure, parking and other fees which usually support vital frontline services. Wirral Council is not alone in facing difficult decisions as the authority seeks to balance its books and develop a plan to deal with a massive financial black hole. The recently reported estimated budget gap for Wirral Council this year was more than £30 million."
Wednesday 16 September update
New COVID-19 testing site to open in Liscard
More testing is being made available to Wirral residents this week with a new Local Testing Site (LTS) set to open in Liscard today (Wednesday 16 September).
The site is being set-up at the car park of the Liscard Community Facility Complex, Egerton Grove, Liscard and users will be asked to self-swab when attending. This is in addition to the new LTS sites in Birkenhead and Bebington which have opened this month and are available to carry out tests seven days per week from 8am to 8pm. All testing sites in Wirral are now appointment only.
For more information about testing, please click here.
Next phase of Birkenhead regeneration
Birkenhead Market is set to move into a crucial new phase of its redevelopment this week as plans to build a new market on the current site move ahead.
A new and revitalised Birkenhead Market is a key part of the wider regeneration proposals for the town centre and a temporary market will be established to enable the continuity of trade.
Now as part of this process, traders will be given Section 25 notices setting the date for the end of their current tenancy agreements. Traders will then be invited to agree new leases on their current premises in the market. The majority of traders will also be entitled to receive statutory compensation as part of agreeing new terms with the council.
It is expected they will still have around eighteen months left in the current building so nothing will change for traders right away and they will continue to welcome customers as normal.
When the Market is being rebuilt, traders will be housed temporarily on Europa Boulevard in a modern, fit-for-purpose development, until the new Market is ready.
Tuesday 15 September update
Priority supermarket slots available for vulnerable or self-isolating residents
Priority supermarket delivery slots are available for Wirral residents who are unable to get out to the shops due to having to self-isolate or who are otherwise vulnerable to Covid-19.
This is just one of the support measures still in place for local people who require additional help accessing food deliveries due to the ongoing pandemic and who are able to pay.
Monday 14 September update
PSPOs come into force at anti-social behaviour hot-spots
Earlier this year, when government lockdown restrictions due to Covid-19 were introduced, criminal offences and complaints of anti-social behaviour increased dramatically in the areas of New Brighton and West Kirby.
To help give enforcement agencies wider-reaching and longer-term powers to take action if further issues occur, Wirral Council introduced temporary Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in The Dips in New Brighton and West Kirby beach/Cubbins Green. The PSPOs will take effect from today, Monday 14 September and will be in place for two years.
For more information about the orders, visit the councils website.
Support for young people via new outdoor 'safe spaces'
Wirral’s dedicated youth workers will continue offering support to young people outside - after school and early evenings - via designated ‘safe spaces’ across the borough.
The Youth Matters team has identified hotspot areas where young people have been congregating over the summer. Council staff will be on-hand to continue pushing social distancing guidelines and offering advice to young people who need it.
Friday 11 September update
Extra help as Wirral get back to the school run
Families are being encouraged to rethink how they travel to school and encouraging walking or cycling where possible to help leave public transport available for those who live further away from their school.
To support this and to enable as many people as possible who need to use public transport, Merseytravel have added a number of dedicated school buses, which are only available for school children to use.
School dedicated services are identified by an “S” before the service number, and do not have capacity restrictions which other services have, in line with government guidance. For more information on these buses, please visit the Merseytravel website.
Merseyside is an 'area of concern'
The government has advised that Merseyside is now an ‘area of concern’, which means that Wirral and other local authorities will be required to work with partners - supported by regional Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace teams - to take additional actions to manage outbreaks and reduce community spread of the virus.
It is does not at this stage signify any additional local restrictions, but it does place areas on alert that without significant and immediate efforts to bring down the rate of infection, a localised ‘lockdown’ could be required.
Thursday 10 September update
Supporting Wirral businesses to be certified 'Covid-secure'
Wirral Council is reaching out to more than 5,000 local businesses to support them in the wake of further changes to national Covid-19 guidance.
A team of more than 20 council officers will be taking to the streets from Monday, when the new guidance comes into effect, to visit a range of premises and offer them support to make their business as ‘Covid-secure’ as it can be.
This large-scale engagement exercise will follow the launch of a council-led, self-assessment accreditation scheme for businesses which will allow them to promote themselves as an official ‘Covid-secure’ business to give their customers confidence that they have all the required procedures in place for their safety and the safety of staff.
Wirral businesses can now download a new online toolkit for guidance, support and advice on Covid-19 and sign up to become ‘Covid-secure’ accredited.
If anyone has concerns about the operations or procedures of any local business, they are able to let the council know online.
Monday 7 September update
Become a Community Champion and help Keep Wirral Well
Wirral Council is launching a new community network to help stop the spread of coronavirus and keep our residents and businesses up to date with the latest information regarding COVID-19.
Upon sign up, Community Champions will receive regular updates from Wirral Council as well as signposting information from other partners to ensure that all sectors and groups in Wirral are included.
There will also be tailored advice and guidance provided for different sectors with support for business a key priority.
Friday 4 September update
Birkenhead Gets First Covid-19 Local Testing Site in Wirral
A dedicated walk-through Covid-19 testing site will be open in Birkenhead this weekend.
The semi-permanent site, known as a Local Testing Site (LTS), is being built in Birkenhead on Friday 4 September and will be open to the public for testing from 2pm until 5pm on Saturday.
The LTS aims to improve access to testing for the whole community, especially those who do not have access to a car or should not be using public transport because they have symptoms. This site will be open for several months and will be able to accommodate approximately 288 tests per day to ensure that accessible testing is continually available to people.
Mobile COVID-19 Testing Unit in Bebington and Pensby this week
The mobile coronavirus testing unit is bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests and will be operating in Bebington and Birkenhead by appointment only.
On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September the mobile testing unit will be at Bebington Civic Way car park before heading to Europa Leisure Centre on Wednesday 9 to Saturday 12 September.
The mobile testing unit is in addition to Wirral’s satellite testing centre in Bidston which operates seven days a week.
For the latest information, and to book a test visit www.wirral.gov.uk/test
RNLI urges coastal visitors to stay safe
As school summer holidays come to an end, full time patrols on RNLI lifeguarded beaches will reduce their service from this weekend.
RNLI lifeguard service will continue on West Kirby, Harrison Drive, New Brighton and Leasowe Bay between 10am and 6pm every Saturday and Sunday until 27 September.
Where possible, residents are encouraged to head to one of the lifeguarded beaches and to maintain social distancing and if that’s not possible, consider spending the day elsewhere.
If planning to visit the coast and use the water people are reminded to take additional care and follow the safety advice:
- Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
- Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
- Don’t allow your family to swim alone
- Don’t use inflatables
- If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
- In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard
Residents full of praise for Wirral businesses
After launching our ‘High Street Heroes’ campaign we've received nearly 500 nominations and it’s fair to say that the Wirral public are full of praise about our local businesses and their amazing efforts during lockdown.
Nominations closed on Friday and the businesses chosen will join Tower Stores in New Brighton, Heseltine’s Butchers in Upton and Boysenberry Deli in New Ferry to front a new advertising campaign to encourage the public to cherish their high street shops.
Thursday 3 September update
More than 19,000 free packed lunches sent out to children this summer
One thousand young people in Wirral have received free packed lunches over the summer holidays, thanks to community partnership working and funding from Edsential.
While council playschemes were suspended due to Coronavirus, staff were busy preparing lunches and activity packs for children in conjunction with partners from Beechwood, Birkenhead North and Leasowe.
In addition to the packed lunches, staff delivered:
- more than 1,500 packs filled with games and activities
- over 1,000 arts and sports packs
- a host of other goodies, including ice-creams, hotdogs, t-shirts, and prizes
Friday 28 August update
Progress continues on grass-cutting and weed treatment programmes
Staff are pulling out all the stops to help Wirral Council get weed treatment and grass cutting operations back on track after an enforced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Significant progress has been made since workers resumed operations when lockdown restrictions eased, with areas being prioritised. But the council acknowledges that there is still much to do to bring other pavements and grassed areas up to standard.
The council is implementing new ways to deal with Wirral’s verges including:
- More staff are being deployed
- Staff are working evenings and weekends
- Manual weeding trial continues
Returning library books
West Kirby and Birkenhead Central Library have now been operating the order and collect service for just under a month and are now able to accept returns of books.
To return books to the library that you have had on loan, please visit either West Kirby or Birkenhead Central and drop your books off at anytime during opening hours (both sites will be closed during banks holiday Monday on 31 August).
When dropping books or other items from the library, separate entrances and exits will be marked, with a one-way system around the building and hand sanitising stations available. No toilet facilities will be available, except in emergencies.
Residents are asked to adhere to the safety measures in place to help protect themselves, staff, and other visitors to the library. Visitors are reminded that from Saturday 8 August, government made it mandatory to wear a face covering in public buildings including libraries.
If you can’t get to either of the open libraries, or you’d rather hold onto the books for a bit longer and maybe read them for another time, items on loan from the library will continue to be automatically renewed so no fines will be issued.
For more information on the order and collect system for getting your hands on some different titles, please visit www.wirral.gov.uk/collect
Skaters can return as wheel parks reopen
More free leisure activities are becoming available next week with the planned reopening of some of the borough’s wheel parks from 3 September.
The wheel parks set to reopen are at:
- Gayton Park, Heswall
- Lingham Park, Moreton
- The Fender, Beechwood
- Tower Grounds, New Brighton
The wheel park at Eastham Rake will remain closed until further notice while damage caused by vandalism is repaired.
With their reopening comes a list of rules that users must follow to ensure that the parks can be as safe and secure as possible. Rules can be found here.
Thursday 27 August update
Returning to the school run – the road safety team share some top tips
As children return to school in September, the council’s Road Safety team share their top tips for ensuring children and parents are ready for the journey ahead and can stay as safe as possible.
Families are being advised to take to two wheels or travel on foot if they can and plan out journeys to allow extra time as an increase in traffic is expected.
COVID-19 testing in Pensby over Bank Holiday weekend
The mobile coronavirus testing unit is bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests and will be operating in Pensby and Birkenhead by appointment only this week.
From Friday 28 to Monday 31 August (Bank Holiday Monday) the unit will be at Pensby High School before returning to Europa Leisure Centre site in Birkenhead on Thursday 3 to Saturday 5 September.
Wednesday 26 August update
There’s a lot of love for Wirral businesses
Almost 250 nominations flooded in within days of launching the "High Street Heroes" campaign to recognise local businesses going the extra mile to help.
88 separate businesses highlighted so far by grateful customers who told how much they had been helped when they needed it most during the recent COVID-19 lockdown.
There is still time to nominate a business by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday 4 September.
Chosen businesses will be ‘the face of our high-streets’ in a new ad campaign.
Monday 24 August update
West Kirby Concourse fitness suite is back
The fitness suite at West Kirby Concourse will welcome back gym-goers from 26 August as essential building upgrades are now complete.
Opening hours will be from 8am – 9pm, Monday to Friday and 9am – 4pm at weekends with a new booking system in place to make sure the number of people in the gym remain at safe levels.
As with other leisure services such as Golf and outdoor exercise classes, Invigor8 memberships can be reinstated on request by emailing email@example.com and casual sessions can be booked online for £7.50 (adult), £4.50 (junior) and £5.60 (WPA).
Full COVID-19 safety guidelines can be found on the Wirral Leisure website and should be read in full before arriving at the gym.
The swimming pool remains temporarily out of use while staff complete the necessary training needed to open it safely.
Friday 21 August update
Support still available for residents struggling to get food
For people who are still finding it difficult to get the food they need because of coronavirus, support is still available.
Options for those able to pay for their food, include:
- Applying for a priority supermarket delivery slot
- The Shopping Collection Service by Age UK Wirral (this service can help people aged 60+ with their shopping needs)
- Shop Assist by Rapid Response North West
- Wirral Infobank
- The NHS Volunteer Responders programme
Anyone requiring crisis food support and who cannot pay for the food they need can apply for an emergency food parcel by calling the Coronavirus helpline on 0151 666 5050.
