Welcome to the latest update. Lots to report on this month starting with the latest impact of the cuts programme.
I have written before about how vulnerable Birkenhead is to the cuts programme. Recent research ranked Birkenhead as the third most vulnerable area in the entire country. Well the theory is now becoming a reality as budgets are slashed in advance of the new financial year in April. In the past month alone we have seen:
More job cuts: even more people are being laid off by Wirral Council with redundancies now set to top 1,200 as reported in the Wirral Globe
Care home closures: 5 care homes across the borough are to close including Maplehome in Birkenhead. I know from speaking to those affected that this is a terrible blow to families with disabled children who depend on respite care. Furthermore, with less full time staff, care is increasingly being shouldered by those left behind. This is a recurring theme across the public services with fewer and fewer full time staff expected to provide the same level of service. One wonders how much longer the leader of Wirral Council can maintain the absurd position that cuts will not affect front line services.
All of this simply reinforces the Green Party position that the cuts are targeting the most vulnerable while the super rich are unaffected. This is especially the case as more and more high street names including Tesco are identified as avoiding millions in taxes.
You don’t have to venture far in Birkenhead and Tranmere to know that our roads and pavements are often n poor condition. Here too, the cuts are biting with big reductions in the funds available. The Council has published the latest list of funding for its structural maintenance programme in the coming financial year. Modest funds have been earmarked for improvements to Shaw Street, Green Lane, Larch Road and Whitford Road. More significant funding will hopefully be available for major routes including Conway Street, Chester Street, Whetstone Lane, Canning Street, Oxton Road, Exmouth Street and Claughton Road.
Last month we highlighted again the poor record on road safety in Wirral. Moreover, we identified how this extends across Merseyside and raises serious questions for the local police force. The Wirral Globe followed up this story and you can read their report here.
Our latest ward newsletter will be delivered over the coming weeks. It includes a report on the problems caused by the large number of empty homes across our area. You can access the newsletter online.
· Graffiti reported on Park Street
· Fly-tipping reported on Kingsdown Street
· Broken street light reported on Elm Grove
· Warrington Street now has a new street sign
· Not for the first time, fly-tipping on Westbourne Road has been cleared
As ever, if there are outstanding issues of concern to you, please let me know.