Investments into sustainable travel continues
Work has started on extra safety measures on the existing cycle lane at New Chester Road and later this summer a new cycle lane will be installed on Fender Lane in Moreton. These projects are funded by the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.
The new cycle lane due to be installed at Fender Lane is designed to make it easier for those who want to travel around Wirral on their bike - joining to existing cycle lanes and making cyclists feel more confident sharing the road with other vehicles.
The existing cycle lane on New Chester Road (from St Pauls Road to New Ferry Road) is being fitted with ‘orcas’ – raised rubber markers attached to the road surface separating the cycle lane from the main carriageway, providing protection to cyclists.
So far, 250 orca units made from a recycled truck tyres, have been installed in New Ferry Village. The remaining units will be installed along New Chester Road later in the year once surfacing works are completed.
The council is keen to extend the use of segregation features at other existing cycle lanes to continue help make sustainable travel more accessible.
For more information, please visit the Wirral View article.
Playgrounds update - only 4 sites remaining closed
Some of the playground sites remain closed whilst urgent repairs, some caused by vandalism, are undertaken. Some repairs require specific parts from across the UK and abroad so at this time, the council is unable to confirm a reopening date at this current time.
Playgrounds that remain closed include:
- Wheatland lane
- Price Street
- Rose Brae
- Queens Park
Thursday 20 August update
Free adult cycling sessions launch this weekend
Cycle training courses, run by BikeRight, will take place at Birkenhead Park from Saturday 22 August, with further training sessions available on Saturday 29 August and Saturday 12 September, with more dates to be announced.
The training is available for anyone wanting to improve their skills, road positioning, confidence or just to get back on their bike.
To take part in the courses, participants will need to be over 16 years of age, able to ride unaided (training sessions are not for complete beginners) and have a bike available to you.
For residents who don’t have their own bike but would like to take part, bikes can be borrowed from HYPE Bike Hub, but you will need to confirm at the time of booking.
Paul Lavelle Foundation launches male domestic abuse drop-in service
Men experiencing domestic abuse during COVID-19 can now book a 1:1 support session with experienced advisors in Birkenhead, thanks to a new 'frontline response service' provided by The Paul Lavelle Foundation.
Following funding from the Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner and the Steve Morgan Foundation, appointments are available every Wednesday at Royal Standard House on New Chester Road, CH42 1LE.
Sessions will last 45 minutes, with the opportunity to re-book if further support is needed.
The service will offer a listening ear, emotional support, advice and guidance, and signposting to other agencies if required.
Royal Standard House is a community building. Visits to the service are completely discreet and visitors are assured that anything disclosed is completely confidential.
COVID-19 testing in Pensby and Birkenhead this week
The mobile coronavirus testing unit is bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests and will be operating in Pensby and Birkenhead by appointment only.
From Saturday 22nd to Monday 24th August the unit will be at Pensby High School before returning to Europa Leisure Centre site in Birkenhead on Tuesday 25th until Thursday 27th August.
Wednesday 19 August update
Football to kick off again as artificial pitches return
Council-owned 5, 7 and 11-a-side all weather football pitches at Leasowe Leisure Centre, Guinea Gap Leisure Centre and Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre (Bidston) will ‘get the ball rolling’ again from Monday 24 August.
Teams will be able to book small-sided pitches online for both adults and juniors from Wednesday 19 August followed by block bookings from Tuesday 1 September. Prices will start from £27.50 for adults and £16.60 for juniors.
Strict COVID-19 guidelines have been put in place and must be read in full by all players before arriving to play. Clear COVID-19 signage will also be in place at each site.
Monday 17 August update
The Wirral I want to be part of
Do you have a photo, song or painting which tells a story about where you live in Wirral? Or how about getting creative to show what qualities or characteristics of your community you most appreciate?
We want people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved with ‘The Wirral I want to be part of’. We have already started sharing these works on social media – look out for them on Twitter (@imaginewirral and @Visit_Wirral). Meanwhile, get making!
The deadline for responses is 31 August.
For more information click here.
Friday 14 August update
Grassroots Football Season
The season will start on the 26 September 2020 and to allow for the late start to the season, the closing date for 20/21 will be extended to the 12/13 June 2021.
The council will continue to carry out site inspections for both pitches and pavilions including the maintenance of pitches and completing COVID-19 safe risk assessments at all sites in preparation for the season start date.
All leagues and clubs have been communicated with as to the safety measures that should be followed for matches in line with FA guidance.
No club members should attend matches if they or anyone in their household or bubble has coronavirus or is showing COVID-19 symptoms or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace.
Toilet facilities across the borough
Eastham Country Park toilet will reopen with limited access from this weekend to help provide facilities to residents out and about enjoying the local park and open spaces.
This will be supported by the reopening of existing facilities at Hoylake (near the life boat station) and West Kirby (Marine Lake) from Saturday 15 August now that these have been assessed and made COVID-19 safe.
Portaloos at the same locations were a temporary solution but will remain in place till Monday 17 August to provide additional toilet access over the weekend with the expected sunny weather.
All toilets will be cleaned on a 90-minute basis and have signs in place to ensure that they can be used as safely as possible and within government guidance.
External cubicles are also open at Moreton Common, Harrison Drive and Changing Places Marine Point.
COVID-19 testing in West Kirby and Birkenhead this week
The mobile coronavirus testing unit is bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests and will be operating in West Kirby and Birkenhead by appointment only.
On Sunday August 16th it will be at West Kirby Concourse offering tests to the general public who have made appointments.
Then on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th the unit will return to Europa Leisure Centre site in Birkenhead.
Volunteer at Wirral Deen Centre in Birkenhead Shabil Syed is urging people to book a test if they are experiencing symptoms. To view a short video from Shabil, click here.
Window is closing for Business Grant Support
Local businesses are being urged to act quickly if they haven’t yet submitted a claim for a grant from the Government’s coronavirus business support funds.
The Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant schemes will soon close and applications for grants will not be accepted after Friday, 28th August 2020.
The scheme, which was set-up at the start of the pandemic, has already administered nearly £50million in cash support for eligible Wirral businesses, but there is still a number within the borough that have not yet come forward to make a claim.
The claims process is simple and straightforward. It is a grant NOT a loan and as such, does not have to be paid back. To view the full criteria and make a claim, go online and visit the council website.
Wednesday 12 August update
New speeded up applications for pavement licences for Wirral businesses
A new fast track system aims to help businesses across Wirral provide additional outdoor seating.
The move will help support businesses selling food and drink such as cafes, pubs and restaurants provide extra seating on the pavement outside their premises.
The aim is to enable businesses to maximise their capacity while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Now businesses in Wirral will be able to obtain permission, in the form of a “pavement licence”, from the council to place furniture such as tables and chairs on the pavement near their premises.
The pavement licence application fee is £100, and if approved the licences must be granted for a minimum period of three months and may be granted up until 30 September 2021.
Residents are being given top tips to control vermin this summer
With the warmer months and this summer providing some very hot days, the council's environmental health team share some tips on how to stop rodents such as rats, setting up home in gardens.
- Making your home and garden rodent proof by sealing gaps larger than 6mm
- Feeding wild birds correctly by not putting too much out and using non-spill foods
- Disposing of any unwanted materials stored in gardens or sheds
- Correct composting methods by only using compost bins for vegetable peelings and placing bins on heavy mesh
- Engaging with a pest technician when needed
For any waste too large for a wheelie bin, the council's large item collection service, can be used for up to six separate items.
For more information on the council's pest control service, please visit wirral.gov.uk.
Tuesday 11 August update
Gym-goers able to reinstate memberships for outdoor classes
Invigor8 members can now request to have their memberships reinstated to take advantage of the council’s outdoor fitness classes and reduce the cost of having to pay per session.
Memberships will only be reinstated on the understanding users will not be able access other Invigor8 facilities other than outdoor exercise classes and golf courses until further notice. Those who wish to reinstate their membership should email Wirral Leisure at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New members can also join the Invigor8 scheme to access outdoor classes and golf courses only. For those who prefer to book on a pay as you go basis, prices start from £4.20 per session.
The council’s leisure service launched outdoor exercise classes from Monday 3 August – with more than 30 classes to choose from every week, including activities such as Pilates, HIIT, Run in Wirral, Zumba and Revs Cycle. From Wednesday 12 August, class sizes will increase to provide more people with the opportunity to exercise again.
To see the full timetable of outdoor fitness classes or to book a class, visit the Wirral Leisure website. The council’s online fitness classes will also continue to take place for free on the Invigor8 Facebook page.
Monday 10 August update
Libraries launch an order and collect service
From Monday 10 August members will be able to pre-order up to eight paperback, hardback and/or talking books at a time.
Readers can choose their own books, request a selection from a specific genre or author or those looking for inspiration can opt for a ‘lucky dip’ where the council’s team of librarians will handpick a range of three to four surprise titles.
To find out more about the Order and Collect library service and to place an order, visit wirral.gov.uk/collect.
From Thursday 13 August, you can also use the service by telephone by calling the library team on 0151 606 2114 for Birkenhead Central or 0151 929 7724 for West Kirby.
Please note that the Order and Collect service is currently only available from Birkenhead Central Library or West Kirby Library.
Playgrounds update - only 5 sites remaining closed
Playgrounds around the borough have reopened in a phased approach following extensive safety checks.
Some of the sites remain closed whilst urgent repairs, some caused by vandalism, are undertaken. Some repairs require specific parts from across the UK and abroad so at this time, the council is unable to confirm a reopening date at this current time.
Playgrounds that remain closed include:
- Whitfield Common
- Wheatland lane
- Price Street
- Rose Brae
- Queens Park
Residents should note that enclosed sports pitches, outdoor gyms/ outdoor exercise equipment and skate parks remain closed.
‘High Street Heroes’ campaign to recognise Wirral businesses
Wirral residents are being asked to nominate their ‘High Street Heroes’ - shops and businesses who went the extra mile during lockdown.
Many local businesses adapted quickly during the coronavirus pandemic and sought innovative ways to keep trading and provide vital services, for example offering a home delivery or pick-up service and we want to hear about them.
Local shops and businesses can be nominated for the services they have offered, exceptional customer service they have provided or even something as simple as a warm welcome and a cheery smile. The public are free to interpret what they think a High Street Hero looks like.
Whatever you think a High Street Hero looks like, if you would like to nominate a business, email email@example.com with the name of the business with a short explanation about why they should be recognised.
The chosen businesses will become the faces of a new ‘shop local’ campaign, which aims to celebrate the shops and businesses on our local high streets and encourage the public to use them.
Friday 7 August update
Dispose of a barbecue safely
Disposable barbecues and their coals can stay hot for a long time after they have been used and can even reignite so certain steps need to be followed to safely dispose of them.
- After use, barbecues should be soaked in water for at least 24 hours before being disposed
- Barbecues should be placed into the green (general waste) bin as they are not recyclable.
- Residents should not use a grey (recycling) bins to dispose of a barbecue. A full list of what can be put in your recycling bin can be found on the council’s website or search directly for items on MRWA’s Recycle Right website.
Parks, beaches and outdoor spaces should not be used for barbecues - unless they are a designated barbecue space such as the site at Wirral Country Park.
Further playgrounds reopen, with only 6 sites remaining closed
Playgrounds around the borough have reopened in a phased approach following extensive safety checks.
Some of the sites remain closed whilst urgent repairs, some caused by vandalism, are undertaken. Some repairs require specific parts from across the UK and abroad so at this time, the council is unable to confirm a reopening date at this current time.
Playgrounds that remain closed include:
- Whitfield Common
- Eastham Rake
- Wheatland lane
- Price Street
- Rose Brae
- Queens Park
New COVID-19 guidance delays reopening of leisure centres
Wirral’s council-owned leisure centres will remain closed while vital upgrades are made to make sure they comply with new COVID guidelines.
Checks on the facilities have shown that ventilation within the buildings does not meet new COVID 19 government guidelines, meaning the council would need to invest significant amounts of money, at a time when budgets are under pressure due to COVID-19, to make improvements.
New systems would mean air is extracted and replaced with a fresh supply more frequently to meet the updated regulations – an important step to make sure gym-goers and staff are safe.
Given the nature and scale of the work needed, and the fact some sites are still being used as testing sites and bases for Wirral’s COVID-19 response, it is likely to be some weeks yet before they open their doors again.
COVID-19 testing in Bromborough and Birkenhead next week
The mobile coronavirus testing unit is bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests and will be operating in Bromborough and Birkenhead by appointment only.
On August 10th and 11th it will be for retail workers only at the Croft Retail Park in Bromborough, before heading to Europa Leisure Centre site in Birkenhead on Wednesday 12th August where other members of the public will be able to get a test.
Then from Thursday 13th - Saturday 15th August the unit heads to Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers Football Club offering tests to the general public who have made appointments. Further dates and locations for the mobile unit in Wirral will be announced soon.
Everyone over the age of five who is showing symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss of or change to their sense of smell or taste – is eligible to apply for a test.
Residents who meet the above criteria can apply for a test through the NHS website or the Gov.uk website, and select the Wirral site as an option via the booking process. Instructions on how to take the test and how and when individuals will receive their results will be provided when they take their test.
Friday 31 July update
New grant fund to help community groups provide essential support
From Monday August 3, groups will have two weeks to apply for funding of up to £3,000 to enable them to provide a service that is specifically linked to the pandemic recovery.
This could be by, for example:
- Providing support to individuals and families in financial hardship, but who do not currently meet various thresholds
- Enabling social supermarkets to become Covid-safer by funding protective equipment; screens, face coverings, gloves etc
- Extending the availability of discounted food – reducing the price of lunches, food hampers etc
- Providing budgeting and cookery courses for local people
For details of how to apply and an application form, groups should visit www.wirral.gov.uk/covidfood.
A further 26 playgrounds set to reopen this weekend
From, Saturday 1 August another 26 council playgrounds will reopen, giving families and children more choice on where they can get out in the fresh air, get active and play.
32 of the council’s 67 playgrounds have already opened following extensive safety checks.
However, nine council playgrounds will remain closed until further notice after safety checks revealed the need for urgent repairs – some caused by vandalism. Some repairs require specific parts from across the UK and abroad so at this time, the council is unable to confirm a reopening date.
Playgrounds which will remain closed include:
- Whitfield Common
- Eastham Rake
- Oakdale Rec
- Demense Street
- Wheatland lane
- Thornton Hough
- Price Street
- Rose Brae
- Queens Park
Suspension of council car parking charges in Wirral to be continued until Autumn
On street parking charges as well as those at council car parks and the country parks were suspended at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
This was extended for a further month and now the Leader of Wirral Labour Group and Cabinet Member for Finance & Resources, Cllr Janette Williamson, has announced plans to continue the extension as part of a series of steps to support the Wirral economy.
It is proposed that the issue of car parking charges be reviewed at the first meeting of the cross party Policy and Resources Committee when it meets for the first time in October. A wholesale review of parking charges across the Borough has been requested and a report will also be available for the Committee to consider.
COVID-19 testing boost for Wirral
Bringing extra capacity for COVID-19 tests to the borough, the centre will initially be operating in Birkenhead by appointment only. From Saturday August 1 to Monday August 3 it will be at Europa Leisure Centre site in Birkenhead, and then from Tuesday 4vAugust to Thursday 6 August at Woodchurch Leisure Centre site. Further dates and locations will be announced later.
The mobile unit is in addition to Wirral’s satellite testing centre in Bidston which operates seven days a week. For the latest information, visit www.wirral.gov.uk/test where you can also book a test at the Bidston satellite testing site.
The mobile testing site is walk in or drive through and will provide an additional 400 ‘self-swab' tests per day.
Everyone over the age of five who is showing symptoms of coronavirus – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss of or change to their sense of smell or taste – is eligible to apply for a test.
Residents who meet the above criteria can apply for a test at the mobile site through the NHS website or the Gov.uk website, and select the Wirral site as an option via the booking process. Instructions on how to take the test and how and when individuals will receive their results will be provided when they take their test.
Thursday 30 July update
New scheme offers Wirral diners mouth-watering 50% discounts this August
From 3 August, customers can get a mouth-watering 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks (up to £10 discount per diner) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when they visit businesses that are registered with the scheme.
To find out local businesses that have signed up for the scheme, enter your postcode here.
‘Eat Out to Help Out’ runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 31 August.
Guidance for visiting care homes safely
The Government announced last week that care homes can now reopen to visitors, with strict safety measures in place.
To help reunite loved ones while reducing the risk of Coronavirus during visits, Wirral's Public Health team has provided guidance for care providers and visitors.
If you’re calling in to see a family member or friend, please be aware of the new safety measures in place and check with the care home about its visiting policy. Safety measures include:
- Visitors must wear a cloth face covering or face mask during their visit
- Hands should be washed on arrival using the facilities provided, and again afterwards
- Social distancing guidelines must be respected
- Outdoor visits are preferred, where possible
- Gifts that cannot be cleaned are not advised at the moment (e.g. flowers)
Council leisure service launches outdoor exercise classes
The council’s leisure service is set to launch a series of new outdoor exercise classes from Monday 3 August – with more than 30 classes to choose from every week.
Classes will include activities such as Pilates, HIIT, Run in Wirral, Zumba and Revs Cycle and will be held across Wirral in a variety of outdoor spaces including Birkenhead Park, outside the Floral Pavilion and the Oval Leisure Centre.
For now, classes will be limited to 5 people per session so anyone wanting to use the classes will need to book quickly to avoid missing out.
Prices will start from £4.20 per session and can be booked on a pay as you go basis. Currently, Invigor8 memberships will remain frozen until further notice.
New signs to identify pollinator havens installed around the borough
New signs are being installed on a number of additional verges to help the public identify them as havens for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and beetles.
As part of Wirral’s Climate Emergency response, certain verges across the borough have been not been cut, to encourage long grasses and wildflowers to grow and create the perfect environment for wildlife and wildflowers. Grass verges which are left to grow provide the best environment for pollinators.
Not only are they a good food source for wildlife, some wildflowers encourage native butterflies to land on them. Maintaining these sites means that wildflowers will be pollinated, but also protects the future of some species – particularly the orange-tipped butterfly.
It’s worth noting that while pollinator sites require less maintenance to provide an ideal environment for wildflowers, some work is still be required to continue to protect the habitat. Cutting only takes place after the wildflowers have been pollinated.
Wednesday 29 July update
The Floral Pavilion is back in time for summer
The Floral Pavilion will partially reopen to the public from Friday 31 July to eat, drink and relax.
The Floral’s Blue Lounge will offer floor to ceiling views of the River Mersey, retractable patio doors, air conditioning and dedicated toilets as well as a spacious area for visitors to eat safely and enjoy the freshly made refreshments on offer.
The newly updated Floral Café menu includes hot food, sandwiches, snacks, and pastries and will be available as part of the government’s ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme.
The new takeaway service will also be available from the ground floor of the venue.
To help ensure social distancing measures, separate entrances, exits and one-way queuing systems will be marked around the building for access to each of the services opening up - making it easier and safer for customers to access and move around the venue.
Currently, the box office remains closed and will not be hosting performances until further notice.
Tuesday 28 July update
Water sports to return to marine lake
Wirral Sailing Centre will officially reopen West Kirby Marine Lake to licence holders only from Thursday 30 July.
Activities such as sailing, windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking will be able to start on the marine lake again as long as users have pre-booked a session on the water.
Sailing will be restricted to one person per boat only, unless a second person is from the same household or from a social bubble in line with government guidance. The boatyard, toilets and washrooms all remain closed and staff will only be on site to provide advice on bookings.
Access to the lake will only be permitted during sailing centre opening hours - 9am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
For more information visit the Wirral Leisure website or to book a session call 0151 929 7707.
Monday 27 July update
Have your say on plans to tackle anti-social behaviour in coastal resorts
Wirral Council is consulting on plans to introduce temporary Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) in two areas of the borough, the Dips in New Brighton and the beach and Cubbins Green in West Kirby, that have been affected by crime and anti-social behaviour.
Since the introduction of government lockdown restrictions due to the Covid-19, criminal offences and complaints of anti-social behaviour have increased dramatically in these areas.
Council officers have been working closely with Merseyside Police on specific operations to tackle problems when they occur and in recent weeks and the Police have implemented Dispersal Zones in an effort to reduce problems. However, Dispersal Zones are short-term solutions often lasting only a few days, which is why the council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team is now looking to implement PSPOs to give enforcement agencies wider-reaching and longer-term powers to take action if further issues occur. If implemented, the Orders will be in place for two years.
The consultation period runs for two weeks from Monday 27th July. For full details and a link to comment on the plans, visit www.wirral.gov.uk/pspo. Alternately you can submit comments on the proposals by post to Wirral Anti-Social Behaviour Team, Wallasey Police Station, Manor Road, Wallasey, CH44 1DA.
Friday 24 July update
More playgrounds reopen across Wirral this weekend
Last weekend, eight of the council’s 60 playgrounds opened following extensive safety checks. From Saturday 25 July another 24 will open giving families and children more choice on where they can get out in the fresh air, get active and play.
The remaining play areas will reopen by August, with the next sites set to reopen scheduled for Saturday 1 August.
Residents should note that Oakdale Park play area was one of the sites due to reopen from Saturday 25 July but due to vandalism at the site, estimated to cost the council £850, the site will need to have some works done in addition to further inspections before this site can safely be reopened.
Grass cutting and weed maintenance update
The usual seasonal programme of outdoor maintenance had to be paused for three months but has since resumed with grass cutting prioritised on key routes, main road highway verges and dangerous locations, followed by residential areas starting this week.
The first of the residential areas to be cut are Eastham, Rock Ferry, Beechwood, Prenton and Woodchurch, Irby, Seacombe and Greasby. The in-house team are working hard to catch up on the current programme of works which can be found on the council’s website.
The council’s weed control contractor, Man Coed VM Ltd, has also restarted works, alongside trialling a number of alternative methods including manually scraping weeds away and reducing the use of chemicals. The weed control programme is also published online.
The council’s pollinator programme has encouraged long grasses and wildflowers in certain sites to create the perfect environment for pollinators such as bees, butterflies and beetles. Signs are being installed at sites to inform residents these areas are being managed as pollinator-friendly verges.
While pollinator sites contain wildflowers, some maintenance is still needed to continue protecting pollinators and the habitat at these sites. Cutting takes place after the flowering of wildflowers when bees, butterflies and other insects have pollinated them.
Thursday 23 July update
Bowling greens reopen
From Friday 24 July, bowling greens across the borough will reopen and, in line with shortened season and limited play, there will be no charge for bowling clubs for this year.
Time slots have been allocated to the clubs as usual so members of the public are reminded to only use bowling greens when they are not in use by club members. This will also help to manage social distancing.
Club members and residents using bowling greens should make sure they adhere to safety measures including:
- Wash hands before leaving home and after returning home
- Only participate in practice, exercise and members only match play (matches to only take place between members of one club - no ‘home’ and ‘away’ teams to meet)
- Do not share equipment with others
- Do not shake hands or make physical contact with other players
- Maintain social distancing
- Only use the area with a maximum of 6 people on the green at any one time
Bowling greens should not be used by club members or residents if they or anyone in their household or bubble that has coronavirus or is showing COVID-19 symptoms or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace.
All litter or discarded items must be taken away or disposed of properly by those using the area.
Club members should note that Bowling Pavilions will not be reopening at this time.
Monday 20 July update
Free cycle training for children over the summer
Free cycle training, usually offered through schools, has been scheduled from 20 July to 27 August 2020 to ensure that children over the age of 10 can still receive this vital safety training.
The free sessions, run and hosted by Bikeright and HYPE Merseyside, take place throughout the summer on Mondays to Fridays.
All courses are 9am till 3pm and take place in small, friendly groups of six children with two qualified instructors. Instructors have been trained to operate to current hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
Children attending the sessions are expected to have basic riding ability and their own bicycle and helmet in order to participate in group training.
Friday 17 July update
Phased reopening of playgrounds
Council owned playgrounds will start to reopen to the public in a phased approach from Saturday 18 July, with eight playgrounds reopening across the borough in the first phase.
Sites that will reopen this weekend include Ashton Park, Birkenhead Park, Central Park, Meols Park, Mersey Park, New Ferry Park, Torr Park and Vale Park.
The remaining play areas will then reopen gradually on a weekly basis to ensure that required safety works have been completed. The next sites will be reopened on 25 July and 1 August, with all sites to be reopened in August.
Whilst the play areas will begin to reopen, there is guidance in place and a number of precautions that any visitors to these areas should follow to keep as safe as possible and signs will be displayed at all open sites to reinforce this.
Wednesday 15 July update
Notices of marriage appointments resume
For couples planning on tying the knot, notice of marriage appointments can now be made at Birkenhead Town Hall.
Face-to-face appointments for notices of marriage have been on hold since lockdown began in March and Birkenhead Town Hall has implemented some extensive measures to ensure that the return of this service can be carried out safely and within the government guidance.
Notices of marriage can only be provided by appointment only. Residents can request an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a contact number. A member of staff will then call residents who have emailed to book them an appointment.
Only Wirral residents should attend. If both members of the couple live in Wirral, then both people will need to attend the appointment. If only one lives in Wirral, then only that person should attend.
Friday 10 July update
Central Government have advised that from 25 July gyms, leisure centres and indoor pools can start to reopen if they are able to follow the strict new guidelines.
Our teams are reviewing the new guidance and working tirelessly in the background to determine how our facilities can be adapted to accommodate the newly released regulations. We need to take the time to do this to make sure our facilities are as safe as possible ahead of reopening. We are also talking to our staff many of whom are shielding or have been temporarily deployed to help other council services. We hope to be able to update you in the coming week.
Our centres being closed doesn’t mean you can’t keep active! Our leisure service and Invigor8 fitness teams have been offering FREE online exercise classes through their social media page to allow residents to get fit and healthy at home. There are around 26 free live classes each week hosted online by an experienced team of fitness instructors and you do not even have to be a member.
The weekly timetable is posted on their Facebook page every Sunday so you can plan your week and even invite friends to your favourite classes.
We’re working hard to open as soon as possible and look forward to seeing you soon.
We are working through a plan to reopen libraries on a phased basis in the coming weeks.
We have 24 libraries in total, so it will take time and investment to open up all premises in a COVID-secure way for staff and library users. We are also assessing staff availability as we have a number who are working in COVID-19 responses roles, such as staffing helplines and supporting with emergency food provision.
One Stop Shops
Face-to-face advice from our customer service staff is still not able to be provided. We are working at addressing this, but in the meantime most service requests can be dealt with online at wirral.gov.uk. Information about other ways to contact the council for customer service requests at this time are available at online in our coronavirus update.
Museums and Galleries
The Williamson Art Gallery and Museum and the Priory remain closed to visitors while we work through a plan to ensure they can reopen in a way that ensures the safety of visitors and staff.
In the meantime there are a number of online galleries available and can be viewed by visiting The Birkenhead Priory and Williamson Art Gallery websites. Staff continue to stimulate debate and art/heritage appreciation regularly using their social media channels. These include:
- Birkenhead Priory Facebook page
- Williamson Art Gallery Facebook page
- Williamson Art Gallery Twitter
- Wirral Museums on Instagram
Playgrounds & outdoor gyms
We are working through a plan to reopen play areas and outdoor gym equipment on a phased basis in the coming weeks.
We have more than 60 play areas across the borough and there’s significant work to do to make sure they are safe to reopen. Legally required safety inspections, which were suspended during lockdown, must be carried before play areas can reopen as well as routine maintenance and grass cutting.
These pre-opening activities are currently taking place and we are working hard to make sure they are complete as soon as possible so these facilities can reopen.
Outdoor exercise classes
Over the past few months, local parks and open spaces have helped many of us stay active and well, both physically and mentally.
With nicer weather and further relaxation of lockdown, outdoor exercise classes are a great way to look after health and ease ourselves back into some normality.
Residents should note that if you are hosting an exercise class in a park, open space or on one of Wirral's beaches, this will need to be registered as an outdoor event and the class will need to be in line with the latest government guidance (as of publication, no more than 6 people in attendance).
You can contact the council's parks and countryside team and register your exercise class as an outdoor event by visiting the council's website.
Highway Verge Maintenance (Grass Cutting)
We postponed the highway verge maintenance cutting programme in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently many verges have not been cut for approximately 3 months.
The verge maintenance cutting programme has now resumed with a temporarily reduced workforce and are likely to see longer grass on highway verges.
Teams are initially prioritising key routes, rural roads and dangerous locations with available resources and will move into residential areas as increased staff numbers become available and more seasonal workers are recruited.
Highway Weed Control (Weed Spraying)
We postponed the highway weed control programme in early March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequently many areas will not have been treated for approximately 3 months.
Weed control treatment has now resumed and crews are working through a schedule that will cover all areas of the Borough over forthcoming weeks. Once treated weeds have died back, our street cleansing crews will remove dead weeds as part of their normal operations.
Thursday 9 July update
Register of Births resumes fully
Wirral registrars are now up to date with appointments for the registration of births after successfully reopening Birkenhead Town Hall for appointments from Wednesday 1 July.
All parents can now register the birth of their child. Registrations are by appointment only and offices at Birkenhead Town Hall will be cleaned between each family.
Appointments can be booked online at www.wirral.gov.uk/births
Whilst the service has now resumed in full, parents are asked to read the safety measures in place before visiting the town hall to ensure they are prepared for their visit.
Friday 3 July update
Marine Lake walkway reopens to public – but at a safe distance.
The walkway around West Kirby Marine Lake is set to officially reopen to the public from Saturday 4 July as restrictions continue to ease. However, social distancing remains crucial and signage has been installed along the walkway and at each entrance as a reminder to walkers. Regular visitors will know the walkway is narrow, making it harder to keep a distance if people are passing in both directions. Safety was the main consideration when the council closed the path earlier in the year following concerns including feedback from residents. The latest national guidance on social distancing and coronavirus is available on the government website.
A maximum of 30 people can attend funeral services from next week
Funerals at Landican and Frankby can see a maximum of 30 people attend from Monday 6 July, in line with government guidance, to help families grieve together for their lost loved ones.
Up to 30 mourners will be permitted to attend funerals, burials and graveside and cremations/ burials. Previous restrictions, introduced on 27 March, meant that only 15 mourners could attend a loved ones service.
Although the number has increased, government guidance still limits those who should attend a funeral to immediate and close family members only.
Residents should still be aware that social distancing measures remain in place at cemeteries and crematoriums in order to protect the safety of those attending a service and staff.
Thursday 2 July update
Registering a birth
After the successful reopening of Birkenhead Town Hall this week, registrars are now accepting bookings for babies born before the 30 April 2020.
Registrations are by appointment only and offices at Birkenhead Town Hall will be cleaned between each family.
Appointments can be booked online at www.wirral.gov.uk/births
Parents are asked to read the safety measures in place before visiting the town hall to ensure they are prepared for their visit.
Tuesday 30 June update
Parents and families can register the birth of their child at Birkenhead Town Hall from this week
From Wednesday 1 July, parents can once again attend face-to-face appointments to register the birth of their baby - with measures in place at Birkenhead Town Hall to protect the safety of them and their family.
Registrations are by appointment only and offices at Birkenhead Town Hall will be cleaned between each family.
Appointments to register the birth of a baby have been on hold since lockdown in March. Extensive work has taken place to enable the return of the service in a way that keeps families and staff safe and minimises the risk of coronavirus.
Parents are asked to only book an appointment to register a birth if their baby was born before 31 March 2020 as priority is currently being given to those born earlier in the year first. Further appointments will be made available for babies born from 1 April 2020 as soon as possible.
Appointments to register a birth can be booked online at www.wirral.gov.uk/births
Thursday 25 June update
Public toilets, lifeguards and access to Hilbre Islands to return
Wirral Council is continuing to exercise caution in lifting restrictions in response to changes in national guidelines. However, ahead of this weekend, a number of developments have been made possible as part of a wider Summer Coastal Plan that is being implemented in Wirral.
Some public toilets are reopening, beach lifeguards are returning and restrictions are being lifted for people wanting to walk to Hilbre Islands this weekend as part of the summer planning.
Care leaver hub to offer safety and support
A dedicated ‘hub’ is being created to give young care leavers a safe space for support with learning, health, accommodation and more.
Wirral Council’s Children’s Services duty team offers a single point of contact for care leavers, particularly at times of crisis. Since the coronavirus pandemic, the care leaver team has had to scale back its usual contact, operating predominately ‘virtually’.
Now, a building which is already leased by the council in Birkenhead will become a hub for care leavers, to give them and the staff who support them a physical place to have face to face contact. It will allow care leavers to access a space, dedicated to them, where they can pick up a range of independent living skills - preparing them for success in adulthood.
The establishment of the hub has been done with input from care leavers themselves.
Wednesday 24 June update
Model Aircraft Flying and Paragliding resumes
Residents enjoying the borough’s parks and open spaces should be aware of the activities and where they may be taking place.
Model aircraft flying by the Wirral Radio Control Flying Society can start again from Wednesday 24 June at Arrowe Country Park and paragliding by North Wales Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club (NWHGPGC) can resume from Saturday 27 June at Wirral Country Park in Thurstaston.
Only authorised model aircraft clubs and paragliders can utilise Wirral’s open spaces.
In terms of coronavirus relate safety, measures have been put in place to ensure all activity is in line with Government advice and is being reinforced by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) and British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA).
Tuesday 23 June update
Free school meal update for the summer holidays
Families in Wirral with children eligible for free school meals will continue to receive this support during the summer holidays.
The extension comes after the Government announced the ‘Covid Summer Food Fund’ on Tuesday 16 June. The fund will support eligible children with a voucher to cover the full six week summer holiday, beginning next month.
Families in receipt of the free school meals will continue to receive the voucher from their child’s school over the summer break. If your vouchers stopped as your child returned to school or your school has continued to provide meals throughout lockdown, you will receive a voucher for the summer break.
Landican Cemetery resume 40-minute services
From this week, Cemeteries and Crematoria resume 40-minute services for families of lost loved ones who would like to request this length of service.
It is hoped that by reintroducing the longer services it will help grieving families to have additional time with those they have lost.
Monday 22 June update
LCR Cares Fund reaches £1m milestone
LCR Cares Fund has now handed out over £1m to organisations in the Liverpool City Region. The Hive and Koala North West are just two Wirral organisations who benefited from the crowd-funding initiative - read their story at https://bit.ly/2ALZLVC
Thursday 18 June update
Market traders to receive further rent relief
Birkenhead Market traders will receive 50% off their rent for the next three months to help them bounce back after reopening.
After charging no rent for three months due to lockdown, the council has agreed the latest reduction in rent until 20 September for all market traders who were able to reopen from the 15 June 2020.
Traders who must start later because of government restrictions, such as tattooists, hairdressers and barbers, will continue to pay no rent until they are able to start trading again and will benefit from 50% off their rent from that date until 20 September 2020.
Popular retailers such as mobile phone repair shops, fashion retailers and more returned to work earlier this week – joining the country produce traders who have been able to trade throughout lockdown.
The market is now open from 9am - 3pm, Monday to Saturday with a strict social distancing policy, clear signage and floor markers throughout the site.
Wednesday 17 June update
Remaining municipal courses get set to return
Council-run Brackenwood and Hoylake Golf Courses will reopen to the public from Friday 19 June as municipal golf makes a full return in Wirral.
This is the final stage of the council’s phased approach to reopening after Arrowe Park and the Warren golf courses welcomed players back over the last two weeks.
Tee times will be charged at normal rates and will be available to anyone wanting to play on a council course on a pre-pay and play basis only. Currently, Invigor8 leisure memberships remain frozen.
Tee times should be booked and paid for online before arriving to play.
Safety guidelines can be downloaded in full on the Wirral Leisure website and should be read thoroughly by players before arriving to play.
Have your say and help make travel in Wirral healthy and safe
Over the last few months, Wirral’s existing cycling and walking infrastructure has provided access around the borough to help maintain physical and mental wellbeing during this time and the council want to ensure sustainable and active travel can continue to be supported as lockdown eases.
Wirral are set to receive a share of a £1.9 million Department for Transport (DfT) Emergency Active Travel Fund for Merseyside and are already looking into measures to support increased active travel but want resident input so that these measures can provide the best support to Wirral.
The council would like resident support and feedback to help identify roads, routes, paths and areas that could be adapted to help maintain social distancing or improved for cycling and/or walking. The feedback generated will be supported by a second instalment of funding, that is expected later this year.
Early responses are encouraged before the survey will close on 31 August 2020.
Tuesday 16 June update
Reopening of premises
As a Council we want to support as many businesses to re-open as quickly and safely as possible.
For now hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, tanning studios, piercing and tattoo parlours must all remain closed until July 4 at the earliest.
Monday 15 June update
School Crossing Patrols service resumes
As more children return to Wirral schools, the council’s Road Safety Team have been working closely with schools to assist them with their plans for reopening, including the return of the School Crossing Patrol service.
If you are setting of on the journey to school with your child, whilst a lot of the road safety messages remain the same, as traffic increases and lockdown eases, it is now so important that we remember the basics. Prepare for the journey to school by reminding yourself and your children about road safety by reading our tips for a safe walk, cycle or car ride to school.
Friday 12 June update
Wirral’s children’s centres are continuing their dedication to support families during the current health crisis with the introduction of dedicated live ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions.
During the coronavirus lockdown, the council team moved their support for families online. This virtual ‘what’s on’ offering now includes live question and answer time for parents and carers and the first three sessions have reached more than 11,500 people.
Topics covered so far include, baby weaning, general wellbeing and an ‘all about babies and toddlers’ session - covering everything from reflux to sleep. The sessions are run on the council’s My Child Can Facebook page and members of the children’s centre teams alongside colleagues in the 0-19 team answer any questions, share ideas and chat with parents and carers.
Thursday 11 June update
Capacity for testing people for COVID-19 in Wirral is increasing from this week.
Everyone over the age of two years who is showing symptoms of coronavirus is now able to apply for a test locally.
The Wirral Satellite Testing Centre is based at Bidston park and ride station, and offers a 7 day service for people who can either drive through or walk in to the site – however tests are strictly by appointment only. People arriving at the test site without a booking will be turned away - without exception.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. These symptoms are regularly reviewed and updated at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
You can apply for a test via www.wirral.gov.uk/test and once you have applied for a test, a member of Wirral Testing Team will contact you to arrange an appointment.
Wednesday 10 June update
Arrowe Park Municipal Golf Course will reopen to the public from Friday 12 June following the successful reopening of the Warren, Wallasey last week
The reopening is part of the council’s phased approach to bringing back municipal golf as safety over speed remains its top priority.
Tee times will be charged at normal rates and will be available to anyone wanting to play at the Warren and Arrowe Park on a pre-pay and play basis only. Currently, Invigor8 leisure memberships remain frozen.
Details for the reopening of Brackenwood and Hoylake municipal courses will be announced soon.
Council outdoor tennis courts will reopen this week
Whilst council outdoor tennis courts will reopen from Friday 12 June, specific safety measures have been put in place to protect the safety of residents and staff.
Before visiting our tennis courts, please take the time to read about the below safety measures in place at this time:
- Courts must be pre-booked online at: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/WirralParksTennis
- Keep all access gates open at all times
- Allow others to leave before you enter the court - wait away from the gates
- No competitions, coaching or group sessions
- Play with members of the same house or one individual from another house only
- Maximum of 2 players per court (unless players are all from the same household)
- All litter and discarded items must be taken away and disposed of by court users
- No shaking hands or physical contact with other players
- Only handle your own racket and personal (marked) tennis balls
- Follow Public Health guidelines around hygiene
- Avoid changing ends or change at opposite sides of net
- Maintain social distancing at all times
Please note that the Oval and Bidston Tennis Courts will not be reopening at this time.
Tuesday 9 June update
Angling resumes at parks approved fishing lakes
Recreational fishing at all council parks resumes on Wednesday 10 June in line with latest government guidance.
Any residents using these areas are reminded to adhere to social distancing guidelines and safety measures that have been introduced for recreational fishing.
- Government social distancing guidelines allows angling to resume as long as they fish alone (or with members of their own household) only, and remain a minimum of 2m (6ft) from other visitors to parks
- One angler per fishing peg around lakes to avoid close contact with others
- Match or competition fishing is not permitted
- Anglers must have an Environment Agency rod license
- All litter/discarded fishing line must be taken away by anglers
Thursday 4 June update
Municipal golf to make phased return
Wirral’s municipal golf courses will begin to open to the public as part of a phased return.
The Warren in Wallasey will open first on Friday 5 June and will be followed by the remaining courses soon after.
Currently, Invigor8 memberships remain frozen. Tee times will be charged at normal rates and will be available to anyone wanting to play at the Warren on a pre-pay and play basis only.
The phased return will make sure each course can open safely and with enough time for staff to get the courses in playable condition.
A series of guidelines have also been introduced to protect both players and staff, including:
- Tee times are limited to a maximum of four players. Players from separate households must remain 2m apart.
- Tee times will be available Monday – Sunday, 9am - 6.30pm.
- The course will remain closed outside of these hours for customers wanting to start their game.
- Golfers must not come to the course without booking a tee time online first.
- Junior members must be accompanied by an adult.
The guidelines can be downloaded in full on the Wirral Leisure website and should be read thoroughly by players before arriving to play.
Wednesday 3 June update
Garden waste collections set to resume
Fortnightly garden waste collections will return from June 16, following disruption due to Coronavirus.
The move comes as staff numbers at Biffa – Wirral Council’s waste collection contractor - begin to return to normal after many had to self-isolate or shield.
The service, suspended in April/May this year as lockdown began, will continue to collect brown bins for existing customers until August 24 without needing to subscribe again. Current subscribers will receive all the collections they paid for before lockdown began.
For those who wish to sign up for the next collection year (August 25 2020 – May 31 2021), the subscription window will open in July.
Current subscribers will be able to check their next collection date on the council website from June 12, when the four-weekly collection service ends.
- If you had a collection between 19-29 May – your next collection will be on your usual day, week commencing 15 June.
- If you had a collection between 1-12 June – your next collection will be on your usual day, week commencing 22 June.
Safety at the forefront for Wirral’s educational settings
Educational settings such as schools, nurseries and childminders in Wirral will receive starter packs of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to help them welcome children and young people back safely.
Provided by Wirral Council, PPE packs which include fluid-resistant surgical facemasks, disposable aprons, disposable gloves, hand sanitiser and full-face splash visors.
Alongside the PPE kits, schools and early years settings are being provided with a pack including the latest Public Health advice and guidance to support the phased reopening.
Monday 1 June update
Major investment scheme starts at Tower Road (A554) on Monday 8 June.
The £3.2 million improvement scheme will improve the area and lower traffic speeds, making sustainable travel more accessible and help support increased active travel during this time.
The scheme, designed and delivered in partnership with Peel L&P, will be delivered in two different phases of work, each with specific temporary and clearly signed traffic management arrangements.
Works within the Tower Road scheme will see the widening of pavements and reduced road width to give more space and priority to those cycling and walking.
All necessary risk assessments and safety measures have been put into place, in line with the latest government guidance.
Saturday 30 May update
Coronavirus mobile testing facility to return to Wirral strictly by appointment only
A mobile testing site, facilitated by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), will offer strict appointment-only COVID-19 testing in Wirral from Sunday 31st May to Tuesday 2nd June.
Everyone over the age of 5 who is showing symptoms of coronavirus, a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss of or change to their sense of smell or taste is eligible to apply for a test.
Friday 29 May update
The best way to stay safe over a sunny weekend
This weekend, we’d encourage you to stay in and stay local avoiding potentially busy areas.
Our popular outside destinations are getting busier, keep in mind that it’s harder to stick to a social distance if it’s busy. The best way to stay safe is to stay at home.
Thank you to everyone who is staying at home and staying away from our busy areas.
Update: West Kirby Sailing Centre
West Kirby Marine Lake, the lake footpath, the sailing centre and the car park next to West Kirby Sailing Centre all remain closed.
The health and safety of residents is a top priority for the council and everyone must continue to follow the social distancing guidelines set out by the government.
With the Marine Lake in particular, having to rescue people out of the water when things go wrong puts staff and other residents in danger – please stay off the water until notified otherwise.
Public urged to be vigilant following grass and gorse fires
Following grass fires in Wirral, residents and visitors are reminded to be extra cautious during this recent spell of hot weather.
- Ensure cigarettes are extinguished correctly and cannot reignite.
- Do not throw cigarette ends on the ground or out of car windows
- Take your litter home with you
- Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them)
- Do not light fires or barbecues in open countryside or woodland – only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and NEVER leave them unattended. Remember, barbecues are not allowed on beaches.
- If you see a fire, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately by calling 999 and give the nearest main road that the fire appliance can access. Apps like What3Words can help to give a more accurate location.
- Don’t attempt to tackle fires yourself – leave the area as quickly as possible.
Discretionary funding support for Wirral businesses
The next round of discretionary funding to support struggling local businesses will open from Friday 5th June.
The Council has received £2.56million; the Government has asked local authorities to give priority to groups of small businesses that are ineligible for current support, namely charities in receipt of charity rate relief, B&Bs which pay council tax, businesses in shared workspaces and regular market traders. Of course, other small businesses, not in these highlighted groups, will also be welcome to apply where eligibility is met.
Coronavirus symptom tracker app: download and join the fight
If you are looking for a proactive way to help in the fight against coronavirus, a new 'symptom study app' has been released to help recruit 'citizen scientists' report symptoms and advance vital research on COVID-19. Learn more about the app and sign up
Mayor gives thanks to care workers on behalf of everyone in Wirral
The Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith, has written to the managers and staff of care homes across Wirral to thank them for their incredible dedication and hard work since the pandemic began at the start of the year.
Thursday 28 May update
Food, Drink & Music Festival rescheduled for next year
Wirral Food, Drink & Music Festival has now been rescheduled. The rescheduled date will see legendary Merseyside bands Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), Echo & the Bunnymen, and The Coral continue to headline the award-winning event for an unmissable weekend on 3-5 September 2021.
People who have already bought tickets to the evening concerts will be emailed by Tickets Wirral. For further information, please go to visitwirral.com
Monday 25 May update
Foodbank appeals for donations for emergency food effort
With more and more people once again doing their ‘big shop’ in person, Wirral Foodbank is urging shoppers to consider putting a few additional items into their trolley to donate to those in need in the borough.
Wirral Foodbank has been – and continues to be – a key partner in the Emergency Food Hub operation set up by Wirral Council in conjunction with a range of community food providers to ensure the most vulnerable people receive supplies of a range of provisions during the current crisis. Read more about the work of Wirral Food Hub and how you can donate.
Friday 22 May update
Free school meals provided during half term through council investment
Plans are once again in place to ensure Wirral children who normally get free school meals do not go hungry during the school holidays.
Wirral Council will be providing vouchers for families who receive free school meals to cover the May half term holiday (25th-29th May). The council offered the same support during the Easter holidays earlier this year.
There is a risk that over half term, vulnerable children may go with out a sufficient meal each day. This £163,000 investment will ensure those children are safeguarded and protected. School holidays are not usually covered by the current free school meal scheme.
Council Leader urges residents and visitors to stay home this bank holiday
Thursday 21 May Update
Mental Health & COVID-19: Top 5 tips for staying well
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week has been all about kindness. Now, more than ever, it is so important to check in with yourself and look after your mental wellbeing. Whether you are working from home, furloughed, on the frontline, self-isolating, or juggling little ones and home schooling, our five top tips can help you to stay well. Top 5 tips for staying well
Wednesday 20 May update
Newest guidance on reopening of schools in Wirral
Monday 18 May update
Statement on reopening of schools in Wirral
Wirral Council started a consultation with all stakeholders, including trade unions, professional bodies and parents of children with reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children in order to assess the best way to support the safe return of more children to school. In the next few weeks all childcare providers and schools will be considering how best to operate.
Graffiti and fly posting
Street cleansing services will continue around the borough to ensure litter bins and waste removal is prioritised.
The graffiti and fly posting removal service has fully resumed.
Wirral organisations given cash boost by crowd-funding initiative
A community fund established by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has celebrated reaching its £1 million fundraising target, just a month after it was launched. The LCR Cares crowdfunding page was set up to raise much-needed funds for charities and community groups in the Merseyside region and has so far helped 191 organisations.
Wirral joins Merseyside message to stand strong on stay at home guidance
Local authorities in Merseyside are calling for members of the public to remain vigilant and continue to stay home as much as possible, in light of national changes to the UK’s Coronavirus response.
Tuesday 12 May update
A phased return for garden waste collections
Garden waste collections will make a comeback in Wirral from 19 May as part of a phased return - with a reduced 4-weekly collection service planned initially.
The plan is designed to get things moving and help subscribers with the build up of garden waste, as staff gradually return to work after self-isolation or their shielding period has ended.
Golf courses and Sailing Centre to remain closed for now
All Wirral Council’s golf courses, and the sailing centre will remain closed temporarily.
We have been reviewing the detail from Central Government on reopening certain services. We are working hard behind the scenes to get everything ready, as quickly as we can, while keeping the safety of our staff, residents and customers at the heart of what we do.
Monday 11 May update
In last night’s broadcast to the nation, the Prime Minister proposed a series of steps to ease Britain out of the coronavirus lockdown, beginning with a return to work for some areas of industry and a relaxation of the rules on exercise from Wednesday.
Wirral’s senior leadership team are working through the now published recovery strategy to gauge a better idea of what the plans will mean for our residents.
However, until we have that clearer picture, there will be no immediate new changes to any working arrangements for Council staff. Buildings will remain closed and staff are being told to remain working as they currently are.
The message to residents today is that we must continue to work together to control the spread of the virus to protect both ourselves and our families.
For now, this means residents must continue to
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (two metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
Thursday 7 May update
New grant scheme launched for childcare providers
A new grant scheme being launched in Wirral will allow childcare providers to apply for up to £10,000 of funding during the coronavirus epidemic. In total, up to £350,000 will be available for providers who meet the eligibility criteria and will help to support Wirral’s key workers and safeguard vulnerable children. More details on the grant scheme will follow.
Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Tony Smith, reflects on the 75th anniversary of VE Day commemorations
On the eve of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor Tony Smith, reflects on the commemorations and the current public health emergency.
Council partners with charity to support BAME communities during COVID-19
Wirral Council is partnering with Wirral Change on an initiative to deliver emergency food hampers to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities across the borough. Wirral Change, a local charity which works with and supports people from racial minority communities in the borough, from this week took on responsibility for putting together and delivering emergency hampers where there is a specific request for certain World food items.
This initiative will join the Council and partner organisations’ wider efforts to try and meet individual needs through the emergency food hampers that are being given to the most vulnerable in Wirral during the current COVID-19 crisis.
First prohibition notice issued in Wirral
A pub in Wirral has been issued with a Prohibition Notice after it was found to be in breach of the coronavirus restrictions. The action followed reports to Merseyside Police that people had been seen gathering outside and drinking inside The Railway Inn, in Port Sunlight.
Wirral Council’s licensing team was contacted and issued the Prohibition Notice following CCTV evidence viewed by Merseyside Police that individuals were found to be drinking in the premises.
Stay alert to fraud and scams during COVID-19
Health Director update: Thank you for distancing - Please keep up the good work
Fostering through challenging times
The need for more foster carers in Wirral hasn’t stopped in light of the current health crisis, with many children still needing loving homes. This is the message from Wirral Council ahead of Foster Care Fortnight which runs from 11- 24 May.
Improvement works take place at Mersey and Ilchester Parks
Improvement works are taking place at Mersey and Ilchester Park from Monday 4 May whilst the parks remain closed to the public, as part of a funding program to improve local parks.
The Secret’s Out - Oxton Gardens are Going Virtual!
One of Wirral’s best-loved events ‘Secret Gardens of Oxton’ was forced to shut its gates to visitors when the country went into lockdown in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. But green-fingered organisers have decided that if people couldn’t come to the gardens this year, then the gardens would come to them! ‘Oxton’s Virtual Gardens’ Facebook page will be made public at 10am on Sunday 10 May and will remain open during the Summer for people to enjoy.
Wednesday 6 May update
Wirral’s youth team resumes work to educate and support young people through COVID-19
Staff from Wirral’s Detached Youth Team have resumed their vital youth engagement work, with a focus on supporting and educating young people who are not following social distancing guidelines.
The Detached Youth Work Team - through working closely with partners to share local intelligence - has identified hotspots in Wirral where young people are congregating. Staff from the team will have a presence in these highlighted areas, where they will encourage groups to follow guidelines to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Local poets give Wirral a voice in ‘The World in Lockdown People’s Poem’
Wirral’s poets have contributed to ‘The World in Lockdown People’s Poem’, a patchwork style poem that documents the mood of the borough during our lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The stirring, poignant and at times uplifting poem will be launched on May 11 on the ‘World In Lockdown’ Facebook page.
Tuesday 5 May update
Wirral unveils major multi-million pound package to support borough’s care workers
Wirral Council has led the way in recognising the vital work that frontline care staff are carrying out in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost £12 million extra funding is being committed to supporting care workers on the frontline of tackling the coronavirus epidemic in Wirral.
The move includes a long term commitment to extend payment of the Real Living Wage as well as extra funding for domiciliary carers and those working in supported living. Additional payments agreed last month to Wirral care providers to ensure staff are paid the Real Living Wage will now be extended beyond the initial six month period.
Delivering the news to vulnerable people in isolation
Food packages delivered to Wirral’s most vulnerable will now include a copy of the popular newspaper The Metro in a unique collaboration between the council and publisher.
The partnership will help ensure those receiving the vital packages which are helping people self-isolate effectively will also provide them with another route to being kept up to date with news.
Monday 4 May update
Health and social care worker testing by "appointment-only"
From Monday 4 May a Wirral satellite site will continue testing priority frontline staff with COVID-19 symptoms on an ongoing basis from Monday 4th May - on a strictly appointment-only basis.
Merseyside campaign highlights domestic abuse support during COVID-19
Partner organisations across the Liverpool City Region have teamed up to launch a new domestic abuse campaign at 11am today - telling anyone experiencing abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic: #YouAreNotAlone.
Kings Parade, New Brighton becomes ‘health highway’ during lockdown
The council has temporarily closed one lane on Kings Parade, New Brighton (A554) to motor vehicle traffic from the ‘Clown Roundabout’ to the roundabout junction with Harrison Drive.
The move comes as the council responds to a decrease in traffic during lockdown and they’ve been looking to temporarily open up road space for residents to keep healthy during lockdown.
Friday 1 May update
Dedicated helpline set up for Wirral’s young people
In response to the current health crisis a dedicated freephone helpline has been set up by Wirral Council to support young people who may be struggling.
The helpline, which will be staffed by professionals from across the council's children’s services who are experienced in dealing with young people, will be open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. All calls made to the number will be free.
Children and young people can call 0808 196 4147 to speak to one of the advisors who will be there to take their call. In an emergency always dial 999.
ERIC (large item) collections to resume
The council has announced that the ERIC (large item) collection service in Wirral will resume from Monday 11 May.
The service allows residents to dispose of large or bulky items, such as white goods or items of furniture, without having to leave their home or wait in queues once the tips re-open. People wanting to use the service can book a collection now through the council website. Availability each day is limited, to make sure that Biffa can complete the collections as scheduled. You will be allocated the closest available collection date.
Thursday 30 April update
FREE online fitness classes for all
Wirral Council's own leisure service and the Invigor8 fitness team are offering free online fitness classes through their social media page to allow residents to get fit and healthy at home. There’s around 26 free live fitness classes each week hosted online by an experienced team of fitness instructors and you don’t even have to be a member. The videos stay on the Invigor8 Facebook page too so you don’t have to do it live if life gets in the way.
Innovative hi-tech help for socially isolated people in Wirral
Hundreds of tablet computers have been distributed to people in Wirral who are isolated and alone to allow them to keep in touch with friends and family during the coronavirus lockdown.
Age UK Wirral, Vodafone UK and Wirral Council are working together to distribute more than 250 tablets, each with Vodafone data included to ensure the tablets are ready to be used. The activity is also being supported by The Steve Morgan Foundation, LCR Cares Fund & National Emergencies Trust and Wirral Lions Club who have helped fund the scheme.
Hospital and health care sites are marked to thank NHS workers
L&R Roadlines Ltd, are working with Wirral Council to help mark several hospital sites around the borough with a message to thank NHS workers for their ongoing efforts during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The new road markings, that L&R Roadlines Ltd have installed free of charge to the council, will help to provide a daily reminder to all staff at these hospitals of the huge amount of thanks and gratitude the whole borough is showing towards them, as they continue to look after and keep the community safe.
Closure order after reports of drug dealing at Birkenhead flat
Joint action taken by Wirral Council’s anti-social behaviour team and Merseyside Police has resulted in a closure order being made on a flat in Birkenhead. The order was successfully applied for and obtained at Wirral Magistrates Court on 30th April 2020 under section 76 of the Anti-Social Behaviour crime and policing act 2014 in relation to a flat on The Woodlands in Birkenhead.
Wednesday 29 April update
MOD testing site comes to Wirral
From Thursday 30 April - Saturday 2 May the Ministry of Defence will operate a mobile testing site for essential workers with symptoms of Coronavirus. More information on testing criteria and how to book is available here.
Wednesday 22 April update
Finding calm among the chaos
Wirral Council is inviting people to to tag their Instagram photos with #wirralcouncil to help spread and share some positivity during these difficult times. You can follow the council on Instagram at www.instagram.com/wirralcouncil
Tuesday 21 April update
Keeping kids safe online
With screentime on the rise, five useful tips to help parents and carers keep children safe online have now been published.
Monday 20 April update
Wirral Council is now on Instagram!
Along with news, the council's new Instagram page will feature great photos, videos and inspiring stories, with opportunities to get your pictures reposted.
Flytipping reports surge
As reports of flytipping rise, the council has already removed more than 29 tonnes of flytipped waste since the nation went into lockdown. Officers have .
While acknowledging the difficulties residents are facing managing their waste at this time, the council is warning that it will continue to take a tough line on incidents of fly-tipping and will keep on investigating all reports with a view to prosecuting those responsible. Not only does fly-tipping use valuable resources which could be used to keep essential services going but it also presents a fire risk, a problem the fire and rescue service really doesn’t need right now.
Friday 17 April update
Help is at hand for Wirral residents
Thousands of Wirral residents have already received essential practical support from the Hub during the COVID-19 crisis.
A partnership between the council, Feeding Birkenhead – Supporting Wirral, Wirral Foodbank and other community food providers, the hub is a centralised, coordinated effort to maintain a sustainable food distribution service for our most vulnerable residents for as long as the restrictions and risk remain.
Pedestrians and cyclists get priority at Birkenhead Park
Birkenhead Park will be closed to vehicles temporarily in line with government guidelines.
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the borough has seen an increase in the number of cyclists and pedestrians and the closure aims to keep them safe and reduce the number of people travelling to the park by car. Please do not park or block access to the park gates as emergency services and park staff will still need to maintain access for essential services.
Dog fouling reports increase: please pick up after your dog
Residents are urged to clean up after their dogs after a surge in reports of dog fouling since lockdown began. With council services stretched to the limit as the impact of COVID-19 continues to affect everyday life, it’s never been more important for us all to work together and reduce the strain on resources.
If you are taking your dog out for a walk, make sure you have dog poo bags with you. If you can’t find a bin, or the bin is full, please carry the bag home with you and put it in your green bin.
Live streaming trial at Landican Crematorium
The council is piloting a live streaming trial at Landican Crematorium, enabling families, relatives and friends to say goodbye to loved ones and be able to grieve as they wish to at an already difficult time. Government guidelines on social distancing requires the number of mourners at funeral services to be limited to 15.
Thursday 16 April update
Planning services update
During the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, in order to prioritise services and enable essential work to continue, we have suspended the service for any new pre-application requests until 11 May 2020, when this will be reviewed.
Any planning applications or pre-applications that have already been submitted will still be processed and we are working as hard to complete these and resume services as soon as possible.
Cemeteries and Crematoriums update
To allow adequate social distancing, measures have been taken to protects the safety of residents and staff during this time. Public toilets will only be open during service times, services will all be 20 minutes long and all services will be at a standard rate.
Wednesday 15 April update
Business grants update
The council has now distributed nearly 2,500 grants to local businesses, totalling more than £27m.
We opened the process for applying for grants on the afternoon of Monday 30th March. By Friday of the same week we paid out the first grants.
- By 3rd April – 272 grants were approved, £3.125m paid out
- By 10th April – 2,072 grants were approved, £22.260m paid out
- By 14th April – 2,459 grants were approved, £27.775m paid out
This has been made possible due to teams working together to process these grants, deal with enquiries and coordinate the response. Wirral has been leading the way on this issue, with businesses elsewhere in the city region even contacting Wirral for help and advice, as they have heard how well the team have managed to provide support.
Pay boost for frontline care workers
The council has just committed almost £3m pounds to ensure care workers on the frontline of dealing with the coronavirus are better paid. The authority is using part of the extra Government funding for tackling coronavirus to help bring care sector workers up to the real Living Wage. The aim is to help the care sector keep and recruit staff who are on the frontline of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The council's contracts with care providers will be updated to ensure the additional funding is passed on to frontline staff.
Today marks the 31st anniversary of the Hillsborough stadium tragedy. The flag at Wallasey Town Hall is flying at half-mast and people across the country will be observing a minute's silence at 3.06pm.
Thursday 9 April - Monday 13 April update
Household waste collections
Green and grey bin collections are slightly behind schedule, but bin crews are working hard to ensure all collections of grey and green bins are caught up by Saturday 11 April. Bin crews will still be collecting bins on Good Friday and Easter Monday. Please put your bin out by 7am on your usual day and it will be collected that day or the next.
Emergency food hub
For residents who are in need of emergency food, for whatever reason, use the Emergency Food Hub's online facility.
For further help and advice call our COVID-19 helpline: Mon to Fri 9am - 5pm (open Good Friday and Easter Monday) on 0151 666 5050 or email email@example.com
Wednesday 8 April update
Household waste collections resume
Biffa resumed collections of green and grey bins on Wednesday morning, following agreement that the current health and safety measures in place are in line with national guidance for waste collection operatives. Read full details of the catch-up plan here
Mental health support
It is understandable to feel vulnerable or overwhelmed as we hear about Coronavirus in the press, on social media or in conversation. Additionally, staying at home during this time, while it will reduce the spread of the virus, comes with its own unique challenges. It’s important to take time, even little and often, to look after ourselves – especially in times of stress. Here are a few extra tips to help support and manage your wellbeing, while at home.
Support for carers
A range of digital resources is available for Carers to provide some extra help during the coronavirus lockdown. A Carer is someone of any age who provides unpaid necessary care and support for a relative, partner or friend. The care provided could be for someone who is frail, ill or has a disability. Read more about how Wirral Council has joined up with Carers UK to provide a package of support which is free to Carers.
Tuesday 7 April update
Household waste collections
The council has been made aware of a dispute between Biffa and some of their collection staff, that led to a delay in bin collections today. We are continuing to work closely with Biffa in an effort to help them come to a speedy and appropriate resolution so that essential waste collections can resume as soon as possible and we can put arrangements in place to catch-up on any missed collections. In the meantime, residents whose collection has been missed are advised to leave their bin out as they will be prioritised under any catch-up plan.
Monday 6 April update
Support for local businesses
The council is distributing more than £15m of grants to Wirral businesses - helping them to continue through the Coronavirus outbreak. Since we launched the claims process on 30 March, 2,271 businesses have submitted claims via our website, and approved claims were paid out as soon as the Government released the funds last Wednesday. This money is providing relief and reassurance to both business-owners and their employees and staff worked extra hours over the weekend to process the applications as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Beware of scammers
The council is aware that both locally and nationally, scammers are using the COVID-19 pandemic to carry out fraud. Please be extra vigilant during this time, and make your friends and family aware of the risks. Look out for emails or text messages asking you to click unknown links or open attachments, or if someone gets in touch to say they can offer compensation for cancelled travel or event plans. Fraudsters may also offer you hard-to-get products like hand sanitiser, facemasks or vaccines, or claim to be raising money for charity. If you suspect fraud in Wirral, please report it online or call 0800 731 5783.
If you didn't get chance this weekend, check out the Williamson Gallery's Art & Photography Exhibition for 2020 when you can - it's online this year for the first time. You can even vote for your favourite at the museum website
Friday 3 April update
Hilbre Island closes to visitors
Hilbre Island has today closed to visitors following government guidelines to help tackle COVID-19 (coronavirus). This closure will help the council to prioritise health and safety, observe social distancing guidance, and reduce the spread of coronavirus. Visiting Hilbre Island is considered a non-essential journey, and closing will also help to reduce pressure on essential resources should emergency assistance be required. Parks across Wirral, however, will remain open for people to exercise.
Reminder: Help with paying Council Tax
Announced yesterday, Wirral Council has announced a range of options to support residents who are struggling to pay their Council Tax. The options include spreading the cost over 12 instead of ten payments, applying for Council Tax Support, and a further reduction for working-age residents already in receipt of Council Tax Support. The council has also reminded residents still worried about paying their bill to contact the Council Tax team for advice.
Fly-tippers warned they face prosecution
Having seen a marked increase in reports of fly-tipping across the borough since the nation went into lockdown, Wirral Council is warning it will continue to take a tough line on incidents of fly-tipping and will keep on investigating all reports with a view to prosecuting those responsible. Residents are urged to dispose of their waste responsibly through the regular kerbside collections - or hold onto it until COVID-19 passes. Fly-tipping will never be tolerated, but even less so at this time when all available resources are concentrated on keeping essential services going.
Thursday 2 April update
Birkenhead Market delivering the goods
Birkenhead Market traders are working together to provide home deliveries of essential fresh food to local communities and businesses in need. They’re now serving 300-500 customers each day with fresh fruit, veg, bread, fish and meat with even more calling for home deliveries. A local care home has also used the service after being told they couldn't buy in bulk from a supermarket to feed their service users. Social distancing measures are in place at the market to help keep everyone safe and orders for delivery are taken over the phone.
Help with council tax
The Government has confirmed a £500m national 'hardship fund' to help people who already receive Council Tax Support get a further reduction on their bill. Working-age Wirral residents who receive Council Tax Support will have a £150 reduction applied to their bill automatically, there is no need to apply.
Other support measures in place include:-
- Council tax payments can be made over 12 months, instead of 10, to spread the cost of lower the monthly amount.
- People on a reduced income can apply for council tax support if they have not done so already
Any resident who may be experiencing difficulty in meeting their bills should contact the council as soon as possible.
Domestic abuse support
While residents will be following Government advice and staying home to help reduce the risk of COVID-19, we know there are vulnerable people in our communities who will be concerned about the prospect of staying home – particularly those who are dealing with domestic abuse, violence, and coercive or controlling behaviour.
The council continues to work with Merseyside Police and providers of domestic abuse support to maintain essential services for anyone affected during the weeks and months ahead. Advice and information is available by telephone, text message or online services. Find out more on our Wirral View story. This information is publicly available and can be shared with anyone who may need it.
Wednesday 1 April update
The council is offering extra support to local residents who need to 'shield'. You may have seen information about 'shielding' - this is something put in place to protect people whose health is extremely vulnerable. People asked to shield will need to minimise all interaction between themselves and others, for at least 12 weeks. Residents should have been contacted directly by the Government if they need to shield but the council will also be making contact to offer additional support such as help getting food.
Free school meals over Easter
Last week, Wirral Council stepped in to ensure any child who was entitled to a free school meal would not go without a lunch now schools are closed. This was to bridge the gap until the national scheme from the Government was up and running. The national scheme is now in place but we've extended our commitment to those children to cover what would have been the Easter school holidays. So, any Wirral child entitled to a free school meal during term time, will also get food vouchers or gift cards provided to their family to cover the Easter period as well.
Bonfires and barbecues
The council and Merseyside Fire and Rescue have issued an urgent joint appeal for residents to not light bonfires or barbecues at the moment. Coronavirus can cause significant respiratory problems for people who contract the virus. When they are trying to manage symptoms at home and following health advice by opening windows as much as possible, smoke from neighbouring properties or nearby allotments can cause breathing difficulties to become critically worse.
Tuesday 31 March update
Emergency food hub
Wirral’s new Emergency Food Hub, a partnership between the council and community food providers, has launched an online facility to provide a single point of contact for residents who need urgent help to get food. Residents who are in need of emergency food, for whatever reason. Anyone who is unable to go online, or has problems completing the form, should call the Wirral Coronavirus Helpline on 0151 666 5050.
Wirral Foodbank donations
As the need for food support has increased and donations and supplies have been disrupted, Wirral Foodbank is encouraging shoppers who can spare a few additional items to make a donation at one of their collection points at supermarkets.
Monday 30 March: afternoon update
Garden waste collections
Brown bin collections have been suspended until further notice due to reductions in the number of collection staff and to ensure green and grey bins can continue to be collected without disruption. Green and grey bin collections are now running on schedule and bins should be put out on all residents' usual collection day as normal.
Monday 30 March: morning update
Wallasey Town Hall, Birkenhead Town Hall, Bromborough Civic Centre, Conway Centre, Hamilton Building and Rock Ferry OSS were officially closed from Friday 27 March. Marriss House will close at 5pm today. A review of all buildings will be taken at weekly intervals.
The One Stop Shop at Conway Street is now closed, which means all are closed until further notice. The council's Contact Centre will be operating on reduced hours from today, 9am – 5pm. Click here for the latest updates.
Weekend (28-29 March) update
Emergency Food Hub
The council and community food providers are coming together to make sure vulnerable residents don’t go hungry during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation. A new initiative will see Feeding Birkenhead, Supporting Wirral, Wirral Foodbank and other third sector food providers, coordinating efforts and centralising their bulk food collection and distribution operations at a new Emergency Food Hub, which will be managed by Wirral Council. Further details of Wirral’s emergency food response, including the new arrangements for people to request help, will be released in the coming week.
Support for the self-employed
The council has pledged £100,000 to support self-employed residents during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis while they wait for financial assistance from central government. Anyone looking to apply for help through the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme, should visit the council website and check their eligibility
Support for businesses
From tomorrow, Monday 30 March, businesses will be able to go online to claim cash grants to support them at this time. A one-off grant of £10,000 has been earmarked for all active businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief to help meet their ongoing business costs. In addition to this, a one-off, cash grant of up to £25,000 will be available for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Full details of all support measures in place for businesses can be found on the Wirral Council website.
Free school meal vouchers
Wirral children who normally get free school meals will receive vouchers to cover the cost of food, as Wirral Council steps in to ensure no child goes without a lunch now schools are closed. There are plans for a Government scheme to support children eligible for free school meals but it is not yet in place. In Wirral, the council has put its own scheme in place, in partnership with local schools, to bridge the gap.
Allotments remain open and accessible to allotment holders, however if you tend your plot please follow the government’s guidelines on hand washing and social distancing. Allotment holders who are currently self-isolating and/or cannot tend their plot, ‘non-cultivation’ notices and inspections have been suspended until the end of June to ensure your plot will not be taken from you as a result. For those interested in applying for an allotment plot, providing proof of ID ‘in person’ is not required for the period to the end of September 2020, however this will be required retrospectively.
Public Rights of Way
Public Rights of Way remain open however, footpath user paths are asked to follow the latest Government guidance on hand washing and social distancing to protect themselves and others. People should not gather on these paths, Police have the authority to disperse groups and should be informed if happening.
On-street disabled parking bay applications
Any new on-street disabled parking bay (OSDPB) applications have been suspended as applications need to be signed by a doctor and submitted as a paper copy. This will prevent vulnerable and at-risk residents visiting their local GP surgery, Post Office or One Stop shop and will protect them and others during this time. All existing applications registered on the system will continue to be assessed and delivered in line with the agreed criteria.
From Monday 30 March, Wirral Registrars will be closed to the public temporarily. Deaths can be registered remotely by phone.
Some highways inspections will continue to ensure that routes for key workers and essential operations can continue, protecting residents. Please do not approach highway staff whilst they are working - only essential work is being carried out.
Friday 27 March update
Today saw the launch of a new online resource aimed at matching residents with the local support they need during the COVID-19 situation. The Wirral InfoBank website has an easy-to-use search facility, which shows what help is available nearby simply by residents inserting their home postcode.
The new platform will also:
- help people individuals to register to volunteer with local groups and the NHS
- allow community, voluntary and faith groups to tell us how they might be able to help
- register offers of help from local businesses, match their expertise and resources with local need
- signpost to the most up-to-date national health information
The InfoBank is part of a package of wider preparations to focus resources on the most critical services, while ensuring residents get the information they need. It joins the Wirral Coronavirus helpline, launched last Friday for residents. The helpline specifically helps residents who aren’t ‘online’ to access information from the Council and some of its partner organisations.
Crews are working hard to make all brown bin collections by the end of the weekend. Requests for additional brown or grey bins have been suspended until further notice. You can read more here. Advice has also been issued for residents on measures they can take to better safeguard collection crews at this time.
Invigor8 memberships for Wirral leisure centres
All direct debit payments for memberships have automatically been suspended (from 21 March) until Leisure Centres re-open and annual subscriptions will be extended in line with the closure period.
The Council’s tree maintenance contractor, Mancoed, are now only undertaking emergency safety related tree maintenance works in line with the latest government guidance. Tree inspections are essential work and will continue in order to protect the safety of our residents.
Thursday 26 March: afternoon update
Any items or books currently on loan from libraries around the borough will be automatically renewed. Libraries are also offering a number of online services allowing residents to access e-books, newspapers and resources. Library staff are also making phone calls to isolated library users who may not have digital access.
Beware of potential scams
Unscrupulous and heartless scammers are using the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to carry out frauds and scams around the world, including here at home in Wirral. The nature of the crimes ranges from illegal sales, where victims have made purchases online from fraudulent traders, to phishing scams, which use emails or text messages to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing personal information. Read more about how you can take steps to avoid becoming a victim of one of these schemes…
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has been lobbying central government to support the self-employed through this time. They're looking to hear from people in the city region who are freelance, self-employed and sole-traders to understand the impact of COVID-19. Take part in the survey...
Thursday 26 March: morning update
All planned roadworks, major projects and schemes have been suspended - unless they are essential safety works. This has been agreed with our contractors and partners in order to help protect residents and staff. Essential inspections and highway repairs on our roads, footways and streetlights will continue as necessary to maintain safety on the network.
From Friday 27 March, the number of mourners that are permitted to attend a funeral, both burials at graveside and cremations/burials within our chapels (Landican and Frankby) will be reduced to a maximum of 15 people. This is an unfortunate but necessary update to allow for national social distancing guidelines. Non-essential services in this area will be suspended with further changes being made in order to protect the safety of residents and staff during this time.
Wednesday 25 March: afternoon update
One Stop Shops
Due to the number of staff having to self-isolate we will now only be able to offer a One Stop Shop service at the Conway Centre to all Wirral residents. Waiting times will be longer than normal. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Parks: are they open for your hour of exercise?
All public parks are open, but children's playgrounds, enclosed sports pitches, outdoor gyms and Wirral municipal golf courses are all now closed. Please remember to keep two metres apart from others: that’s roughly the width of two park benches or one and a half bikes.
Registrars: Births, Marriages, and Deaths
Wirral Register Office is now only open for death registrations. All birth and notice of marriage appointments have been deferred for the foreseeable future. All marriage ceremonies have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. If you need to contact the register office, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The government have launched a new WhatsApp service as a trustworthy source to keep you updated on any new Coronavirus news. To use the free service, add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started.
Lady Lever Art Gallery
This stunning gallery may be temporarily closed, but you can still enjoy their world class art from the comfort of your own home. Enjoy some of their collections whilst socially distancing.
Wednesday 25 March: morning update
Street cleansing and weeding
Street cleansing services are being prioritised to specific parts of the service and highway weeding is going to be suspended for three weeks as Wirral Council continues to introduce measures to respond to COVID-19 and government announcements.
Grafitti and flyposting
Graffiti and flyposting will only be removed in the next three weeks if it is offensive, while vehicular crossings and access markings won't take place over the same time frame.
Business support grants
Central government have released guidance on businesses eligible for grants to help with staffing costs, VAT, business rates and more to support operations during the current COVID-19 situation.
Youth, adult and visitor services
- Youth Services: All youth hubs, youth clubs and youth outreach has now stopped. We are in the process of working with partners to provide online access to support and activities for young people.
- Adult Care: Day care services have been largely stepped down across Wirral. Wirral Evolutions, who support around 400 people now only have four people who absolutely require this support attending at Pensby Wood for three days a week. Age UK have stopped day care and are focused on providing support for people in their homes, with Council assistance.
- West Kirby Marine Lake: The path around the Marine Lake is closed as the nature of the path and its popularity means it will be difficult to maintain social distancing.
- Visitor Centres: All visitor centres around the borough are officially closed.
- Jobcentres: Now closed. Customers can access support online at dwp.gov.uk In an emergency only, customers can call their Jobcentre directly on the following numbers: Bromborough - 0151 644 4462. Birkenhead - 0151 551 6658 / 0151 268 6395 / 0151 551 8696. Upton - 0151 551 6536
Your NHS needs you
Last night Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock called for an urgent appeal for 250,000 volunteers to support our NHS. If you'd like to join their army of volunteers, please sign up!
We really appreciate everyone's efforts in helping slow down the spread of COVID-19. The easiest way of doing this is to continue socially distancing and avoid non-essential travel. If you must leave the house for food supplies or exercise, please remember to keep 2 metres away from everyone else - this is roughly the length of a surfboard or 2 guitars.
If you or a family member are classed as high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, shielding will help protect your family. This requires the high risk person to stay home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks. If you have others in your household who are not at high risk, they are not required to adopt this, but follow guidance on social distancing.
If you want to read your newspaper without leaving the house - now you can!
Wirral Libraries now have full image editions of: The Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, and The Liverpool Echo as well as text content of all UK newspapers including the Wirral Globe. To access this, log into your library account.
Tuesday 24 March
Public parks and municipal golf courses
All Wirral Council public parks remain open for people to use for one hour of exercise per day. Areas such as children’s playgrounds, enclosed sports pitches and outdoor gyms will be closed until further notice.
It is vital that visits to any of our parks follow the latest government rules, particularly those on social distancing.
All Wirral municipal golf courses are now closed until further notice.
Household waste recycling centres
Following the Prime Minister's latest announcement, visits to household waste recycling centres across Merseyside are closed with immediate effect and until further notice.
Monday 23 March
Catch-up plan for missed bin collections
In light of the Government’s recommendations about social distancing, Wirral Council and Biffa have been working hard this morning to put measures in place to keep bin collection crews as safe as possible while carrying out their duties.
Unfortunately, this has meant that regular collections have not been able to go ahead today as normal. However, collections will resume tomorrow with bins scheduled for collection today instead being collected tomorrow (Tuesday). A full catch-up schedule for this week has been released.
From 4pm today (Monday 23rd March) both Pensby Children’s Centre and Rock Ferry Children’s Centre will temporarily close. This will enable our efforts to be more effective through the following sites:
- Bromborough Children’s Centre (covering Wirral South and Wirral West)
- Seacombe Children’s Centre (Wallasey)
- Brassey Gardens (Birkenhead)
Following Government’s advice and adhering to social distancing and reduced contacts, Children’s Centre sessions will be suspended and the offer to families will be via telephone, email, the MyChildCan and Wirral Council Facebook feeds and websites. More information is available here.
Friday 20 March
Bin collection contingency plans
Contingency plans have been put in place for bin collections to ensure the most vital services are delivered as Wirral continues to manage the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
The council anticipates higher levels of absence as COVID-19 continues to impact daily lives. This means having to prioritise services based on the potential impact on health.
New helplines for residents and businesses
Wirral Council has launched a new telephone helpline for residents and businesses during the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
The helpline will provide a ‘front door’ to advice and support from the Council and its partner organisations, including:
- Residents who need support with their day-to-day needs
- Residents or organisations wishing to volunteer
- Signposting for national health advice
- Support for local businesses and organisations (not just Wirral Chamber members)
- Advice about education arrangements
Limits on number of mourners at funerals
Numbers of mourners at funerals are to be limited as part of measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.
The council is now asking families and funeral directors to limit the number of people attending funerals at cemeteries and crematorium to no more than 30 mourners.
Thursday 19 March
Leisure centres to close
All Wirral leisure and sports centres, including West Kirby Concourse, the Oval Leisure Centre, Europa Pools, Leasowe Leisure Centre, Guinea Gap Leisure Centre, Woodchurch Leisure Centre and the Wirral Tennis and Sports Centre, are to close indefinitely after today (Thursday 19th March 2020) due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
As a consequence, all classes and activities - including swimming and tennis lessons - are suspended until further notice. This also extends to our community-based Sports Development sessions and disability programme.
All direct debit payments for memberships will automatically be suspended from 21st March 2020 until Leisure Centres re-open and annual subscriptions will be extended in line with the closure period.
Libraries to close
Wirral Libraries will be closed temporarily from 5pm today (Thursday 19 March) until further notice.
The temporary closure includes all library events and activities. Residents are encouraged to sign up or join online, where they can access a wide range of e-books and e-audio for free. To sign up, they need to fill out a short form giving their name, address, and contact details.
Borrowers who have books which are due back to the libraries during the closure period will have any fines waived.
Chamber launches business support helpline
The government has announced financial measures to support businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Businesses will be able to access some of this support through the council and we are working on providing this support as quickly as possible.
In the meantime, Wirral Chamber of Commerce have launched a helpline for all Wirral businesses and community organisations: please call 0151 650 6982 or email email@example.com